Worship Times: Main Service - 10:40 a.m. : Sunday P.M. Service - 6:30 : Wednesday P.M. Service - 6:30

The Overcoming Life

The Overcoming Life

     1 John 5:4 says, "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith." Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him and he in God (1John 4:15). "He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked" (1John 2:6). This is the life of an overcomer.

     In 1 Peter 1:23 Peter writes, "Having been born again not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever." "In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, in whom also, having belived you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise." (Ephesians 1:13)

     As you hear the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, your faith builds until it becomes believing or saving faith and then you confess Jesus as Lord. "Now faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17).

     This faith brings about the new birth. Jesus said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of he Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again'" (John 3:6-7).

     Jesus was saying that there are two births: (1) the corruptible birth which is the birth of the flesh. The flesh will never in this life be anything but sinful. He then tells us of the incorruptible birth--the birth by the Spirit of God. "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit." This birth will always be sinless because it is born of God, and that which is born of God cannot sin (1John 3:9). Jesus said, "But as many as received Him to them He gave the right (power or authority) to become children of God to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood (Adam), nor of the will of the flesh (Jews), nor of the will of man, but of God." "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called children of God. Therefore the world (unbelievers--unregenerate people) does not know us because it did not know Him." (1John 3:1-2) "Beloved, now we are children of God..." We are to be overcomers through Him. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. (Philippians 4:13)

     Ever born-again believer has two natures - (1) the old corruptible nature born in sin. This nature is carnal and sold under sin (Romans 7:14). Then there is the new nature -- (2) the incorruptible nature and this nature is born in righteousness. This nature is divine because it originates from above (1 Peter 1:3-5).

     These two natures are not compatible, they war against each other constantly. Paul said, "In me (in my flesh--the old nature) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice." (Romans 7:18-19)

     In the born-again believer, the two natures will war within the physical body until death (Galatians 5:16). Throughout your life when you obey the old nature, the new nature will object. Or when you obery the new nature, your old nature will rebel. What nature will you obey? Paul tells us in Roman 8:1-2 "There is now no condemnation (judgement with the world) to them who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death."

     Paul says, "I discipline by body (this fleshly nature) and bring it into subjection (to the spiritual nature) lest when I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified (disapproved of God and without reward) (1 Corinthian 9:27).

     The flesh is a personal problem for every born-again believer and it will be a problem until glorification. Nevertheless, you can be victorious and an overcomer in this life over the old nature through the power of indwelling Holy Spirit. "For He who is in you (the Holy Spirit) is greater than he who is in the world (Satan and his demonic forces, who will test you by tempting the old nature to rebel against all this is good and righteous)." (1John 4:4)

     To be an overcomer and have an overcoming life, you must first be born again by the Spirit of the Living God. You cannot live the Christian life by yourself. The Holy Spirit must live in you and express Himself through you. Sin will no longer rule and dominate you (Romans 6:14) if you are allowing the Holy Spirit to live Christ's life through you. It is living by faith, living by trust, and living in total surrender to God.

     If we try to look to our own resources, our own strength or our own abillity, then we will surely fail to enjoy the overcoming life.

     The first key for power to be an overcomer is humility. We must humble ourselves and He will exalt us. We must walk in the humility and love of the Holy Spirit. Allow the fruit of the Holy Spirit show forth (Galatians 5:22-23).

     The second key is the realization that sanctification is only in Christ Jesus. Sanctification means to be set aside as holy or to be holy unto the Lord. The Holy Spirit is the Helper, the One who helps you to be sanctified.

     The third key is to rely on the Holy Spirit completely and allow him to control your life. This control is achieved by allowing Him to live through you. This control comes by (1) a life of obedience to the voice of the Spirit, (2) complete dedication to Jesus Christ, (3) dying to the flesh and to self and (4) constant fellowship with the Father.

     The real test of whether or not you are living an overcoming life is if you are living in peace and rest. Jesus said, "Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart; and you shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."

     When you probe the human heart, you will find all people desire rest. The cry of the world today is, where can rest be found? People do all sorts of things to find rest in the world. They are seeking the things of the world, but find no rest!

     Where can rest be found? Money cannot buy it. In fact, the greatest test anyone will ever have is how to deal with wealth and success! There is care in obtaining wealth and more care in keeping it. The cares of the world crowd out the things of God and there is no rest.

     There is no rest among the pleasure seekers or the politicians, or the so-called great! There is no rest or peace in sin. Isaiah says, "But the wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked."

     There has been no rest for sinful man since Adam fell and there is none for him until he returns to God again and the light of Christ shines into his heart.

     There is no rest in the world. Sin is the cause of all unrest. But, we can have rest because He has promised us that we can enter into His rest. "For we who have believed (in Jesus Christ) do enter that rest" (Hebrews 4:3). We are to: "Cast all our care upon Him, for He cares for us" (1 Peter 5:7).

    We must realize that Jesus is not only our sin-bearer, but also our burden-bearer. "Surely He has borne (carried) our griefs and carried our sorrows" (Isaiah 53:4).

     Some Christians go back to their past and rake up all their old troubles and then they look into the future and anticipate that they will have still more trouble; they have no victory in their lives and they stagger all through life being ineffective Christian witnesses. This is not the lfe of an overcomer. What we need is a joyful church and we are not going to convert the world until we have it.

     We must show the world that we live overcoming lives filled with the joy of the Lord, unspeakable and full of glory. When they see our faces, they will want what we have.

     Invite someone with a great burden to church ans see if they will not forget about their burden as they begin to enter into the praise and worship of our great God and King.

     The only way a person will find true rest in this world is to take up the yoke or the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ.

     For the Christian it means to follow the will of God (His Word) and true happiness and peace and rest will follow. "He whose mind is stayed on thee will have perfect peace" (Isaiah 26:3). The way of obedience is always the way of blessing the road to experiencing the overcoming life. You can find true rest today in the Son of God. You can live the overcoming life.