TV Transcripts

“Faith That Overcomes” Part One
Broadcast #1613
September 3, 2023

Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1613 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

Phil: I dunno, I’ve had some thoughts and I’m just trusting the Lord to focus the way He wants to focus and to just to make something, make some sense out of it. ‘Cause you know, my mind tends to go in so many different directions. I can think of scriptures and then boom! I got so many others that come to my mind. And you don’t need my sermon. You need something that the Lord wants to say and wants to emphasize.

And my mind just went to the world that we live in. And God has, as we’ve said many times, called us to live in a certain time and place. We’re here not by accident, we’re here because God has caused us to live right now, and He means for us to serve Him in the context of this present world. And He has revealed to us — I don’t think we need some special revelation if you know Him, to see the condition of the world and where it’s headed.

We know that Satan at the end of the age has been loosed to seek out his ends. And that’s to gain complete control over this world, to drive the influence of God out of it. We know that the world is not our friend. And so here we are. And what is the Lord looking for from us? What do we have in the way of resources, you know, was emphasized with both of the brothers, all that we have in him, the provision that we have in him is more than enough. But I believe God wants to focus my mind and all of ours on what’s going on and how, you know, what are our resources? What is he looking for from us?

And I thought of a scripture just as a kickoff point in 1 John, chapter 5. 1 John, chapter 5. And John is talking about the, you know, who are the real believers? Who are the ones who really are his children? And he’s having to deal with the fact that some are not but there are those who are really his.

And he says, Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. I think you know that the way that’s used, he’s not talking about some mental belief in an idea. Rather, this is a heart conviction, that Jesus is who he says he is. He is the Son of God, he’s the Christ. He’s the chosen one.

And everyone who loves the Father, loves his child as well. There’s the love that we’re meant to have towards each other. This is how we know that we love the children of God by loving God and carrying out his commands.

Now you got people out there that think that means, you know, keeping commandments in the sense of the Old Testament. But basically, it means doing what He says, going by His Word. Not by our own ideas and will and all of that but it’s going by believing his Word enough to walk in it. That’s what he’s talking about, okay?

In fact, this is love for God to keep his commands. How can we say that we love God and just, we don’t do what He says? That doesn’t make sense, does it? And His commands are not burdensome.

Now here’s the verse that I was focused on: “For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” Now there are two words that would bear some definition in that scripture. The world. You know, we think of the physical world, we think of the political systems, the economy of the world and all these, you know, all the issues that arise from our living here.

But I think we know, if you’ve been around at all and you know the Lord and you’ve known Him any length of time, you know there’s more to the world than just simply what we see and detect with our senses. There is a spiritual order of things. There is a kingdom that is far more than what we see.

We see governments interacting, we see war, we see trouble, we see all kinds of things. But what we don’t see with these natural eyes is the intelligence, the design that is behind this, and is Satan with the talons, if you will, of the dragon himself digging in deeper and deeper and trying to mold and lead the world. This whole system, it’s a system. It’s a system of government, it’s a system of ideas. It’s a system of just satanic control.

Paul tells us that we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood. You know, we can get all upset about people and systems and things like that, but I’ll tell you that’s not our enemy. Of course, our enemy is here [pointing to chest] but in terms of out here, our enemy, we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood but against powers, principalities. See those are unseen governments. Rulers of the darkness of this world, a spiritual wickedness, or the wicked spirits in high places. They’re very real.

And I’ll tell you, the people of this world have no idea what they’re part of. They are enmeshed in a system that has such control over them. In fact, find later in this passage it talks about the world and the fact that Satan has every, the whole world, I think in the end of verse 19, the whole world is under the control of the evil one.

Paul speaks to the fact that he speaks of the people of the world, he says, In whom the God of this world, has done what? “Blinded the minds of those who believe not.” We know from other scriptures, he’s not talking about just ignorance. He’s talking about people who know some facet of truth. God has revealed himself in some measure to them. And they refuse that message and choose instead to believe what they want to believe, what the world is telling them, what their earth worldly friends are telling them. Wherever that information is coming from or it’s just thoughts coming into their heads, they’re believing that and rejecting what God would say.

And so there is a blindness that descends upon the heart and that blindness prevents them from seeing the things that we were singing about this morning. Those are not just religious ideas. I’ll tell you, God is real. Jesus is real. What he did is real. Jesus sits on a throne. We worship one who holds the keys of death and hell in his hands. He is the victor. And he wants us to be overcomers in him, for there is a world to overcome. And so that’s what he’s talking about when he’s talking about the world.

Now, of course, earlier in the book, he defines what the world stands for when he says, Don’t love the world. Okay, what does that mean? What is he talking about? What aren’t we supposed to love? All that is in the world, the lust of the flesh. There are desires that arise in our bodies, that if we just give in to them, then that will become our master. That will be what we live for.

