6. Overcoming in Christ
To His disciples Jesus said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.
Why should this fact cause you to be of good cheer? Why should you rejoice because someone else has overcome the world when you must overcome it also? The grand truth which answers this question is that you are not an overcomer in yourself, but an overcomer in Christ.
To the Corinthians the apostle writes, “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of His knowledge by us in every place.” 2 Cor. 2:14. How is it that you are always caused to triumph in Christ? It is simply because Christ has triumphed over everything, and in Him victory is yours.
Christ was tempted in all points like as we are, yet was without sin. He has met and overcome every obstacle that can possibly be brought against your humanity in the struggle with temptation. And whenever “the world, the flesh, and the devil” meet Him, they meet their Conqueror. The victory has already been won. And therefore in Christ you have the victory; for when you are in Him, the temptations assail Him, and not you by yourself. When you hide your weakness in His strength then His strength will fight the battle. He has gained the victory, and the beaten foe can never recover from his defeat so as to hope for victory over Him.
What, then, must you do to overcome? And why is it that you are so often overcome? The obvious answer is that you cannot overcome outside of Christ. What you have to do is to take the victory that has already been won, the victory that He gained. He overcame for you so that He might bestow His triumph on you. And you take His victory by faith, for it is by faith that Christ comes into your heart.
This is what is meant by the apostle John, when he says, “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:4. By faith you bring Christ into your heart and life. Eph. 3:17. He is there as the Conqueror of all that is to be met and overcome in the Christian warfare.
The glorious truth is revealed that the victory over every temptation and difficulty is already yours, in Christ. Therefore you don’t need to come to the conflict with a faint heart, but with all confidence, knowing that defeat cannot possibly be the outcome, no matter how formidable the foe may make himself appear. The battle is already fought, and Jesus Christ holds out to you the victory. You have to simply take it, and say, “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor. 15:57.
Read the seventh chapter called The Indwelling Word.