The apostle John makes an interesting, and optimistic, argument in 1 John 5. He says:
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith. (1 John 5:3-4)
The second half of verse 4 is the first sentence I remember memorizing in Greek: hay nikay hay nikaysasa ton kosmon, hay pistis haymone. “This is the victory that victories the world, our faith.” Faith is sort of a big deal.
Consider the connections:
- Love must obey, and is made known as we obey.
- Love for God comes from those who have been born of God.
- The born-of-God-ers are world-overcomers.
- World-overcomers are also believers.
- So, we are born again by God to believe in God and love God and obey God which is overcoming the world.
Both love and faith come from God who caused us to be born again. We know love as it obeys, and we know faith as it overcomes.
Alternatively, disobedience is a sign of the world’s victory, and disobedience is a sign of faith’s faltering, or perhaps that there is no faith at all.
So, Christian, how are you stimulating your faith? You cannot conquer the worldliness in your own heart, let alone the worldliness of the world, without faith in Jesus, the Son of God.