It should be evident, then, that the white garment in 3:5 is a reward for works of righteousness that occur after salvation. Certainly the church at Corinth was hardly a picture of believers experiencing ultimate victory over sin in their lives (cf. The very act of believing overcomes the world: “Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:5). (2) In Revelation 2:26 overcoming is also connected to what follows or to keeping Christ’s works until the end. 12 Warren W. Wiersbe, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines On the New Testament, electronic media. 5:8-9; Eph. And this fits with the thrust of 2:25-26 where the overcomer reward is specifically linked to holding fast by the word “and” in the Greek text. They are directly tied to knowing the Word. This is everywhere evident in Scripture and so obvious in life that one has to deny reality to ignore or disclaim it. In this series of messages we are dealing with what it means to be an overcomer in today’s world. Read these Bible verses about overcomer and related content to learn what an overcomer is and how to be made into an overcomer by God before the great tribulation. This is associated with possessing eternal life, but as we will see, this is probably not the case. 2:14), but through faith in Christ, the believer has overcome that condition in that he is made a child of God, has been rescued from the domain of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Col. 1:12-13). The term “overcomer” comes from the Greek nikaw, “to conquer, prevail, triumph, overcome.” This verb is found 28 times in 24 verses in the New Testament. . 8:37), a compound of nikaw and the preposition %uper, “over, beyond, above.” “Triumph” is qriambeuw, “to triumph over, to lead in triumphant procession” and hence to make a public spectacle of a conquered enemy (Col. 2:15). Presently, there is only one perfect overcomer. Have you now found the path to be made into an overcomer by God? 3:21 He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. (1Jn 1Jn. Rev. Paul’s instructions in Ephesians 6:10–18 to take up the whole armor of God is one of the most quoted but least understood passages of the Bible. Furthermore, they are not statements affirming the preservation of the saints. There is a mystery in the Bible, the mystery of how we can be victorious over sin and receive salvation. (2) The Filling of the Spirit: Appropriating the Manifold Ministries of the Spirit (John 14:16f; 1 John 4:2-4; Eph. 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. “But this is a long way from saying that all Christians live ultimately victorious lives. A warrior, someone who battles no matter what task is ahead, someone that not only regains strength from his weaknesses but also sees life in a way no others can. California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. 4:3, 4; Eph. Article Images Copyright © 2021 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. Closely related to Christ’s victory through His person and work on the cross is another aspect of the means of our victory, the work of the Spirit in regeneration and indwelling. He who overcomes shall thus be clothed in white garments; …”, Again, an admonition, “Hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown” (3:11) forms the context for the promise of 3:12, “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, …”. An overcomer is not sinless, but holds fast to faith in Christ until the end. Power over the nations, the morning star (Rev. (3) Biblical Insight Through the Knowledge of the Word (Ps. (3) Or is the overcomer equivalent to a special name for genuine believers because of the ultimate triumph of their faith? 4:12; Col. 1:9-12). Victory is not a collective right, but an individual attainment … Clearly, the promises to the overcomers are rewards for obedience to the commands of the Lord of the Church.17. This encompasses the character and disposition of the overcomer: This Christian is busy helping to care for others’ needs; not lazy, but 100 percent surrendered to Jesus Christ. At this stage in my study of the issues here, I have become convinced that 1 John 5:4-5 is not synonymous with the statements of Revelation 2 and 3. In the light of Revelation 3:4-5 and 19:8, access to the tree of life through the New Jerusalem is restricted for those who cleanse their lives through fellowship with Christ. In every period of history, there have been true saints in the professing church (often called “the invisible church”). 3:1f). Those holding to the rewards view would say the overcomer passages are promises given to believers to encourage and kindle love and obedience in view of who they are in Christ and what they posses in Him. Faith, not faithfulness is the primary focus point in this position. Home » Bible Devotions » Bible Study By Xuezhi When they hear about “overcomers,” most Christians think those who labor and work for the Lord, who can keep the Lord’s name, who can sit in prison for years without denying the Lord, and who experience all kinds of persecutions and tribulations and yet can still stand witness, are the overcomers referred to in Revelation. See more. John himself defined an overcomer as a believer in Christ (I John 5:4-5). 