[SW305] 11/17/2017 message notes by
Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017
The Testimony of the Overcomer
What is the testimony of the overcomer, the one who prevails, who conquers, who is victorious? John and I will show you! But know we do not boast in ourselves, but in God’s work in us (Galatians 6:14).
Text: 1Jn 5, etc.
Again in this chapter, the word “love” is always agape, the same love God the Father has for God the Son (Jesus’ definition of agape, per John 17:26).
Verses 1-2 — The first testimony of us who are overcomers is that the one who believes Jesus is the Christ is born of God. We testify that we are born from above, we cry, “Abba! Father!” And we love the Father with His love, when we are filled with the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we love His children with His love!
And here is how we know we love the children of God — we are a testimony to them, that Jesus Christ will make every believer an overcomer, if they will believe His promise! As overcomers, we do His commandments!
Verse 3 — This is the love of God in action — we who are overcomers fulfill His commandments. To us, they are not burdensome (heavy or grievous, bad or severe). We testify that it is easy to obey Him, because His testimony is in us!
Verses 4-5 — Who overcomes the world? Those who are born of God (in this case, John means “filled with His Spirit”). What causes us to be victorious over the world, which is under the power of the evil one (see v. 19)?
Our faith! We believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Therefore, we are saved from God’s wrath and go on to be filled with the Holy Spirit so we overcome the world. His testimony is in us, so we are empowered to overcome!
Verses 6-8 — We know that Jesus came by water (preaching repentance) and blood (His, shed for us). And the Spirit is the Testifier, the One in us who testifies to His truth, and teaches us all of the truth (John 16:13)!
Verse 9 — We testify that the testimony of God, who is in us, is greater than the testimony of men.
What is God’s testimony about? His testimony is about His Son whom He sent, just as He promised He would, even from the very beginning, in Genesis 3:15, and onward through the Old Testament.
Verse 10 — Because we believe Jesus is the Son of God, we have the testimony in ourselves. The testimony is the Holy Spirit, first in a measure (John 20:22), and then filling our hearts, the Father and the Son dwelling in us permanently!
Those who do not believe God (the Gnostics and many others today) and twist His words for their own selfish purposes, have made (they call) God a liar. They say that God’s testimony regarding His Son is not true.
Verse 11 — We testify that God gives testimony of His promise by giving eternal life to us who are overcomers. And we testify that this life is here and now, in us. And this life is in His Son. We testify that He is in us, and we are in Him!
Verse 12 — We testify that if you are in the Son, you have His eternal life in you. But if you do not have the Son of God in you, then you do not have His life in you.
Verse 13 — John’s letter is to those who believe. He wants you to come to a place of completely knowing that you have Christ in you, by personal experience, by being filled with His Holy Spirit.
Verse 14 — We who are overcomers testify that we have confidence before Him, that whatever we ask according to His will, He will hear us. And knowing that He hears us, we know that He will answer. We will have what we have requested from Him.
We testify that we only ask according to His will.
Verses 16-17 — And we who are overcomers pray for believers who are still committing sin, the ones who are infants in Christ, not yet overcomers because they are not filled with the Holy Spirit. We ask, and God will give life to the one who sins. God will forgive that one, when we ask Him.
But there is a sin leading to death, for which we do not ask forgiveness, even for the infant in Christ. And that sin is to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. We do not ask forgiveness for that.
What is it to blaspheme the Spirit?
The Jews said Jesus was doing the works He worked by the power of Satan. And Jesus replied —
Matthew 12:31 “ Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. 32 “ Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.”
We who are overcomers testify that all unrighteousness is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death, and we pray for God to forgive the one who sins in that way.
Verse 18 — We who are overcomers testify that we do not sin because we are filled with His Spirit. It is because Jesus Christ keeps us — He guards us and keeps His eyes on us, so the evil one does not touch us (he does not fasten himself to us, and light us on fire).
Verse 19 — We who are overcomers testify that we are of God and not of the world, and that the world lies in the power of the evil one, Satan.
Verse 20 — And we who are overcomers know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding (His mind), so that we may intimately know and experience Him who is true, in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. We testify that Jesus really IS, and we know because He dwells in us!
We who are overcomers testify that this is the true God, and eternal life. What is eternal life? Jesus tells us —
John 17:3 “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
Verse 21 — And to the infants in Christ, we who are overcomers say, keep yourself from idolatry of yourselves. That is the teaching of the false teachers. I testify that false teachers are in today’s church, and that their “Me Gospel” is completely contrary to God’s nature and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We who overcome testify that we have intimate, 24/7 fellowship with God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
We testify that before we were cleansed, we sinned, but that Christ has cleansed us (purified our hearts) from all unrighteousness (1:9).
We testify that the love of God has been perfected (completed, fulfilled) in us, because we are filled full of God (2:5).
We testify that we walk as He walked (2:6).
We testify that we intimately know Him who has been from the beginning (2:14).
We testify that the Spirit who has filled us teaches us all things (2:27).
We testify that we have purified ourselves as Jesus Christ is pure (3:3), by asking our Father in heaven for the Holy Spirit.
We testify that we are righteous, just as Jesus Christ is righteous (3:7).
We testify that He abides in us, and us in Him, so we do not sin, and that it is impossible for us to sin, because He is in us (3:6, 9). We are partakers of His divine nature (2Peter 1:4), and our sin nature has been crucified (Galatians 5:24).
We testify that we know we keep His commandments (to love — agapeo — the Lord with all our heart, mind and strength, and to love our neighbor with that love) because He dwells in us fully, by the Spirit whom He has given us (3:24).
We testify that because He is in us, we have overcome the world which is under the power of Satan. We overcome the world because greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world (4:4).
We testify that as He is, so are we in this world (4:17), so we have confidence in the day of judgment that is coming.
Beloved, we testify that none of this is by our own might, nor by our own power, but by the Holy Spirit who is in us (Zechariah 4:6).
We testify that He has made us overcomers, so we have become the testimony of Jesus Christ, and we are His witnesses, even to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8)!
Are you able to testify with us? Then I praise God with you!
If you cannot, God has not come to condemn you, unless you refuse His truth. Ask your Father in heaven for the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13), and you, too, will become an overcomer, the one who prevails, who conquers and who is victorious over the world and Satan!