– G.V. Wigram
Overcoming the Darkness
When Jesus came into this dark, sin-stained world, He came to be the light of the world and, in fact, said, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:5) to men and women who lived in darkness. Thankfully, “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). Light always overcomes darkness, but darkness never overcomes the light. You can buy a flashlight, but you can’t buy a “flashdark” anywhere. Anyone can say they’re a believer, but “if we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth” (1 John 1:6).
Overcoming Through Jesus Christ
In speaking to His disciples, Jesus “said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). So we too can take heart since we can’t overcome the world by ourselves; in fact, we can’t do anything without Christ (John 15:4-5). The Apostle John asks us a question but then answers it in writing, “Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God” (1 John 5:5).
Overcoming Evil With Good
Paul writes in Romans 12 that we should “not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). We can overcome the pulls of the world by doing good for those in the world (Matthew 25). Jesus said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27), but even further, “Bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:28). If we only love our own, how are we any different from the world (Luke 6:32)? Remember what the Apostle Peter wrote, that “whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved” (2 Peter 2:19). If it’s responding to evil with evil, we’re no better than the lost. Trust God–He will take care of everything (Romans 12:17-21). We should be different. We’re the children of God, so the Apostle Peter warns that if “they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first” (2 Peter 2:20).
By His Blood and by Our Testimony
How did many of the martyrs enter into glory? The Book of Revelation says that “they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death” (Revelation 12:11). It seems that our testimony and the blood of the Lamb go together. And why shouldn’t they because we’re commanded to seek those who are lost by our testimony (Matthew 28:19-20). It is to “the one who conquers, [Jesus] will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name” (Revelation 3:12). So how do we overcome? I’ll quote John a second time: “Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God” (1 John 5:5).
Thankfully, “everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4). Because He is the true light of the world, Jesus overcame the darkness. We too are to be a light for those still living in darkness and are to be overcoming darkness. Jesus told His disciples, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14). However, if we hide our light, they’ll never see the light of the world in us. Jesus overcame the world so that we could be overcomers. We overcome the darkness only because of the glorious light of the Gospel, we overcome the world only through Jesus Christ, we overcome evil by doing good to those who do evil to us, and we overcome the world by our testimony, but not without the precious blood of the Lamb of God.