Victorious Life in Christ
1 Jn. 5:1-5
Once more John writes about faith and love in which the Lord Jesus Christ is the object. He now tells about victorious life in Christ by those who truly believe Him. The word “whosoever” is mentioned. It is a universal word which gives no distinction to people. Anyone can come to Christ, rich, poor, young, old, strong, week, beautiful, not so beautiful, black, white, red, brown, yellow. In other words, all kinds of people nations, and tongues. The word “whatsoever” in verse 4 seems to imply the whole body of believers who despite of the opposition of Satan and his demons, will triumph and will have the final victory with Christ.
I. Salvation through Christ (1 Jn. 5:1-2).
A. Scripturally speaking, salvation can only be found in Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12, Phil. 2:9-11).
B. One must believe that Jesus is the Christ. This is where your faith stands or falls.
C. In our text, John used both Jesus and Christ when he talks of real salvation.
D. Jesus is a name but Christ is a title.
E. “Jesus” is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word meaning Savior (Mt 1:21). “Christ” is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word Messiah, meaning anointed, and refers to Jesus as the Messiah promised in O.T. Scripture (Dan. 9:25-26; Jn. 1:41; 4:25; Acts 2:36).
F. The word “believeth” in Greek means to have faith in a person; to entrust one’s spiritual well-being, believe, trust, commit ourselves to Christ.
G. Many believes that Jesus lived and died two thousand years ago as written in history books. It is called intellectual faith. They never acknowledge Him as the true God and Saviour from their sins. This kind of faith can never save anyone. It is a dead faith.
H. There is what we call saving faith. It is belief that Jesus is the Christ of God, the anointed one, the Saviour who came and died to take away the sins of the whole world.
I. To believe in Christ is to trust Him, to have faith in Him.
J. Scriptural faith is the same as or synonymous with receiving Christ. Receiving Him requires the opening of one’s heart and letting Him in (Rev. 3:20). Any person who does this is saved from eternal damnation.
K. Look and sounds easy isn’t it? But before you can do that, you must:
1. Admit you are a sinner (Rom. 3:10, Rom. 3:23)
2. Acknowledge that you cannot save yourself by your good works (Eph. 2:8,9. Isa. 64:6)
3. Repent from your sins (Acts 17:30, Lk. 13:3).
4. Believe and invite Christ into your heart (Jn. 1:12, Rom. 10:9)
L. Salvation is the free gift of God’s eternal blessing through the atonement of Jesus Christ. It is offered to all who will believe on Christ (Rom. 1:16-17; 3:22-30; 4:3-8,24; 10:8-13). It is through faith alone and grace alone, not by any admixture of grace and law, faith and works (Rom. 4:13-16; 11:6).
M. The last part of verse 1 which says “every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him” can be expressed in simple term, “if you love the Saviour, you will also love those people whom He died”
N. Our love for fellow believers is a proof that we love God. Our love to God is the cause why we love his children, and our keeping the commandments of God is the proof that we love him. (1 Jn. 5:2).
Illustration 1: Atlantic Crossing
Imagine a ship filled with people crossing the Atlantic. In the middle of the ocean there is an explosion. The ship is severely damaged and slowly sinking. Most are dead, and the rest are rushing for the lifeboats. Now suppose one man doesn’t know about the lifeboat, so he does not get aboard.
He doesn’t have knowledge, so he is not saved. Suppose another man knows about the lifeboat and believes it will save his life, but he is grief-stricken over seeing his wife killed, so he chooses not to get aboard and dies with his wife. He has knowledge and mental assent, but he is not saved. Others believe the lifeboat will save them, and they get into the boat. They are saved by faith, that is they have knowledge, mental assent, and trust. However, it is not their faith that saves them—no matter how much they have. It is the boat. Saving faith trusts Christ, and Christ saves.
Evangelism, A Biblical Approach, M. Cocoris, Moody, 1984, p. 77.
II. Keep His Commandments (1 Jn. 5:2b, 3)
A. The Bible says “keep His commandments”. To keep means to fulfil a command, to hold fast, to continue having, to be faithful, to continue without interruption.
B. We must continue following God’s commands. For me keeping God’s command is almost the same as obeying God’s commands.
C. What does it mean to love God? It means to obey His commands. Love in this Epistle is not just emotional or warm feelings about someone. It is shown by total, complete, absolute, all out obedience to God and His Word. (Jn. 14:15, 23,24).
