The Shepherd’s Staff   Overcomer—Position vs. Practice

The Shepherd’s Staff Overcomer—Position vs. Practice

       As I wrote in last week’s devotional, all believers are ‘overcomers’ in the sense that the part of us which has been born of God through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ overcomes the world. It is because the Overcomer lives in us. Jesus said, “I have overcome the world” (John 16:33b) and the Apostle John assures us of the consequence of our new birth, “For that which is born of God overcomes the world and this is the victory that overcomes the world-our faith” (1 John 5:4). Paul explains the dynamic of Christ living in us, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20) Our position in Christ defines us as ‘overcomers’.

         In addition to our position as an overcomer, there is the practice of being an overcomer. That refers to the man, woman or student, who has willfully decided to present himself or herself to God as a living sacrifice as a logical response to God’s immeasurable mercies. While all believers are in one sense ‘overcome’, not all believers ‘overcome’ absolutely. “The overcomer passages are promises given to believers to encourage and kindle love and obedience in view of who they are in Christ and what they possess in Him. These are not warnings against the loss of salvation, nor necessarily warnings against false professions, though that could be one application of these promises. Furthermore, they are not statements affirming the preservation of saints. Instead, they are guarantees of special blessings or rewards for faithful service and lives of faith.” (Studies in Revelation, J. Hampton Keathly, III, 2013, Appendix 3, p. 11)

 

         We know from the Scriptures that not all believers are overcomers in their particular lives.  The Corinthian believers are an example of believers, who did not experience ultimate victory over sin in their lives. Paul admonishes them with these words, “And I, brothers [and sisters,] could not speak to you as spiritual people, but [only] as fleshly, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able [to consume it.] But even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like [ordinary] people?” (1 Corinthians 3:1-3) The Apostle John, in the same letter, where he said that all believers are overcomers, wrote these words, “If anyone sees his brother [or sister] committing a sin not [leading] to death, he shall ask and [God] will, for him, give life to those who commit sin not [leading] to death. There is sin [leading] to death; I am not saying that he should ask about that.” (1 John 5:16) “Believers may have more than temporary setbacks and bouts with sin. It is sadly possible for believers to backslide terribly and to remain in that backslidden state until death.” (Keathly, p. 8)

         The letters to the churches, which were real churches, are indicative of churches in the 21st century. These churches had their own particular conflict or problem and there were specific rewards that are in keeping with or somehow related to the problem they faced. The promises were to individuals in those churches, not corporately to the whole church. “No two Christian’s lives are the same in terms of their struggles and triumphs. The basis of victory is the same, faith in the person and work of Christ and our blessings in Him, but the struggles are different and it seems that God tailors the reward accordingly…These promises are special rewards to believers who overcome specific conflicts in the Christian life through faith and obedience in their daily walk.” (Keathly, p. 13)

         “These letters do not present victory as a certainty, but rather as an aspiration which each individual should pursue…Victory is not a collective right, but an individual attainment…Clearly, the promises to the overcomers are rewards for obedience to the command of the Lord of the Church.” (Keathly, 13) Next week we will examine the promise to the church at Ephesus as recorded in Revelation 3:7. Read Chapters 2 and 3 to familiarize your mind to the seven letters that Jesus wrote to those churches. I pray that you will aspire to earn those rewards as an overcomer in the power of the Holy Spirit filling you and empowering you.

 Bill Olsen, Elder

The One Who Overcomes Will Rule with Authority

According to the trending world view of progressive America, we should not state that this kind of lifestyle is contrary to Biblical truth. We are ‘intolerant’ if we do.

The Shepherd’s Staff The One Who Overcomes Shall Not Be Hurt By the Second Death

Persecution will not cease but will increase as we near the end times and the Great Tribulation.

The Shepherd’s Staff: Granted

The word “granted” may be obvious in meaning but, it is packed with incomprehensible meaning in Paul’s usage.

The Shepherd’s Staff: Devoted

Is the future of the church defined by a building or its people? What can we glean from the New Testament about this?

The Shepherd’s Staff: My Rock

With all that is going on in the early days of 2021, we need to have our perspective directed in the right place.

The Shepherd’s Staff: Each Day is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life

With a new year rapidly approaching us, I wanted to bring you some encouragement as you anticipate the unknown 365 days ahead

The Shepherd’s Staff: Light In The Darkness

A little child was born to insignificant parents, in an insignificant village in Israel and in an insignificant moment in the history of the Roman empire. BUT, that baby was the fulfilment of the prophecy made by Isaiah about 700 years prior to His birth

The Shepherd’s Staff: He Emptied Himself For You and For Me

In the midst of singing carols, decorating trees, exchanging gifts, feasting on pastries and roasted meats, and gathering together with other believers-in person or online-to worship the One Who was born 2 centuries ago, there is a deeper, and more profound aspect of...

The Shepherd’s Staff: The Blessed Hope

If you have ever received correspondence from me, I typically sign it with the term, “Maranatha!”. The term is found in 1 Corinthians 16:22

The Shepherd’s Staff: Love Letters

Why am I writing this to you? Because I want you to experience the presence of the living God, Who is like
no other god created by man.

