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1. In his first epistle, John writes of victory in overcoming the 

   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?  (1Jn 5:4-5)

2. The "world" to which John refers are those things in the world that
   would separate us from God - cf. 1Jn 2:15-17
   a. The lust of the flesh (immorality, inordinate emotions)
   b. The lust of the eyes (materialism, greed, covetousness)
   c. The pride of life (vainglory, boasting, arrogance)
   -- These things can be summarized in one word:  SIN

3. There are other things in the world which can hinder our 
   relationship with God, such as...
   a. Anxiety           e. Discontentment
   b. Boredom           f. Fear
   c. Depression        g. Grief
   d. Despair           h. Loneliness
   -- These emotional states of mind, when not caused by some organic 
      condition, are often the results of SIN as well (perhaps not 
      sinful action, per se, but sinful thinking)

4. For whatever is in the world that might hinder our relationship with
   a. There can be victory in overcoming the world!
   b. Such victory comes to those who believe that Jesus is the Son of
   -- Yes, "Faith Is The Victory!"

5. In this series, I would like to examine how faith in Jesus enables
   one to overcome the world...
   a. With this lesson, we will define faith, and especially faith in
      Jesus as the Son of God
   b. In succeeding lessons, consider how faith in Jesus can provide 
      victory over such things as those mentioned above that can hinder
      our relationship with God

[According to John, victory in overcoming the world requires faith in
Jesus; it is important then to know exactly what faith is...]


      1. As defined by Easton's Bible Dictionary:
         a. Faith is in general the persuasion of the mind that a 
            certain statement is true
         b. Its primary idea is trust
      2. It is a strong conviction or trust in something; as the NIV 
         translates He 11:1...
         a. "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for..."
         b. "...and certain of what we do not see."
      3. E.g., you have faith that your parents are indeed your parents
         a. Based upon your trust or conviction in the reliability of
            their word
         b. Such trust prompts you to respond accordingly
images (1)

      1. It is a strong conviction or trust in Jesus:
         a. Who Jesus is
            1) That He is what He claimed
            2) That He is truly the Son of the living God
         b. What Jesus did and is doing
            1) That He died on the cross for our sins
            2) That His death is truly a sufficient propitiation or
               sacrifice for our sins
            3) That He interceeds for us in heaven
         c. What Jesus said
            1) That He alone provides the way to eternal life
            2) That He alone is the way to God, the Father - Jn 14:6-7
      2. Peter professed this faith in Jesus - Jn 6:68-69
         a. That Jesus has the words of eternal life
         b. That Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God - cf. Mt 16:15-16
      3. When a person has such faith in Jesus...
         a. They look to Jesus for the solution to any problem they 
         b. They have trust and conviction that what He says is the
            right answer or solution
         c. They are willing to act with trust and conviction on His
            word - cf. Lk 6:46
      4. For those with an active faith in Jesus, their lives are built
         on a solid foundation...
         a. Like a wise man who builds his house on a rock - Lk 6:47-49
         b. They are able to weather the storms of life, because their
            faith in Jesus has prompted them to prepare for whatever 
            comes their way!

[This is the kind of faith that overcomes the world!  The problem is 
that while many have a degree of faith to "hear" (listen) what Jesus 
said, most don't have sufficient faith to "do" (obey) what He says!

If we desire to have the kind of faith in Jesus that will help us 
overcome the world, how is it developed?  It is not as difficult as you
might think...]


      1. Many people believe that faith is something blind, that you 
         "just gotta believe"
         a. It is true that faith is often a strong conviction in 
            "things unseen" - cf. He 11:1
         b. But there are solid reasons for believing in what you 
            cannot see
            1) Just as you believe in George Washington, though you 
               have never seen him
            2) Just as you believe in who your parents are, though you
               can't remember who was there at your birth
      2. Other people believe that faith is some gift from God for a 
         select few
         a. It is true that in one sense faith is a "gift" from God 
            - cf. Ep 2:8; Ro 12:3
         b. But while faith owes its ultimate source to God, it is 
            available to all
            1) For God desires all men to be saved - 1Ti 2:3-6
            2) And He desires that which produces saving faith to be 
               proclaimed to all the nations - Ro 1:16; 16:25-26
      3. Faith comes from evidence provided by God Himself!
         a. God provided signs and wonders so that people might believe
            in His Son - Jn 5:36; 10:37-38; 14:10-11
         b. And so the apostles recorded these signs that we might 
            believe - Jn 20:30-31
            1) Believe in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God
            2) Through such faith to have "life" (i.e., victory over 
               the world!) in His name
         -- This leads us to the primary source of faith..

      1. Even as Paul declared:  "So then faith comes by hearing, and 
         hearing by the word of God" - Ro 10:17
         a. Faith (trust and conviction) is founded upon what the Word
            of God reveals
         b. This is especially true regarding faith in Jesus! - again 
            cf. Jn 20:30-31
      2. The Word of God produces faith in Jesus by the evidence it 
         provides; for example...
         a. The Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament
         b. His signs and wonders recorded in the Gospels
         c. The testimony of eyewitnesses in the Acts and epistles
         -- As one meditates upon the Word of God regarding Jesus, 
            faith is developed!
      3. Faith in Jesus that leads to victory must come from the Word 
         of God!
         a. The reason many people do not live victorious lives is a 
            lack of faith
         b. They have a weak faith because they do not read and study
            the Word of God!
         c. Not only is their faith weak, but they often don't even 
            know the teachings of Jesus that can help them to overcome
            the world!


1. I contend that faith in Jesus gives one the victory in overcoming
   the world...
   a. Whether it is overcoming sin which separates us from God
   b. Or it is overcoming sinful thinking that hinders our relationship
      with God

2. Victorious faith in Jesus comes from the Word of God...
   a. Which is why I cannot overemphasize the importance of feeding 
      upon it daily
      1) A lack of knowledge concerning God's word was Israel's 
         downfall - Hos 4:6
      2) When people do not have access to His word, they are very weak
         - Am 8:11-14
      3) Even Jesus resorted to the Word of God to overcome temptation 
         - Mt 4:4,7,11
   b. Why deprive yourself of the means that God has given to produce 
      saving faith? - Jm 1:21

In our next lesson, we shall consider how faith in Jesus provides the 
victory in overcoming SIN...  << PREVIOUS


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