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Sermon #50 — 1st John Series


            Title:               “The Victory”


      Text:                      1 John 5:4

            Subject:         Warfare with the World

      Date:                    Tuesday Evening — December 10, 2013

      Recording#         1st John #50

      Readings:                       Bob Poncer and Bobbie Estes



Nothing is more dangerous to the souls of men than the love of the world. Nothing more effectually chokes out the influence of the gospel in a person’s heart than the cares of this world. Nothing is more difficult to avoid than an undue attachment to this world. Therefore God the Holy Ghost inspired his servant John to write — Love not the world (1 John 2:15). Those four words ought to be emblazoned upon our hearts as a beacon, constantly warning us of danger. — Love not the world!


Just a Bubble


This world and all that it offers is no more than a bubble that must soon burst. Your money, your farms, your houses, your influence, your families, everything here is temporary. It will all vanish away. We laugh at the small child who cries when the bubbles he is playing with burst. But, for a rational man to be so attached to a bubble is a horribly irrational thing.


Are we God’s children? Are we risen with Christ? Do we live in the hope of eternal glory? Then let us count this world a dead thing to us. Live no longer for this world. Set your heart on things above. Live above this pile of rubbish that must soon burn. Live to do the will of God, seek the glory of God, further the gospel of the grace of God, and serve the people of God. Quit seeking those things for which unbelieving men live; and seek those things which are above: life, immortality, and glory. “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” May the Lord God graciously burn these words into your heart and mine — Love not the world!




Be sure, O my soul, that you do not love the world. — “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Do not allow your heart to become fondly attached to this world, neither its people nor its pleasures, neither its fame nor its fortunes, neither its success nor its security. — Love not the world.” It is perishing. Everything in it is marked for destruction. But “Set your affection on things above,” even Jesus Christ and the riches of glory and grace in him.


Worldliness is an undue attachment to this world. It is living for this world, its riches, its honor, its joys and its cares. It is living by the principles of this world: greed, covetousness, deceit, and lasciviousness. Godliness is living for God. It is living as unto the Lord, for his honor and glory. It is living by love and faith toward God as he is revealed in Christ. Godliness is living in submission to the Lord our God.


Are you a worldly person, one who lives for this world? If so, you will surely perish with this world. Are you a godly person, one who lives by the grace of God and for the glory of God? If so, you will live for all eternity in the bliss of Christ’s heavenly kingdom.


With that as the background, I want you to open your Bibles to 1st John 5:4. Having urged us to live for Christ and put the world out of our hearts, then assuring us that obedience to our God and Savior is not grievous, the Apostle John was inspired of God to tell us why his commandments are not grievous. It is because of…

·      A Great Birth,

·      A Great Victory, and

·      A Great Gift.


1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.


The World


But what is this “world” that we must overcome? Didn’t God make the world and seeing everything that he had made, declare “behold, it was very good”? He did indeed; but, after sin entered this world, men came under its power, and now “the world” is all mankind who remain under the power of sin and are the enemies to God.


The world” is the whole corrupt mass of fallen humanity out of which God takes a people whom he has chosen for himself and redeemed by the precious blood of his darling Son, a people he quickens by his Spirit, and whose business it is to overcome the world.


Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.


In League with Hell


The world is in league with hell. Since the fall of our race in the garden it always has been and always will be, until God our Savior makes all things new.

  • Its’ wisdom is foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:20-21).
  • Its’ morality is filth (1 Corinthians 4:13).
  • Its’ course is rebellion (Ephesians 2:2).
  • Its’ light is darkness (Ephesians 6:12).
  • Its’ religion is its’ corruption and its’sorrow (2 Peter 1:4; 2 Corinthians 7:10).
  • Its’ religious rituals, ceremonies, and services are pollutions (2 Peter 2:20).
  • The whole world is deceived by Satan (Revelation 12:9).
  • To be the friend of the world (Its’ People — Its’ Religion — Its’ Philosophy) is to be the enemy of God.

God’s chosen, redeemed, called ones, God’s saints, God’s elect, all who are born of God, all who trust Christ find that the world — the power of evil — wars against them and they must war against it.


Proposition: But in our text, God the Holy Ghost assures us, that though the battle may be long, conquest is certain.


1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.


Demas, because he loved the world, forsook the faith. Noah, because he believed God, by his faith condemned the world.



1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.


Divisions: Here is…

  • A Great Birth,
  • A Great Victory, and
  • A Great Gift.


A Great Birth


Here is a great birth: — “Whatsoever is born of God.” Obviously, John is talking about the heaven-born soul, the child of God, the new creature, the creation of grace. O my soul, what a birth we have!

  • Born of God!
  • Born from Above!
  • Born of the Spirit!
  • New Creatures!
  • Partakers of the Divine Nature!
  • All of Grace! —— “Is born (passive) of God


John 3:1-8 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: (2) The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. (3) Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (4) Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? (5) Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (7) Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (8) The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.


A Great Victory


Here is a great birth: — “Born of God.Secondly, here is a great victory: — “Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world.” This is an ongoing victory. — “Overcometh” is in the present tense. An ongoing victory implies an ongoing conflict, an ongoing struggle, and ongoing warfare.


So long as we are in this world we must endure the assaults of the world. Both collectively and personally, God’s saints in this world are under constant assault by the world.

