Day 13 (teaching)


This is the fifth and final test John lays out in determining if, in relation to Christianity, a person possesses the real thing.

A genuine steward is someone that cares for that which belongs to another; in other words, someone else’s stuff. Here John says the proof of our stewardship (possessing things from God) plays out in three areas of our lives:

1. HOW WE WALK (verses 1-5)

In verses 1-3 we see that a genuine steward walks in love.

In this portion of scripture we find the word “love” 5 times and the word “commandment” 3 times, and it plays out this way: if we love God we love other Christians and we keep the Lord’s commandments.

We are given God’s love as we’ve seen throughout this entire letter. How we care for that love given to us is the issue. Genuine stewards use it to love others and to love and obey the Lord?

In verses 4-5 we see that a genuine steward walks by faith.

Here we read the word “overcome” 3 times and the word “faith” 2 times. The Christian steward overcomes the world by the faith given to him or her by God.

To overcome the world is to follow Jesus rather than the world. The world offers all types of temptations to get us to follow its guidelines and wisdom. By the faith given to us, that is by trusting Jesus more than the world we see around us, we overcome those temptations and live lives that are honoring to God.

One songwriter accurately wrote, “Faith IS the victory.” True faith ALWAYS leads to overcoming the world. Therefore overcoming the world is indispensable and indisputable evidence of true faith. Conversely, being overcome by the world reveals the absence of such faith.

John wrote of this same truth in Revelation 3:5. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment;

Are we given heavenly garb, this picture of forgiveness and acceptance with God because of faith or because of overcoming? Both! Genuine faith always leads to overcoming. They are inseparable.