I. "FOR WHOSOEVER IS BORN OF GOD OVERCOMETH THE WORLD."
A. In verse one John speaks of being born of God. "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Messiah is born of God."
1. Jesus spoke to Nicodemus about the necessity of being born again. You cannot enter the kingdom of heaven without being born again.
2. Nicodemus asked, "How can a man be born again when he is old?"
3. Jesus responded, "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
4. Twice Jesus answered the question as to how a person is born again. "By believing in Jesus Christ."
5. Here John confirms the words of Jesus. "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Messiah is born of God."
B. Those who are born of God overcome the world.
1. There are three entities that work in concert against us who are born of God.
a. The world; the flesh; the devil.
b. They work in concert, so that any one or any two are no problem, but combined they are an enemy to all who would seek to live a godly life.
2. The world has been defined by John in this epistle, as "The lust of the flesh; the lust of the eye; and the pride of life."
3. Thus we overcome the lusts of our flesh and our eyes.
C. Jesus gave special promises to those who overcame the world.
1. REV 2:7
"Eat of the tree of life that was in the midst of the paradise of God."
2. REV 2:17
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].
4. REV 3:5
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.
5. REV 3:12
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.
6. REV 3:21
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.
7. REV 21:7
He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
D. This is the victory that overcomes the world.
1. That is exactly what people are looking for today, victory over the world, over our lusts.
2. So many have been trapped by the lusts of the flesh.
3. One of the most common problems that are brought to us today by wives, is their feelings of being so demeaned because of their husbands addiction to pornography.
a. Many have wondered if this constitutes adultery by the standards that Jesus set when He declared, "And whoso looketh upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart." Jesus is speaking of fantasizing as you watch the pornography. Don't you realize that that is all a fantasy? The Bible says to rejoice in the wife of your youth, and to always be ravished with her love.
b. The question often asked, "If this is adultery, then does this constitute scriptural grounds for divorce?"
4. There are so many lures in the world that ensnare a person and hold them in bondage, pornography, drugs, sex, alcoholism.
a. One of the prophecies concerning the Messiah was that He would proclaim liberty to the captives, and that He would open the prison doors to those who are bound.
b. These are the good tidings He came to proclaim. There is freedom for you from the bondage of sin.
E. "Even our faith."
1. Matthew tells us of two blind men that followed Jesus and when he came into the house they came to Him and He asked them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They responded, "Yes." Jesus answered, "According to your faith be it done unto you."
2. To the centurion Jesus said, "As you have believed be it done unto you."
3. To the woman from Syrophoencia Jesus said, "O woman, great is your faith, be it done to you even as you desire."
4. To the woman who touched the hem of His garment, He said, "Daughter be of good comfort, your faith has made you whole."
5. What is faith?
a. I believe that it is believing that God is able, but I think that it goes one step further, and believes that God will do it now.
b. We all believe that He can do it, we just aren't sure if He will.
6. Do you believe that God wants to set a man free from the bondage of sin?
a. Of course, you know He does.
b. If you believe that God wants to set you free, and you desire to be free, what is keeping you in bondage?
c. The failure to believe that God will do it now, tonight.
d. Believing some day that God is going to do it is not an active faith.
F. You can overcome the world. There is victory for you in Jesus.
1. You do not have to be in bondage to the world, the flesh, and the devil.
2. Jesus defeated these foes of the Christian life.
a. In John 16:33
Jesus said, "I have overcome the world."
b. In chapter 3:8 we read "For this purpose He came into the world that He might destroy the works of the devil."
c. Paul said that the old man was crucified with Christ that to body of sin should no longer reign over you.
3. The victory of Jesus will be imparted to you.
4. His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
II. "WHO IS HE THAT OVERCOMES THE WORLD?"
A. He that believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
B. I am convinced that God wants us to live an overcoming life of victory.
1. I believe that He has provided all of the resources necessary to live that life of victory.
2. Writing to the Romans Paul said,
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
3. To the Corinthians he wrote,
But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
4. Note in Romans our victory was through Him that loved us. In Corinthians God has given us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ.
C. Back in chapter 2 John wrote,
I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
1. John intimates that the power to overcome came from the fact that the word of God was abiding in them.
2. It is through the word that our faith grows, It is through the word that we get to know God, and the more we know Him the greater our faith and trust in Him.
3. The men who have known God well have always been the men of great faith. The two just go together.
Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?