How to Overcome

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The issue of how to overcome our faults, flaws, and failures is one of the main subjects of the New Testament. Jesus, just before dying on the cross, gave hope to his disciples whom he knew would soon experience their own set of trials and troubles.

In the world you shall have tribulation. But be courageous! I have overcome the world (John 16:33, HBFV throughout unless stated)

What do you think is the most crucial thing God is doing right NOW? Out of everything he created, from the vast universe to the smallest particle, his concerted attention is on helping his children "overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21). He wants us to fulfill our wonderful destiny, which is to have the same character and quality of existence FOREVER as Christ now possesses (1John 3:2)!

Christ has a work to do in us, but we must do something as well. Salvation is free, but not in the sense that we are free to do whatever OUR will is. We must be serious about how we can overcome sin and self in this life. God warns us that such a task is NOT an option if we are to receive the gift of eternal life. His warnings that taking on our problems MATTERS ring loud and clear in the book of Revelation when he issues a reward challenge to those in the seven churches (see chapters 2 and 3).

A mystery revealed

There is a mystery in the Bible - the mystery of how we can be victorious over sin and receive salvation. In the book of Colossians, the apostle Paul reveals the answer to the mystery.

26. Even the mystery that has been hidden from ages and from generations, but has now been revealed to His saints; 27. To whom God did will to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; WHICH IS CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY (Colossians 1)

It is Christ IN a believer that helps him or her overcome. However, WHAT are we to be triumphing over? True Christians fight a constant daily battle against the never relenting pulls of their self-defeating human nature. Paul talking about this constant internal war in the book of Romans (see Romans 7).

Does Paul find an answer to his question regarding WHO will save him from HIMSELF, who shall rescue him from an inevitable death? Yes, he does. His answer is in verse 25, "I thank God for His salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ!"

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The only way to overcome and be victorious in our battles against sin and self is to unconditionally surrender ourselves to God and let Christ direct our lives. As we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord (2Peter 3:18), our sinful thoughts and actions will become fewer and fewer.

Things to remember

What should we do when we are in the middle of trials and feel we have reached a point of spiritual fainting? We should pray and ask God to strengthen us. It will also greatly help to remind ourselves of the following Biblical principles.

God promises that, if we overcome, we will not only live forever (Revelation 2:7, 11) but also be given white robes to wear and POWER to rule over nations (2:26, 3:5). No matter what happens, all things are PROMISED to work together for our eternal good (Romans 8:28)!

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