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Church Talk: I have overcome world

Friday 1 September 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Church Talk, Features


Church Talk: I have overcome world

These are the very words of the Lord Jesus Christ – John 16:33. What did Jesus mean by he overcame the world? “I have overcome the world” The word “overcome” comes from the Greek word nikos, which can be translated to overcome, but is also the word for victory writes Reverend Vakaroto Ngaro, Ekalesia Avarua.

However, the grammar used in this verse doesn't imply a single victory; rather, it denotes a continuous, abiding victory both now and in the future.

Overcoming the world means turning ourselves outward, remembering the second commandment which said: “He that is greatest among you shall be your servant.”

 The happiness of our spouse is more important than our own pleasure. Helping our children to love God and keep his commandments is a primary priority.

In this life, we deal with the trials of sickness, tragedy, natural disasters, and malevolence.

And yet, for the Christian, we are able to walk through it all with peace and purpose. The life that God calls us to is wonderful because Jesus has overcome the world.

Jesus told his disciples to be of good cheer, just as they were about to face the darkest, most troubling time of their lives.

The Lord will soon be leaving them and he knew that severe persecution, suffering and the possibility of death awaited each of his followers.

The disciples were grieved and confused as Jesus explained, in a little while you won’t see me anymore.

Jesus knew what lies ahead for his followers and he encouraged them to be strong to face their persecution.

With that understand, most of the Apostles suffered immeasurable death for the sake of their Lord.

Six of them were crucified, some sawn in two, Thomas was speared while others were beheaded, all except John.

Even though John was thrown in a pot of boiling oil, miraculously he survived and lived on until he was an old man of over 90-years-old.

He was a living testimony of those who suffered persecution and yet lived on.

I am also reminded of Numangatini Ariki at the New Year gathering in 1870.

Allow me to quote from history, taken from “Life in the Southern Isles” by William Wyatt Gill.

When he rose from his seat, this is what he said: Jesus said, “I have overcome the world”.

Then he continued, look at this large and pleasant gathering.

There was nothing like this in heathen times. Men, women and children are here in Jehovah’s “marae”, no woman or child was ever permitted to take part in idol worship at our famous heathen maraes, at Orongo, at Araata or at Maungaroa.

Only the great men might assemble at the marae, the common people, after depositing presents of food for their gods in the of their chiefs, retired to a distance and waited until the ceremonies were concluded.

And then see how nicely you are all clothed today.

There was no such clothing in heathen times. We all know what poor sort of stuff our best native dresses were made of. Our ancestors were always fighting and as a result, famine invariably followed a long period of strife. I remember well when the entire population had to subsist upon candle nuts, sour nono fruits, fern roots and various sorts of leaves found in the forest.

Very many had starved to death. I have seen enough of Satan’s reign.

When quite a lad I went to the battle of Teatuapai, carrying a basket of stones to sling at the foe, and later having attained to manhood at the battle of Rangiura, I fought with a flat wooden sword.

In the subsequent battle of Araeva, for the first time I wielded the long spear.

I finished my fighting then, for about that time the Gospel was brought to our shores.

Ever since then I have held fast by the Word of God. This is the best and noblest employment….