2:11), evil (Eph. 5:18 [be filled]). was a 1966 graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and a former pastor of 28 years. These letters do not present victory as a certainty, but rather as an aspiration which each individual should pursue. In fact, if the promises of Revelation 2 and 3 are not restrictive, then we have what appears to be a contradiction between Luke 19:11f and Revelation 2:26 and 3:21. Two key passages that illustrate the nature of our conflict with evil are Ephesians 2:1-2 and 6:12: Eph. WHO IS AN OVERCOMER:-Whoever is born of GOD Christ speaks a special word of encouragement to them, and certainly we may apply these words to ourselves today.12. Q. Overcomer is a 2019 American Christian drama film directed by Alex Kendrick, who co-wrote the script with Stephen Kendrick.It is the Kendrick brothers' sixth film and their second through their subsidiary, Kendrick Brothers. An overcomer is defined as “someone who prevails.” If we are going rise above the hardships we face, endure until the end, and finish the course, we must overcome the challenges we find on our Christian walk. A Lasting Legacy: Choosing A Wife For Isaac (Gen. 24:1-67). (1Jn 1Jn. MacArthur is a proponent of this view. While some versions leave out the “and” that begins verse 26, the Greek text contains this connecting particle and shows a relationship exists between the promise and the admonition. In fact, that is something the New Testament does NOT say.”16 Regardless, as demonstrated above, many use 1 John 5:4-5 to interpret the overcomer promises of Revelation 2 and 3 because of the similarity of terms. This view is held by some very outstanding expositors of the Word. 6:17; 1 John 2:13-14; Heb. (1) In Revelation 2:26 the Greek text contains the conjunction “and” (kai) at the beginning of this verse. Salem Media Group. Rom. They occur in different books, with different contexts that contain a number of differences and the differences are such that they suggest that the references to overcoming in Revelation 2 and 3 are not defined by 1 John 5. 1:3-10 [applying all diligence]; Gal. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” Overcomers are followers of Christ who successfully resist the power and temptation of the world’s system. Our standing in Christ is no artificial position of immunity. In the exposition of the messages to the seven churches of Revelation I will cover each of the overcomer promises in their contexts. Loading... Unsubscribe from John Ankerberg Show? (2) The perseverance or ultimate triumph of the saints view: According to this view all genuine believers persevere and overcome the world by living godly and obedient lives. Happy New Year: Past, Present, and Future Perspectives, Revelation 2:7b reads, “To him who overcomes I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.” But the context for this is the admonition in 2:5 which reads, “Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first …”. Hidden manna to eat, a white stone with a new name written (Rev. Though saved and identified with Christ in His life and death, all believers would be helpless to overcome because of the presence of the flesh without the Holy Spirit who is God’s provision for strength and victory. (2) Is “overcomer” a title for all believers because of initial faith in Christ? The Bible has a message for you who want to be an overcomer in your own life. When we turn to Revelation 2 and 3, we find each church with its own particular conflict and problems with specific rewards that are in keeping with or somehow related to the problem faced. 22:12), we must first know what the Bible calls an overcomer. So, 1 John 5:4-5 gives us some insightful principles regarding those who overcome the world, namely: (a) the source of victory is the new birth and the new life that it brings, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world”; (b) the method for appropriating victory is faith, “and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith”; (c) the object of faith must be Jesus Christ because He is the real victor, “And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”. Study the bible online using commentary on 15.1.3. Who is the Overcomer and more! (4) In Revelation 3:12 the promise to the overcomer is again connected to a crown of reward for holding fast (kratew) at least by implication or location. 5:10; Luke 19:11-26). Does he belong to a special class of Christians composed of those who are spiritual and not carnal? 5:7; Gal. The basis of victory is the same, faith in the person and work of Christ and our blessings in Him, but the struggles are different and it seems that God tailors the rewards accordingly. Use fewer words in your search, especially if you’re unsure of the exact phrase. Salvation and victory is completely of the Lord. The Bible prophesies that God will perfect a group of overcomers in the last days. 13:14 [put on]; 1 Tim. Clothed in white garments, name not blotted out from the Book of Life, name confessed before the Father and angels (Rev. In 22:14 John pronounces a blessing on those who wash their robes, who lead the clean and pure Christ life, for they thereby have the right and privilege of entering into the gates of the city and partaking of the tree of life. Romans 8:37 is an excellent "overcomer" verse because it teaches that every believer is "more than an overcomer," indeed he is a "super-overcomer" (literal rendering of Greek). 2 Mal Couch, Soteriology in the Book of Revelation, in Mal Couch, ed., A Bible Handbook to Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2001), 164-165. The second answer is that the “overcomer” is a victorious Christian; that is, a believer who has lived faithfully and successfully for the Lord. He writes: “John was so confident of the ultimate triumph of faith over sin that he had a special name for the believer: ‘the one who overcomes’ (1 John 5:5; Rev 2:7, 11, 26; 3:5, 12, 21; 21:7).”8 MacArthur is interpreting these passages according to what has come to be called the ‘Reformed Doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints’ which states that all true believers will persevere in a life of godly obedience. The only other occurrence is 2 Corinthians 12:13 where it means to be treated as an inferior. Proud member
