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Thursday, December 1, 2011

What We Believe Does Matter

1 John 5:4-5, 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? NKJV

As children of God, who have been redeemed and made alive unto God in Christ, we must see ourselves as more than conquerors in every situation. Please note that it doesn't mean you will win every conflict or sail through every trial without hurt or loss. Remember the Words of Jesus in John 16: 33, "In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world." The key in this verse isn't about how well we will fare in this world of hardship and heartbreak; it is in knowing that, through Christ, we have the power to overcome any obstacle, weapon, or offense formed against us. Consequently, we learn to never lose sight that we have already obtained the victory in Jesus.

According to John 3: 16, if we believe in Jesus as the only-begotten Son of God, we have eternal life. This foundational truth gives our heart and soul the assurance that when this life is over, we will bypass death, hell, and the grave. Since we have this hope concerning our eternal existence, we also have hope that no weapon formed against us in this present life will be able to separate us from the hope that we have in Christ. 

Preachers and Christians alike seem to focus primarily on the subject of the eternal. However, today, I want to point out that Jesus includes our trials and tribulations in the victory that we have in Him while remaining in this world. If we believe that we are truly born again, then we will view ourselves as more than conquerors through Christ, who gave Himself for us. Jesus doesn't just want us to know that we have victory as God's children in the after-life; He also wants us to utilize the hope and comfort His has provided in order to strengthen and sustain us while we must live in the "nasty now-and-now". 

Proverbs 23 tells us, as a man thinks or believes in his heart, so is he. Therefore, what we believe, and what we hold to be true in our hearts will affect our existence both today and tomorrow. We must see salvation as more than eternal life with God, and begin to embrace the truth which Jesus declared to us in today's passage: in Him, we have victory over the world and its tribulation. If we fail to see the connection between eternal life in Christ and in the victory we possess in order to live in this corrupt world as more than conquerors, we can take on a victim mindset, and then become open to an offense against God...the very One who saved us while we were yet sinners.

We can now see more clearly how our beliefs directly affect our attitudes as believers. If we don't see ourselves as "saved and victorious," then we can become weak in our faith and allow doubt to influence our point-of-view. Consequently, our Christian witness will be adversely affected. When the Holy Spirit saved us from the "old man," He did more than just give us victory for eternity. Through our salvation, we also have been given the victory that we need to overcome this world and to live victoriously. It is up to us to decide. The Lord told Israel through Moses, "Today, I set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, therefore, CHOOSE life, that both, you and your seed may live." 

We have the faith, but we must put our faith to work. Through the Word of God, we can activate and implement our faith to overcome this world and its problems.

More Than a Conqueror in Christ,
Pastor Asa Dockery

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