Living A Life Of Spiritual Victory
1 John 5:4-5 "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that overcomes the world - our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"
God's plan for His people is one characterized by victory. We are in the army of God; and this army should always be on the winning edge. Your Christian life isn't one that's exempt from battles, hardships and sorrows. After all, God's Word declares that it rains on the just and unjust alike. But this life that you entered at the moment of salvation is a life that stands firm in the midst of all these things - victoriously trusting God.
Ephesians 6:11-14 "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness..."
If you read this passage closely, you'll recognize four different times when Paul tells us to "stand." This says nothing about giving up, giving in, losing your victory or defeat. I know there are times when you feel like you have to give up, but the Bible tells you to stand!
According to 1 John 4:4-5, we are already victorious! Our victory comes from the fact that we were born of the victorious One - Jesus Christ Himself! His victory is our victory. Let's look a little closer at what John tells us about a victorious life.
Keys To The Kingdom - Group 1 Crew
The Formula To Overcome
There are four things every believer needs to notice from these two verses:
1 John 5:4-5 "For whatever is born of God (1) overcomes the world (2). And this is the victory that overcomes the world - our faith (3). Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God (4)?"
#1 - The Person Who Overcomes
The phrase "whatever is born of God" is the reason why overcoming isn't too difficult - God Himself supplies the power. Notice that John says "whatever" not "whoever." The word "whatever" focuses on the power that God imparts to the believer - not on the believer himself. Everyone who has been born again receives this power - it's called grace. When the new birth happens, this grace comes inside of you and begins to empower you to do God's will. Believe it or not, you actually become a partaker of the divine nature!
This power resides inside of every believer. It's enough to give you all the victory you will ever need!
#2 - What We Overcome - The World
When John says that we have "overcome the world" he's not talking about planet Earth. When he talks about the "world" he's counting on the fact that you've already read his letter up to this point. So...have you? If you haven't read the book of First John, please do so now. It's a mere five chapters long and will take you all of ten minutes to read! Pay attention to chapter 2 - that's where John defines what "the world" is.
Did you see it? I'll give you a hint, the answer is in chapter 2, verse 16. He defines the world as "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life." You see this world's system is made up of these three things that oppose God and His kingdom. Everything in this world - from the governments to the social structure - is designed to promote these three things. It's not surprising to find out, then, that the devil is called the god of this world or the "god of this age." (2 Corinthians 4:4)
This is what we have the power to overcome!
"Overcomes" means to carry off to victory or to come away victorious. It literally means "is constantly overcoming." You see, when you learn to walk in the power that Christ gives, you will constantly overcome this world! Why? Because of what John says in 4:4 - "Greater is He that is in you than he who is in the world."
#3 - The Means Of Overcoming - Our Faith
"Overcomes" is in the aorist tense and should read like this: "the victory, that which overcame." The victory over the world was potentially won when we believed in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. This isn't just a day-by-day victory. It's referring to when you believed in Jesus Christ. At that point in time, you overcame the world by believing in Jesus.
Today, God wants you to walk in that victory. He's calling you to live the overcoming life that He gave you.
#4 - What Your Faith Is In - Jesus Is The Son Of God
"He who overcomes" literally denotes a habitual life of victory over the world. In other words, "He who overcomes" is the one who identifies himself with the victory that Jesus won. Our faith is to be in Jesus' victory.
This is a very important statement, read it carefully: What we believe determines how we obey. You prove what you believe by what you do not simply what you say. My faith in Jesus' victory demands that I don't lay down and give up when the pressure comes. If I'm facing a battle and I believe that I have the power to overcome, then I will obey God and do what's right! True faith isn't simply affirming that God's Word is true - it's acting on Gods word because it's true!
"Well brother, I believe the Bible!" - That's not enough! If you believe it, you'll act on it!
Faith isn't simply believing in spite of the evidence - it's obeying in spite of the consequence. Hebrews 11 is full of great men and women who obeyed in spite of the consequences. But what is that chapter called? The hall of faith! These people proved what they believed by what they did.
If you want to have the victory over the world, you must have faith in Jesus' victory. If you believe that you are victorious through Him, then you won't lay down and give up - will you?
When I decide to fight the good fight, then I'm identifying with Christ victory. When Jesus defeated sin, that was my victory! When He rose from the dead, that was my victory! When He ascended to the right hand of the Father, that was my victory! Now, I am seated with Him in heavenly places!