(1) Are these warnings against the loss of salvation as some have advocated? 1 Cor. In 1 John the apostle affirms that through believing in Jesus Christ there is a permanent victory over the world in one sense. For instance, J. Sidlow Baxter writes: But the promise is to “the overcomer.” Are all believers “overcomers”? When a believer exercises faith in Christ, he does overcome the world in the sense that the world system is intrinsically hostile to God’s commands, to faith in Christ, and is satanically blinded to the truth and under his dominion of control and death (2 Cor. Rom. All rights reserved. In Revelation, however, the overcomer concept is restrictive within the realm of the daily conflicts and battles of the Christian life according to the context of each of the seven letters. “Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come. So, let’s look at a few overcomers from the Bible in order to see some examples. Finally, the last promise to the one who overcomes (3:21) is set against the context of the Savior’s invitation for fellowship (3:20). This means not only immortal existence, but such relations with Jesus Christ and the Church that each has unrestricted access to all that is good in the universe of God.18. Two different Greek words, dikaiwsis and dikaiosunh respectively are used in the New Testament to refer to imputed righteousness. Each letter without exception moves from an address to the church as a whole, of the church corporate and individual groups in each church, to the individual aspect with a personal appeal to the one who has an ear and to the one who overcomes. Note the following passages: John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. No two Christian’s lives are the same in terms of their struggles and triumphs. The main questions as I see it are simply, who is the overcomer and what is the nature of the promises? The messages to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3 present very different contexts than that of 1 John 5. “And this is the victory that overcomes the world—our faith.” Since victory was accomplished by Christ and not by what we have done, victory always comes by faith in the work of God through Christ. 10:17; Eph. He is the author of all the teachings here, and all materials are available free of charge! Who is an overcomer? Overcoming is equivalent to faithfulness or obedience which proves the genuineness of salvation. Furthermore, while the failure to overcome may be an indication of false profession, the fact a believer does not overcome the struggles of life, does not automatically prove they are not true Christians. There are five Greek words that should be considered: “Overcomer” and “conquer” are translations of nikaw, “to overcome, to conquer, prevail, come through victoriously.” “Victory” is nikh, the noun form of nikaw. 2019-09-01 2020-09-24. Who is an overcomer? These are not warnings against the loss of salvation, nor necessarily warnings against false profession, though that could be one application of these promises. The promises to the overcomer in Revelation 2 and 3 present us with some important, but difficult questions that need to be answered in order to properly interpret and apply these promises. Many believe there is a difference in the New Testament between entrance into heaven and being an heir of the kingdom (cf. His work, built upon the foundation that is Christ Jesus, abides the test of the Lord’s appearing, and he receives over and above his entrance into eternal life, a place in the Heavens in the midst of the paradise of God.15. If you wish to understand more aspects of the truth, please feel free to … Even after salvation, the conflict still rages in and against the life of the Christian. Our victory is not a victory to be won, by one to be claimed by faith. Instead, they are guarantees of special blessings or rewards for faithful service and lives of faith. The contexts in which the expression is found in Revelation 2-3 are greatly different than the context of 1 John 5:5.13. The waters of life are free. 1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. But there is another element of victory and one that is vital for victory and fruitfulness; it’s human responsibility as the next point shows. 3:3). (Revelation 2:11) The second death is the throwing of the unsaved into the lake of fire at the time of the judgment. What I am saying is that all true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are the overcomers in the Bible. 14 J. Sidlow Baxter, Awake My Heart, Zondervan, p. 323. The Bible has a lot to say about being an overcomer. Please enter your email address associated with your Salem All-Pass account, then click Continue. Ask a Question! This is positional truth; that is, this is our position in Christ. JESUS IS the NARROW PATH, only by washing of HIS Word, which HE is the Word can the mind be renewed to a singular view—the view of GOD. Copyright © 2021, Bible Study Tools. We dare not assume that every member of every local church in every period of history is a true child of God. These “overcomers” are not the “super-saints” in each church, a special group that will receive special privileges from Christ, but the true believers in each of these churches. They admit that there may be temporary setbacks and bouts with sin, but that ultimately, true believers live victorious, holy lives to the end. [emphasis added]2, For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. Consider the following examples from each of these messages: (4) The rewards view: According to this view, the overcomer passages are promises of rewards given to believers to encourage them to overcome the trials of life through faithfulness. 