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?”
Belief in Jesus Christ
Not everyone who says he believes in Jesus honestly believes in Jesus with God-given and with God-persuaded faith in Jesus Christ. For belief in Jesus Christ is not mere words we say after someone else in a prayer, nor is it a mere acknowledgment of who Jesus is and of what he did for us on that cross, nor is it a mere acceptance of his love, grace, and forgiveness of sins.
Genuine faith in Jesus first of all comes from God, it is gifted to us by God, it is persuaded by God, and it is authored and perfected by Jesus Christ. We can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God the Father first draws us to Christ. So, this faith is not of ourselves, not of our own doing, nor of our own making. We obtain this faith from God, a faith which is of equal standing with the faith of the New Testament apostles, by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ and by no other way.
But since this faith comes from God and it is authored and perfected by Jesus Christ and it is divinely persuaded, it is going to be consistent with who God is and with his will for our lives. And since in God there is no darkness it is not going to give way to sin, for Jesus died to deliver us from our slavery to sin so we would now be slaves of God and of his righteousness. He died so that we would die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, by God’s grace, and in his strength and power.
Thus, when we believe in Jesus with this God-given faith, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. Thus, sin is to no longer reign (be in power) in our mortal bodies to make us obey its passions. We died to sin. How can we live in it any longer?
[Jn 6:44; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; 2 Pet 1:1; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2]
Love of the Father
If we love God we will obey his commandments. If we don’t love him, we do not keep (obey) his words. If we do keep his commandments, we abide in his love. If we love the world, the love of the Father is not in us. If sin is what we practice, and if righteousness is not what we practice, then we are not of God. If we say we love God but we hate our fellow Christians, we are liars. And if we say we know the Lord but we do not keep his commandments, we are liars. Love for God is to obey him.
[Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:10; 1 Jn 2:3-6, 15; 1 Jn 3:4-10; 1 Jn 4:19-20]
So, to be born of God we must first of all be crucified with him in death to sin and we must have been raised with him to walk in newness of life in him. The old self must have been put to death so that we are no longer slaves of sin but slaves of righteousness. Sin should no longer have dominion over us. And we must love God, and to love God is to obey him, to walk in obedience to his commands (under the New Covenant). For we are not bound by the Old Covenant liturgical, sacrificial, purification, and ceremonial laws.
Overcoming the World
So, we have died with Christ to sin, and we have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, no longer under the control of sin, but now as slaves of his righteousness. And now we are walking in obedience to his commands because we love him. Our old sinful lifestyles were put to death so that we can now walk by the Spirit in righteousness and holiness free from sin’s control over our lives. This is what it means to be saved from our sins and to have the hope of eternal life with God.
But many people today who are professing faith in Jesus Christ are not following these teachings. They are not teaching death to sin and living to God and to his righteousness and following our Lord in obedience to his will and to his commands. Instead they are pushing and promoting a false faith which is not of God but of the flesh of humans. And sin is running rampant within the gatherings of the church because they are being given permission to keep on in deliberate and habitual sin under the guise of God’s grace.
Therefore, what the Scriptures say we are to put away from our lives they are being given carte blanche to keep on doing. And so many people are professing faith in Jesus who have not died with him to sin and who are not living to him and to his righteousness and who are not walking in obedience to his commands but who are still living in deliberate and habitual sin while they are claiming Jesus as their Savior and heaven as their eternal destiny.
So, many professing Christians are living no differently from those who make no profession of faith in Jesus Christ. Many of them are liars, deceivers, adulterers, active homosexuals, the sexually immoral, greedy, prideful, self-indulgent, self-gratifying, slanderers, haters, users, abusers, and perjurers, who for the most part hide their sins in secret hoping that no one will know the evil that lurks behind closed doors when they think no one else can see what they are up to.
So, they have not overcome the world for they are still succumbing to the world. But we who are of the true faith are to be those who have overcome the world and who are walking (in conduct, in practice) in righteousness and holiness and not in deliberate and habitual sin. So, if we are truly born of God then we are not those who are making sin our practice, but righteousness is what we practice. For if we keep on making sin our practice, then we don’t love God, we don’t know him, and we are not born again.
[Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; 2 Co 5:10; 1 Co 6:9-10; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:1-17; Jn 15:1-11; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rev. 2-3; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27]
Breath Of Heaven (Mary’s Song)
Songwriters: Amy Lee Grant / Chris Eaton
I have traveled many moonless nights
Cold and weary with a babe inside
And I wonder what I’ve done
Holy father you have come
And chosen me now to carry your son
I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now
Be with me now
Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy
Breath of heaven
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