“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?” I John 5: 4-5
In this first epistle of John, he talked about the faith that overcomes the world. According to I John 2: 15-17, “the world” repeatedly mentioned there refers to those things that separate us from God. These include:
- The lust of the flesh (as seen in David) – immorality, inordinate emotions;
- The lust of the eyes (as seen in Herod) – materialism, greed, covetousness;
- The pride of life (as seen in Nebuchadnezzar) – vain-glory, boasting, arrogance.
All these, in one word, can be called “SIN”.
There are other things in the world that can hinder our relationship with God; they include anxiety, depression, discontentment, boredom, fear, grief, despair and loneliness. These emotional states of mind, when not caused by some organic conditions, are often the results of sin; and not just sinful actions alone, but also sinful thoughts.
For all these (and more) that can hinder our relationship with God, there can be victory in overcoming the world. Such victory comes to those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God – FAITH IS THE VICTORY!
FAITH IN JESUS, DEFINED
FAITH is the persuasion of the mind that a certain statement is true, according to Easton’s Bible Dictionary. Its primary idea is TRUST. Faith is trust. Heb. 11: 1 tells us that it faith is a strong conviction or trust in something. Based on our trust and conviction in the reality of something, it prompts us to react accordingly.
FAITH IN JESUS, AS THE SON OF GOD:
It is a strong conviction or trust in Jesus. It is believing:
- Who Jesus is – that He is what He claims; that He truly is the Son of the living God.
- What Jesus did and is doing – that He died on the cross for our sins; that His death is truly a sufficient propitiation for ALL our sins; that He is interceding for us in Heaven, on the right side of God.
- What Jesus said – that He alone provides the way to eternal life and to God. John 14: 6-7; 6: 68, 69.
When a person has so much faith in Jesus, he/she will look up to Him for solution to any problem; for provision to any need! Such person will believe and trust that Jesus alone has the right answer and solution; he/she will act according to their trust and conviction on His word.
Luke 6: 46-48 – a person with an active faith in Christ has his life built on a solid foundation, on Jesus the Rock. Our faith in Christ will carry us through any storm; because faith in Christ prompts us to prepare for whatever comes our way. The problem is that many have the faith to listen (be a hearer), but not to act according to God’s word (be a believer and a doer).
FAITH IN JESUS, DEVELOPED
FAITH COMES FROM EVIDENCE
Many people believe that faith is something blind, and according to Heb. 11: 1, it is true that faith is often a strong conviction in things unseen, but there are solid reasons for believing in what you cannot see – just as you believe in who your parents are, though you were not aware of who was there when you were born.
Others believe that faith is some gift from God for a select few. It is true in one sense that faith is a gift from God (Rom. 12: 3; Eph. 2: 8), but while faith owes its ultimate source to God, it is available to ALL. God desires all men to be saved (I Tim. 2: 3-6), and it is faith in Him that helps with salvation – “saving faith” – the faith that God can fill the emptiness in your heart and life, and that He can provide and heal and make whole.
Faith comes from evidence provided by God Himself; from signs and wonder so that people might believe in his Son (John 5: 36; 10: 37, 38; 14: 10, 11); so that people will know that our faith in Christ works! The apostles recorded these signs and wonders so that we might believe (John 20: 30-31), for instance, we read of three different blind men healed in the Bible in three different ways – this testifies that our God is not only a Healer, but also a multi-dimensional God – same kind of healing, different methods.
FAITH COMES FROM THE WORD OF GOD
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Rom. 10: 17
“But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” John 20: 31
Faith is founded upon what the word of God reveals. The word of God produces faith in Jesus by the evidence it provides – the Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament, His signs and wonders in the gospels, the testimonies of eyewitnesses in the Acts and epistles.
Faith is developed as one meditates upon the word of God, regarding Christ. Many do not live victorious lives because they lack faith. They have weak faith because they do not read and study God’s word. They do not even know the teachings of Jesus that can help them overcome the world.
Faith in Jesus gives us victory to overcome the world – overcoming sin that separates us from God and overcoming the sinful thoughts that hinder our relationship with God; and this faith comes from reading the word. Even Jesus overcame the devil and his temptation by saying “it is written” three times! (Matt. 4: 1-11)