Summary: Whatever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God!
YOU HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD!
1. 2 veterans were talking about the Korean War.
2. “What knife did you use over there?” enquired the first.
3. “I didn’t have a knife,” said the 2nd. “I figured that if I needed to use a knife, I was too close to the enemy!”
4. We’re taking that approach tonight; not seeing how close, but how far, spiritually, we can get from the enemy.
“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”—1 John 5:4-5.
1. What is this “world” that we have to overcome? By “the world” is meant all mankind who remain under the power of sin, out of which God has taken a people chosen for Himself, quickened by His Spirit, and whose destiny is to overcome the world.
2. The world—the power of evil—will war against them, and we must war against it. There remains for us only two outcomes; either the world will overcome us and we surrender to it; or else we must overcome the world and make it to submit to us.
I. THE CONQUEST ITSELF
A. WHAT IT’S NOT:
1. What does it mean to overcome the world? It doesn’t mean to go around bullying everybody until they do what we want.
2. Nor does it mean to withdraw from the world like a monk, so you’re never tempted to sin. Any soldier who slinks away from the battle and hides, refusing to fight, is considered a coward, not a conqueror! To be useless in the battle between good and evil is not what God is talking about.
3. No, Church; we’re supposed to roll up our sleeves, and go into the world, and work like other people; to sweat and toil – yet with victory! We have to be in the world, and yet conquer it.
4. We’re to be examples of Jesus in the world, doing what’s lawful and right; yet, all the while, being conquerors over the evil spirit of the world.
B. WHAT IT IS:
1. TO BE CUT LOOSE FROM THE WORLD’S CHAINS.
a. People in the world give themselves to the pleasures, the amusements, and the frivolities of life. To overcome the world means, first, to sever all the connections that hold us on that course.
b. Some of you want to take that decisive step of commitment; but you never have yet. Why not tonight?
c. Some people have just enough of God that they can’t enjoy a life of sin(because they know too much) and they can’t be happy in God because they won’t completely sell out!
d. That’s the first part of overcoming the world—breaking loose from its bonds, so that one can say, “I am not tied down by it any longer; by God’s grace, I am a free man in Christ Jesus.”
2. TO MAINTAIN THAT FREEDOM
a. But that emancipation is merely the beginning. Overcoming requires we maintain that freedom. Oh, this is where the battle is! It’s not child’s play to say, “I’ll never be a slave again! I’m free and I’ll fight to keep my freedom!
b. It’s a tough battle—when the world surrounds us everywhere;
—when pleasures tempts us,
—when money tries to entice us,
—when poverty tortures us,
—when evil people try to sway us,
—when our bodies break down with long term illness.
Remaining conquerors throughout our lives is where the real battle lies.
3. TO LIVE ABOVE CIRCUMSTANCES
a. Part of overcoming the world requires we live above circumstances. Paul sat in prison shivering with cold, but he said, “I know how to be abased and I know how to abound.”
b. Christians can be happy without having their cup always full. “I have learned,” said the apostle Paul, “in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Happy is everyone who has learned the same lesson, for this is overcoming the world.
4. TO LIVE ABOVE THREATS AND BRIBES
a. To overcome the world is to be above its threats and its bribes. A person who becomes a non-compromising Christian will usually experience the sneers and jibes of the world. They think we’re either fools, fanatics, or hypocrites.
b. The Overcomer is like the man who entered a tuberculosis ward where the air and the people were saturated with disease, but because he had such a healthy immune system, no disease could find a way to attach itself to him!
II. THE CONQUERING NATURE
“Whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world.”
A. ONLY DIVINE NATURE FIGHTS THE WORLD
1. We have a kinship with God. Being born again makes us something more than God’s creatures; we are God’s children.