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What does it mean to "overcome" the world in 1 John 5:4?

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world––our faith.

1 John 5:4

ESV - 4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith.

Clarify Share Report Asked March 18 2020 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
John is using the same sense in regard to speaking of the world in this verse as Jesus did when speaking of it in John 16:33 -- the fallen and corrupt world system that has been infected by sin through the activity of Satan (whom the Bible refers to as the prince -- or ruler -- of this world (John 12:31; John 16:11)), and which acts only in opposition to God and His desires and will.

Jesus overcame this system through His atoning death -- in which He bore the punishment for the world's sin from God -- and (especially) through His subsequent resurrection from the dead, which testified to His eternal victory over all the forces of Satan, and His ability to impart the same eternal life that He now possessed to all who would place their faith in Him (rather than in their own imperfect, insufficient works) in order to gain it.

March 18 2020 1 response Vote Up Share Report

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