Monday, September 27, 2010

a faith that overcomes the world

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?
1 John 5:4-5

Christians rise above the world. It is a natural consequence of being born anew in Christ. If we have been born of God, to one degree or another, a new relationship to the world system develops. We have the ability to rise above the tide of sin. We are no longer at the mercy of the forces of this world. How do we get such victory? By exercising faith. And what is the content of our faith? John says it boils down to our convictions about the person of Jesus Christ. We believe and know Him to be the Son of God.

This is certainly about the deity of Christ, but it is also about the saving work of Christ. It is one thing to believe that the New Testament authors taught that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh and the Savior of the world. It is another thing altogether to accept His atoning work as the solution for my own personal sin problems, and to submit to worship and His lordship over my life. It is in that more personal category where saving faith is demonstrated.

And John's clear teaching is that such faith overcomes the influences of a sinful world system. It is the mark of one who is born of God. It is the source of our victory over the place we are. It is the reason that Christianity runs counter-culture when that culture is dictated by sinful thoughts and practices. It is why sometimes there is a war of values going in that Christians must fight for their own personal survival. The world system would love nothing better than to discredit Jesus and the Church, because we run counter to cultural demands. And believers in Jesus always will swim against this strong current. We have overcome the world.

- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13

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