5:16), disobedience (Eph. 4. Compare 22:14 with 15. We will face times of turmoil and tragedy, but it is our reaction to those hard times that determines everything. This is not the garment of salvation or the imputed righteousness that comes through faith in Christ. Believers cannot overcome without dining intimately with the Savior in daily fellowship. Instead of imputed righteousness, this Greek word refers to the state or virtue of righteous character. 8:1f; Gal. 2:1-3; Heb. . In this glorious position, they have become identified with Him as to His person and work, etc., and enjoy many other marvelous blessings in Christ (Eph. Again, the promise is in a context of two admonitions for faithfulness. In order to live the life of an overcomer and be rewarded as an overcomer by Christ at His second coming (Rev. Since Revelation is the last book of the Bible, the reader of Revelation is expected to know what God has previously revealed on the subject. ... What does the Bible say about being an overcomer? So the overcomer is the one who has the Mind of CHRIST, who has had the renewing of their minds to be ONE with CHRIST, the bride of CHRIST, one flesh with GOD. To be an overcomer is the hope of every believer in the Lord. 1 John 5:5 makes it abundantly clear. (3) The view that all believers are overcomers: According to this view, all believers become overcomers the moment they believe in Jesus Christ. The "we" of verse 37 refers to every true believer (those who have been predestinated, called, justified, glorified--v.29-30). It is true that 1 John 5:5 teaches that our faith overcomes the world. 43-44. Eph. 7:15; 8:4-8, 13; Gal. 5:16-26. The word for conqueror is the same word for overcomer. Last month, since Valentine’s Day was coming, we diverted a little from our series and talked about my favorite subject, the Love of God. 2 Cor. The call to repent in 2:16 precedes the promise to the overcomer in 2:17. The context of the letters restricts the meaning of the overcomer from all believers to rewards to faithful believers who overcome in the specific conflicts of their lives. The Bible says that the body sleeps when it dies. Bible Truths for Tragic Times : DEVOTION A Day in the Life of an Overcomer By Missey Butler CBN Staff Writer. “But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white; for they are worthy. These seven passages are not the only passages that touch on the issue of overcoming or victory over the conflicts and adversaries that we face in this life. It may look at what follows, or it may draw an inference to what precedes as here. “Overwhelmingly conquer” is %upernikaw (Rom. 4:7 [discipline yourself]; 2 Pet. (4) Diligence, Discipline (Rom. Overcoming and the promises of these passages find their root in the Lord’s statement in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph 2:8-9). The Word builds my faith, directs it, and the Spirit speaks to us through the Word. Rev. How to Become an Overcomer in the Bible. You are called to rule over sin, and not to let it rule over you. In this context, it refers to the acts or deeds or works of righteousness for which rewards are given, i.e., the wedding garments. A large portion of the New Testament demonstrates such a view to be wrong. The following passages illustrate this truth: concerning believers, Jesus said, “and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. This word means “be defeated by, or succumb to a person or thing” (2 Pet. 3:11f; 9:27; 2 Cor. Why? In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. The New Testament clearly teaches us, as does life itself, that we are in a conflict, indeed, a holy war, with specific adversaries. Does John’s use of the overcomer expression in 1 John 5:4-5 dictate its meaning in Revelation 2 and 3? Because only these have experienced the new birth of God in spiritual regeneration and it is that regeneration that gives the power for victory (vs. 4a). Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? . Someone that doesnt laugh at racism, someone who doesnt feel pain, someone who has been through it all, and did it with a smile on their face. The promise of 3:5 is directly connected to the concept of faithfulness described in 3:4. First, is that an “overcomer” is a believer, and so, the promises given are for all believers. Nevertheless, victory requires our cooperation with God’s operation. of
