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Read Introduction to 1 John

 

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”
 
For
“For” explains why God’s commandments are not burdensome.  There is a victory in the new birth that comes from Jesus Christ.  The world system cannot bear God’s operating principles, so God’s Word is burdensome to them.  They cannot tolerate such a scale of values. 
whatever
Every Christian without exception–spiritual or carnal, mature or immature–has the faith to gain victory.  The principle of victory is universal for each believer, with all that the new nature in its entirety entails. 
is born of God overcomes the world.
The emphasis here is not on the believer who overcomes but on the power that God gave him at his spiritual birth.  The nature of the new birth inclines the heart of the believer towards God’s Word.  The new nature counteracts all the force of the world system. 
Spiritual success originates in our spiritual birth.  The Greek tense indicates that whenever a person becomes born again, he is born again permanently (perfect tense) with a new capacity to live for God. 
The idea of “overcomes” is to prevail, to conquer, to win a victory, to overpower.  Every child of God has the capacity to conquer the world system (4:4).  The Greek indicates that this victory is a continual overcoming.  We must understand the “world” in terms of Satan’s value system. 
Note that the word “overcomes” occurs in 2:13,14.  There we overcame the devil.  Christians need victory over the devil and they need victory over the satanic world system.  There is power in the initial faith exercised in salvation.  There is power derived from our new birth – “born of God.” 
Jn 16: 33These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
PRINCIPLE: 
Jesus makes His victory the victory of His followers through spiritual birth. 
APPLICATION: 
There are some Christians who allow the world to overcome them because they are of the world.  God wants us to be in the world but not of the world.
2: 15 “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. 16 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. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
Christians face very powerful forces against their spiritual life today.  The values of this world fly in our face every day through various media.  The world pushes its values in many ways: immorality as a lifestyle, doing whatever it takes to get ahead, lying if it suits your purposes.  Young adults today, like no other generation, violate biblical norms. 
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