The Bible speaks a great deal about overcoming, in fact, in the book of Revelation it is mentioned eight times. Why is it so important, that we in God’s true Church, live the Christian life? Why is overcoming so important and ruling in the Kingdom of God?
Question: - Did Jesus Christ become perfect? “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings” (Heb. 2:9-10).
Notice the last part of this verse: “perfect through sufferings” and this is exactly what Christ told His followers in Matthew 5:48 “become ye therefore perfect.”
Notice what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesian Church, “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13).
The original Greek for the word perfect in Matthew 5:48 is teleios which means complete. In other words, our Saviour tells his disciples that we are to become complete in a spiritual sense, spiritually mature.
Is it possible that we can become completely perfect in this life? NO! It is not until the resurrection, when God will complete the process and give us a new perfect spiritual body with a perfect sinless nature, that we will be like Christ and the Father.
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (I John 3:2).
While we wait for the return of Jesus Christ, God wants us to grow in His spiritual character. We grow by obeying His commandments and overcoming and rooting sin out of our lives. You and I are to be growing toward spiritual perfection.
“For he whom God hath sent speaks the words of God: for God gives not the spirit by measure unto him (Christ)” (John 3:34). Even though Christ was the very Son of God and had the Holy Spirit without measure, Jesus Christ still had to learn obedience.
“Though he were a Son yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered and being made perfect he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Heb. 5:8-9). In other words, Jesus Christ had to overcome: “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15).
Jesus Christ became perfect through the trials and tests of human experience. He overcame Satan; He overcame the flesh and the world around him.
In spite of opposition and temptation He kept His Father’s commandments perfectly. Jesus Christ was able to become the Saviour of mankind and the supreme example of spiritual maturity that we Christians are to be striving to emulate.
Now because Jesus Christ overcame during His human life, He was born again by a resurrection; what else happened to him?
“To him that overcomes 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” (Rev. 3:21). Christ is presently seated with His Father on his throne.
“Who is gone into heaven and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him” (I Peter 3:22)
“Far above all principality and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this world, but also in that which is to come and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the Church” (Eph. 1:20-22).
“For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted which did put all things under him” (I Cor. 15:27).
Just how great is the authority that Jesus Christ has already inherited? “God who at sundry times spoke in diver manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophet. Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son whom he hath appointed heir of all things by whom also he made the worlds” (Heb. 1:1-2). “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matt. 28:18).
This is why overcoming is so important for us in God’s Church. “The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ: if so be that we suffer with him that we may be also glorified together” (Rom. 8:16-17).
“He that overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he shall be my son” (Rev. 21:7).
We know that all things means the universe, and to rule this universe, it will take a great deal of power, which God is going to give us, if we overcome.
Members of God’s Church and the people that will be reading this article; if we have become true Christians, we are the Spirit-begotten children of God; we are heirs, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. Overcomers are destined to inherit and help rule everything God has created when we are born again at the resurrection as members of the God Family!
Just how important is overcoming to our being in God’s Kingdom and receiving an opportunity to rule with Jesus Christ?
“To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God” (Rev. 2:7)
“He that overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death” (v. 11).
“To him that overcomes 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 knows saying he that receives it” (v. 17).
“He that overcomes and keeps my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations and he shall rule them with a rod of iron” (vs. 26-27).
“He that overcomes the same shall be clothed in white raiment and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life” (Rev.3:5).
“He that overcomes 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 comes down out of heaven from my God and I will write upon him my new name” (v. 12).
“To him that overcomes will sit down with me in my throne” (v. 21)
“He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God and he shall be my son” (Rev. 21:7).
Matthew 16:27 tells us that our spiritual works in this life will determine our reward, our opportunity for service in God’s Kingdom. We must overcome the sinful pulls and impulses of the flesh, the peer pressures of this world and Satan the Devil.
By submitting to God and His ways we are building spiritual character, we are building the very character of God, and the more we overcome the greater will our responsibilities be. It requires putting forth the effort on our part, together with the help of the Holy Spirit.
We are to become spiritually minded and motivated persons that God can use in His Kingdom. Overcoming (means ceasing from doing the works of the flesh).The works of the flesh are found in Galatians 5:19-21, envying, adultery, fornication, idolatry, strife, wrath and so on.
Whether our reward in God’s Kingdom is great or small all depends on us. It depends on our works; it depends on how much effort we expend in overcoming and growing spiritually. It depends if we are willing to let Christ mold us into His character image, or whether we tend to resist change.
Paul made it very clear: “Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12: 1-2). We simply cannot afford to let this world squeeze us into its mold, we have got to let God remake us so that our whole attitude of mind is changed.
The parable of the pounds recorded in Luke 19:12-22 shows that the degree of reward each Christians will receive will be according to how much he or she grew and overcame spiritually in this life; how much good fruit he or she produced by their efforts and the help of the Holy Spirit.
“And it came to pass that when he was returned having receive the kingdom, he commanded these servants to be called unto him to whom he had given the money that he might know how much every man had gained by trading” (Luke 19:15).
Each pound represented a unit of money symbolizing spiritual value. God has given each Christian His Holy Spirit to be used to serve others, to overcome, and develop spiritual character and to accomplish the Work of God. Each servant will be rewarded directly proportional to the degree of his or her growth, their spiritual overcoming and development.
Members of God’s Church are servants of Jesus Christ; you can read about that in I Cor. 7:21-23. Some overcome more than others, accomplish more spiritual works with what they have been given and develop more spiritual character than others. They will be rewarded accordingly. We Christians today are in the process of qualifying for a great reward, not eternal life that is a free gift. Don’t get the two confused!
“Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when he comes shall find so doing, verily I say unto you, that he shall make him ruler over all his goods” (Matt. 24:46-47). This verse tells us that we must endure to the end. We must be faithful and continue in overcoming. We must be still growing in spiritual character, right up to the return of Jesus Christ.
Read II Peter 1:5-10. These verses show there is a need for continual growth in the virtues of Christian character as long as a person lives. Verses 10-11 strongly implies that those who don’t continue to grow and overcome may not make it into God’s Kingdom.
If you and I are not moving forward in growth, then we will have the tendency to slip backward. Today, Jesus Christ is the High Priest of all Spirit-begotten children of God. He is always available to help us overcome. Christ takes special interest in our spiritual development, helping to prepare us so we can eventually inherit all things with Him.
Jesus Christ is always on the job and available to help in times of weakness, or trial. It is up to us to take “earnest heed” to use today’s time and opportunity for overcoming spiritually.
We must continually work on change, overcoming, growing spiritually, building the character of God until our death or until the moment Christ returns.
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us unto him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end Amen” (Eph. 3:20-21).
It is then that we will be rewarded with stimulating responsibilities and opportunities to do great good in the New World to come as members of the Family of God. This is why overcoming is so important.