Cal, a brother in Christ, sent me the following excerpt from an article found on Trumpet Ministries website. He thought it might help to alleviate some of the confusion expressed by some relating to the previous two posts. I offer it here with the hope that it might prove helpful to some.
He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. (Revelation 21:7)
What It Means “To Overcome”
The term overcomer is not found in the Scriptures. The Scriptures refer only to “him who overcomes.” Any saint who is living in victory at a given moment is an “overcomer.” It is possible to be winning at one time and losing at the next. Overcoming is a dynamic state.
To overcome is not to attain a state of moral excellence. It is not to meet the criteria of a set of standards that are located somewhere. An overcomer is judged only by what God is requiring of him as an individual at a given moment, not by his own or by anyone else’s model of a perfect Christian.
Many (perhaps most) believers, until they understand thoroughly the preceding paragraph, will not attempt to be an overcomer. They will give up before they start because they believe the overcomers are a group of super-Christians whom the ordinary individual never could imitate.
Such is not the case. Overcoming is the normal Christian life of victory. It is the life of nonovercoming that is the unusual (subnormal) condition, for to be a nonovercomer means we have not been able to gain victory through the Lord Jesus Christ. Somehow His all-powerful grace is not working effectively in us.
Each believer is surrounded with problems most of the time. There may be a problem in the family with the children, or a problem with money, or with one’s job, or sickness, or moral temptation, or trouble in the assembly of believers, or with believing in God, or with relinquishing one’s personal ambitions in favor of what is perceived to be God’s will, or with fear, or with excessive demands and pressures.
How the Christian responds to the challenges and hurdles set before him determines whether or not he or she is classed as “him who overcomes.”
A Christian is an individual who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, who prays, studies the Scriptures, assembles with fervent believers, gives as he is able, and continues to grow in righteous, holy behavior. When he is convicted of sin he confesses the sin to God, repents of it, and through the Lord’s grace ceases practicing it.
He presents his body a living sacrifice to the Father. He forsakes the world, takes up his cross, and follows the Lord Jesus each day. He has received by faith the blood atonement made by Christ, has been baptized in water, and has been born again of the Spirit of God.
The “overcomer” merely is a victorious Christian-nothing more nor less.
To be a victorious Christian means that at the present moment we are doing God’s will to the best of our knowledge. That is all there is to it.
The non-overcomer is the Christian who is not doing the Lord’s will. He is not learning to rule with and through the Lord Jesus.
The non-overcomer does not pray and seek the Lord sufficiently to keep ahead of his problems. The Lord has impressed him to forgive someone, or to cease criticizing others, or to give of his means, or to stop practicing some form of sin, or to go to Bible school, or whatever. But he is too involved in his own pursuits to take the time to seek the Lord to the point that he retains a clear conscience. He is losing the fight against the world, Satan, and his own sins and self-will.
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