Faith is the Victory

Bible Book: 1 John  5 : 1-5
Subject: Faith; Victory
Series: God's Dear Children

FAITH IS THE VICTORY

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor, www.pastorlife.com
Introduction

1 John 5:1-5

Lets consider today the position of ultimate victory which God gives us and the manner in which He makes it possible. We come now to 1 John 5: 1-5. Our message is entitled Faith Is The Victory. All of us like victory. In sports we want our team to win. In politics we want our candidate to win. We like being a winner. But most victories, though they are fun at the time, are very temporal and very hollow. What John is describing for us in this passage today is a victory which is personal, powerful, and permanent. John is describing a spiritual victory with eternal consequences. In fact, when we state victory on an earthly, temporal level, we often say, “We won.” It may be that a team you like has won a contest on the field of sport. You had nothing to do with it. You may even be absent the actual game, simply watching on television or listening on the radio; yet, when the team wins, you exclaim, “We won.” Just so, John is saying that you and I have the right and privilege to claim a position of victory for something we DID NOT DO. I am going to explain that in a moment.

I. The Commencement of Faith

What is faith? Faith is an expectation which results in an action. For example, let us imagine that you are sick and you go to the doctor for help. You have awareness that you are physically sick and you seek help. You have faith that going to the doctor will help you. He gives you a prescription. You take it to a pharmacy and have it filled. Then you go home, read the instructions and you take the medication. You had a need, you sought an answer, and you followed the instructions by caring out some action. Your faith has brought something to you which had the power to make you well. In a much larger and more profound manner, a person who becomes aware of his or her need of God, discovers what God demands and acts upon it with expectation (faith), receives spiritual healing. This reveals to us three steps in the commencement of saving faith.

A. The Compassion of God

First, God is loving and gracious and would not have anyone to be lost, so He reveals your dreadful, lost condition to you. If He did not do that, you could not be saved! Everything that has anything to do with faith begins with God. His loving compassion makes it possible for us to be saved and to live in victory over this world.

B. The Cross of Christ

Even if we knew our condition, it would do us little good unless there was a solution to our dilemma. The cross of Christ is our saving medication. There are some diseases which have no cure. You can be aware that you have a disease but find no pharmacy with medicine to cure you. Thank God, that the disease of sin has a cure. Without the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, we would be hopeless lost.

C. The Conversion of the Lost

Finally, John tells us that we must be born again in order to receive the victory. How does this come about? By faith. You must be willing to know your lost condition, then to receive the cure - accept Jesus Christ and what He did for you at the cross. Believe that He rose from the dead for you!!! Turn from your sin – repent – and place all trust for your salvation in Him! That is the faith that overcomes.

D. The Consistency of the Saved

Those who are saved, still must live by faith. We shall see that more as we look at the conflict in faith.

II. The Conflict in Faith

Please note the repeated word, “overcome.” It is used three times! You don’t need to overcome unless you are in a battle, a war, or a conflict. To see this war played out lets turn back in the Old Testament for a moment to see it in the life of Moses. In Exodus we see Moses as he does battle morally and spiritually with the Pharaoh of Egypt. Please recall that Egypt is a picture of the world and sin. The Pharaoh is a picture of Satan. So here we see Moses doing battle with the world and with the devil. Look in chapter 8 and see 4 conflicts.

A. The Devil’s Temptation

1. The Salvation Conflict

First, Pharaoh calls on Moses to have the people make their sacrifice in the land of Egypt. It is okay to be religious, just don’t leave Egypt. The first temptation of the devil was a religious temptation. Most people have some religion, but they don’t have salvation because they don’t have Jesus. The devil would just as soon you go to hell from a pew as from a gutter.

2. The Separation Conflict

Second, we see the temptation to compromise by settling down in the suburbs of sin. Stay close enough to Egypt to make a journey back there once in a while – that is what the Pharaoh suggests when Moses rejects the first offer. This represents worldly Christians. Billy Sunday said that a worldly Christian is like speaking of a heavenly devil. Look at Revelation 3 and the Church of Laodecia.

3. The Soul-winning Conflict

Third, the Pharaoh offers the compromise of not bringing your family to God. The Philippian jailor would not have faith without his family. Joshua said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Genesis 7:1, God told Noah told to bring his family into the Ark. You need to have a concern for your family’s faith. When Cornelius was spoken to by the Lord He was told that he and all his family would know the way to salvation.

4. The Substance Conflict

Fourth, Moses was told to go out to worship but to leave behind his substance. The devil often gets people to compromise with their possessions. The business, the checkbook, the cash is kept from God. See, the devil knows that wherever your treasure is that is where your heart is. One out of every six verses in the Gospels deals with your relationship to your possessions. Sixteen out of thirty-eight parables dealt with possessions. You might say, “O, but preacher, I earned what I have.” O yes, whose air did you breath? Whose raw materials have you used? What brain and hands have you used, except those which God gave you?

Some people want to come out of Egypt but they want to leave their substance in Egypt, in the world. Moses said, “Our cattle will go with us, and not a single hoof will be left behind.” Moses stated that every hide and every hoof, and every hair is going with us!

