Literature Ministries International
- By Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
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OVERCOMING THE WORLD
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
1 John 5:4
John means by this that the Christian is one who conquers the world, who masters it. He actually says a most extraordinary thing here, and for once I have to grant that the Revised Version is superior to the Authorized! The Authorized reads like this: “And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” But the Revised has, "This is the victory that has overcome"; it has already happened.
Now John is saying two things here that at first sight, as so often with John, appear to be contradictory. He says that the Christian is one who has overcome the world and also that the Christian is one who overcomes the world. Christian people, John tells us, are men and women who are in an entirely new position with regard to this matter. They are not like the non-Christian. Christians are in this new position because of their faith. They have come to see the real meaning of the world; they have come to see what it is, and they hate it. They know that the world has already been conquered by the Lord Jesus Christ, and they know that they themselves are in Christ; therefore there is a sense in which the Christian has overcome the world. Christ has overcome it, and I am in Christ, and therefore I have overcome it.
And yet there is a sense in which I am still overcoming it. I am already victorious, but I still have to fight. The New Testament is fond of saying that. “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus,” says Paul, “who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31). He is already that to us; so there is a sense in which I am already sanctified, already glorified. Read the eighth chapter of Romans, and you will find that Paul tells us that explicitly (verses 29-30); in Christ Jesus we are already complete, it has all happened. And yet I am also still being sanctified, and I am still on the way to glorification.
A Thought to Ponder
Christ has overcome the world, and I am in Christ, and therefore I have overcome it.
From Life in God, pp. 41-42.
Today’s devo is taken from Walking with God Day by Day © 2003 by Good News Publishers. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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