The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
+ Overcoming Saints +
More than a dozen times the New Testament speaks of overcomers in reference to believers having victory in their Christian life. Most of these references are in I John and Revelation. The word overcome means to conquer, to subdue, to be victorious, or persevere. Perseverance is the evidence of salvation, not the means of salvation. It is that continual steadfastness on a particular course of life and belief (Matthew 7:13-14). The word overcomer describes the child of God in a similar way as the terms Christian, disciple, and saint. It is a term that expresses the people of God in a beautiful way.
“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” I John 5:4-5
This article will consider two things: Who are the overcomers and what are they promised? These two questions will help us understand the meaning of overcoming.
Who Are The Overcomers?
According to I John 5:4-5, the faith that is born of God overcometh the world. This is in contrast to the faith that is of reason, which is overcome by the world. The overcomers are God’s children, born again believers, or those born of the Spirit. The New Testament defines the overcomer as true believers in Jesus Christ. That is, the day we trusted Christ as Savior was a day of victory for the Christian because it was the day we overcame the world. The believer and the world are contrasted in v. 19, “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.” There are other verses that plainly show that the born again believer is an overcomer (I John 2:29; 4:7). In I John 4:4, Christians are called “little children” and are contrasted with the world, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” The living God dwells in every believer. According to I John 2:13-14, the believer has overcome the flesh, world, and the devil. None of these have authority over the Christian, Hallelujah. In Revelation 21:7-8, the overcomer is clearly distinguished from the lost, “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” In the end, there are only two groups of people, the saint and sinner. Revelation 12:11 shows the believer’s victory over Satan, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” They overcame by the blood of the Lamb, by the Word of their testimony, and by death, that is, they loved not their own lives unto the death.
The believer overcomes through Christ because He is the perfect overcomer, “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” (John 16:33). By His strength and power we are able to overcome. According to Romans 8:33 we are more that conquerors in Him, “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.” We have victory over sin by the Holy Ghost that dwells in us (Romans 6:1, 5-14). The unbelievers are not overcomers (I Corinthians 15:2, Colossians 1:23, Mark 8:38, Revelation 21:7-8, II Peter 2:21). Again, in I Corinthians 15:57, our victory is in the Lord Jesus Christ, “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
What Are Overcomers Promised?
There are repeated blessings given in Holy Scripture for the overcomer. In Revelation chapter two and three, there are seven blessed promises. These promises are drawn from the Old Testament, fulfilled in the New Testament. These promises are given to comfort the church.
In Revelation 2:7, the overcomer is promised access to the tree of life, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” This is an allusion to the garden of Eden with the tree of life in the midst, representing not only eternal life, but eternal fellowship with God. That is, communion with a Holy and Righteous God. This speaks of restored fellowship as in the beginning (Revelation 22:2, 14, 19).
In Revelation 2:11, the overcomer shall not be hurt of the second death, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” The second death is equivalent to the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:14; 21:8). This implies that unbelievers will be hurt of the second death. Hell is a place for the unbelievers (Matthew 25:41). Many believers in Smyrna were being hurt of the first death (physical death) but not of the second death.
In Revelation 2:17, the overcomer is promised hidden manna, a white stone, and a new name, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” The hidden manna speaks of spiritual food, the white stone speaks of purity and acceptance, and the new name is our Heavenly Father’s name (II Timothy 2:19).
In Revelation 2:26-28, the overcomer is promised the opportunity to reign with the Lord, and the morning star speaks of the eternal presence of Jesus Christ, “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star.”
In Revelation 3:5, the overcomer is promised to be clothed in white raiment and to never be blotted out of the Book of Life, “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” This speaks of the garments of salvation and the security of the believer. Only those whose names are recorded in the Book of Life will enter into Heaven.
In Revelation 3:12, the overcomer is promised to be a pillar in the temple of God and the name of God written upon Him, “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” The pillar in the temple represents strength and permanence, and the name of God written on them can be seen in Revelation 14:1, “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.”
In Revelation 3:21, the overcomer is promised to reign with the Lord, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” The victory of Christ is the pattern for all victories. The believer now sits with Christ spiritually in Heavenly places and in the future will sit with Him in the Kingdom of God.
These are only a few of the many promises for the overcomer. True believers demonstrate their faith by overcoming and keeping the words of Christ to the end. May each individual examine themselves as to whether they are in the faith through the new birth. The doctrine of overcoming begins with salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ’s atonement on Calvary’s Cross. Amen.
“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.”
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523