DAILY DEVOTIONAL, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2022

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APOSTOLIC FATHERS Lightfoot

Albert Barnes and Edward D. Andrews write,

1 John 5:4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
4 because everyone who has been born from God conquers the world. And this is the conquest that has conquered the world, our faith.

Because everyone who has been born from God conquers the world. The world, in its maxims, and precepts, and customs, do not rule him, but he is a freeman. The idea is that there is a conflict between religion and the world and that in the heart of every true Christian religion secures victory or triumphs. In John 16:33, the Savior says, ‘Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ See Notes on that verse. He obtained a complete triumph over him, ‘who rules the darkness of the world,’ and laid the foundation for a victory by his people over all vice, error, and sin. John makes this affirmation of all who are born of God. ‘Whatsoever,’ or, as the Greek is, ‘Everything which is begotten of God,’ (πᾶν τὸ γεγενημένον;) meaning to affirm, undoubtedly, that in every instance where one is truly regenerated, there is this victory over the world. See Note on James 4:4 below. It is one of the settled maxims of religion, that every man who is a true Christian gain a victory over the world; and consequently, a maxim as settled, that where the spirit of the world reigns supremely in the heart, there is no true religion. But, if this be a true principle, how many professed Christians are there who are strangers to all claims of piety—for how many are there who are wholly governed by the spirit of this world!

James 4:4 Note: The term world here is to be understood not of the physical world as God made it, for we could not well speak of the “friendship” of that, but of the community, or people, called “the world,” in contradistinction from the people of God. Compare John 12:31; 1Cor. 1:20; 1Cor. 3:19; Gal. 4:3; Col. 2:8. The “friendship of the world” (φιλία τοῦ κόσμου philia tou kosmou) is the love of that world; of the maxims which govern it, the principles which reign there, the ends that are sought, the amusements and gratifications which characterize it as distinguished from the church of God. It consists in setting our hearts on those things, in conforming to them, in making them the object of our pursuit with the same spirit with which they are sought by those who make no pretensions to religion.

And this is the conquest that has conquered the world. This is the source or means of the victory which is thus achieved.

Our faith. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, 1 John 5:5. He overcame the world (John 16:33,) and it is by that faith which makes us one with him, and that imbues us with his Spirit, that we are able to do it also.[1]

[1] Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: James to Jude, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884–1885), 337–338.

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