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OVERCOMER (Revised)

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  • OVERCOMER (Revised)

    Overcometh as found in The Revelation chapters 2-3 means to conquer, overcome or get the victory. The overcomer is described for us in 1 John 5:4-5 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? Many see this statement of John as a simple truth declaring because we are saved and will end up in heaven when we die, we are overcomers. I say that's a partial truth masquerading as a whole truth used to justify a convenient Christianity. Convenient Christianity is one which is suitable or adapted to ones wants or desires.

    I would like to draw your attention to James chapter 2, where James writes, “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?...shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” I remind you James is speaking about our justification or proof of salvation before men, something which is very important and we should be very concerned about. Others see my deliverance from sin through my works, there's no other way they can see it. Hear also what Paul says in Eph 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Salvation from the penalty of sin is by God's grace through faith in Christ, not in any way are we saved from hell by our works. That's a truth no one should deny because doing so shifts trust in Christ to trust in something else and leaves us with a counterfeit salvation. Eph 2:8-9 tell us how we get to heaven, through faith in Christ. However, Eph 2:10 is often overlooked because it shows us our purpose as a redeemed child of God. Why are we created in Christ Jesus unto good works, why has God before ordained that we should walk in them? To show that Christ is the Deliverer because He has delivered us.

    I believe our purpose is spelled out plainly in what God told Paul he was sent to do in Acts 26:18 ...to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. That's something only a true overcomer can do, it won't be accomplished just because I will end up in heaven. Statements like that remind us what a real overcomer is and that's why it will never be a popular statement. Think about it, what profit is it to others if I end up in heaven when I die? They won't see it until it's to late, they won't experience because it will happen to me not them, therefore they can't truly benefit from it in this life. It's of benefit only to me. So if my definition of an overcomer is that I am one simply because I will end up in heaven then I have a convenient Christianity, a Christianity that's all about me.

    Is that not exactly what the rich young ruler wanted from Jesus? Mark 10:17-22 And when he (Jesus) was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. Notice the question of this man, “what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life”? Jesus answered the question directly and precisely. The only thing anyone can “do” to be saved is to keep God's commandments completely and perfectly. The man not understanding Jesus' response said, “all these have I observed from my youth”. Observing something is different than being completely obedient to it. The Jews viewed keeping the law as offering the appropriate sacrifice when they broke it. Jesus then asks something of this man showing plainly the path to complete deliverance, “take up the cross and follow me”. That the man understood and that he would not do. That's what it takes to be an overcomer, it's why most who call themselves Christian are not overcomers and it's why we're failing to influence our society for the glory of God.

    Most Christians are not overcomers, instead they are victims. Victims of their life, victims of their health, victims of their job, victims of their finances, victims of their family, victims of wrong doing by others, victims of their feelings, victims of anxiety and victims of their circumstance. Christians should not be victims they should be overcomers. I don't mean to say an overcomer never experiences problems. An overcomer is someone who is being delivered by Christ to live above their problems and circumstances with peace and joy in their heart. Isa 40:31 ...they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. The attitude and actions of a real overcomer prove a link to Jesus Christ, the only true Deliverer. When I am conquering life's problems through the truth of God's Word and showing the victory of Christ in every circumstance I face, I'm showing others Jesus is a Deliverer. That will do far more to bring others to God than just letting them know I'm going to end up in heaven.

    I really feel that's the missing link, the reason why the Church is failing to influence our culture, the reason why we are making proselytes instead of winning people to Christ. Convenient Christianity is not helping our country, but Jesus the Deliverer can. Have you ever thought about why so many people came to see Jesus during His earthly ministry? The answer can be found in something John wrote in John 2:23 Now when he (Jesus) was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. Jesus means Savior and He was a Savior to the people because of the miracles He did. Jesus was able to do those miracles because He was the Deliverer. Let me use His words here, John 16:33 ...In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. The miracles Jesus did proved He was the Deliverer and an Overcomer. We still need miracles today. Miracles that will be evident in the lives of true overcomers like real love, forgiveness, peace, joy, gentleness, genuine goodness, wisdom and divine guidance. Those and many others are words that truly describe Jesus and also should describe those who follow Him. If found in us those things enable us to carry Christ's true message of deliverance to a fallen and chaotic world.
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