Overcoming Evil

June 24, 2018

The Bible tells us that we are living in the midst of a wicked and perverse generation, yet we are expected to shine like stars in the sky. This is a real challenge to all believers. Indeed, it is not easy to live as Christians. Even the apostle Paul warned, “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12). However, our consolation as believers is that while we go through all kinds of persecution, we are not helpless or hopeless. We are encouraged by the very words of the Lord Jesus Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

But while wickedness abounds, we should not be overcome by it. Rather, we should heed the admonition of the apostle Paul. He said, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21). This is particularly true when confronting people that are bent on inflicting harm on us. We should not take matters into our own hands and take revenge. Rather, let us use goodness as our weapons. Again, the apostle Paul said, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head” (Rom. 12:20).

Because of the increase of wickedness, the command for believers is: “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Peter 5:8-9). But resisting is more than words. The Bible gives us ways on how to effectively resist or overcome evil when it says, “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death” (Rev. 12:11).

Therefore, we overcome evil by the blood of the Lamb. The devil cannot stand the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the blood that is being sprinkled on the believers, just like the blood of the Passover Lamb that was sprinkled on the top of the door and the two side posts of the Israelites’ home, so the angel of death would pass over them (Exodus 12:13). The apostle Paul said, “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!” (Rom. 5:9).

We overcome by the word of our testimony. The word of our testimony is none other than the Word of God. Our Lord Jesus Christ modelled the power of the Word when he confronted every temptation of the devil in Matthew 4:3-11 by quoting Scripture. We should never belittle the power of the Word for the Bible tells us that “the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). Of the armour mentioned by the apostle Paul in the Book of Ephesians, the Word of God was referred to as the Sword of the Spirit (Ep. 6:17). This is not only for defensive use but is also offensive, where you can speak the Word of God and it shall accomplish its purpose.

We overcome by the sacrifice of our lives. This process of sacrificing our lives was beautifully presented by the apostle Paul when he said, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). Unless we learn to yield our lives to Jesus, we will not be able to overcome the works of the devil. It is in dying to ourselves and letting God do the work that we will win the battle. We must remember that we do not fight against flesh and blood but against powers and rulers in the heavenly places.

Finally, we overcome by the faith that we have in Christ Jesus. The apostle John said, “For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God” (1 John 5:4-5). We have to be born again for us to be able to confront all the works of the evil one. If Jesus is in us as our Lord and Saviour, who can be against us? We can take further comfort from the words of the apostle John when he said, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Hallelujah!