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Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.

Monday, April 19, 2010

We Shall Overcome!

I'm back! Thank you for missing the blogs and urging me to get started again. A hiatus of over two weeks.....too long! But, I want you to know I haven't been sitting around eating bon-bons; we've been busy beyond belief! Nothing gives me more joy than sharing God's word with anyone who is interested. First, He plants the desire in our heart, then He provides a variety of ways to study and get to know Him personally. And this is what a study of the Bible will do, lead you into a personal relationship with the God of the universe. How great is that? I thank the Lord for allowing me to have a tiny part in introducing you to Him!

Overcome - this word has an interesting background. It originally was a Persian word and meant 'pleasure garden', a place of bliss and rest between death and resurrection. In the Greek form, the word is nikao and it means to be victorious or to prevail. My friend Glenna reminded me that is why NIKE shoes chose this name. The shwoosh is a sign of victory!

According to Scripture, only those who 'overcome' (victorious) will spend eternity with the Lord. Eight times, I may have missed some, the Book of Revelation tells us we must overcome. Now this can be a bit scary! Our natural tendency is to take a look at ourselves to see if we're measuring up to God's standard of perfection. None of us do, NONE! We don't measure up and we can't measure up. There are none righteous, no not one...Rom. 3:10.

Therefore, God sent us a Savior and there is 'no condemnation' for those who are 'in Christ', (see Romans 8:1) which means.....believe that He paid the price for your imperfection and now you can stand fully forgiven and completely acceptable before God. The 'work' was done on the cross, and we now live by grace not works.

I can be lazy at times and resist work so the truth of Scripture really appeals to me. I don't need to work out my salvation, or work out my Christian life, I can just go 'work out' at L.A. Fitness and enjoy being 'in Christ' knowing everything is under His control. When I forget that, I'm stressed! There are so many things to get us upset in this world and God does remove spiritual peace from time to time. I think He does this so we can see how it feels to be 'worldly' as we rush back into His peace....Ephesians 2:14 - Jesus is our peace. You won't find it anyplace else.

Let's look at some of the Revelation verses that talk about overcoming....

*2:7 - 'To him who overcomes I will give the right to eat from the tree of life'

*2:11 - 'He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death' (1st death, physical, 2nd death - 'lake of fire' - you really want to be in the Book of Life! See Rev. 20: 14-15).

*2:26 - 'To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations....' Doing 'the will of God need not scare you as Scripture says the 'will' of God is that you believe in the One He sent - Jesus. There will come a time, it's called the 'millennium, when we will reign here on earth with the Lord, see Rev. 20: 4-6.

*3:5 - 'He who overcomes will be dressed in white' (white, sign of purity)

*3:12 - 'He who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God'

*3:21 - 'To him who overcomes I will give the right to sit with me on the throne'....WOW

*21:7 - 'He who overcomes will inherit all of this, and I will be his God and he will be my son'.

'All of this' is a gift through faith which He has freely given us!

How do we know if we are one who has overcome? I want to know that I am safely and securely in that group of 'overcomers'. The Lord has made His word very clear who these people are. Again, let's look to Scripture....

*I John 5: 4- 5 - "for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory (think Nike) that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that has overcome the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God".

*John 16:33 - "I have told you these things so that you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble (have you noticed that?). But take heart! I have overcome the world".

We may very well think, 'Well sure You have overcome the world, what about ME?' One of the names of Christ is 'Lamb of God'. We are assured in Revelation 17:14 that the Lamb will overcome and with Him will be "his called, chosen and faithful followers'. The Old Testament spoke often about the sacrifice of a 'sacrificial lamb' that was brought to the altar of the temple to atone (pay for) sin. Then, at the appointed time, Jesus came into the world as the 'Lamb of God' to atone for our sins. This was planned and purposed by God from the beginning. Rev. 13:8 says so clearly that the Lamb was slain from the creation of the world. You may ask, what if Adam and Eve had made the 'right' choice and obeyed God and not eaten from the tree of knowledge of good and evil? Does that mean that Christ could have been slain for nothing? Or, does that mean that God had determined a plan of redemption which included the shedding of the Lamb's blood so that ultimately His Son Jesus would be glorified? Ruminate on this.

Bottom line - if you are a believer, you have overcome because you are 'in Christ', and that's the only reason, nothing else matters. Look at Galatians 2:20 which says,"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me". We ourselves don't overcome anything but we are protected by the One who has overcome everything and sits on the throne! Amen! This is a difficult concept I know and only the Lord can make it 'real' to you personally.

If you know this truth, hallelulah! As far as teaching it to others, be patient and loving as you remember that 'no one can come unless the Father has enabled him'...John 6: 65. Pray that the Lord will shine His light on them. It's the only way we can see spiritual truth. There isn't much use in debating. Trying to convince someone by using human logic isn't meaningful, however direct them to the Bible. Simply opening a Bible has tremendous power. Your words can never have the impact that His Words have!

Now I'm going to put on my Nike's and take a victorious walk around the neighborhood.....you may never look at your Nike's in the same way! Thank you Lord that I always have victory in you!