May 17, 2021 – Tuesday
1 John 5:4-5 NIV
4 For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
1 John 5:4-5 TLV
4 For everyone born of God overcomes the world. And the victory that has overcome the world is this—our faith.
5 Who is it that overcomes the world, if not the one who believes that Yeshua is Ben-Elohim?
Today, first I want to quote from MacLaren’s Expositions on verse four as an introduction for our two verses: No New Testament writer makes such frequent use of the metaphors of combat and victory as this gentle Apostle John. None of them seem to have conceived so habitually of the Christian life as being a conflict, and in none of their writings does the clear note of victory in the use of that word ‘ overcometh ‘ ring out so constantly as it does in those of the very Apostle of Love. There is no doubt where John learned the phrase. Once he had heard it at a time and in a place which stamped it on his memory for ever. ‘Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world,’ said Christ, an hour before Gethsemane. Long years since then had taught John something of its meaning, and had made him to understand how the Master’s victory might belong to the servants.
For some context, let us look at the preceding verse 3, In fact, this is love for God: to keep His commands. And His commands are not burdensome NIV or For this is the love of God—that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome TLV. How can it be that keeping God’s commands are not burdensome or grievous in other versions? They are not burdensome or grievous from John’s perspective For everyone born of God because they have overcome the world. And from this MacLaren posits That, thinks John, is the same thing as keeping God’s commandments, for verse four ends with This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
Before going on to verse five, Barnes’ Notes on the Bible provides still more context when we think of verse four as we prepare to move into verse five. Barnes begins with For everyone born of God overcomes the world and then says, The world, in its maxims, and precepts, and customs, does not rule him, but he is a freeman. The idea is, that there is a conflict between religion and the world, and that in the heart of every true Christian religion secures the victory, or triumphs. Incredibly true as there are so many very real conflicts between our faith and our walk with Christ with all the values the world holds dear.
And now we come to verse five, Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. NIV or Who is it that overcomes the world, if not the one who believes that Yeshua is Ben-Elohim? TLV. Let’s break it apart as Benson did with his comments inside. Who is he that overcometh the world — That is superior to all earthly care, desire, fear? Who is the man, and where is he to be found? Surely none have gained, or will gain, this important victory, but they who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
This unquestionably tells us we overcome mainly because of who we are in Christ, not because of anything that we do or have done. We overcome because of one thing and one thing only, that we we are born of God because we believe that Jesus is the Son of God. This is not some feeling, nor some rational well thought out idea, this believing. Instead, it is something for us that is as real as the earth we stand upon, the reality of Jesus as the Son of God. Spurgeon wrote That the word believe does not merely mean to believe, but to trust, to confide in, to commit to, entrust with, etc.; the very marrow of the meaning of faith is confidence in, reliance upon. Marrow is in the center of the bones of our body making them strong.
Prayer: Dear Father in Heaven, Help me to overcome the world as I believe Jesus is the Son of God. There is no doubt in my mind. Grant me victory over the world. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.