"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 NKJV
I love studying the meanings of the original Greek and Hebrew words because there are a lot more English words. Fewer Greek and Hebraic words means that each word in those languages typically carried much more meaning than could be captured in a single English word. Let's take 1 John 5:4 for example using excerpts from the Strongs Concordance. The word translated "born" means to procreate, arise, to give birth and bring forth. The word translated "overcomes" comes from the Greek word "nikao" whose root is "Nike." Sound familiar?
Nike means victory. Nikao means to conquer, prevail, and get the victory like in a war, a sports contest or when one goes to law to win a case or to maintain one's cause. Here's another way to look at 1 John 5:4.
For whatever is procreated... comes forth... arises... from God... overcomes... conquers, prevails and wins the legal case. This is the "nike" (victory) that has "nikao" (overcome) the "kosmos" (world; the orderly arrangement, constitution or government of men alienated from God) even our faith.
Faith (pistis: moral conviction, truthfulness of God, assurance, fidelity, belief and conviction) is the key to overcoming all the world has to throw at you. And, there are great eternal rewards for exercising your faith to overcome the world.
So what are the rewards for overcomers?
Eternal Rewards for Overcomers
Jesus had a lot to say about the rewards for overcomers in Revelation 2 and 3. Jesus said for he who overcomes:
Last week we learned in "Faith Endurance and Trials" how patient endurance is one of the keys in overcoming and obtaining the promises of God. The question is how do we endure patiently? Trust me, it is not a passive acceptance.
How do we Overcome?
Revelation 12:11 tells us that we overcome by:
We have to accept what Christ did for us on the cross. The shedding of His blood paid the price for our sin which separated us from God. It empowered us to come boldly before God's throne of grace to find mercy and grace to help in time of need (Heb. 4:16). So we can plead our case before God seeking a verdict in our favor. Then we have to line our words up with God's word and His decision and declare the truth. We need to hold fast and declare that truth even to the point of death.... like Jesus.
The only way to do this is to have strong moral conviction that God's word is true. Therefore nothing can cause us to abandon God's word for us, not even death. The death of our reputation, the death of our dreams or even physical death. Nothing can separate us from God's love. This is the key to overcoming.
I did not say it would be easy, but it seems to me the eternal rewards sure make it worth it, don't you think?