How did Moses get out of Egypt? Moses had his eyes on another King other than the Pharaoh. Moses saw the invisible, he knew the unknowable, and he did the impossible! Moses had his eyes on God. The man who will truly kneel before God can stand before anyone - Moses exemplified this principle.

In his book Forever Triumphant, F. J. Huegel told a story that came out of World War II. After General Jonathan Wainwright was captured by the Japanese, he was held prisoner in a Manchurian concentration camp. Cruelly treated, he became "a broken, crushed, hopeless, starving man." Finally the Japanese surrendered and the war ended. A United States army colonel was sent to the camp to announce personally to the general that Japan had been defeated and that he was free and in command. After Wainwright heard the news, he returned to his quarters and was confronted by some guards who began to mistreat him as they had done in the past. Wainwright, however, with the news of the allied victory still fresh in his mind, declared with authority, "No, I am in command here! These are my orders." Huegel observed that from that moment on, General Wainwright was in control.

Huegel made this application: "Have you been informed of the victory of your Savior in the greatest conflict of the ages? Then rise up to assert your rights. Never again go under when enemy comes to oppress. Claim the victory in Jesus' name."[i]

B. The Divine Trials

The Lord can try our faith to prove its depth and veracity. Look at the Scripture to see the reality of this. 1 Peter 1:7 states, “These have come so that your faith-- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” What are these? They are trials, fiery trials! God may well put your faith to the test. True faith will overcome even these divine tests!

We all have seen floating markers on lakes and waterways. These buoys are firmly anchored in strategic locations, and even though the waves of the sea splash around them, they float steadfastly in their appointed places. The tides rise and fall, but they are never carried away. When the great swells come, the buoys mount up and ride upon them as they cascade along. Often the waters descend, submerging the buoys for a moment, but immediately they rise to the top and bob back into their proper positions. This is a picture of the believer's conquering life. In God's strength he succeeds with the buoyancy of faith over all spiritual opposition. The comforting power of the indwelling Holy Spirit gives that well-anchored soul victory even though at times he is almost overwhelmed by a sea of outward circumstances.

All of us cannot sing the same. All of us cannot learn the same. All of us cannot teach the same. All of us cannot give the same amount. But all of us can believe God. All of us can have faith. God asked you to do something which you can truly do! You can believe!

III. The Conquest through Faith

A. Live in the Defeat of Cain

Without faith, we live in the defeat of Cain!

B. Live in the Victory of Abel

Genesis 4 relates the story of Abel’s sacrifice and Cain’s sacrifice. Both were religious. Each brought a sacrifice. Cain brought a gift from the ground; Abel brought the first of his flock. God was pleased with the gift of Abel but was displeased with Cain. Why does faith please God? Faith is a response to the nature of God. Like your eye is made to see and your ear is made to hear, your heart is made to believe.

Acts 10:43 points out that all prophets preached Jesus. Abel was a prophet. Jesus said Luke 11:49 that Abel was a prophet. Abel preached Jesus! He would have sung, “In my hand no price I bring, simply to the cross I cling!”

Two kinds of religion. True religion and false religion. Cain and Abel represent the two kinds of religion. True religion is faith in God’s righteousness and the sacrifice He makes for our sin. False religion is human works. Jude 11 speaks of the way of Cain. Cain was a tiller of the ground. Cain offered the fruit of the ground, but it was cursed ground. Cain offered the work of his hands, but it came from sinful hands. Hebrews 9:22. Without shedding of blood is no remission. A bloodless sacrifice was unacceptable. Cain brought vegetables. But you can’t get blood out of a turnip! Why did Cain do this? He got it out of his own head. He was religious, but he was lost!

You think religion is enough? It was a religious crowd that crucified Christ. Religion cannot save you.

Abel had a different faith. What did Abel offer to the Lord? Abel brought an animal to the Lord and offered to the Lord. This represents the shed blood of Jesus Christ. How can we know this? You cannot have faith unless God first speaks. Faith is the response to the Word of God. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. God had shown them what kind of sacrifice He wanted. God had clearly shown this in the Garden when he slew an animal and make skins to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve, the parents of Cain and Abel.

Conclusion

Eighty soldiers from Fort Dix were fighting a forest fire. A pilot dropped three weighted notes. With the notes he gave directions on how to escape. He could see from above a way of escape. When they read the note, they fled. They did not doubt the authority of the pilot, they fled to safety. They had a message of escape from above. That is what God offers our world. A message from above.

God does not look for ability, God looks for availability. God does not look for scholarship, God looks for relationship. It matters not who you know, it matters whose you are. It is not according to your fame, not according to your fortune, not according to friends, but according to your faith be it unto you.

1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Additional Faith Scriptures:

James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?

Ephesians 6:16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:

Galatians 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

2 Corinthians 5:7 We live by faith, not by sight.

John 6:40 For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

[i] F. J. Huegel, Forever Triumphant (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing), p. 57