“Everyone born of God overcomes the world.” 1 John 5:4 (NIV)
If you are a Christian, you experience two things: First, you know that you are in a struggle. Temptation is all around you. Your awareness of it is heightened. You often feel your own weakness. Second, you know that have been given power. Christ lives in you.
I love the way Paul puts it “To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy which so powerfully works in me” (Colossians 1:29). He is saying “This Christian life isn’t easy. I labor at it. It’s a struggle for me. But the reason I am able to engage in this struggle is that I have been given power. His energy! It works powerfully in me!”
If you talk to a person who has never been born again, and you say “Christ is with you,” it won’t mean anything to him. It sounds like empty talk to him. But the Christian gains strength from this. The presence and power of Jesus Christ in his life is what keeps him going and gives him hope!
What do we overcome?
“Everyone born of God overcomes the world” 1 John 5:4
What does John mean when he says that believers overcome “the world?”
“For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.” 1 John 2:16
This is what Christ enables you to overcome! The new birth puts you in a position where you are able to deal with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
This is an amazing promise! “Everyone born of God overcomes the world” (1 John 5:4). It does not say that you overcome the world instantly or completely. Throughout this life you will always find yourself in a battle with sin and temptation, but your warfare will lead to victory.
Where does victory begin?
“Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world – even our faith.” 1 John 5:5
Victory begins when you recognize that Jesus Christ has given you power to overcome. I have met many people who say they are Christian who simply do not believe this. They insist that they are powerless. They say “Pastor, you don’t understand! The temptation is bigger than I am.” It may be bigger than you, but it is not bigger than Christ, and if you are born again His Spirit lives in you.
So the Christian is not in despair. There may be times when you say “What a wretched man I am.” But then you will also say “Thanks be to God who delivers me through Jesus Christ my Lord.” Regeneration makes the Christian life possible. You can’t live this life by adopting new values. You live this life by becoming a new person.
That is what God offers in the Gospel. The Gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes (Romans 1:16). Not the instructions, the requirements or the expectations of God, the power of God!! For the salvation of everyone who believes.
by Pastor Colin S. Smith