Living an Overcoming Life
We believe the Bible instructs the Spirit-filled believer on how to live an overcoming life
Peter the Apostle wrote to the Church and reminded them they had been given “…all things that pertain unto life and godliness…” (2 Peter 1:3). The instructions given in the New Testament to the Church are different in expectation to those given in the Old Testament (e.g. the Ten Commandments). Under the Old Testament, the expectation was that no-one would be able to live up to God’s ways. That they would continually be coming back seeking forgiveness for failures: “For the law, being only a reflection of the blessings to come and not their substance, can never, by the same sacrifices repeatedly offered year after year, make those who come near perfect” (Hebrews 10:1 ISV).
Under the New Testament, with a Church comprised of Spirit-filled believers, the expectation is flipped the other way.
this is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts and will write them on their minds (Hebrews 10:16 ISV)
We have a new type of person come into view: the Spirit-filled overcomer.
In Revelation in the Bible we read of many trials and troubles for those in the Church. In each case, the promises are aimed at the overcomer. The one who takes God at His word and, empowered by the Holy Spirit, lives a new and righteous life.
The new life
The new life given to those who have been filled with the Holy Spirit is one where internal and external challenges are met with a desire to be right. Coupled with faith and the power required to make that a reality, leads to overcoming.
Paul the Apostle encouraged his many converts in the church assemblies to whom he wrote:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things (Philippians 4:8 NIV)
… sound doctrine… temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith… reverent… not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good… self-controlled and pure… an example by doing what is good… not to steal… say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and… live self-controlled, upright and godly lives (Titus 2:1-12 NIV)
…holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord… (Hebrews 12:14)
But what if I sin again?
Rather than the expectation of failure in the Old Testament, believers now have an expectation of overcoming and victory. But if weakness prevails on an occasion we are reminded of this comfort:
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John 2:1)
Lest we become complacent, however, we are reminded also of Esau who
… found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears (Hebrews 12:17)
and the warning that if we
… sin wilfully … there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins (Hebrews 10:26)
The Bible encouragement is to take this seriously, revelling in the power of the Holy Spirit, and the comfort that
the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations (2 Peter 2:9)
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