7551 - Faith Required

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Audio transcript

We rejoice when you join us to study a portion of God’s Word.

In our study of the First Letter of John we are in chapter 5 verse 4. Listen as I read it, “For everyone born of God has overcome the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”

The use of the words ‘overcome’ and ‘victory’ brings up the mental picture of a conflict or warfare. Let’s seek to understand what God is saying.

Let’s start with the world ‘world.’ In the Bible this word does not just mean this planet. More often it is talking about the network of systems on this planet. The economic system, and system of power over the peoples of the world are all included in this word. Often times it is referred to as the world system or the Kingdom of the World.

It may be surprising to find the one who exerts power and control over this World Kingdom is the evil one, Satan himself (1 John 5:19). Since this is true we should not expect any righteous or godly manifestations to come from this kingdom. Rather we should expect the kind of report as found in 1 John 2:15 and following where we read: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 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. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”

The Bible gives us other characteristics of the people in this system. (Eph. 4:18-19) They are separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of their hearts. They live a sensual lifestyle and lustfully indulge in every kind of impurity. (Phil. 3:19-20) Their mind is fixed on earthly things like power, prestige, popularity; and the things they brag about should shame them. And friend, their destiny is destruction.

One characteristic of the world system is that it’s resistant to anything godly. In fact they are enemies of the cross of Christ (Phil. 3:18; Jude 4). They even twist God’s grace into a license for immorality. In no way do they yield to Jesus Christ. In fact they deny Him.

By now we can see that we are daily involved in a spiritual warfare. The devil lies to his people and deludes them into believing they are right and safe, even though many of them are very unhappy and hopeless.

God warns His children (James 4:4) that anyone who chooses to be friends of the world shows hatred towards God, even to the point of becoming an enemy of God.

In Ephesians 6:12 we are told that our battle is not against human beings — family, friends or even earthly enemies, but is actually against the rulers and authorities who have power in this dark world. This is a spiritual battle against the forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

We may understand that though the world system battles against the children of God seeking to ruin our Christian life and destroy our witness; nevertheless, everyone born of God is constantly victorious in this battle. We may lose a skirmish but the outcome of the battle is assured. Victory is certain, not because we’re great soldiers; but because of the One in whom we have placed our faith, Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:12-14 tells us that God has qualified us to share in the kingdom of light, for He rescued every one of us from the world system and brought us into the kingdom of His dear Son.

Jesus won the victory on the cross. Placing our faith in Him puts us in the victory parade.

The devil is a defeated enemy. He and the world system over which he exerts power are all destined for destruction.

By faith, Christians are overcomers in Christ!