Sunday, August 11, 2013

P3 Jesus wants a church with a conviction to be overcomer

Revelation 2:25-26 "Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come. 26 He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations."

For the past couple of days we have explored Jesus' message to the church at Thyatira.  Why is it important to have Godly convictions as a church? The following convictions from Revelation 2:18-29 have been proposed: 

1. Conviction to grow in Christ Rev 2:18-19
2. Conviction about Godly tolerance           Revelation 2:20-24
3. Conviction to be overcomers.  Rev 2:25-29

We looked at the first two convictions, and in today's post we will consider the third conviction that Jesus wants for His church: namely the conviction to be overcomers.

Jesus wants his church to have the conviction to be overcomers
The theme of "overcoming" is one of the major themes you will find throughout the Apostle John's writings:

1. John 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” 

2. 1 John 5:4-5 "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"

The word translated "overcome" is the same word from whence we get brand name "Nike".  To wear "Nike" shoes literally means to where the shoes of victory.  Jesus is saying to this church at Thyatira that for those who hold fast, hold on and hold dear to Him, the reality of reigning with Jesus will be theirs.  They have had to overcome the pressure of their culture and they needed to overcome the godless influences operating in the church.  Think of those three terms: hold fast, hold on and hold dear as three essential ingredients to what it means to have a conviction of being an overcomer in the faith.

First ingredient to being an overcomer - "Hold Fast"
To "hold fast" in Revelation 2:25 means to cling to whatever ground you have gained thus far in your Christian walk.  Just as it was in the days of Elijah and wicked queen Jezebel, there were 7,000 that had not bowed the knee to Baal. (1 Kings 19:18) In that little church at Thyatira, not everyone had bowed the knee so-to-speak to the false prophetess Jezebel.  Jesus encourages these people to "hold fast" to what they have.

Second ingredient to being an overcomer - "hold on"
To "hold on" refers to continuing in the process of gaining more ground in your Christian walk.  A conviction of being an overcomer not only means "holding the line", but also looking for more opportunities to serve the Master - Jesus Christ. Undoubtedly this second element of being an overcomer is spelled out most clearly in Revelation 2:26.  

As you and I aim to gain more ground for Jesus' sake, we will understand better our destiny as co-heirs with Him.  For now the child of God is a co-heir with Jesus Christ by position. (Ephesians 2:6-8)  However when Jesus comes back, that position will become fact.  By quoting Psalm 2, Jesus through John is telling the Christian that His destiny in being the King of the world includes the royal heritage His Father destined for every believer.  So in being overcomers, we hold on, we hold fast and thirdly we need to hold dear.

Third ingredient to being an overcomer - "hold dear"
The idea of "holding dear" is found in Revelation 2:29, wherein we are commanded to take what the Spirit is saying through the scriptures and follow through in obedience.  "Holding dear" something means you and I are to live out the life of an overcomer.  This is what Jesus wants.  He wants us to become more and more in experience whom He has declared us to be in position: more than conquerors in Him who saved us by His grace. (Romans 8:37-39).

So as we close our time in Jesus letter to the church at Thyatira, we can note the following convictions that He desires for a church at a crossroads:

1. Conviction to grow in Christ Rev 2:18-19
2. Conviction about Godly tolerance           Revelation 2:20-24
3. Conviction to be overcomers.  Rev 2:2