Overcoming The Wicked One.
I. THE WORD OVERCOME PRESUPPOSES A BATTLE. THE OVERCOMER IS THE ONE WHO HAS GAINED THE VICTORY IN THE BATTLE.
A. We Christians are in a battle.
1. Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians said, that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, we thus needed the whole armor of God that we might be able to stand against the enemy.
a. Principalities and powers are rankings among spirit beings.
b. So the acknowledgement that we are in a spiritual warfare.
2. To the Corinthians, he wrote, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God in pulling down the strongholds of the enemy.
3. To the Galatians, Paul wrote, that the flesh is warring against our spirit, and the spirit against our flesh, and these two are contrary.
4. Paul encouraged Timothy to fight the good fight of faith.
B. The war is over the mastery of our minds, and thus our lives.
1. Satan seeks to govern our lives.
2. God desires to govern our lives.
3. Your life is being governed by one or the other.
4. Jesus said that no man can serve two masters, you cannot serve God and Mammon.
5. Your mind is either controlled by your flesh which is ruled by Satan, or your spirit governed by the Spirit of God.
C. Satan through lies and deceit seeks to lure people to live after the lusts of their flesh.
1. He makes false and exaggerated promises.
2. He promises immediate fulfillment.
a. Look at his lying tactics with Eve in the Garden. 1. He promised her that to eat of the tree would bring her into the divine life. You will be as gods. 2. Rather than life, it actually brought her death, plus pain and sorrow in childbirth.
b. Jesus said of Satan that he was a liar and the father of all lies.
3. He promised to give to Jesus all of the kingdoms of the earth and the glory of them.
a. Jesus had come to the world to redeem the world back to God.
b. It was determined in the counsels of God that He would die on the cross to demonstrate the depth of God's love for man and to pay the price of redemption.
c. Basically Satan is saying to Jesus, you do not have to go the painful path of the cross to gain your mission in life. You do not have to postpone the glory of ruling over the world; you can have it all now. All that is necessary is to bow down to me.
d. When Jesus was telling His disciples that he would be turned over to the Gentiles, who would crucify Him, Peter said, "Lord, spare Yourself." Jesus recognized that as the cry of hell, He said to Peter, "Get thee behind Me Satan, you offend Me, for you cannot discern what comes from God and what comes from man."
e. Jesus said, "If you want to come after Me, you must deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Me."
f. Satan says, "No, you do not have to deny yourself and take up the cross. You do not have to wait for heaven. You can have it all now. Just follow me."
g. Jesus added, "If you will seek to save your life, you will lose it, but if you will lose your life for My sake, you will find it. What profit would it be if you gained the whole world, but lost your own soul?"
h. So many have bought in to Satan's lie. They are seeking to find life and happiness in fleshly pursuits. 1. There is a sense of immediate fulfillment. 2. There is also a taste of hell, as you know that you are alienated from God, though you want to believe Satan's lie that you still have fellowship with God though you are walking in darkness. Thus the tormented mind of the divided heart.
i. Paul wrote to the Ephesians that in times past they walked according to the course of this world that was being directed by Satan and today was ruling in the children of disobedience.
j. Paul explained that when a person puts his own lusts above the commandments of God, he is being ruled by Satan, and that he becomes a child of darkness.
k. John told us that if we are in this condition and we say
that we have fellowship with God, it is a lie.
4. I am not to be overcome with evil, but I am to overcome evil with good.
II. THE BIBLE GIVES MANY WONDERFUL PROMISES TO THE OVERCOMER.
A. To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
B. He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
C. To him that overcometh 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 knoweth saving he that receiveth [it].
D. And he that overcometh, and keeps my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father, and I will give him the morning star.
E. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
F. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, [which is] new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and [I will write upon him] my new name.
G. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
H. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall by My son.
I. You see, all of these promises are of the rewards in the future, they will be gained by the person who has denied themselves to take up the cross and follow Jesus.
J. Satan says to you, "No, no, you do not need to deny yourself, you do not need to crucify your lusts, indulge in your lusts, you can have pleasure and excitement now, no need to wait for the future."
III. THE SECRET TO THE OVERCOMING LIFE.
A. In our text, John said that he was writing to the young men because they had overcome the wicked one. He repeated this in verse 14, where he says, "I have written unto you young men because you are strong and the word of God abideth in you, and you have overcome the wicked one."
1. The secret of their strength in overcoming the wicked one was in the fact that the Word of God was abiding in them.
2. In the psalm that we read this morning, David wrote, "Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee."
3. It is important to note that Jesus overcame every temptation of Satan with the word.
a. When Satan tempted Him to use His supernatural powers to satisfy His own hunger, Jesus said, "It is written man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
b. When Satan tempted Jesus with the offer of the glory of the world if Jesus would just bow down to him and worship him, Jesus answered, "It is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and Him only."
c. When Satan tempted Jesus to jump from the pinnacle of the temple to put to the test the promise of God that He would keep Him in all of His ways, lest He should dash His foot against the stone, Jesus answered, "It is written thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."
4. It is so important that we feed daily on the word of God so that we have His word hidden in our hearts.
a. Job said that he esteemed the word of God more than his necessary food.
b. Jesus said that we should pray, "Give us this day our daily bread." God's word is like bread; we should feed on it every day. 1. There is a lot of talk this time of year about fasting during lent season. 2. Jesus spoke of special power that came through fasting. 3. People often object to fasting because of the need to maintain their strength for their jobs. 4. Let me suggest that you fast from TV, which is designed to feed your flesh, and spend the time in the word and prayer. 5. I will guarantee that you will be spiritually stronger by Easter. 6. A special blessedness is promised to you.
c. David said, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way with sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord and in His law, does he meditate day and night."
B. In 5:4, John says, "For whosoever is born of God overcomes the world, and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. How does faith come? "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
1. As Paul was arming the Ephesians for the spiritual battle, he told them to take the shield of faith whereby they may quench the fiery darts of the enemy.
a. With so many, their shield was down and Satan struck them with his fiery darts.
b. Today they are writhing in spiritual agony.
C. 1JO 5:5
: Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
D. We overcome the enemy through the power of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
1. 1CO 15:57
: But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2. 1JO 4:4
: Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
3. Jesus said to His followers, "In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world. As we abide in Christ, we share in His victory."
E. In Revelation 12
, as it speaks of the war that the saints had had with Satan it declares, "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony." 1. In Hebrews we read:
Inasmuch then as we are in bodies of flesh and blood, Jesus also came in a body of flesh and blood; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and thus deliver us who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 2. It is good to know that Jesus our Lord has defeated the devil once and for all. Through the cross He spoiled the powers of, darkness that war against us. The cross did not spell defeat for Jesus, quite the contrary, it spelled defeat for Satan's hold over mankind. Through the cross we can become dead to the flesh life, as we reckon it to be dead, crucified with Christ.