October 30, 2006, Enterprise Dispatch
Pastor's Column

Victorious faith

Rev. Keith E. Carlson, Evangelical Covenant Church, Dassel

“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.” I John 5:4b-5.

As one reads the Epistle of I John we find that it is through Jesus that our joy is made complete. He has described how God designed a wonderful plan of salvation for us through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ and how wonderful it is to be a child of God. Here in the early verses of chapter five John shares with us the encouraging words that by believing in Jesus we can have victory over sinfulness. I would like to take a few moments to share with you about these encouraging words.

I have a very real concern that the truth of Jesus’ atoning sacrifice for all mankind might become more than just words. It must become a personal experience in our life. The Apostle John tells us that there is a special testimony which belongs to God’s people and sets us apart as his special children. In this testimony John again affirms that everyone who is born of God overcomes the world.

The experience of new birth in Christ Jesus gives us the power to overcome the sinfulness that dwells in our human nature. John is not alone in calling for a victorious personal relationship with Jesus. The Apostle Paul also affirms the need to stand firm against the sinful nature of the world around us through Jesus Christ. Writing to the people of Rome who struggled with such temptations he said, “Do not conform to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)

Conquering the temptations of the world is no easy task, but we are reminded by John that it happens only because of faith. Conquering faith is defined as “believing that Jesus is the Son of God.”

That is to say, that when we accept that Jesus really did humble himself and allow his life to be given for us, we have the victorious faith that overcomes the world. In Jesus, God showed that He cared enough for us to lay aside His glory and dwell with us. In Christ, God has overcome sin and the prince of this world, and we have the strength to endure the temptations which we encounter. Because of Jesus we have the indestructible hope of victory. As you go throughout the days to come, please remember that with a personal faith in Jesus Christ we are able to overcome the world.

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