Are You a Church Member?
In Revelation chapters two and three, in the messages sent to the seven churches, we find seven promises to the overcomers:
1. Free access to the tree of life in the paradise of God.
2. Eternal life.
3. Hidden manna, a white stone, a new name (according to a new character).
4. The Morning Star (eternal companionship with Christ).
5. A white garment and having the name in the book of life for eternity.
6. Being a pillar in God’s sanctuary, having God’s name (God’s character).
7. Sitting with Jesus on His throne.
We should take into serious consideration the fact that those promises are only for overcomers.
In Romans chapter 7 we learn that when we try to overcome our appetites and passions by ourselves—in our own weakness—we are severely defeated. In verses 14–23 the apostle expresses the frustration of such a life. Finally he concludes, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (verse 24).
However, in Romans chapter 8, after surrendering his life fully to Christ and being guided by the Holy Spirit, the same person has an altogether different experience: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (verses 1–4).
Do we see the big difference? While we are trying our best, trusting in ourselves, putting forward our best efforts to overcome temptation and sin, we are big losers. When we distrust completely in ourselves and trust entirely in Christ, we are guided by the Holy Spirit to reach daily victory. At the end of Romans chapter 8, we find a wonderful song of victory: “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? . . . Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (verses 31, 32, 35–39).
“We can overcome. Yes; fully, entirely. Jesus died to make a way of escape for us, that we might overcome every fault, resist every temptation, and sit down at last with Him in His throne. It is our privilege to have faith and salvation. The power of God has not decreased. It would be just as freely bestowed now as formerly; but the church have lost their faith to claim, their energy to wrestle, as did Jacob, crying, ‘I will not let thee go, except thou bless me’ (1). Enduring faith has been dying away. It must be revived in the hearts of God's people. They must claim the blessing. Faith, living faith, always leads upward to God and glory; unbelief, downward to darkness and death.”
“When we fall, all helpless, suffering in consequence of our realization of the sinfulness of sin; when we humble ourselves before God, afflicting our souls by true repentance and contrition; when we offer our fervent prayers to God in the name of Christ, we shall as surely be received by the Father, as we sincerely make a complete surrender of our all to God. We should realize in our inmost soul that all our efforts in and of ourselves will be utterly worthless; for it is only in the name and strength of the Conqueror that we shall be overcomers.”2
Are these promises good news for us? Yes. In close connection with Christ every day, every moment, we can be more than conquerors.
Then we can say with the apostle: “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” ().