Shelby G. Floyd
We thank God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ:
“For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God (1 John 5:4-5).
The terms “victory” and “overcomes” in this text translate from the Greek word “nike.” Nike means to be victorious, prevail, conqueror, overcome and win. God wants us to be victorious, not a victim. How do we win?
Victory Through the New Birth
The text above teaches that everyone born of God overcomes the world. So unless we are born again we will not overcome the world. We have the victory through the new birth into God’s family: “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves his child as well” (1 John 5:1). The people to whom the apostle Peter wrote his first letter had purified their souls in obeying the truth, “ having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever” (1 Peter 1:23). Jesus said we cannot enter the kingdom of God unless we are born of water and the Spirit. (John 3:3-5). The new birth demands water baptism for the forgiveness of sins. The salvation of Noah and seven others by water was the type and sinners are saved today by the antitype which is water baptism for forgiveness of sin:
“who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:20-21 NKJV).
Victory Through Love
Through our love for God and God’s children we have the victory (1 John 5:1). Jesus declared that all men would know that we are his disciples when we love as he has loved us: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34 ESV).
Victory Through Obedience
Genuine love is always joined with obedience, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments” (1 John 5:2 ESV). Obedience to God’s word is not a burden when we love God. “This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). Human traditions and man-made rules are heavy loads to carry, but the yoke of Christ is light (Matthew 23:4; 11:30).
Victory Over The World
We have the ultimate victory over death and the world through our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. “Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:5). “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son” (Revelation 21:7). Nike—We WIN!
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Shelby G. Floyd Heartland Church of Christ 1693 West Main Street Greenwood, Indiana 46142