Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Jesus boldly tells his disciples that he has overcome the world, and so they can have peace, without fear (John 16:33). Here, in 1 John 5:4-5, the apostle says that everyone born of God overcomes the world. That’s fine and good, but we all know that overcoming the world is something that’s pretty hard to put our finger on precisely. What does it mean? Monetary wealth? No, by the time Jesus died he had only one decent garment - his underwear, and they took that away from him. A happy, healthy family? No, again, at Jesus’ death he gave guardianship of his widowed mother to John the apostle possibly because he couldn’t trust his brothers. Health? Jesus seemed to have that until Maundy Thursday, but they took that away too. Respect? Sorry, that was also taken away. In the end, the way Jesus overcame the world wasby living a life without sin, dying for the sins of others, and rising from the dead.
That will do fine. Jesus overcame the normal course of the world by transferring the natural order of the world, the death of sinful humans, to himself, then not being held by death, the way all humans who died before him were. Jesus overcame the world.
How does this serve to take away our fear and make us overcome the world? Very simply, we who believe on Jesus are passive recipients of that transfer. The penalty for our sins has been transferred to Jesus and we become partakers of his resurrection. It’s nothing we do. It’s all about his work for us.
Would you like to overcome the world? Believe that Jesus has already done so for you. In the last day, even if you have no riches, even no clothes, no fulfilling and happy family, no dignity, even if you are deprived of physical life (as well expect at some time down the road), you also will overcome the world. This is God’s promise for you.
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