Victory Over the World
By Paul Chappell
I John 5:1-5: Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that began loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God”
Because of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, He has promised that everyone can have victory in their lives as they trust Him as Savior. Yet millions and perhaps billions on this planet have never found that spiritual victory that comes when you realize your sins are forgiven, Jesus is your Savior, and you have a home in Heaven. Then there are the millions of professing Christians who have experienced the victory of salvation, but have never experienced that victory for a prolonged period of time. They are struggling and defeated rather than experiencing the victory that Jesus Christ has actually promised.
We can live a victorious, exciting Christian life through three avenues.
Victory in the New Birth
In I John 5:1, the Bible says, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God…” In I John, you will read the term born of God seven times. This is an exciting term. It is first introduced to us in the story of Nicodemus in John 3. A religious man, Nicodemus comes to Jesus by night desiring to know how he can enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus told Nicodemus, in John 3:6,7 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” The irony of that story is simply this– Nicodemus had religion, but Nicodemus did not have victory in his heart concerning whether or not he would go to Heaven someday.
Many today have religion but they don’t have victory in Jesus. They have church membership, but they don’t have victory in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus explained to Nicodemus that victory begins when we are born of the Spirit of God.
When someone accepts Christ as Savior, life really begins. II Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Victory in the Old Book
I John 5:1-3 says, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”
God’s Word has given us commandments. There is no victory in the Christian life apart from the Word of God. The term commandments does not always mean “The Ten Commandments” in Exodus 20. In John 5, commandments is talking about the entire revelation of God. The Bible says that it is God’s will that we would follow His commandments.
Victorious Christians delight in the Word of God. Every Christian who is enjoying the Christian life and experiencing victory in the Christian life will also enjoy the Word of God. Psalm 119:9 says, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.”
One reason Christians don’t enjoy the Christian life is because there is sin in their lives. If that sin is going to be dealt with and their way is going to be cleansed, they must come to the Word of God and deal with it through the Word of God.
The television set will not give you victory over this world. In fact, if Christians in America would spend half as much time reading the Bible as we do watching television, we would have revival in our families once again. In a recent survey by the Houston Chronicle, they received permission to talk to four, five, and six-year-olds. Of the four, five, and six-year-olds surveyed, fifty-four percent of the children said that they would rather watch television then spend time with their fathers. What a tragedy that families in America are coming to this.
Sometimes we need the Bible to cut and sting us just as much as we need it to uplift and help us. Along with allowing it to cut and sting or uplift and help, a victorious Christian will obey the Bible. You can read the Bible and keep a schedule, but if you are not obeying what you’re reading, you will not experience the joy and peace that comes from victory. I John 5:3 says, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments and his commandments are not grievous.”
When you think it is too hard to follow the Bible, Jesus says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) He is ready and waiting to share the yoke which allows you a victorious Christian life while resting in Him.
The Bible has been standing throughout the ages. It will give you victory; it will give you help; it will give you sustenance as you obey it and live it each day.
Victory in Godly Behavior
“Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.” (I John 5:1)
The One who “begat” us or “brought us into spiritual birth” is talking about Jesus. If you have been saved, you have been “begotten” of the Lord. If I am saved, then I am “begotten of the Lord.” So everyone who loves Jesus, loves everyone whom Jesus has brought into this spiritual relationship. There is victory in proper behavior toward fellow Christians.
Not only is our behavior to other believers important, but our behavior toward the Lord is also. “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (I John 5:4)
We’re not talking about “faith in faith.” Proper Christian behavior is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith is the victory, but it is dependent on the object of your faith. “Our faith is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and His righteousness.”
There will be times when the only thing that will bring victory in your life and relationships is love – God’s perfect love. But there will be other circumstances in which the only way to have victory is through faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ has defeated every enemy and has given us the victory.
Is there an area in your life in which you’re not having victory? Is there an area of your life in which you have been loving the way that God would have you to love, and still no victory? God may want you to put faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and trust Him to solve it.
Someone once said, “Faith is not ‘believing in spite of the evidence.’ Faith is ‘obeying in spite of the consequence’.” By the way, faith does not begin with some giant leap in the dark. It begins tomorrow when you pray and ask Jesus to help you, really believing that He will.
After the Civil War, there was a soldier in torn and tattered clothing that went from village to village asking for food and necessities. Oftentimes this man would say, “Hey, by the way, I’ve got a piece of paper that Abraham Lincoln signed.” Most people didn’t think much of it. One day he was asking some people for some food and a man said, “Hey, let me see that piece of paper.”
He took an old tattered piece of paper out of his pocket and gave it to the man. After the man read it, he said, “Sir, Mr. Lincoln has given to you a very generous pension for serving in the War. He has signed this pension, and if you’ll go and redeem it at a bank, you’ll have all the money you need to live on for the rest of your life.” That’s exactly what the man did. Even as that pauper walked around with that pension in his pocket, a lot of Christians are walking around with everything they already need, but they’re not claiming it.
Some of you have struggles and difficulties and you’re not experiencing victory in your life. Jesus Christ has given to you His Word. He says, “Here’s the new birth. Here’s the Old Book. I’ve signed it in my blood, and there’s nothing that you’re going to face that over which I haven’t already given you the victory. I’ve already signed the victory over to you. Faith is the victory that overcomes the world.” Paul wrote in Romans 8:35,37 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.”
Don’t let your victory be based upon the outcome of some experience, but let your victory be based upon the experience of Calvary. You can have a victorious Christian life by following God’s plan for your life.
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