Part 116 - 1 John 5:4
John says, “This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” Oh, really, we may feel like retorting. Many of us will feel that we have no sort of victory much of the time, or even ever. Unfortunately that is the way life often is. We may be overworked, stressed, ill, subject to family problems, or financial problems, unemployed, frightened of dying (no Christian should ever be afraid of death but dying can be an uncomfortable process!), frightened of being killed, bored or whatever. Christians are not invulnerable to those sorts of things. How then can John say that we have a victory because of our faith?
In fact if we look back through this lovely letter he has written we will see that he deals out a great deal of encouragement to the people he is writing to.
In 1 John 2:27, 28 he says, “…the anointing you received from him remains in you, … his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him. … so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.”
Then in 1 John 3:21, “Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God”.
In 1 John 4:17, “This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the Day of Judgment; In this world we are like Jesus.”
And in 1 John 5:14, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
There is plenty there about confidence. Of course, it is not sufficient for the Olympic athlete to be confident as they crouch down ready to run; they need to come first to get the victory. But then the victory we are talking about is of quite a different nature; it is a victory in the sense of overcoming all our worries and anxieties our fears and our failures. How are we to do that?
John cleverly parcels up the answers in this short passage of the first 5 verses of this chapter. He starts with “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.” And finishes with “Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” All that he has said in between – well worth reading if you have a Bible handy – is gathered up between those 2 statements about believing Jesus is the Messiah and that he is the Son of God.
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