A Faith that Loves and Obeys – My Daily Bread!
Our call to hear the Word of the Lord is taken from the words of the Apostle John in 1 John 5: 1-4, NKJV, which reads:
“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves Him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.”
Lots of Christian discussion is had around overcoming the world, simply put this means living the victorious life in Christ as we walk daily in this life. But what are some of the key features of overcoming? Well John gives us some valuable clues in this passage.
The first key mentioned here is belief that Jesus is God’s Son. The second key is loving God and keeping His commandments. The third key is our faith.
Believing that Jesus is God’s redemptive provisions for mankind, the begotten of God, is all about acknowledging the identify of God. We cannot be confused on this point Saints. God is sovereign over all creation and we can only access Him and His grace through belief in Jesus Christ. “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4: 12, NKJV) Overcoming starts with belief!
Next is loving God and yes Saints, our fellow believers. Lots of people will tell you they have no trouble with Loving the Lord, but have a hard time seeing their fellow brothers and sisters in need of that same love. The Word tells us: “If someone says, ‘I love God’, and hates his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.” (John 4: 20-21, NKJV) We must have an unselfish love for one another that can only occur when we practice godly living and loving.
Next is keeping His commandments. Yes our obedience to God is critical to navigating this perilous world that we must overcome. Now this would not be attainable if all we had to rely on was ourselves. But thanks be to God that He has provided His Holy Spirit, the Comforter that allows us to have victory over even sin: “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” (Galatians 5: 16-17, NKJV) Obedience to Godly principles keeps us from sins that we may have cherished before we believed. The Apostle Paul, when speaking to the Jews about their sin of unbelief highlighted this point when he said: “let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12: 1, NKJV) Christ Jesus recognized that the most genuine act of love is obedience. “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.” (John 14, 21, NKJV)
And lastly we must live by faith! Faith is a sign of our new birth in Christ! How do we know this? Our key text above refers to anyone who believes in Christ as born of God. Since not all aspects of God’s plan in our lives is revealed to us at all times, faith covers the gap between the seen and the unseen. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 12:1, NKJV)
We thank God for the wisdom in John’s words of encouragement about overcoming the world. Ultimately, Saints, overcoming is about believing in God! Trusting that His plan is better than ours and having the courage to accept it; wholeheartedly committing ourselves to follow His Will for our lives. And the three keys of loving God and His people, godly obedience and having faith are manifestations of those ‘born of God’ – Victorious in Christ!
Copyright© 2011-2013 Colleen Holton All Rights Reserved.