Everyone born of God overcomes the world. 1 John 5:4 (NIV)
If you’re a Christian, you experience two things. First, you know you’re in a struggle. Because your conscience is activated, you experience temptation all around you. Your awareness of sin is heightened. You often feel your own weakness.
Second, you know that you’ve been given power. Christ lives in you! That means you’re not in the same position you were in before you were converted.
I love the way Paul puts it: “To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me” (Col. 1:29). He’s saying, “This Christian life isn’t easy. I labor at it. It’s a struggle! But the reason I’m able to engage in this struggle is that I’ve been given power. His energy works powerfully in me!”
What then does John mean when he says, “Everyone born of God overcomes the world?” John tells us what he means by “the world”:
“For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes, and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world” (1 John 2:16).
John says, “Everyone born of God overcomes the world.” This is what Christ enables you to overcome! The new birth puts you in a position where you are able to deal with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
That’s an amazing promise! Notice, John does not say that you overcome the world instantly or completely. Throughout this life you will always find yourself in a battle with sin and temptation, and especially with lust and pride, but your struggle will end in victory.
How does this compare with your experience of the Christian life?