And This is the Victory

1 John 5:1-5 ESV

“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 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?”

Context, Context, Context

You will hear me say this over again. We can’t remove Scriptures from their context and build doctrines around them. This isn’t saying that we can’t quote individual Scriptures or reference individual Scriptures, but that we need to use and to teach the Scriptures within their proper context.

So, we can’t read “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God” and apply that broadly to everyone who makes a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. For, we need to understand what the Scriptures teach regarding genuine faith in Jesus Christ.

In the book of 1 John alone we learn that if we claim to have fellowship with God but we walk (in conduct, in practice) in darkness (sin, wickedness) that we are liars who don’t live by the truth. And we read that if we say we know him, but we don’t practice obeying his commandments (New Covenant), that we are liars, and the truth is not in us (1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6).

We also read that if we love (prefer) the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – that the love of God the Father is not in us. And then we read that if we make a practice of sinning against God that we do not abide in Christ and he does not abide in us. But it is those who practice righteousness who are righteous (1 Jn 2:15-17; 1 Jn 3:4-10).

Now, it isn’t just the book of 1 John which teaches this. Paul taught the same all throughout his writings. He taught that we must die with Christ to sin and live to Christ and to his righteousness and that if we walk according to the flesh we will die, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we will live (Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10, etc.).

Born of God

If we are truly born of God, born of the Spirit of God to new lives in Christ Jesus, our Lord, we will love God. And to love God is to obey him. If we do not make obedience to our Lord our practice, then we don’t love God and we don’t know God (1 Jn 2:3-6).

Also, if we love God then we are going to love those who have also been born of God. In fact, we should love all people for God is love, and he is living within us, so his love is living within us. But this is not human love. This is not some mushy gushy feeling we must have for people.

The kind of love we are to have for others is the kind which prefers what God prefers, which is what is holy, righteous, just, merciful, gracious, kind, pure, honest, faithful, and trustworthy. So, we are not going to lie to, cheat on, steal from, slander, commit adultery against and/or murder others.

Instead, we will love others as God/Jesus loves us and gave his life up for us. We will be kind, compassionate, merciful, and gracious. We will care about others’ legitimate needs. And we will share with them the truth of the gospel so that they can know Jesus and have eternal life with him, too.

Our Christian brothers and sisters we will encourage in their walks of faith and we will exhort and urge them to follow Jesus in obedience and to forsake their sins. And we will expose to them the lies of Satan, and we will proclaim to them the truth so that they are not led astray by the devil.

We are Overcomers

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to be those who overcome the world. What this means is that we don’t let the world and its enticements overcome us. We are not captivated by the sinful pleasures of the world, and we are not taken in by all its entertainment and distractions.

We don’t blend in with the world. We don’t do all the same things that they do. We don’t watch and listen to and participate in all the same things that non-Christians watch, listen to, and participate in. We are to be holy – separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ.

So, this also means that we don’t make sin our practice. We don’t commit adultery, lust after others, tell lies, gossip, cheat others and view what is lewd, immoral, and wicked in order to be entertained. And we don’t compromise the truth of the gospel to excuse away habitual sin, either.

But we walk (in conduct, in practice) in righteousness and holiness, in the light of truth and godliness. And we do what pleases our Lord, not what pleases our flesh, and not what pleases the people of this world so that they will like us and not reject us.

So, how do we do we overcome the world? By faith in Jesus Christ. And that faith dies with Christ to sin and lives to Christ and to his righteousness. And that faith walks in obedience to the Lord’s commands (New Covenant), and it loves others with the love of God. And that is how we overcome.

I Will Lift My Eyes

An Original Work / December 12, 2012
Based off Psalms 121-125

I will lift my eyes to my Lord Most High.
My help comes from Him, who saved me from sin.
He will not let your foot slip, and He who watches will not sleep.
Our Lord watches over you, and your life He will keep.
I will lift my eyes to my Lord Most High.
My help comes from Him, who saved me from sin.
I give thanks to Him.

I will lift my eyes to my God in heav’n.
I look to the Lord. My sins, He’s forgiv’n.
Because of His great love for us, He made us alive with Christ.
Through the kindness of our Savior, He gave us new life.
I will lift my eyes to my God in heav’n.
I look to the Lord. My sins, He’s forgiv’n;
My home, now in heav’n.

Praise be to the Lord, who is on our side.
Our help found in Him. He gives peace within.
Those who trust will ne’er be shaken. God will supply all we need.
Our Lord has done great things for us. He’s our friend, indeed!
Praise be to the Lord, who is on our side.
Our help found in Him. He gives peace within.
I can count on Him.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s