Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.
The key verse for this study comes from 1 John 4:9 - "This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him."
This verse provides a clue as to how faith overcomes the world cultural system. John writes a good deal about the world, by which he means fallen humanity, bondage to the flesh and to this world under Satan's rule. While God made humans with an innate need to worship, the world remains ignorant of saving faith in the Son of God.
Indeed, the world promotes all sorts of idols and idolatrous worship. Ideologies, false religions, and materialism are tools in the hands of rulers to manipulate their people. Karl Marx was correct in describing these non-biblical religions as an “opiate” to give people false hope and a feeling of security.
Many have an “unknown god” often described as “the man up stairs!” Sadly, they confuse their “man upstairs” with the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. They want him to come to their aid in times of trouble, as if He were an lucky charm to ward off evil. They do not have a real relationship with Him and so He can be blamed when things go wrong.
This describes millions of people. They are in a condition of spiritual deafness. They cannot be classified with the immature Believers to whom John directs his epistle. May they hear the Good News of God's love and forgiveness at least once in their lives, though the preaching of the Gospel seems to have grown cold in our time.
John is writing to believers who lack a strong foundational faith. He wants them to know, adore, and serve a Living Lord, and to have full assurance of salvation (1 John 5:10-13). In a detailed way, he is repeating wthe witness of John the Baptist: "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
John points to Jesus Christ as your anchor. By Him and by His blood you are able to overcome. Biblical faith is centered in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. As He overcame the world, so those who are in Him will overcome.