“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:4
Suggested Further Reading: Matthew 4:1-11
Faith helps Christians to overcome the world. It always does it homoeopathically. You say, “That is a singular idea.” So it may be. The principle is that “like cures like.” So does faith overcome the world by curing like with like. How does faith trample upon the fear of the world? By the fear of God, “Now,” says the world, “if you do not do this I will take away your life. If you do not bow down before my false god, you shall be put in yonder burning fiery furnace.” “But,” says the man of faith, “I fear him who can destroy both body and soul in hell. True, I may dread you, but I have a greater fear than that. I fear lest I should displease God; I tremble lest I should offend my Sovereign.” So the one fear counterbalances the other. How does faith overthrow the world’s hopes? “There,” says the world, “I will give you this, I will give you that, if you will be my disciple. There is a hope for you; you shall be rich, you shall be great.” But, faith says, “I have a hope laid up in heaven; a hope which fadeth not away, eternal, incorrupt, a golden hope, a crown of life;” and the hope of glory overcomes all the hopes of the world. “Ah!” says the world, “Why not follow the example of your fellows?” “Because,” says faith, “I will follow the example of Christ.” If the world puts one example before us, faith puts another. “Oh, follow the example of such an one; he is wise, and great, and good,” says the world. Says faith, “I will follow Christ; he is the wisest, the greatest, and the best.” It overcomes example by example; “Well,” says the world, “since you will not be conquered by all this, come, I will love you; you shall be my friend.” Faith says, “He that is the friend of this world, cannot be the friend of God. God loves me.”
For meditation: Faith can say to society, self, Satan and sin, “Anything you can give, Christ can give better” (Ephesians 2:1-8).
Sermon no. 14
18 March (1855)