Mt. 24:12-13 π Jn. 16:33 π Rom. 2:7-8 π Rom. 7:21-24 π Rom. 8:2 π 1 Cor. 9:27 π Eph. 4:17-24 π Eph. 6:12-14 π Phlp. 3:12-14 π 2 Tim. 3:12 π 1 Pet. 4:12-19 π 1 Jn. 5:4-5
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? ( 1 Jn. 5:4-5; top )
Let us note the tenses used here. One born of God overcomes - ongoing action - the world. The victory that has overcome - past tense - the world is our faith. Our faith is an ongoing action as well - he who believes and keeps on believing has overcome and keeps on overcoming the world. As Jesus said,
In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. ( Jn. 16:33 )
We fight - that is wrestle and stand ( Eph. 6:12-14 ) - against our spiritual adversaries from a position of victory and strength, not a guerilla warfare of subterfuge, stealth and desperation. We possess the land but a few well-concealed rebels remain under the law of sin and death (see Rom. 7:21-24 ; 8:2; top ) and these rebels, if left uncontrolled, will allure invasion from the demonic. But, so long as we remain wary and vigilant, when a stronghold is identified, we can, by Godís Spirit, isolate it, lay siege to it, sack it, clean it out and make it a habitable place for the Spirit of truth. That is true deliverance from the power of the evil one.
But we must persevere, especially in the last days. Jesus said,
...because lawlessness [the pursuit of oneís own agendas] will abound, the love [the life blood of living by the Spirit] of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. ( Mt. 24:12-13; top )
Make no mistake, the life of following Christ is a struggle. (see 1 Pet. 4:12-19 ; 2 Tim. 3:12; top ) but our victory is assured while we believe and abide.
We must not allow ourselves to be deceived. Just because God meets us where weíre at does not mean that weíve arrived. There is a tendency within the human soul to shy away from looking at oneís own failings, weaknesses and sins. If this were not so, we would not need the Holy Spirit to convict us of our sins and our personal history would not be one of fighting against the work of the Holy Spirit.
There is another tendency that is equally hindering to our spiritual walk with Christ - the tendency to rest upon our current attainments. Since we donít like to look at our sins and failures, we tend to fool ourselves into thinking that where we are at any given moment is exactly where God wants us to be and there is no need to go on any further to please God. Though we still hold to false opinions, beliefs and practices, we somehow feel no need to press on to become more like Christ. We are content to remain just as we are as if we were already Christlike.
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. ( Phlp. 3:12-14; top )
Paul also wrote:
But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. ( 1 Cor. 9:27; top )
Paulís attitude and mindset to lay hold of all of Godís grace (His life-changing power) allowed him to overcome the inertia that has come into our souls as a result of Adamís fall. Those who fail to adopt this same attitude are not putting off the old man, not being renewed in spirit and not putting on the new man which is Christ and will yet subject themselves to the consequences of being disqualified for eternal life. (also see Rom. 2:7-8; top )
This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to licentiousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness. ( Eph. 4:17-24; top )
By what irrational logic might one who refuses to be made more like Christ consider himself ďsaved?Ē What is that one saved from? Let he who has ears hear.
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