D. The simplest definition of love for God is obedience. Verse 3 tells us that His commandments are not grievous.
1. The basic meaning is, His commands are not hard to follow.
2. In Matt. 11:30, His yoke is easy and His burden is light. The responsibility of
keeping or obeying are not heavy to the believer who has been freed by God’s
grace, because he loves to obey His Lord. (Rom. 8:1-4).
3. It would be heavy or burdensome to those who are still trying to obey the Laws of Moses or are disobedient.
E. Obedience is a must because the cost of obedience is nothing compared with the cost of disobedience.
F. Instant obedience is the only kind of obedience there is; delayed obedience is disobedience. Whoever strives to withdraw from obedience, withdraws from Grace. – Thomas a Kempis
G. There are other things that we must keep:
1. Keep the sayings of Christ. Jn. 8:51–52.
2. Keep the commandments of Christ. Jn. 14:15
3. Keep the unity of the spirit. Eph. 4:3
4. Keep unspotted from the world. Jas 1:27
5. Keep in the love of God. Jude 21
6. Keep the faith. 2 Tim. 4:7
7. Keep yourself from idols. 1 Jn. 5:21
8. Keep the heart diligently. Prov. 4:23
Illustration 2: Blessing Through Obedience
The doctor demands entire obedience from his patient in all that pertains to medicine, diet, rest, exercise, etc. The patient’s friends may wish for him to take a little of this or a little of that, and the patient himself may wish it, but the doctor’s orders override these. Why? Not because the doctor loves to lord it over people, but his care for his patient’s health demands it, and the more he cares for them the more relentless will he be. All our Lord’s orders for us are doctor’s orders, the orders of the great physician to whom our soul’s health is His supreme desire. It is Divinest love speaking in the imperative mood and saying, “Thou shalt not,” and giving the reason “Do thyself no harm.”
( Practical Bible Illustrations from Yesterday and Today.)
III. Overcoming the World (1 Jn. 5:4-5)
A. Those who are born into God’s family are victors over the evil world system
B. The world system can be summarized in four words: money, fame, power, pleasure.
1. Money – the world system is driven by money; it feeds on materialism.
2. Fame – another word for popularity. Fame is the longing to be known, to be
somebody in someone else’s eyes.
3. Power – having influence, maintaining control over individuals or groups or
companies or whatever. It is the desire to manipulate and manoeuvre others to
do something for one’s own benefit.
4. Pleasure – pleasure has to do with fulfilling one’s sensual desires. It’s the same mindset that’s behind the slogan: “If it feels good, do it.”
C. How can the children of God be victors? Through faith in the real Victor, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We share the victory He already has won for us on the cross. (Rom. 8:37, Jn. 16:33).
D. Through Christ we can have victory over the following:
1. Over evil influences of men. (Ps. 44:5)
2. Over malign spiritual forces. (Lk. 10:19)
3. Over severest afflictions. (Rom. 8:35, 37)
4. Over worldly allurements. (1 Jn. 5:4)
5. Over all satanic powers. (Rev. 15:2). (Thompson Chain Reference Bible)
E. Blessings of the Overcomers:
1. They will be clothed in the white raiment, their names will not be blotted out in the book of life, and Christ will confess their names. (Rev. 3:5)
2. They will become a pillar in the temple of God and be given three great names. (Rev. 3:12).
3. They will be granted power over the nations. (Rev. 2:26).
4. Enjoy the tree of life. (Rev. 2:7).
5. Not be hurt of the second death. (Rev. 2:11).
6. Sit with Christ on His throne. (Rev. 3:21).
F. In practice we are to overcome evil with good. (Rom. 12:21).
G. In principle we have overcome evil. (1 John 2:13-14).
Illustration 3: Jesus Is Going to Win
Vernon Grounds tells of an incident that happened while he was in seminary. Since the school had no gymnasium, he and his friends played basketball in a nearby public school. Nearby, an elderly janitor waited patiently until the seminarians finished playing. Invariably he sat there reading his Bible. One day my friend asked him what he was reading. The man answered, ‘The book of Revelation.’ Surprised, my friend asked if he understood it. ‘Oh, yes,’ the man assured him. `I understand it.’ ‘What does it mean?’ Quietly the janitor answered, `It means that Jesus is going to win.’”
Grounds concludes, “That’s the best commentary I have ever heard on that book. Jesus is going to win. That’s the Biblical mind-set.” anonymous.
Only Christ can save us from the fires of hell. It’s our responsibility to keep and obey His commandments for that is how we can show that we love Him. We can live victoriously through our faith in the real Victor, Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Repent from your sins now and put your trust in Him. It’s the wisest decision you can do.