Preaching the Great Hymns of Easter: Victory in Jesus

Notes & Transcripts

The author of Victory in Jesus is Eugene Monroe Bartlett. He was born on December 24, 1885 just south of here in Waynesville, Missouri. Not long after, his parents relocated to Arkansas, and Bartlett considered Arkansas home. He did however return to Missouri for his college education, graduating from William Jewell College in Liberty. Bartlett was an aspiring songwriter and after college went to work for the Central Music Company which was noted for producing “shaped-note” hymnals. Eventually moving to Little Rock, Bartlett and two friends formed the Hartford Music Company. His company was one of the first significant music companies to publish Southern Gospel music, and Bartlett is often referred to as the father of Southern Gospel music. Through this music ministry, Bartlett gave many writers, singers and musicians their first opportunity in Gospel music, including Alfred E. Brumley who wrote I'll Fly Away and Turn Your Radio On.

E.M. Bartlett was also a devout Christian and wrote several hundred hymns. Many of them he wrote in mere minutes or hours. His most famous hymn, Victory in Jesus was his last. In 1939 he suffered a series of strokes that left him partially paralyzed and unable to speak. For most of the last two years of his life he remained bed-ridden. But a tune and the words victory in Jesus kept rolling around in his mind. He wanted to demonstrate to his family and friends that though his health was broken, his spirit was not. It took him a month—longer than he has spent on any other hymn—but he eventually put to paper the word and the tune. It is a hymn that has stood the test of time.

The Scripture verse associated with the hymn is 1 Cor 15:57 “He gives us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ.”


            1. the Apostle Paul sums up the old, old story in his letter to the Christians at Rome
              • “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16–17, ESV)
            2. most of you here this evening have repeatedly heard the old-time gospel preached many, many times
                1. it’s an old story
                2. it’s a simple story
                3. and it’s a story that changes lives
            3. it is a story one which we must never forget and one we must never tire of hearing


            1. the Christ, who was all God, became Jesus who was all man
                1. this is the great mystery of the Gospel, that God became flesh and dwelt among us
                    1. the disciples believed this
                      • “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 16:15–17, NIV84)
                      • “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.” (1 John 4:15, NIV84)
                      • “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.” (Colossians 1:15–18, NIV84)
                2. Jesus was very clear about his identity
                  • “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30, NIV84)
            2. have you ever considered what Jesus gave up live life as a man on this earth?
                1. in the book of Revelation, we catch a glimpse of Christ in all his glory
                  • “I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone “like a son of man,” dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.” (Revelation 1:12–17, NIV84)
                2. in the book of Philippians, we catch a glimpse of what he became for our sake
                  • “ ... Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:5–8, NIV84)
            3. Victory in Jesus reminds us of what Jesus left behind in glory so that we could have victory in him


            1. as Man alone, Jesus could not have saved us; as God alone he would not — His righteousness could not allow it
                1. but as God incarnate, he could and did
            2. and the place He did it was on Calvary
                1. sin is not weakness, it is not a disease; it is red-handed rebellion against God and the magnitude of that rebellion is expressed by Calvary
            3. Billy Graham says, “Calvary is the place of decision. It is the eternal sword, erected to divide men into two classes, the saved and the lost.”
                1. it is a Calvary we learn how we may be forgiven
                  • ILLUS. Two hundred years ago, when the pioneers were crossing the Great Plains, the most dangerous foe was not the Indian, but Prairie fires. When men saw that a prairie fire was coming, what would they do? Since the could outrun it, the pioneers took a match and burned the grass in a designated area around them. Then they would take their stand in the burned area and be safe from the threatening prairie fire. As the roar of the flames approached, they would not be afraid. Even as the ocean of fire surged around them there was no fear, because fire had already passed over the place where they stood.
            4. when the judgment of God comes to sweep men and women into hell for eternity, there is one spot that is safe
                1. nearly two thousand years ago the wrath of God was poured on Calvary
                2. there the Son of God took the wrath that should have fallen on us
            5. if we take our stand by the cross, we are safe for time and eternity because the Savior gave His life on Calvary


    • “But 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.” (Isaiah 53:5–6, KJV 1900)
    • “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:22, NIV84)
            1. blood is mentioned over 300 times in the Bible and is essential to the doctrine of Christ's atonement
                1. it lies at the very heart of the Gospel, for it is through the blood of his cross that Jesus reconciled us to God
                  • “and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—” (Colossians 1:20–22, NIV84)


            1. non of the above matters if the sinner does not repent of his or her sin and to God through faith in Jesus Christ

CON. Because the first stanza of Victory in Jesus is true, the second two stanzas are also true. There is victory in his healing. Jesus was a man who healed. In Matthew’s gospel we read:

    • "Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them.” Matthew 4:23-24 NIV

He made the lame to walk and the blind to see. It was through His miracles that Jesus authenticated His claims to be the Son of God. When John the Baptist sent messenger to Jesus to ask are you the one or do we look for another? (Luke 7:19-23) Jesus told them to report back to John the miracles they had seen him perform. In his healing he mends broken spirit. But His most important healing is revealed in His cleansing power. Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. /“Though your sins are like scarlet,

they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”/ NIV

There is also victory in God’s eternal kingdom. Because I believe the old, old story, I also believe in mansions, and streets of gold, and crystal seas, and angles singing.

And some sweet day I’ll sing up there the Song of Victory.

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