Real Victory: 1 John 5:4-8
“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world…”
- 1 John 5:4
Doesn’t it feel like life is sometimes a seemingly endless series of small victories followed by large setbacks? One step forward. Two (or three!) steps back. Those once small victories can come to seem meaningless in the face of such large setbacks. More than that, life seems like a game that is rigged...a game we can never win. Disappointment and frustrations drag us down.
However, as John wraps up his letter and as we wrap up our sermon series Real Faith, we are encouraged to focus on the one Real Victory we have in Jesus. Despite all appearances, those of us who have faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, have won victory over the world. We have, through Christ, victory over sin, victory over death, and victory over the devil. Sure we may feel like we have been defeated but the resurrection of Jesus guarantees that, in the end, God is triumphant.
A friend of mine recently found out that his child, due in August, has a heart defect and, in all likelihood, when the child is born he will have to have surgery. With so much uncertainty my friend and his wife are unsure if they will get to see their child grow up. While they are clearly beatdown and devastated, my friend expressed his confidence in the victory of Jesus. “I’ll either hold him in a few months or I’ll hold him on the Last Day when Jesus comes back,” he told me. Unable to fix the situation himself, he can cling only to the victory that is his in Jesus.
This is what it means to have Real Victory. In the face of adversity and the devastation this life often brings, God has poured out His Spirit upon us to bear witness to the truth of Christ’s victory. Through God’s Word and the Sacraments, the Spirit of God works mightily in our hearts to sustain our faith and trust in God who has overcome all sin and every evil. Indeed, even our confession as Christ as Lord and Savior is dependant upon the Spirit. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12:3, “...and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except in the Holy Spirit”.
So as we face yet another day, we go out confidently because Real Victory is ours. The Son of God has come and, by His death and resurrection, has indeed gained victory over the world.