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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

OVERCOMING THE WORLD

1 Johnb 5:1-5 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth Him that begat, loveth Him also that 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 grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

Every man and woman that has been, or ever will be, begotten by the Creator, the God of heaven and earth, is required to love His Son, Jesus Christ, in order to have the hope of eternal salvation. How do we know this? Because only those that believe that Jesus is the Christ is born of God,and only those that are born ofGod are His children, and only His children are given the hope of an eternal home in heaven. A thorough study of the conversions to Christ found in the Acts of the Apostles, assures us that, in order to become a child of God, this belief in Jesus Christ, as His Son, must be freely accepted into one's heart, openly confessed before others, made perfect through repentance and baptism into His body, for the remission of sins, and confirmed by a life of obedient faith thereafter.

Verse 1, of the lesson text, is further explained by the commentary of verse 2, which says: By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His commandments.Loving God and keeping His commandments is proof to ourselves, and to all others that witness our conduct of life, that we are His children. And one of the two great commandments of God given to us by His Son, Jesus Christ, was that we must love thy neithbor as thyself (See Matt. 22:37-40). Our lesson text then proceeds to say, For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous.

Seeking eternal salvation requires that we faithfully keep the will of our heavenly Father. With life eternal as our goal, and ever present in our thoughts, obedience to the will of God becomes, not only a necessity, but a pleasant, enjoyable duty that is never burdensome. Although it is a lengthy quotation, notice how the Psalmist David considered God's law as desirable, precious, and worthy of keeping: The law of the Lord is pervect, converting the soul: the testamony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandments of the Lord are pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Morover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward (Psalm 19:7-11).

Those that believe Jesus to be the Son of God, and obey His commandments, are born of God.They become Christians, followers of Christ, and they are added to His church, the church of Christ. They follow Christ by obeying His teaching, and the teaching of His disciples, who were inspired by the Holy Spirit sent by God to direct the teaching of His gospel message to all the world. They also emulate His conduct and accept, as their own, the characteristics that governed His life on earth. And this is the assurance that He gives all His followers: In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33). By this, Jesus tells us that we, too, are able to overcome the world. With this in mind, we understand, and accept, the teaching of John in the lesson text, which reads: For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

By accepting the complete will of God, and His perfect love, Christians are freed from the bondage of sin. We are not ruled by the dictates, customs, and false religious doctrines, that are originated in the minds of men, and that are so prevalent in the world around us today. To His children, God gives the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:57). Read chapters 2 and 3 of the book of The Revelation of John. To each of the seven churches of Asia, God promises eternal salvation to all that overcomeththe sinful nature of the world. The Christians of these cities are our example of God's desire to save His children. Overcoming the world is promised to all that give themselves to the service of God, and to His Son, Jesus Christ.