1 JOHN 5:4-5 – For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
THEME OF THE DAY. LIVING AS SPIRITUAL OVERCOMERS. There are obviously many differences between Christians and non-Christians. With the Christian, things become new; new desires, new pursuits, new lifestyle, new worldviews . . . new everything comes into our lives as a result of new birth. It is in the area of “newness” we may ask ourselves if we are Christians and gain assurance of our salvation when the whispers of doubt from the devil come. The Apostle Paul wrote, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).
There is something else distinguishing the Christian and the non-Christian; the war we fight within – daily. Robert Murray M’Cheyne said, “ A believer is to be known not only by his peace and joy, but by his warfare and distress.” It doesn’t matter where we are, who we are with, and what we are doing, the Christian life is a constant battle within our hearts. This conflict is defined in the fifth chapter of Paul’s letter to the Galatian believers – But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do (Galatians 5:16-17). No Christian is ignorant of this battle. We might be ignorant of its causes and methods of attack, but not the presence of the war. How many times have we sighed with words, “Lord, I am tired of failing and falling. I am weary of getting knocked down in my spiritual walk with You”? How many times have we felt like raising the white flag of surrender in the spiritual conflicts with the flesh, devil and world? We know the battle. It will be with us until life is over or Jesus returns but we can walk consistently victorious. The Lord has provided all we need to wage war and to do so well.
In today’s scripture, the Apostle John uses one word describing what we do as believers in the Lord Jesus in doing battle in this world – overcome. How so? Not primarily by our fighting, though important, but by our being in union with the Lord Jesus. John tells us overcomers, spiritual victors, are such because they are born of God – “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world” and “the one who overcomes believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” In the intense battle we face every day, the first thing and continual thing to put into our minds is our union with the Lord Jesus because of new birth in Him. If we learn to have our minds renewed with the truth “Christ in us, the hope of glory”, spiritual victories become regularly spiritual realities (Colossians 1:27). It will enable us to remember, and then by faith, live as overcomers. Here are two applications of this truth.
First, Christ in us reminds us the power of the Creator is not way out there in heaven but way down deep inside of us. And no spiritual foe is greater than the Creator. We may consistently defeat our foes when we remember and rely upon our ever-present Creator and His always available power for us to appropriate by faith.
Next, Christ in us reminds us that when we do fall, we may get back up. Grace present always restores fallen warriors. And fall we will but we need not stay in defeat. Why? Christ in us is Christ for us, and He will turn our defeats into teaching victories. Solomon tells us “a righteous man falls seven times and gets up” (Proverbs 24:16). How does he get up? The Lord lifts him up. He never leaves His soldiers missing in action or slain on the battlefield.
The overcoming life is the Christian life because of Christ in us, not only the hope of glory, but the certainty of daily spiritual victories.
PRAYER: “Father, I praise You for giving me all I need to win every battle this side of heaven.”
QUOTE: “Spiritual victory is obtained by walking in faith, which means obedience, to the Captain of our Salvation.”