And you see people all around that are doing that. The lust of the flesh. The lust of the eyes, what can I possess? I want more. I want more. You know, this, if only. Or you know, you looking across, I just need, I need that. If I only had that. And God does want a spirit of contentment. Praise God!

So, the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. The original temptation was for man to be his own god. Is that not the ultimate pride? And talk about delusion. How somebody like me, any human being could imagine that I am a god and I have every right to tell God to go take a hike and reject anything He would say in any — nobody tells me what to do. But that is the spirit that is overrunning our world.

And it takes so many forms. You know, the apostles in their letters warn about deception. It’s not just out there. It’s not just heathendom and, you know, serving things. It gets into religion, and it gets into what purports to be Christianity. And so, you have many who have a form of godliness, but what? There’s no power. In other words, they have the words and the ideas that somehow relate to all this but God’s not there. And if God’s not there, what do you have? How am I going to be anything other than the lost helpless human being under the dominion of sin unless God’s power comes to play in my heart and my life? I have no power to be anything different.

Boy, I’ll tell you, the deception that we have today. And so many have learned how to bend the ideas of scripture. I was born that way, so God loves me and accepts me as I am. Well, I was born that way too and I need a savior. Amen. I was born in sin, everyone here was. I need a miracle that only God can perform.

And He does it, not because I deserve it, but because Jesus took my sins to that cross. And he took me with him into that grave. And when he came forth, there was a new me that came forth with him. Amen. Praise God! That’s what I need, I need Jesus. I need the reality.

And folks, I’ll tell you, the closer we get to the end, the more we are gonna see the difference between those who really serve him and those who don’t, those who have something less than what we’re talking about. So, here’s the world that we need to overcome.

But what is it that overcomes the world? It’s even our faith, isn’t it? Now, we know we have plenty of stuff in the, plenty of scriptures. But I thought about that in the context of Hebrews, chapter 11, something that we probably need to take a fresh look at. Because that’s when the apostle, whoever wrote this, whoever is the human author of this, God is the author. But he lifts up what faith is all about. Praise God, all right?

So, it’s now, “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” So, faith deals with two different things, doesn’t it? The first is a confidence about something that isn’t here now but it’s in the future. Is that right? If God has given me a promise of something that He will do and I have confidence enough to rest my soul upon that, see that’s what, that’s part of what faith is about.

Now, how many of you were born with faith? Yeah, not one of us. Where does faith come from? Comes from the Word of God, doesn’t it? It comes from God invading our space, revealing Himself, not just to our heads, debating with us ideas and all that kind of stuff, and trying to get us to be more religious. Has nothing to do with that. It is the revelation of God that comes all the way past this, right down into here. It reveals who God is. It reveals who His Son is.

But it reveals who we are. And that’s where we, that’s where people get off, jump off the train. They don’t wanna face their own need before him. But oh, if we could, wherever there is a humble receptive heart that will open itself to the work of God in the heart, there is a quality, there’s something that comes from God’s own nature.

You know if I wasn’t born with faith, and I wasn’t, it just does not — see, it doesn’t exist in Adam’s nature, does it? But faith is a fruit of, is one of the fruits of. See, if I’m gonna have faith, I’m gonna have to have Him living in me. That’s gonna set me apart from everybody else.

Not that I’m anything. But do you see where being born of God comes into this? I literally have to have a birth where His life is begotten, is born on the inside of me and I have a different life than I was born into this world with.

But one of the qualities that arises from that is this quality called faith. And so, God, first of all, He imparts to me a conviction. That conviction can look forward, it can look out right now and say, I see what the world is saying. I see what it stands for, but I know the truth. ‘Cause I know what God says. And I don’t care what the world says, what it looks like, what it feels like. What God says is true, that’s what I’m gonna go by. That’s it. End of story.

You know, you talk about hope is the aspect of faith that looks to the future. You remember Hebrew 6; look it up sometime. You see what we have to base that hope upon. It’s not something we work up. Some people try to work up a feeling of faith and they got, they’re looking for faith in their faith. My faith is not focused on how I feel or how things look or anything that has to do with this world. It’s in the promise of God.

And He gives us two things there that we can rest our hope upon. What are they? One of them is a promise of a purpose that He describes as “unchanging.” In other words, here is what I have planned to do from the foundation of the world. Nobody is gonna change my mind. There is no circumstance that’s gonna arise that cause me to say, “Uh, uh, that didn’t work out. Let’s try plan B.” There is no plan B. God has a purpose that He has declared.

So, how do we know? You know, that in itself should be strong enough. But he says, you know, like people down here, they swear by somebody who’s greater, I swear by God that thus and so, and is supposed to lend some credence to what they’re saying. Well, there aren’t anybody greater for God to swear but so hHe swore by Himself.

