The Giant Will Fall - Part I
“Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.” — I Samuel 17:45
The account of David and Goliath is one of the greatest chapters of victory found in the entirety of the Word of God. In it is the pattern for our own victory, because the Goliaths (in the spiritual sense) who hinder our Christian progress are no less real than the Goliath that David faced so long ago. As David won that victory, we, too, can win the victory because two thousand years ago our heavenly David defeated Satan, the greatest Goliath of them all.
It must have been twenty-five years ago in one of our campmeetings—a young man was in the service who pastored a large church in the northern part of this nation, and he had a problem in his life. I don’t know what the problem was; he never really told me, and it wasn’t any of my business, but he had a problem, and he was desperate. He had fought, tried, worked, labored, prayed, cried, fasted, and wept but seemingly to no avail. This man was called of God—he knew he was—and he loved the Lord, but he could not seem to get victory over whatever the thing was, and he labored for several years under it.
In that campmeeting, whenever I read this text from I Samuel 17, this man later told me how he had thought, I don’t want to hear about David. I know all about that. I need something for my own problem. But when I announced the subject of my message—the giant will fall—he said the Spirit of God went all over him. Glory to God. He said, “Brother Swaggart, when that service ended, I walked out of there, and that giant had fallen.”
Justification Vs. Sanctification
II Timothy 1:7 reads, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Understand that.
A lot of Christians haven’t thought of this, but almost the entirety of the Bible is given over to sanctification—how we live for God. The only part of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation that’s given over to telling people how to be saved is the little book of Jonah. He was sent to Nineveh to cry out to those there that they must repent, which they did, thank God. But the balance of the Word of God is given over to sanctification—how we live for God, how we have victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil. Boy, I feel the Spirit of God in that. How we have victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil. How we have victory—victory.
My mother used to sing it:
Oh victory in Jesus, my Savior forever,
He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood,
He loved me ’ere I knew Him, and all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood.
The reason the Bible is written as it is, is because the unsaved, they cannot understand it anyway. You have to be born again before you can understand the Word of God. So the Bible is written from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21 to tell us how to have victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Every believer in this world faces the problem of sin—that’s the problem. We may call it this, that, or the other, but the problem is sin. As believers, I don’t think we realize how deadly sin is, how awful sin is. In the last few days, the Lord has impressed upon me, in a greater way than ever before, the horrible power of sin and how destructive it is—far greater than we realize. The only way that you can have an idea as to how bad it is, is to look and see what it took to address sin, which was the cross of Calvary. You value the worth of something by what it costs to obtain it, and to obtain victory over this problem of eternal darkness—this transgression, the fallen sons of Adam’s lost race—we have to look at what Jesus Christ did to give us victory over this terrible malady of sin.
We don’t know what Jesus was before the incarnation—God becoming man—we don’t know that. We can look in Revelation 5 and get an idea, but it’s very limited. Jesus dwelt in a light, the Scripture says, that no man could approach. He knew glory. He made all things, and without Him there was nothing made that was made. We cannot even begin to comprehend the majesty, the glory, or the greatness of the Lord, much less understand the pre-incarnate Christ. It’s beyond our scope of thinking. With what little we know, we realize that sin has to be a horrible force, a horrible destructive power for God to do what He did—to give up His only Son to come down here, live as a peasant, and then bear the sin penalty of all of mankind.
For Him to step out of eternity and into time, and that’s what He did, and come into this world as a peasant, a peon—it’s hard to grasp such. He was raised as a carpenter’s son in Nazareth. The great historian Josephus said the townspeople would see Him coming out of the nearby woods with a log over His shoulder, a piece of timber, to make from it yokes for oxen—this Son of the living God.
In those days, Israel was operated by the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Herodians. They were the upper class, and anyone who had to make a living with his hands was looked at as nothing. So the idea of Jesus saying that He was the Messiah, the Son of God—all they saw was the son of a carpenter.
But He was the Son of God, the crown Prince of Glory, and He stepped out from eternity and into time as a peasant to be humiliated and spit upon and laughed at and lampooned and lambasted. Let me tell you something: He didn’t have to go to the cross to open blinded eyes. He didn’t have to go to the cross to cleanse the leper who said to Him, “If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean” (Mark 1:40). He didn’t have to go to the cross to walk on the water. He didn’t have to go to the cross to deliver the man who was born blind. He didn’t have to go to the cross to set that captive free who was possessed by two thousand demons. But to save my soul and to save your soul, He had to go to the cross. And thank God, He did! I’m saved today because He went to that cross. I’m washed and cleansed because He went to that cross.
The Word of God says, “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth” (Isa. 53:5-7).
He went to that cross that we may overcome sin. The Bible does not teach sinless perfection, but it does teach that sin is not to have dominion over us. Let me say that again: The Bible does not teach sinless perfection, and if you understand anything about sin, you’ll know the reason why, but it does teach that sin is not to have dominion over us.
Somebody said, “Now Brother Swaggart, I want to have victory in my life, but how?” What I’m going to tell you will make you shout forever and forever, if you’ll believe it, and I think you will: There’s only one way to have victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil—not ten ways—just one way: the cross of Christ. When Jesus died on that cross, He atoned for all sin—past, present, and future.
Until Victory Is Mine
The Jews, the religious leadership of Israel, screamed at Christ on the cross and mocked Him with torrents of invective profanity and filth. “If You are the Son of God,” they said, “come down from that cross.” At the same time, hundreds of thousands or even millions of saints were being held as captives of Satan in paradise. Isaiah was a captive of Satan. David, the giver of the twenty-third psalm, and the one who wrote more than half of the psalms, was a captive of Satan. Even though they were saved, they were still captives of Satan. They were cleansed, but sin was still there. Why? Because the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sins.
Those saints were in that place, in paradise, waiting for just one thing: the cross. And if they could have heard those religious leaders screaming, “If You are what You say You are, come down from the cross,” they would have screamed at the top of their lungs, “Please, don’t come down from that cross! Stay there until the victory is mine, until every sin is cleansed and every sin is washed!” And thank God, He stayed.
Again, it was at the cross where every sin was atoned—past, present, and future. So just in case there’s somebody reading this who has acted the fool, who has played the idiot, who had to go before the Lord and say, “Please, forgive me,” as far as God is concerned, that sin no longer exists, and it’s all because of Calvary, because of the cross. And if anybody tries to bring those sins up to you again, you just look at them and say, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. You must be talking about somebody else, because you’re not talking about me. Glory to God, my sins are gone!”
They’re underneath the blood, on the cross of Calvary,
As far removed as darkness is from dawn;
In the sea of God’s forgetfulness, that’s good enough for me,
Praise God, my sins are gone.
The only way for one to have victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil is through the cross. There is no other way; God cannot accept anything else. Whenever you place your faith and trust exclusively in Christ and what He did for you at the cross, and maintain your faith exclusively in Christ and what He did for you at the cross, then the Holy Spirit, who works exclusively within the parameters of the cross—what Jesus there did—will work mightily. You see, the Holy Spirit is God, and He can do anything, but He works within the realm of the cross: “For the law of the Spirit of life (the Holy Spirit) in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2).