Thursday, June 13, 2024

2024.06.13 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 John 5:4–5

Read 1 John 5:4–5

Questions from the Scripture text: Of Whom are the people in 1 John 5:4 born? What/whom do they overcome? What overcomes the world? What is this victory? What rhetorical question does 1 John 5:5 ask? What is its implied answer?

What does it mean to overcome the world? 1 John 5:4–5 prepares us for the second serial reading in public worship on the Lord’s Day. In these two verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that to overcome the world is to come to the point, by faith in Christ, that you are a keeper of God’s commandments.

Overcoming by regeneration. The keeping of God’s commandments (1 John 5:3) is now described as overcoming the world. This does not mean to overcome the created order, but rather to overcome the condition into which the whole world of humanity was plunged by the fall. As long as someone belongs to this world, how can he overcome it? 

So he has to be born of God. In making us His children, God not only adopts us but actually gives us a new birth. These are they who overcome the world. If you do not have the new birth, then you cannot overcome the world; you cannot genuinely keep His commandments. 

Overcoming by faith. Even after we are born again, we do not have ability in us to overcome the world. But, praise God, the born again person is no longer in himself. By bringing them to faith in Christ, God brings born again believers out of themselves and into the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Faith is not just the beginning point of Christianity; it is the beginning, the middle, and even the end. Faith gets the victory because it hopes upon Jesus as the Son of God. It finds divine power in a divine Person. Now, is it still so surprising to you that you find it difficult to keep God’s commandments? Indeed, it must be impossible to you, except by faith in Jesus, the Son of God! The Christian life is impossible. Which is why it must be the Christ-ian life.

Where can you get the status or ability that enables you, genuinely, to keep God’s law?

Sample prayer:  Lord, forgive us for not making it our aim to overcome the world. Forgive us for thinking that we could somehow live as worldlings on the one hand, but be true commandment-keepers on the other. And forgive us for thinking or acting as if there was some other way of keeping your commandments than by the life, power, and goodness of Christ alone. Through Him, make us to overcome the world, we ask in His Name, AMEN!

 Suggested songs: ARP1 “How Blessed the Man” or TPH466 “My Faith Looks Up to Thee”

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