The Seven-Fold Glory of The Believer In Christ
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Sermon Delivered 10/23/04
We are now moving into the last chapter of the Apostle Johnís little, but powerful letter, of 1 John. In this last chapter we will be studying the seven-fold glory of the believer in Christ.
"Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him." 1 John 5:1
In 2003 I traveled to England and Europe on a mission to take pictures, gather film footage, and interview knowledgeable people concerning some of the important persons and places in Christian History. One part of the project is near completion. My materials have been used in an award winning new documentary on the life of the English Bible translator, William Tyndale. I will be showing that video here at First Baptist Church in the not to distant future. The curriculum is still in the works. In the process of gathering these materials, I made e-mail contact with an English nobleman. He owns the grand manor house where William Tyndale lived and ministered in the early 1500ís. We got permission to visit this private home from the Lord of the Manor. At the appointed time we arrived at Little Sodbury Manor house and I rang the bell. Frankly, we did not know what to expect! Shortly a man opened the door. I introduced the three of us. The man who stood before us was dressed commonly. He had on a moth-eaten sweater. I wondered if this was the Lord of the Manor or one of his workers. I soon found out it was the nobleman. He was a very kind man and give us a tour of the house, told us a bit of the history and then took us on a tour of the grounds. We were not disappointed. In fact, as it turned out, they seldom allow anyone but invited guests to visit the house and grounds. The reason I tell you this story is because my expectations of meeting and nobleman carrying the title "lord" did not match the kind man that met us at the door. However, believers have a noble heritage, an heritage that is not and will not be disappointing, but is in fact glorious. Verse 1 says, "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God." Think about that! God is the believerís father. You are born of God! Every genuine believer can rejoice that his FATHER is Eternal, All-wise, All-Holy and Almighty. The Apostle John put it this way in his gospel -- "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"
Turn to Psalms 8:1 & 8 "O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!" The Hebrew word translated excellent means majestic, mighty, glorious, noble, and worthy. As a believer, I can say, "thatís my Father that David is talking about."
Let me take it one step further. Since born-again believers are of noble parentage, we have an inheritance that is worthy of our position. Turn to 1 Peter 1:3-5 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."
Now, I want you to be sure to notice that it is faith in Jesus Christ that makes us a child of God. And, I must stress that this faith must be real, life-changing faith. It is NOT mere intellectual ascent that Jesus is the Messiah-Savior, Godís anointed King. It is a heart conviction that leads us turn from our sins and turn to Christ and surrender ourselves to His control. Do you have real faith? If you do not, I would urge you to put your faith in Christ. However, to those who are true Christians, I agree with what R.A. Torey said, "I am looking out upon a company of the truest noblemen and noblewomen in the universe, men and women who occupy a place above the angels Ė children of God." Indeed, as believers, we have a noble parentage. That brings us to the second of the seven-fold glory of believersÖ
"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." 1 John 5:4
There is a conflict between true Christians and the world. The world is at enmity with God, and the world is exerting its influence upon us, to drag us away from our loyalty go God and conform us to its principles precepts, and practices. The god of the world, Satan, the lusts which are in the world, false prophets gone forth into the world, and the wicked men of the world, who by temptations, snares, evil doctrines, threatenings, and false promises, would prevent born again believers from obeying the commands of God. However, our Lord has called us to order our lives according to his principles, precepts and practices. While believers live in this world we are not to be of this world. That is exactly what John is saying in verse 4. He says those who are "born of God" overcome the world. When you study the Greek under this phrase "overcometh the world" you see that it teaches a continuous victory within a continuous struggle. Therefore the verse says, "For whosoever is born of God" keeps on conquering the world. While the unsaved person cannot resist the pressures and the allurement of this world, the true believer in Christ can. In fact, faith in Christ is the basis of the believerís victory! John says, "this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
Let me try and help you follow the Apostle Johnís logic. Turn in your Bibles to John 16:33. John remembers what the Lord told him before He was taken to the Cross. John 16:33"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." This verse says Jesus won the victory over the world! Therefore, because Christ lives in the believer because of the Holy Spirit, God gives us the victory over the world (1 John 4:4).
Now, let me ask those here this morning who claim that they are believers, does the spirit of the world reign in your heart? Does the spirit of the world govern you? If the answer is "yes" I would urge you to ponder carefully 2 Corinthians 13:5 "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"
Victory over the world is evidence that you are a genuine believer. Now, I am not implying that you are sinless, but I am saying that when the world comes to you with its most subtle and its most powerful allurements, in an effort to enslave you, you resist them by faith as a normal pattern of life. Paul put it this way, "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace." Romans 6:14. Victory over sin is the normal way of life for the believer. "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." 1 John 5:4
In this message we have looked at 2 of the aspects of seven-fold glory of the believer in Christ Ė The Believerís Noble Parentage - v.1
The Believerís Splendid Victory - v.4