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Commentary on "Believing in the Son of God"



Day 2: Sunday, August 23, 2009



The focus of today's lesson is the victory we have when we place our faith in Jesus as the Christ, our Messiah.

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. (I John 5:1 ESV)



The author of this lesson says; "John wants his audience to believe in Jesus as the Christ." This is a misleading statement that is not quite what John means. In I John 4:4, he declares that he is speaking to those who are of God and is building on a foundation that they already have victory imputed in their lives because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. What John is doing here is giving those who are already in God's kingdom words of encouragement by building on things they already know.

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33 ESV)

Not only is John speaking to those who are already Christians but he is speaking to those who are already declared victorious. It is not about what we do to gain victory. We have peace because our Lord and Savior is victorious. Note well that it is not about us overcoming the world. In the above verse, Jesus declares that he has "overcome the world". It is not about what we do to overcome. It has everything to do with what Jesus has done.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb. 12:1,2 ESV)

Our Savior sat down at the right hand of the Father about two thousand years ago having gained victory over sin. We do have tribulation and we must have endurance but it is not about our salvation and we are victorious. There is no Investigative Judgment to determine if we are worthy to join the Kingdom of God. Our sins were put away at the cross by Jesus Christ, never to be remembered again and we are already in the Kingdom of God.

Where the lesson speaks of having victory and asks; "What is holding you back?", the wrong question is being asked. Anyone who attempts to have spiritual victory over any area of their life, will fall short. Our deeds and our righteousness will always measure up only as "filthy rags".

We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. (Isa. 64:6 ESV)

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith-- (Phil. 3:8,9 ESV)

The Prophet Isaiah declares that all human righteousness is as a "polluted garment". Paul points away from the Old Testament Law and towards Jesus Christ as the only possible source of righteousness in our lives.





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