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Overcoming the World

In my last two posts, we’ve seen what the world is and our relationship to it.  Today I want to talk about what it means to be victorious over the world system.

…for everyone born of God overcomes the world.  This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.  Who is it that overcomes the world?  Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
1 John 5:4-5

The first thing we need to see is that you can’t be victorious over the world system if you’re a part of it.  Only a citizen of the kingdom of God can win this battle.

It requires a victory over your own flesh and a renewed mind.  Only then can you direct your faith in a way that goes contrary to where the world is headed.

I think that in many ways, our generation of believers has used the term “relevance” as an excuse to join with the world.  We will very easily miss meeting with the saints in order to attend parties, sporting events, or other activities.

We want to show the world that we’re not different from them.  The fact is that in Christ we are different – very different.

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
James 4:4

The problem is that we have a hard time differentiating the people from the system.  The people who live and work around us are not the world.  The world is the system that controls them.

The goal is to show them that we are different.  Only when they see that there’s a life uncontrolled by the world, will they want what we have.

Remember, the objective is to set them free from the enemy’s control.  But first, they need to see their condition.

They must understand that in Christ, my prosperity is not tied to the world’s economic system.  My joy is not dependent on what’s happening around me.  I’m not shaken by the threat of catastrophes that they see looming over their future.

I’ve been set free from the system that has them bound up in slavery.  It’s only when they see the difference that they can be ready to receive the truth of the Gospel of Christ.

Instead, many believers try to become friends of the system in order to reap the benefits that it promises.  In most cases, the cost is too great.  They find themselves in places and conditions that they never thought they would enter.

It’s time for us to live whole-heartedly for Christ.  Victory over the world system means living a life in total freedom from that system.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1

You were set free in Christ.  Don’t go back to the same old routine.  Walk in the victory that was won for you at the cross.  If repentance is necessary, then do it quickly.  Get back on the path the Lord has laid out before you.

Question: How have you seen freedom from the world system in your life?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2020 in Faith, Revival, Spiritual Walk, Spiritual Warfare

 

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We Don’t Belong

In my last post, we saw that the world is under the control of the enemy kingdom.  It’s a system based upon missing the mark of God’s perfect will.

But what does that mean for us as believers?  We have to live in this society even though it’s not headed the same direction that we are.  There are some definite guidelines we need to know if we’re going to be successful.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble. But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

Jesus spoke these words to His disciples as He was preparing them for His departure.  He explained to them that they would soon be led by the Holy Spirit.  We need to understand this as well.

Jesus Christ has overcome the world system.  Now, as we live in Him, we have that same victory.  We are free from the control of sin and the devil.  We don’t have to worry about the same things that the people of this world fear.

As the Lord prayed for His disciples and all who would believe their message, He said these words.

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.
John 17:15-16

The truth is clear.  Now that we’re in Christ we’re no longer a part of this world system.  We’ve been removed from the workings of it even though we’re still physically located on the earth.

When I look at all that’s happening in the world around me, I need to take a step back.  I have to realize that I’m from a different kingdom.  As the Apostle Peter put it, we’re strangers and aliens here (1 Peter 2:11).

Knowing this brings us to the next important point of how we operate here.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Romans 12:2a

We are not to conform to the world’s way of doing things.  Our kingdom has a different system.  It doesn’t work the way the world does.

In the world system, I have to struggle and fight to get ahead.  It’s survival of the fittest.  I have to think about what’s best for me, in order to reach my goals.

In God’s kingdom, it’s not my struggle.  That’s why my mind needs to be renewed to a new way of thinking.  I must be led by the Holy Spirit.  It’s His job to bring me into my destiny.

That brings us to the final point.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
James 1:27

We have to keep ourselves from being stained by the world.  This happens when we try to run after the things that the world thinks are important.

This often causes unforeseen consequences.  Either we suffer or our family suffers.  Then it takes us time and effort to get our lives back on track again.  We need to keep our focus on the priorities of God’s kingdom.

These are the things we need to know if we’re going to live victoriously while we’re living on planet earth.

Question: What are the differences between God’s kingdom and the world system?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2020 in Revival, Spiritual Walk, Spiritual Warfare

 

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Born Again – Letting the Scripture Speak

BibleI’ve started a new series on what being Born Again means according to the Scripture. I want to show that how the Bible describes it is very different from our current vocabulary.

If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.
1 John 2:29

The phrase does what is right is literally does righteousness in the Greek. John is not talking about doing good things. It’s more than that. He’s referring to living the life of righteousness as Jesus did.

No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.
1 John 3:9

I’ve heard self-righteous people use this verse to prove that others in the body of Christ are not even saved. Usually they only apply it to the externally evident sins that others commit, and not the internal ones that they enjoy.

The original language of this verse says that those who have been born of God do not have the power to go on sinning. This is because God’s seed remains in him. That’s the important point – God’s seed. What many like to do, is to go in and out of God’s presence. We don’t let the seed remain in us for very long before we go off on our own.

This verse is easier to understand if we realize that being born of God is the act of putting on the new man – created to be like God. We must come to the understanding that you can be saved and on your way to Heaven, yet not be born again. The term born again means that your life has been changed.

…for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
1 John 5:4

Are there believers who don’t overcome that are going to Heaven? Of course. The Bible clearly talks about people who are going to make it into Heaven by the skin of their teeth. (I Corinthians 3:14-15)

The problem of believers who don’t overcome the world is not that they aren’t saved. It’s that they have yet to put on the new man. We’ve missed this teaching in the modern church. As a result, we’re suffering from an epidemic of unproductive and defeated Christians.

The Apostle John understood this concept. He wrote about it in his Gospel.

He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.
John 1:10-11

He came to the world that He made. Yet most of the world did not even recognize Him. The coming of Christ went largely unnoticed by the ancient people.

He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.
John 1:11

Of course there were those – a small group – who did recognize who He was. But even among them, there wasn’t total acceptance. Only a small percentage of them received Christ.

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…
John 1:12

Now we get to the even smaller group of those who received Christ. Those who received Christ are described as those who believed in His name. That means that they were saved – they are now a part of the kingdom of God and on their way to Heaven.

This group of believers has been given something unique. Notice that they’re not automatically born again. On the contrary, they are merely given the right to become sons of God.

In my next post we’ll continue looking at this truth in more detail. Please hear my heart. I want to see the church of our generation arise to its potential in Christ Jesus.

Question: How do these verses differ from our current definition of being Born Again?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2016 in Revival, Spiritual Walk, The Gospel

 

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