1 John 5:4
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.
I. THE PERSONS to whom this victory belongs. He assigns it to those who are "born of God," and are "believers in Jesus Christ." Both descriptions apply to the same individuals.
1. Regeneration introduces us into the new world of grace — the Christian state. While such is the Christian's state, his distinguishing character is that of a believer in Jesus Christ.
2. Regeneration allies us more especially to the Father; faith to the Saviour.
3. Regeneration is the pledge of our victory over the world, and faith is the instrument of ejecting that victory.
II. CONSIDER THE VICTORY ITSELF.
1. Christians overcome the influence of the world as an example. The same passion which impels us to seek the society of others, impels us to adopt their habits and pursuits. And the same depravity which leads one class of men to set an evil example, leads another to copy and follow it. God, however, requires our imitation of others to cease whenever, by advancing, it would resist His will.
2. Christians overcome the spirit of the world as a guide. "Now," they say, "we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, by which we may know the things which are freely given to us of God."
3. Christians overcome the love of the world as a portion. Both their judgment and their taste respecting it are completely changed by regeneration and faith.
4. Christians overcome the fear of the world as an adversary. Born of God, they are under His special paternal protection; believing in Christ, they are strong in Him, and in the power of His might; hence the world has no more terrors than it has claims in their view.
5. Christians overcome the hope of the world as a recompense and a rest. Reducing to holy and habitual practice their belief of the shortness and uncertainty of life, and "knowing that they have in heaven a better and more enduring substance," they preserve a constant anticipation of death and eternity, and say, "I am ready to be offered, when the time of my departure is come."
Parallel VersesKJV: For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.