I have overcome the world
John 16:29-33 MKJV The disciples said to Him, Lo, now You speak plainly and speak no
parable. (30) Now we know that You know all things and do not need that anyone should ask
You. By this we believe that You have come forth from God. (31) Jesus answered them, Do
you now believe? (32) Behold, the hour comes, yea, has now come, that you will be scattered,
each man to his own things, and you will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the
Father is with Me. (33) I have spoken these things to you so that you might have peace in Me.
In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.
1 John 4:4 MKJV You are of God, little children, and you have overcome them, because He
who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
1 John 5:4-5 MKJV For everything that has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is
the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. (5) Who is he who overcomes the world, but he
who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
How can Christians overcome the cosmos? “Kosmos” is Greek for “world” as in the world
system of principalities and powers. These evil powers hold the world in sin and unbelief.
(Ephesians 2:1-4) We know we have broken their hold over us when we have come to truly
believe that Jesus is the Son of God - because saving faith is something that they will use all
their power to prevent. (1 John 5:4,5 above).
We are able to overcome the grip of the principalities and powers because “He who is in us is
greater than he who is in the world”. (1 John 4:4)Christ in us is greater than Satan and can
strengthen us to resist all temptations and thus lead us to ever-deepening faith and to life in
All this is predicated on the truth of Jesus’ statement “I have overcome the world”. Jesus lived
a life that never gave an inch to the powers and principalities of darkness. Every temptation to
avarice, to self-aggrandizement or to rule the world through doing a deal with the Devil (Luke 4:
1-11) was seen through and dealt with by Jesus. He broke every hold, in fact Jesus could say
that the Prince of the Kosmos “has nothing in Me”. (John 14:30).
Some people think that you “overcome the world” by living without TV, dressing in rags and
eating beans and rice in a bark hut in the Australian Outback. Such drastic measures may
indeed help but we actually overcome the world the way Jesus did - by trusting the Word of God
(Jesus quoted Deuteronomy to Satan) and by growing in faith. The armor of God in Ephesians
6:10-18 is what we use - the shield of faith, the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, the
belt of truth etc. “And this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith.”
Faith, true saving faith, overcomes the world and introduces us to the eternal realm (which they
are trying to prevent our entry to). Once we access the eternal we have victory over that which
is temporal - we become eternal mountains of grace and all the things of the world are like
shacks built on our slopes that we can easily shrug off. The apostle John puts it like this: “For
everything that has been born of God overcomes the world.” If we are born-again, that is born
of God, then we enter into eternal things and have a divine nature that is “born of God” within
us. This new nature shares God’s nature and has no desire at all to sin.
Here are all the references to the phrase “born of God” in the New Testament:
John 1:12-13 MKJV But as many as received Him, He gave to them authority to become the
children of God, to those who believe on His name, (13) who were born, not of bloods, nor of
the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but were born of God.
1 John 3:9 MKJV Everyone who has been born of God does not commit sin, because His seed
remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
1 John 4:7 MKJV Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves
has been born of God, and knows God.
1 John 5:1-5 MKJV Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God. And
everyone who loves Him who begets also loves him who has been born of Him. (2) By this we
know that we love the children of God, whenever we love God and keep His commandments.
(3) For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments, and His commandments are
not burdensome. (4) For everything that has been born of God overcomes the world. And this
is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. (5) Who is he who overcomes the world, but
he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
1 John 5:18 MKJV We know that everyone who has been born of God does not continue to sin,
but the one born of God guards himself, and the evil one does not touch him.
These verses can be confusing until we ask the question “what is born of God?” - it is not our
physical life (that is “born of woman” ) but the spiritual life we received when we were “bornagain”.
That which is born of God is Christ in us the hope of glory and Christ in us has no desire
to sin, nor does He do so. Paul speaks of Christ ‘being formed in us” and of “growing up in all
aspects into Him”. So our eternal spiritual life, which is always sinless, still has to mature in
The growth of Christ in us, is analogous to Jesus time on earth, who though he was always
sinless, (Hebrews 4:15) nevertheless grew in stature and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:40)
and “learned obedience through the things He suffered” (Hebrews 5:5-9) which meant His
obedience, which never faltered was strengthened through testing like a muscle is strengthened
Our new nature is righteous and loving and is Christ in us, and is eternal and is born of God
through faith - and thus breaks the hold of the principalities and powers over the spirit of the
person so that the Christian becomes free from their grip and obtains access to God through the
Spirit and is able to pray, to participate in eternal things and to be a agent of grace in the
redemption and reconciliation of Creation.
Because Christ has overcome the world, and He dwells in us, we also can overcome the world.
We prove we have overcome the world by believing that Jesus is the Son of God (having saving
faith 1 John 5:4,5), by living righteously by the new nature ( 1 John 3;9), by dwelling in love (1
John 4:7) and by obeying His commandments in faith (1 John 5:1-5).
We are not inhabitants of this world system, the kosmos, and we should not let its powers
influence us. We must live from Christ within us and thus “overcome the world”.
Blessings in Jesus,