1 John 5:4-5, “4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”
The Book of Revelation in our day remains one of the most studied and controversial books in the Bible. Many Christians spend considerable amounts of time studying Revelation to understand it’s message. And to this end, Christians put forth all sorts of doctrinal statements on the date when the book was written to the nature of Christ’s millennial reign. Whatever position, you hold on these and other matters, Revelation was written to encourage the people of God to overcome the world. For example, the letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3 repeatedly promise rewards to “the one who conquers.” The exalted Lord Jesus throughout Revelation is given to encourage continued faithfulness on the part of Christians.
The theme of conquering or overcoming, the world is not only crucial to Revelation but also to 1 John. In 1 John 5:4-5 for example, we read that everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. The one according to John who overcomes the world is the one who believes in the Lord Jesus as the Son of God (1 John 5:4-5). John concludes the three tests of assurance by bringing us back to the confession of the identity of the Lord Jesus he gave his readers in 1 John 5:1.
The confession here involves believing that Jesus is the Christ and the Son of God. To put it another way, John’s point is we must believe that the divine Son of God became the Incarnate Son of Man. Only this confession can enable God’s people to have victory over the darkness, for only the God-Man, the Lord Jesus Christ is worthy of man’s ultimate allegiance. The intercession of Jesus alone can guarantee His victory over sin will become real in the lives of God’s people (Hebrews 9:13-14).
1 John 5:1-5 reminds Christians of the three tests of assurance are inseparable. The confession of Jesus Christ as the God-Man reveals that we are born of God, which leads to Christians having a real love for God. In turn, this love flowing from the new birth leads Christians to obey the commandments and to see them not as burdensome because we overcome the world by our faith in Jesus, the God-Man Incarnate whose finished and sufficient work makes us children of the Father (John 1:12-13).
As we wrap up it’s worth asking ourselves some questions:
- Do you believe Jesus Christ is the Divine Word of God who became Incarnate for the sake of your and mine salvation? Do you further believe that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man? If so, 1 John 5:1-2 promises you will overcome the world because of the new birth.
- Are you presently overcoming the world? Or, do you find yourself daily walking in victory over sin and evil?
If today finds you not presently overcoming the world, please today dear Christian friend, repent and confess your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ yet again and humbly draw near to Him. Please also find at least one mature Christian friend who will help point you to the finished and sufficient work of Jesus Christ in your time of need.