What does this saying “overcome the world” mean? Why should believers understand it?
First John 2:15-17 NKJV says “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” If we love the world, the love of God is not in us. The world is full of things not of God; therefore, we believers must overcome the world.
What does overcome mean? From Dictionary.com here are a few definitions using “overcome” in the verb tense:
|1.||to get the better of in a struggle or conflict; conquer; defeat: to overcome the enemy.|
|2.||to prevail over (opposition, a debility, temptations, etc.); surmount: to overcome one’s weaknesses.|
|3.||to overpower or overwhelm in body or mind, as does liquor, a drug, exertion, or emotion: I was overcome with grief.|
|4.||Archaic. to overspread or overrun.|
–verb (used without object)
|5.||to gain the victory; win; conquer: a plan to overcome by any means possible.|
It seems that overcome is to defeat our enemy or our weakness and conquer. Who wouldn’t want to conquer their enemies and weaknesses?
Okay, so how do we overcome? 1 John 5:5 says “Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” How simple it is! Believe in Jesus the Son of God. That’s it. For Jesus even said “Be of good cheer I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). When we believe in Jesus, His spirit takes of residence within us. First John 4:4 says “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world”.
First John 3 is all about abiding in God. When we abide in Him, He abides in us. We demonstrate we abide in Him by practicing righteousness. “Let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7). We overcome evil with good, by loving one another as Christ loved us.
The born again believer of Jesus Christ is delivered from sin and abides in Him and the wicked one can’t touch him (1 John 5:18). Praise God! Are you ready to overcome the world? Believe and you receive was you ask for.
Lord, thank you for your victory. We have overcome the world when we believe in You. Thank you for your spirit to guide us in your truth and love. In Jesus’ name Amen.
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