The Victory That Overcomes the World
May 10, 2020

The Victory That Overcomes the World

Passage: 1 John 5:1-5
Service Type:

It’s a Stay at Home Weekend

When I was a teenager my brothers and I noticed a reoccurring phrase dad would use to communicate we were not going anywhere on the weekend “It’s a stay at home weekend” he would say. I see and hear the phrase “stay at home” now more than I ever cared for over the past two months. “Social Distancing” is a new phrase that has emerged. I have interpreted this phrase as “you better stay away from them people”. The “them” means anyone but you and your household. For me, one phrase is old and the other new. Neither phrase was common in popular culture until recently. Yet there are two common words that have emerged to the forefront of popular culture “faith and fear”. These two words are used a great deal in our everyday conversations because of life events, but now in the pandemic, they have gained more traction in social media, news, and conversations. It is because of this that I want to explore, expound, and even enjoy these words through scripture this morning. I have discovered whenever popular culture borrows biblical words and attempts to explain them context, definition, and power is lost. These two great words will become two drops of water in an endless ocean of social expressionless rhetoric and emotion if we allow them too. Yet they are not drops of water in the ocean of society but massive metros that have the power to awaken the apathetic masses of our day. Faith and Fear have the great ability to root us deeper in the grace of God, revive our faith, and give peace to our minds. We will now move forward in our preaching with the purpose of directing your mind toward God.

 

What Kind of Faith Conquers the World?

We live in a world that generates on us unseen pressure, conflict, temptation, temporal pleasure, worry, anxiety, depression, pain, and suffering. We know we are vulnerable and will die and this raw truth points us to the clock of life’s toil as we attempt to have some order, peace, and comfort in our short chaotic existence. These are fruits, which have sprung from the misery of not having peace with God. If you are in the labor of misery without peace know this only peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ will overcome the world. The unseen agony in your heart can only be conquered by faith and not will.

 

What then is Faith?

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Faith is then what we depend on, have confidence in, or rely upon. The faith that has and will continue to conquer this world of misery is the faith that counts on, depends upon, relies on, and has confidence that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who through His blood has granted us peace with God (Romans 5:1). Faith is relying on another. Your misery cannot be conquered with your wooden sword or paper airplane. Your works to achieve victory over sin, the Devil, hell, and misery in this world are children’s toys in real warfare.

The world that believers conquer is a world most miserable because of sin. The way we conquer, the only way, is relying upon the person and work of God’s Son.

 

Where Does Saving and Conquering Faith Come From?

(Ephesians 2:8) “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,”

 

Saving Faith is a gift from God. It is not something you can conjure up, but it is something you can react to. The gift of faith brings us to except God’s unmerited favor toward sinners through Jesus Christ. Nothing you have done or will do makes you “right” with God, but the gift faith can.

 

Faith Is Given to Us through the Word of God

(Romans 10:17) “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

 

“Before men can believe, there must be something for them to believe. That something is the word of God, which we preach and they hear.”-Ellicott-

 

Romans chapter 10 is a great call to believe upon the name of the Lord and be saved. But it begs to reason believe “what”? The answer is “the gospel”. How do people believe the gospel? They hear it from preachers. If you are wondering how some receive the gift of saving faith and others do not the answer is two-fold. Some never hear; the fault for this can be placed on the church who are afraid to do what it takes for the message to go to all people. Second, people hear the gospel but refuse to accept it. Faith is a gift given to us by preaching by preachers and hearing of listeners.

 

Conquering Faith Works

James 2:17 “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

 

Hebrews 11:33-39 “33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.

34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:

36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:

37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;

38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:”

 

Faith works. It is vibrant and active. Faith is opposed to apathy and laziness in the exercise of religion. Faith asks what to do and what does it take. Those with faith in the pandemic have asked what does it take to assemble again, What does it take to keep the message of Jesus out front, What can we do to help the each other, How can I pray, How can I hear the word of God, What needs to be given or done? Faith is vibrant and stands out as much as a living man does from a corpse. Faith caused Abraham to journey from home, Able to be slain, Noah to build an ark, Moses to free his people, Joshua to march around Jericho, Daniel to go to the lion's den, and Paul to count everything as dung. Faith leaves the meeting room and goes to work. Conquering faith shifts from neutral to drive. James would say “Jesus saw their faith” show me your faith with your endless planning, conversations, and excuses while I go conquer this miserable world through faith!

 

 

Conquering Faith Increases

Luke 17:5-10 “And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.

And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.

But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?

And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?

Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.

10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.”

The disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith. He first told them faith has atomic like power. It can move mountains and cast trees. Second, he goes to His playbook of parables and shows them faith increases when we realize and except day in and day in our service that God is not blessing us because what we have done, could do, or would do, but because He loves us and choose us. When we fully rely on God for everything we increase in joy and faith.

 

Conquering Faith, Saving Faith, Gives Birth to Fear

Hebrews 11:7 “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”

 

The modern idea of fear is one-sided. Faith is good fear is bad is the prevailing concept. Truthfully misplaced faith gives birth to misplaced fear. It needs to be clear that the proper equation toward deliverance, discipleship, and our eternal destination is found in biblical faith + biblical fear. There are unbiblical faith and fear that lead to distress, darkness, and eventually damnation. It is therefore of eternal importance we understand natural fear and faith as they are and biblical faith and fear as they are. Noah’s obedience to God had two parents Faith and Fear. Fear is proper respect for the majesty, power, and even danger of someone or something. C.S. Lewis described Aslan, the Jesus figure, in his book series the chronicles of Narnia like this ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King.”

 

Conquering faith is not the opposite of godly fear, but the parent of it. Our saving faith gives us the proper fear of God, which leads us to true worship through obedience.

 

 

Let Faith Have Its Way

Matthew 10:27-28

27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.

28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Where your faith is placed determines what your fear is. Our faith leads us to holy fear, which puts the world that now is and will come into proper context. Today I call on each of us to have faith in God, fear Him, and be obedient. May the Word of God dwell richly in you Amen.

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