In other words, does 1 John 5:5 define the overcomers of Revelation 2 and 3? 1 John 5:4 teaches us that the means of victory over the world is “our faith.” Then verse 5 declares that the only ones who can overcome the world by faith are those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God. 4:2). But the context of the seven letters suggests that John is there admonishing believers to overcome specific trials and temptations by faithful obedience through faith in their new life in Christ. One other word, %httaomai, is translated “overcome” in the NASB and KJV. (emphasis mine). The text does not say, “He that overcomes,” as the NIV translates (the participle is neuter), but “everything or whatever is born of God.” Overcoming is specifically non-personalized in order to stress a point: it is never the man that overcomes, but his birth from God and what that brings into his life; this is that which overcomes or gives capacity to overcome the world. (4) Is this a warning against false profession or is it a challenge and motivation to all believers to faithfulness for rewards? The true definition of an overcomer is a warrior. In other words, do the overcomer promises apply to all believers regardless of the kind of lives they live? The problems that most have with this view come in the nature of the rewards mentioned in these promises and admittedly, these are difficult. 11:28f; 1 John 5:16-17). This is possible if you fight in the right way. We do not overcome by our works, by the energy of the flesh, or by our sincerity, or by our effort, or by our will power because we are powerless. Bible verses related to Overcomers from the King James Version (KJV) by Relevance - Sort By Book Order . I’m not saying that eternal security is not true… What I am saying is that there is no guarantee in Scripture that eternally secure people will live overcoming, victorious lives here and now. It is a mistake, however, to conclude that because John so used that expression in one place, he must have used it the same way in all other places. 5:16f). While all believers have overcome the world in the sense of 1 John 5, conflicts and trials come to the believer in a variety of different shapes and degrees. 4:3-4), death (Rom. Those who love the Lord Jesus sense a corresponding echo within, calling them to live an overcoming life. Here are illustrations of the battles that believers must overcome and for which rewards are promised for overcoming. 11 John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, “Revelation,” Scripture Press, Wheaton, IL, 1983, 1985, electronic media. Every believer is an overcomer in that sense (1 John 5:4-5). Overcomer. Eating of the tree of life is a reward that shall be given to the overcomer in addition to his salvation. True, some of the promises are hard to explain and understand as rewards and not as general gifts that go with eternal life, but because of the above evidence we should give strong consideration to the view that these are promises that pertain to rewards. (5) In Revelation 21:6-7 we find an important contrast. The first qualification of an overcomer is faith. There is a fine balance that must be observed in Scripture. But as is so often the case with difficult passages, students of the Word are divided on the answers. Rev. What Do the Overcomers in the Bible Refer To? 3:16; 1 Cor. The letters to the seven churches, at least, suggested otherwise to an unprejudiced reader. 2:1), rebellion in every conceivable form (2 Tim. If they have truly believed in Christ, they cannot lose their salvation, but they will lose rewards as the Lord warns in Revelation 3:11 and the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:12-15. Note also 1 Corinthians 15:10; Philippians 2:12-13. The apostle Paul declared that “neither death nor life … nor things present nor things to come … shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38-39). Even though we might not be able to agree on all the details, there will be certain truths that are self evident and very practical, exhorting and challenging to us in our Christian walk. Becoming an Overcomer in Today’s World Being a Christian in a Non-Christian World Ken Birks, Pastor/Teacher I. The Bible does not promise that all true believers will live victorious, holy lives. J. Hampton Keathley III, Th.M. 5:16 [walk]; Eph. In this seven-day reading plan based on the Overcomer book and small-group curriculum, Dr. David Jeremiah shows how you can equip yourself with each piece of this spiritual armor to confront the daily challenges in your life. As Hodges points out, “a command that everyone keeps is superfluous, and a reward that everyone receives is nonsense.”19. Each letter closes with one or more promises for he who overcomes. The question arises, Who is the overcomer?, The question that needs resolving involves a proper identification of this overcomer. Publisher This presupposes and calls attention to the presence of war, contests, battles, and conflicts in man’s struggle with evil. Believers may have more than temporary setbacks and bouts with sin. Stare down your fears, shatter your insecurities, and shake off the apathy that tries to hold you back. Barnhouse has a similar view which sees the promises to the overcomer as promises of rewards for faithfulness and writes: Some have said that eating from the tree of life was the equivalent of receiving eternal life, but this is most evidently a false interpretation. But suppose that the meaning of the overcomer changes in Revelation 2‒3 from being simply a believer to one who is a worthy kind of believer. (2) The world, a system and arrangement of the affairs of men and government under the control of the evil one and opposed to God and His purposes for man: John 16:33; 1 John 5:4; Eph. “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Rom. 15 Donald Grey Barnhouse, Revelation, An Expository Commentary, “God’s Last Word,” Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1971, pp. 9 Bob Wilkin, “Grace Evangelical Newsletter,” March 1995. This shows us that the overcomer is restricted to those who have not defiled their garments in their earthly walk and are thus worthy of reward—the reward of being clothed in white garments. 2:1-2 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 2:2. All believers partake of this, but eating of the tree is for overcomers in the broader sense. 8:16-17). 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