  • Seeking to Impose its’ Customs
  • Trying to Compel Compromise with Babylon — Its’ Religion
  • Accusing the Faithful of Bigotry
  • Pretending to Approve of Our Faith — (Madam Bubble has a beguiling smile.)
  • Enticing us to Follow Its’ Ways — Greed and Filth!


While we live in this world, children of God, we must constantly look upon the world as a thing dead to us and to which we are dead (Galatians 6:14).

  • I am crucified to the world.
  • The world is crucified to me.
  • That means the world should have no influence on my mind.
  • That means the world has nothing for my heart.
  • That means the world should matter no more to me than I matter to the world.


Yet, we are to be constantly assaulting the world, to conquer it.

  • Not by the Sword!
  • Not by Politics!
  • Not by Legislation!
  • But by The Gospel.


2 Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (4) (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) (5) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.


Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.


Here is a great birth: — “Born of God!

Here is a great victory: — “Overcometh the World!” The Church of God keeps on conquering the world. We always win. We never lose. We always gain ground. We never give any. We never lose a battle, or even a skirmish!


A Great Gift


Third, here is a great gift. —“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” You are all familiar with the Nike brand and its’ swoosh emblem. Now I have no idea where the company came up with that logo; but I do know where the name “Nike” came from. “Nike” (nee-kay) is the Greek word that is here translated “victory.” In fact, this is the only place in the Bible where this precise word is used. The words translated “overcometh” in 1st John 4 are variations of this word; but the precise word is only used once. Notice John’s language. —— “Whatsoever is born of God keeps on conquering the world: and this is the conquest by which we have conquered the world, even our faith.” — The second time John uses the world translated “overcometh” he uses the past (aorist). We are overcoming the world because we have overcome the world; and the means (the victory, the nike) by which we have overcome and are overcoming, and shall overcome the world is our faith.

  • We conquered the world with Christ, in union with him at Calvary.
  • We conquered the world by faith, when God gave us life and faith in Christ. — Overcoming all the powers of the flesh, the world, and hell, we came to Christ by God’s gift of faith! — Ye have overcome the wicked one (1 John 2:13).
  • We now conquer the world by faith in Christ.
  • We shall conquer the world by faith in Christ. — By Our Faith in Him! — By the Doctrine of Faith (The Gospel!)


O what a great gift the gift of faith is!


O gift of gifts! O grace of faith!

My God, how can it be

That Thou, who hast discerning love,

Shouldst give that gift to me?


Ah, grace, into unlikeliest hearts

It is thy boast to come;

The glory of thy light to find

In darkest spots a home.


How can they live, how will they die,

How bear the cross of grief,

Who have not yet the gift of faith,

Who do not Christ believe?


The crowd of cares, the weightiest cross,

Seem trifles less than light;

Earth looks so little and so low

When faith looks up to Christ.


O happy, happy, blest I am,

By God’s great gift of faith!

The conquering victory of life,

What shall it be in death?


An old writer said, “Faith is the foot of the soul; so it comes to Christ. Faith is the hand of the soul; so it receives Christ. Faith is the arm of the soul; so it embraces Christ. Faith is the eye of the soul; so it looks upon Christ. Faith is the mouth of the soul; so it feeds on Christ. Faith is the lips of the soul; so it kisses Christ.”


Faith is Precious. — It is indescribably precious. With faith, nothing is impossible. It is the hand that takes with firm, unfailing grip the faithful promises of the God of salvation.


The fruits of faith are precious. By it we are justified (Romans 5. 1), sanctified (Acts 26. 18). It is by faith we “live” (Romans 1. 17), “stand” (Romans 11. 20), “walk” (2 Corinthians 5. 7), “wait” (Galatians 5. 5).


Faith in Christ is a soul-revolutionizing gift of grace, involving the surrender of the will and life to the rule of Christ and his Word of God.


Faith is precious because it pleases God; and without faith it is impossible to please him.


Faith is Growing. — Paul commended the Thessalonians because their “faith grew exceedingly.” Faith cannot but grow when there is a growing knowledge of God, and of the fulness and faithfulness of His Word. Faith, like love, will not be driven or forced, it must be led and inspired. Paul speaks in Romans 3:3 of “faith of God.” The “faith of God” is God’s faith in his own Word and work, God’s faith in his dear Son, our Surety (Ephesians 1:12). He shall not be discouraged. His Word shall not return to him void, as having missed the mark. His will shall be accomplished. His purpose shall be done!


Faith shall be Triumphant. — “This is the victory that overcometh the world even our faith” (1 John 5. 4). By faith we overcome the world…

·      Like ENOCH, being translated out of it into the Kingdom of God’s dear Son (Hebrews 11. 4) 3.

·      Like ABRAHAM, obeying God’s call, and following him (Hebrews 11. 8).

·      Like MOSES, refusing to be called the son of the world, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God (Hebrews 11. 24-27).

·      Like JOSHUA, conquering Jericho (Hebrews 11. 30).

·      Like GIDEON and DAVID, by subduing kingdoms and obtaining promises (Hebrews 11. 32, 33).


These all obtained a good report through faith. — “Said I not unto thee, that if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God.”

·      Believe God, my friend and conquer death, hell, the grave, and the world this very hour!

·      Believe God, my sister, and overcome the world!

·      Believe God, my brother, and overcome the world!

·      Believe God, preacher, and overcome the world!

·      Believe God, Church of God, and overcome the world!


1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.


·      A Great Birth!

·      A Great Victory!

·      A Great Gift!





Don Fortner








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