Our God Lyrics

Our God
By: Chris Tomlin

Water You turned into wine, opened the eyes of the blind
there’s no one like You, none like You!
Into the darkness You shine, out of the ashes we rise
there’s no one like You, none like You!
Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God, You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God! Our God!

Into the darkness You shine, out of the ashes we rise
there’s no one like You, none like You!
Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God, You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God! Our God!
Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God, You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God! Our God!

And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us?
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against?
And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us?
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against?

Then what could stand against?
Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God, You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God! Our God!
Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God, You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God! Our God!

And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us?
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against?
And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us?
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against?

Then what could stand against?

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God, You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God! Our God!
Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God, You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God! Our God!

Happy Lyrics

Happy
By: Tasha Cobbs


[Verse 1: Tasha]
You make me happy
You make me whole
You take the pain away
I’m so in love with You
You make me happy
You make me whole
You take the pain away
I’m so in love with You

[Verse 1: BGV]
You make me happy
You make me whole
You take the pain away
I’m so in love with You
You make me happy
You make me whole
You take the pain away
I’m so in love with You

[Chorus: BGV]
Everything about You is right
It covers all my wrong
Your life saved my life

Everything about You is right
Covers all my wrong
Your life saved my life
With You is where I belong

[Verse 1: BGV]
You make me happy
You make me whole
You take the pain away
I’m so in love with You
You make me happy
You make me whole
You take the pain away
I’m so in love with You

[Chorus: BGV]
Everything about You is right
It covers all my wrong
Your life saved my life

Everything about You is right
Covers all my wrong
Your life saved my life
Everything about You is right
Covers all my wrong
Your life saved my life
With you is where I belong

[Chorus 2: BGV]
With You is where

[Bridge: Tasha]
So in love with You
Can’t make it without You
I live to worship You
Forever me and You

[Bridge: BGV]
So in love with You
Can’t make it without You
I live to worship You
Forever me and You

So in love with You
Can’t make it without You
I live to worship You
Forever me and You
So in love with You
Can’t make it without You
I live to worship You
Forever me and You
Forever me and You
Forever me and You
Forever me and You
Forever me and You

Forever me and You
Forever me and You

[Outro: Tasha]
Everything about You is right
And it covers my wrong
Your life saved my life
Your life saved my life

Grow Up

Not everyone who grows old actually grows up!  God’s desire is not for us to stay spiritual babies but for us to grow to maturity in all areas of our lives.  The book of James challenges us to have a faith that is mature and that works itself out in practical ways.

Pastor Jon concludes our series in James. 

Out of Control

by Jon Laughinghouse | March 28

This week, Elder Wesley Williams teaches about taming the tongue from James 3. 

Watch What You Say

by Wesley Williams | March 22

In the opening week of our series, Pastor Jon Laughinghouse preaches a message titled, “A Mature Response to Trouble,” from James 1:1-4.

A Mature Response to Trouble

by Jon Laughinghouse | March 1

Embracing Change

Have you ever gotten too content with your shortcomings, your fears, and your comfort?  It can be hard to move from those places.  When we resist good and necessary changes we can feel like we are just getting dragged through life bruised and scraped up.  But when we trust the Lord he guides our steps and we can embrace the new season that he wants to lead us into.

In the final week of our series, Pastor Jon Laughinghouse preaches a message titled, “Press Forward,” from Philippians 3.

Press Forward

by Jon Laughinghouse | February 23

In week three of our series, Pastor Jon Laughinghouse preaches a message titled, “Free to Rejoice,” from Philippians 1:1-18.

Free to Rejoice

by Jon Laughinghouse | February 16

In week two of our series, Pastor Jon Laughinghouse preaches a message titled, “Responding to Change,” from John 13-14.

Responding to Change

by Jon Laughinghouse | February 9

In the opening week of our series, Pastor Jon Laughinghouse preaches a message titled, “Believing God for Change,” from the book of Exodus. 

Believing God for Change

by Jon Laughinghouse | February 2

Helping People Be

Ever feel like you are going through life confused, lonely, or lost? Belmont wants to help you discover your unique design and purpose in life so you can live to your full potential. There is nobody quite like you!  Join us for this series to see how Belmont is ‘Helping People Be Who God Created Them To Be.’

In the final week of our series, Pastor Jon Laughinghouse preaches a message titled, “Take A Step” to share Belmont’s spiritual committment challenges for 2020. 

Take A Step

by Jon Laughinghouse | January 26

In the third week of our series, Pastor Jon Laughinghouse preaches a message titled, “We Before Me,” from Romans 2:3-8.

We Before Me

by Jon Laughinghouse | January 19

In the second week of our series, Pastor Jon Laughinghouse preaches a message titled, “Transformed,” from Romans 2:1-2.

Transformed

by Jon Laughinghouse | January 12

In the opening week of our series, Pastor Jon Laughinghouse preaches a message titled, “Show Me the Way,” from Acts 1:1-9.

Show Me the Way

by Jon Laughinghouse | January 5