Read 1 John 5
Several times throughout this writing, John has talked about overcoming the world. Whenever he says this, though, it doesn’t come in the context of us opposing the world through our own strength. The victory that we have is and always will be in Jesus Christ alone. Our victory is founded in His victory over sin and death and, like we are raised with Him, we will also dwell with Him when He returns.
While this may seem a somewhat obvious reality for us, far too often we forget the primary place this needs to hold in our lives. We like to claim that Jesus is Lord, but then we look to our government to protect us and provide for us. Christians in the U.S. have created lobbying groups and other governmental entities to further advance a political agenda, rather than following the Gospel message to love those around us. We try to overcome the world politically when the words of Scripture clearly point to Jesus Christ dwelling in us as the only way this could happen.
We worry and fret about the loss of religious freedom in this country, thinking that if we can’t gather on Sunday mornings all will be lost. Our government makes decisions that are contrary to what we see as morally right, “Christian principles” that we read out of Scripture and are surprised. None of this, the moral decline or the repressing of the Gospel should be surprising, though. Christ Himself said that we shouldn’t be surprised by this but to take heart because they hated Him before they hated us.
He also reassures us, “Take heart for I have overcome the world.” John writes that when Christ dwells in us, we have a strength greater than the world’s power and we too can not only resist the temptations of this world but overcome them by “the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony” as John will testify to in the book of revelation.