“…But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33b NLT)
John Piper said: “You cannot know what prayer is for, until you know that life is war.” Neither can you know how valuable and profoundly important it is that Jesus has overcome the world, until you know that being a believer in Jesus is a declaration of war against Satan.
When Satan was tempting Jesus, the souls of all mankind hung in the balance. Had Jesus succumbed to Satan’s tempting offers, we would have no Savior! Do you remember what the context of the whole framework of Jesus’ temptation hinged upon? Worship!
Luke 4:5-8 says: “Then the devil took Him up and revealed to Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. ‘I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them.’ The devil said, ‘because they are mine to give to anyone I please. I will give it all to you if you will WORSHIP ME.’ Jesus replied, ‘The Scriptures say, “You must worship the Lord your God and serve ONLY HIM.””
We live in the tension created by the ongoing battle between these two kingdoms – the Kingdom of God, ruled by God, and the kingdoms of this world, ruled by Satan. Satan understands he’s a defeated foe and he’ll use any means at his disposal to “kill and steal and destroy” (John 10:10) anyone who refuses to bow down and worship him. And please understand – to not worship Jesus is to worship Satan! To not submit your life to Jesus is to accept and be motivated by the authority of the evil one. Yes, Satan can be very subtle.
Anyone born of the seed of Adam is, by default, a child of the evil one. We are not, as is commonly misunderstood, children of God by creation. Only Jesus, born of a virgin who carried the seed of God, is truly a “Child of God.” The only possible way to become a child of God is to be born again by the Spirit of God (John 3:7).
Until Jesus, the Messiah, our Deliverer came to earth, and voluntarily laid down His sinless life as the sacrificial Lamb of God who took upon Himself the sins of all who would one day yield their life and allegiance to Him, there was no hope of eternal life. And from the Cross Jesus declared once and for all that Satan no longer had any claim on those who would place their trust in Jesus. To believe we, as God’s children, can coast through life without feeling the effects of Satan’s outrage is to believe a lie, which is among Satan’s favorite tools.
But we must also never forget the words of 1 John 4:4: “But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people (who are not of God) because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” When the Bible says that Jesus has overcome the world it means that Jesus has conquered, prevailed, that He is once and for all eternity victorious over Satan and his emissaries. It means sin’s case against you has been settled and, because of Jesus, you have won!
But it also means you must be vigilant as you walk the pathways of this world. Satan may know he’s defeated, but he wants to take as many to hell with him as possible. Peter reminds us: “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)
In any war there are casualties. May I remind you that no one escapes this life alive without Jesus. Until He comes, we must warn everyone we know that the end is near and the only answer to our sin is a Savior. His name is Jesus! Share Him with everyone you can, as often as you can, for as long as you can!
Blessings, Ed 😊