By Roy Burner - Minister of the Gospel
Being an Overcomer is mentioned many times in God's Word. The term itself implies to rise above, surmount, and triumph over. We have a history of those who have overcome difficult circumstances in their life that would have left a weaker person devastated. (Comment)
A believer in Christ has an added assurance. Apostle Paul, who had suffered many things at the hand of man, proclaimed: Who shall separate us (the believer) from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written, for your sake we are killed all the daylong; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. But in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us (Romans 8:35-37). Being an Overcomer is supplemented by an enduring faith in the one who loved and died for us on the Cross of Calvary.
The apostle John wrote: I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the Word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one (1 John 2:14). We are seeing our youth captivated by the devices of the wicked; to swing them towards acceptance of ungodly ways.
A study found that those of Generation Z category (born 90's and early 2000's) are the least religious in America's history; less likely to attend church services than other generations. The most common reason was that "church is not relevant to me personally" and "I will find God elsewhere." Unless conviction overrides this attitude one will not find themselves in the status of being an Overcomer!
When John referred to being strong he was not speaking of natural strength, through one's own physical body, but spiritually in Christ. Bodily exercise profits little; but godliness is profitable to all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come (1 Timothy 4:8).
John was speaking of being strengthened by the Word of God planted in one's heart. Scripture reveals that one is to lay aside all filthiness and abundance of wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted Word which is able to save your souls (James 1:21). There is a power against sin and temptation that cannot be found in man's own strength but through God's indwelling Spirit in the life of a believer!
Forces of evil in this world are attempting to stamp out Christianity; which reveals the need of the righteousness of God, and to live a godly life. We see sin openly displayed as in Sodom and Gomorrah of old which were condemned to destruction as an example to those that afterward should live ungodly (2 Peter 2:6).
We see evil as that of Babylon which had become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, whose plagues would come in one day; death, and mourning, and famine, and she would be utterly burned with fire (Revelation 18:8).
We live in a world that is dominated by idolatry; with many worshiping gods made with men's hands. I personally witnessed such worship while visiting foreign lands in the military. The apostle Paul attempted to set the record straight when he was in Athens; his spirit being provoked within, when he saw the city given over to idolatry (Acts 17:16).
He beheld one of their objects of worship with the inscription, "To the Unknown God" and utilized that as a source to deliver the Gospel message to them (Acts 17:22-23). He stated: God who made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth; dwells not in temples made with hands. Inasmuch as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, shaped by art and man's devising (Acts 17:24-29).
Some mocked; others said we will hear again of this matter, but certain men joined to Paul and believed (Acts 17:32-34). Being an Overcomer begins with belief; of walking away from sin and degradation of this world, into the marvelous light of the Gospel of Christ (1 Peter 2:9).
Being an Overcomer has benefits that are literally out of this world! Jesus said: To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God (Revelation 2:7). Because of sin access to the tree of life had been denied (Genesis 3:14) but being an Overcomer will again grant one access to the tree of life!
To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knows except he that receives it (Revelation 2:17).
Manna mentioned in the Old Testament, to the Israelites, was sustenance and life. Christ is sufficient for all the believer's needs. The white stone and its new name symbolizes acceptance with approval by God.
He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white garments; and I will not blot his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels (Revelation 3:5).
A Bible commentary noted: The one who has genuine faith in Christ has the righteousness of Christ accounted to him through the redeeming blood of the Lamb (or Christ). The promise not to blot out his name out of the book of life is an assurance of the eternal security of of the true believer.
Thank God for the many biblical assurances for being an Overcomer in Christ! The darkness of this world (or its sinful nature) is no longer attractive when one takes on the nature of Christ rather than the world. However, the god of this world (or Satan) will attempt to renew the characteristics of the old life; if allowed!
Scripture gives an added assurance to the the believer in Christ: You are of God and have overcome them (Satan and the evilness of man): because greater is he that is in you (that of God's Spirit), than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4)!
The weapons of our warfare are not carnal (or of the flesh), but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down of imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).Being an Overcomer is learning to place all matters of concern into the hands of a living God, and a loving Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who sits at the right hand of His Father in heaven (Acts 7:15).
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Searching for hope is a prelude to receiving. When tragedy threatens, or strikes, one needs to reach out to God who is greater than one's present circumstance.