1 John 5:1-5


God intends for Christians to view ourselves as victors and not victims as we overcome the attempts of this world to defeat us. In Greek, the word for “overcome” is Nike, which means to prevail or to be victorious. We have been given the position of victory because of our relationship with Christ. The position, however, is not all we need. We have the responsibility to live out what has been given to us. If we fulfill our responsibility, we can be assured we will prevail. To experience this promised victory, we need something to overcome, and that something is the world. The world is a system controlled by Satan that attempts to put us in a perpetual state of defeat. What God has granted us is designed to override Satan and the world. If we are His children, we will win: “…whatever is born of God overcomes the world” (1 John 5:4a).

Three things give Christians the power to overcome. The first is the power of the blood of Christ, which is our spiritual connection to Him. Our relationship with Jesus empowers us to conquer the world, the devil, and sin. The second thing is a public confession of Christ. We must be willing to be identified with Him to become the overcomers we have been created to be. The third thing is our commitment to Christ. By yielding our lives daily to Christ, we will find the power to have victory, no matter what we face.

To make the shift from victims to victors, Christians need to practice overcoming. We practice by loving one another. Love means sacrificing our selfish desires to serve the needs of others, which helps us fight against the self-centered, prideful pattern of the world. Most importantly, we must love and obey God. Victory requires us to be aligned with God’s commands in Scripture. To practice overcoming, we must also have a vibrant faith in Christ: “…this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4b). When these three things are taking place—loving others, loving and obeying God, and having a vibrant faith—the seeds of overcoming begin to grow. In time, we will find ourselves more on the side of victory than victimhood.

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Getting Started

  1. Why do you think the company Blue Ribbon Sports was renamed Nike? What does Nike signify?
  2. What does being a victim mean to you and our culture today? Is it a good or a bad thing?

Let’s Get Personal

  1. How has the world attempted to keep you in defeat? When have you prevailed against the world?
  2. Why is a public confession of Christ important to being an overcomer? Have you ever been afraid or unwilling to confess Christ publicly?
  3. What is your current level of commitment to Christ? If you were to evaluate whether you are yielding daily to Christ, what rating would you give yourself?

Take the Next Step

  1. Where are you lacking in love for others and obedience to God? How can you obey God this week by showing love to those around you?
  2. How would you describe your faith in Christ recently, and how would others describe your faith? Would they use words like vibrant and strong or halfhearted and weak? What can you begin to do this week to strengthen your faith?
  3. Want to go deeper? Take time to look at the following passages: 1 John 5:1-5; Revelation 12:10-11; John 16:33; Romans 8:33-39; Revelation 17:14; 1 Corinthians 15:54-57; 2 Corinthians 1:3-11; 2 Corinthians 4:7-11.

Renew Your Mind

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”

1 John 5:4