Let Us Look unto Jesus in Overcoming the World (Hebrews 12:1-3)
1. As we endeavor to run the Christian race, we can receive encouragement from 2 great sources: a. the "cloud of witnesses" listed in ch.11 b. the Lord -- we are to keep our eyes focused on Him and the patience He demonstrated as He completed His race. 2. In our lesson we are especially concerned with an activity that Jesus accomplished in John 16:33 -- He overcame the world. 3. Even though the apostles would face tribulation in the world, they could "have peace," and they could "be of good cheer." 4. The apostles could have peace and be of good cheer because Jesus had "overcome" [to conquer, to prevail, to gain the victory] the world. a. By overcoming the world, Jesus had conquered the world, He had prevailed against the world, and He had gained the victory over the world. b. The fact that Jesus overcame the world was a source of encouragement to the apostles -- it is also a source of encouragement to us. 5. As we run the race, "let us look unto Jesus in overcoming the world." Discussion: I. SOME WAYS IN WHICH JESUS OVERCAME THE WORLD
A. Jesus overcame Satan's temptations after He was baptized (Mark 1:9-13). B. Jesus overcame difficult experiences, including: 1. the loss of: a. a family member: John (Matthew 14:10-13) b. a close friend: Lazarus (John 11:35-36) 2. rejection by His disciples (John 6:66), His family (John 7:5), and His countrymen (John 8:59) 3. betrayal (John 18:3-5) 4. unjust treatment (John 19:1-3) 5. being forsaken by His close friends (Matthew 26:56). C. Jesus overcame resentment and retaliation (1 Peter 2:21-23). D. The Bible shows how we can benefit from the example set by Jesus as He overcame the world (Hebrews 4:15-16). E. In addition to overcoming the world Himself, . . . II. JESUS WANTS HIS FOLLOWERS TO OVERCOME THE WORLD
A. According to 1 John 5:4-5, requirements for overcoming the world include: 1. faith 2. believing that Jesus is God's Son 3. being born of God. B. We learn from Romans 12:17-21 that the Lord's followers are to overcome evil with good. C. In His messages to the 7 churches of Asia, Jesus revealed the blessings in store for those who overcome. 1. Revelation 2:7 (Ephesus) 2. Revelation 2:11 (Smyrna) 3. Revelation 2:17 (Pergamos) 4. Revelation 2:26 (Thyatira) 5. Revelation 3:5 (Sardis) 6. Revelation 3:12 (Philadelphia) 7. Revelation 3:21 (Laodicea) D. Additional blessings are revealed in Revelation 21:7. Conclusion:
1. In John 16:33 Jesus said that He had overcome the world. 2. Let us keep our eyes focused on Him as we run the Christian race.