So that’s the other thing. We have a God whose character is such that He cannot tell a lie. So, number one, you’ve got a promise of an unchanging purpose given by a God who is incapable of lying. That’s pretty strong basis for standing, isn’t it?

Folks, we’re gonna need what I’m talking about this morning, what I believe the Lord wants us to focus on this morning in order to stand in this hour. Because like I say, like Jesus said, the world hates us. It may not always seem like it right now.

And we live, as we’ve said so many times, in a very unusual place and time in history. We have a freedom that is amazing, but do you think it’s always going to be this way? No, it isn’t. And we’re gonna need something more than human strength. We’re gonna face all kinds of situations. What is it that will enable us to stand and overcome in those circumstances?

And what — basically you’ve got a system of thinking and living that governs this world. And Satan has been allowed to plant the lie that he describes as, well, praise God, what is it? In 2 Thessalonians 2, “strong delusion” is one of the translations. There is a strong delusion that is taking hold of people’s minds.

You remember how Jesus described and how the Word describes what happened in Noah’s day? What happened? There reached a point when God looked down and, with the exception of Noah, every imagination of every heart was what? Only evil continually. They had reached a point where there was zero capacity for God. They were simply living for whatever their flesh wanted. There was violence. There was all kinds of stuff, all kinds of wickedness in the world. And the Lord, it was time to judge.

That’s what’s gonna happen at the end of this age. We’re living in a temporary world that is absolutely …. Do you believe the Word of God? That this world that we see, we’re part of it, every bit of it is going to be destroyed? Every person who has never surrendered to Jesus Christ, as we described this morning is gonna die and face judgment. That’s the world we’re living in, folks.

You know, you go to Hebrews 11 again and you don’t get very far in before you run into Noah, don’t you? And how does it describe Noah’s conviction? I mean here he was standing against a world, no doubt ridiculed for all that he was doing. But the one thing he did was walk with God and believe what God said. But the belief was not just a mental thing, it caused him to obey what God told him to do.

Now listen to what it says, By his faith, this is in the middle of verse 7, By his faith. Now, what was his, what did his faith, what was the conviction of his faith and what was the consequence of this? “By his faith, he condemned the world.” Now it doesn’t mean having a hateful spirit. But folks, God is going to have to give us such a conviction that we not only see what the world stands for and what it’s about but we’re willing to say, “That’s not me. I don’t agree with that. I’m serving him. Come hell or high water, I’m serving him.”

What is it that overcomes the world? Even our faith. God is wanting to implant. Talk about having all the resources that we need. That’s the biggie. Because if that’s what overcomes the world, then man, I need that. I need Him to grow it, to implant it in me in the first place and to grow it.

You think, there’s a reason why we go through things right now, do you think God may be preparing us to stand? But look at what it involved. It involves, one thing it involves in every instance is a choice. God is going to allow a circumstance to arise where, in one sense, I have a choice. Am I going to believe God? A God I can’t see, a God that I can’t touch, I can’t see something immaterial in this world to back up this belief, but there’s a conviction that He’s planted here.

And I’m gonna, am I gonna believe that or am I gonna believe what my flesh wants? What the world tells me is so, what I see, what I can touch? Where is my faith gonna be? I’ll tell you, this is what’s gonna separate people who are God’s people, headed for an eternity with Him in the kingdom that He is building, the purpose He is fulfilling, and those who are outside and headed for destruction. It’s that simple, okay?

So, Noah made that choice. Abraham, of course, we talked about so many times, I’m gonna have to hustle through here but of course I don’t have to be bound by the clock but I don’t wanna abuse my liberty either.

Abraham had a whole lot of choices to make in his life, didn’t he? He heard the voice in some fashion. God made himself known to Abraham. And it wasn’t just that he believed God and said, That’s great. I’m gonna have nations come from me. I’m just gonna go on about my business. No, the vision and the Word that God gave him was such that he had to obey. He had to put that into action.

Folks, God is going to give us things in our lives where we’re gonna have to be willing to take action based upon the conviction that God has put in our hearts. We’re gonna have to do some standing. In his case, it was leaving family. It was a separation. It was leaving everything that he had known, going by faith in an unseen God, to a place he’d never been before.

And all the things that he went through, throughout his life, the faith that God was building in him and how he was willing to stand even when it became impossible for him to have a child or his wife certainly to have one, 90 year old lady. No possible human way that such a thing could be fulfilled. And he stood and he said, No, God said.

And then when God said, Sacrifice him. The son, the very son that I promised you, sacrifice him. And his obedience went all the way to the point where he had the knife raised. Now the writer to the Hebrews says that, you know, explains this that, well, he believed that even if he killed him, God could raise him from the dead. Well, that’s certainly true. You know, God will put us in situations where we don’t know how it’s coming out. And we’re gonna have to make the right choice anyway.

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