February 29

Overcoming the world

“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).
“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21).
“He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son” (Rev. 21:7).

Now the first thing in overcoming the world is that the spirit of covetousness in respect to worldly things and objects be overcome. The man who does not overcome this spirit of bustling and scrambling after the good which this world proffers has by no means overcome it. Overcoming the world implies rising above its engrossments. When a man has overcome the world, his thoughts are no longer engrossed and swallowed up with worldly things.
A man certainly does not overcome the world unless he gets above being engrossed and absorbed with its concerns.
What is a religion good for that does not overcome the world? What is the benefit of being born into such a religion if it leave the world still swaying its dominion over our hearts? What avails a new birth which after all fails to bring us into a likeness to God, into the sympathies of His family and of His kingdom; which leaves us still in bondage to the world and to Satan?
What can there be of such a religion more than the name? With what reason can any man suppose that such a religion fits his heart for Heaven, supposing it leaves him earthly-minded, sensual, and selfish?

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