DAILY DEVOTION: 1 JOHN 5:5: When we accept Jesus as Savior, the power to overcome the world is there
By Stan Brown
I John 5:5 And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
Who is the one who overcomes the world? What is it that we must overcome? In the previous verse John has said that which is born of God is the overcomer. It is faith that overcomes. Now he says that it is the one who believes in Jesus as the Son of God who overcomes the world. Overcoming the world system is based on our new birth. It is only those who know Jesus Christ as Savior that can overcome the world.
Does this mean that everyone who has accepted Jesus as Savior is an overcomer? In one sense the answer is yes since we have escaped from the captivity of sin and the power of Satan in our lives. When we accept Jesus as Savior, the power to overcome the world is there. Jesus has already overcome the world and offers us the opportunity to overcome the world in which we live. To suggest that every believer avails himself or herself of that opportunity would fly in the face of everything John has already said. There would be no need to encourage believers to walk in the light if that were true. Many believers remain captivated by the world in which they live and ensnared by the lies of Satan. As believers, our faith in Him has already afforded great victory as we have moved from the family of the evil one to the family of the Holy One. But God offers victory and overcoming power right now in the face of Satan’s world.
It is a daunting task as we look around us and see pandemics and sin and Satan moving the world to chaos around us. We may look to eternity with expectancy and hope, yet God offers the ability to be overcomers and conquerors right now. John says that it is our faith that offers the opportunity to conquer the world. Interestingly enough, this is the only time that John uses the word faith in either his Gospel or his epistles. We are certainly saved by faith but John wants us to live by faith as well. Paul writes, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me (Gal. 2:20). In the great faith chapter (Hebrews 11) the author of that book tells us that just as our spiritual life begins at the moment we place our faith in Him we must also live by faith. Paul writes for we walk by faith, not by sight (2Cor. 5:7). Our eyes of sight see an impossibility. Our eyes of faith trust in our Savior who has overcome the world. Do we really believe that we are overcomers? Even when doubt creeps into our minds, we must live out our faith. God has said that I am an overcomer. I must believe Him and live in light of it.
As a believer God has rescued me from eternal death. Now he wants me to believe that He has overcome. He wants me to love. He wants me to obey.