Dr. Blake Carroll
I John 5:4-5
1. Followers of Jesus have been given different names over the centuries. At first, they were called "Christians," which means "Christ ones" (Acts 11:26). The commonest word for these committed to Jesus is disciple, which means a learner. In his epistle, Paul addressed the Christians as saints, those set apart for God. They are also called believers, beloved, or children of God. Each of these names describes a distinctive characteristic of the lives of those who follow Christ. In our text, John suggests another name for Christians: overcomers. A Christian is one who overcomes.
2. This description of a Christian as an overcomer is confirmed in other places in the New Testament. Revelation says this about the saints of God: "They overcame him because of the Blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony (Rev. 12:11). Paul said to the Romans: "But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us" (Rom. 8:37). Paul urged the Corinthians to give thanksgiving to God "who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 15:57). God's children are to be overcomers. We are to experience victory in our Christian lives.
3. What does it take to be an overcomer? What does it take to experience that victory? Notice how John answers that question in our text.
I. An Overcomer Acknowledges The Problem
1. First of all, an overcomer is one who acknowledges the problem. The word overcomer implies that something stands in our way, that we are confronted by an obstacle, that we have problems which we have to overcome. An overcomer is not someone who breezes through life without any opposition or obstacles in his way. An overcomer is one who realizes each day will present another problem, another barrier, another obstacle that stands in his way, another opponent who criticizes him. He acknowledges the problems and then sets out to deal with them.
2. Whether or not you are an overcomer has nothing to do with the circumstances around you. It has everything to do with the commitment inside you. Everyone has circumstances. The key is what you do with those circumstances. Problems will constantly confront you as you live out your Christian life. Every Christian has a problem to overcome if he is to win victory in his Christian life.
3. What is the problem that Christians have to overcome? Three times in the text John said that the Christian overcomes the world. That's our problem - the world.
4. What is the world? The world is Satan and his plans. The world is sin and its pressure. The world is suffering and its pain. The world is sensuality an ...
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