Who is an Overcomer?

To him who overcomes… (Rev. 2:7b)

Jesus makes a promise connected with overcoming at the end of each of his letters. This promise leads us to wonder, how do I overcome? And what happens if I don’t? Is Jesus saying I can lose my salvation if I fail the overcoming test?

Some define overcoming as a list of things you must do. You have to prevail in life’s trials, disarm spiritual enemies, and conquer every sin. You have to resist temptation, walk in daily victory, and defeat the devil. Do these things to your dying breath and you will earn the right to eat from the Tree of Life, but drop the ball and you’ll be toast. This sort of thinking leads to stressed-out, overworked Christianity such as the Ephesians practiced, and it is not good news.

The word overcomes is a verb that means to conquer, prevail, or get the victory. Look up the word in the dictionary and you will find a picture of Jesus who is the Overcomer. “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Jesus has overcome—past tense. The devil couldn’t tempt him, the law lovers couldn’t silence him, Pilate couldn’t fault him, death couldn’t keep him, and the grave couldn’t hold him. Jesus conquered death and he now sits at the right hand of God, bearing a name above every name.

Who is an overcomer?

You are, because Jesus is an overcomer and “as he is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17). You cannot be one with the Lord and not be an overcomer any more than you can be one with the ocean and not be wet.

You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

This is not a promise of a future reality but a statement of present fact. You have overcome because Christ the Overcomer lives in you. It makes no difference whether you are an old saint or a brand new believer, you are an overcomer because Jesus makes you so.

You may say, “But I don’t feel like an overcomer.”

In Christ, you are an overcomer nonetheless. When you came to the Lord he made you a new creation. He gave you his overcoming DNA and his overcoming Spirit. You are now an overcomer by nature. It’s in your genes.

It is important to let this truth take root in your heart lest you be tempted into the sort of dead works that seduced the Ephesians. If you don’t see yourself as an overcomer in Christ, you will think there are two classes of Christians: There are the super Christians who overcome and are rewarded with special crowns, and then there are the Christian riffraff who frankly don’t deserve to be in the kingdom. This is a false dichotomy. We are all undeserving riffraff, and we are all qualified by grace. Because of Jesus every believer is a crown-wearing tree-of-life-munching overcomer.

But wait, there’s more…

Yet the Bible goes even further than this. “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Rom. 8:37). The word for conqueror is the same word for overcomer. In Christ you are more than an overcomer, but what does that mean? A conqueror has to fight to get the victory, but we are more than conquerors because Christ has won the war. Because of Jesus, we don’t have to fight. We simply stand on the victory that Christ has accomplished on our behalf. Jesus the Overcomer has done the hard work; our part is to receive the benefits and say, “Thank you, Lord!”

The identity of a conqueror comes from a conquered enemy, but we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Our identity comes from our first love who loved us, and it is a better identity by far. You may say, “I’m a cancer survivor,” or “I’m a recovering alcoholic.” Perhaps you’ve battled with abuse, addiction, or anxiety, and by the grace of God you have conquered or are conquering those enemies. But those enemies don’t define you because you are more than a conqueror. You are not a rape victim; you are a daughter of the Most High. You are not a struggling porn addict; you’re a son of the King. You need to see yourself as God sees you, for it is only with a proper sense of identity—one grounded in God’s love for us—that you can begin to overcome in life’s trials.

How do we overcome?

Through faith in Jesus the Overcomer. In union with Christ, you are an overcomer by nature. You have nothing to prove. To see Christ’s victory in your daily struggles means working out by faith that which the Lord has already accomplished.

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:4–5)

Spiritual warfare for the Christian is less about shouting at the devil and more about believing that Jesus is Lord over whatever situation we face. Unbelief says we must engage the enemy and fight for the victory, but faith declares that Jesus has already won. Unbelief cowers before the name of the adversary, whether it’s disease, debt, or depression. But faith exalts the Name that is above every name.

Extracted from Paul’s new book, Letters from Jesus: Finding Good News in Christ’s Letters to the Churches.

28 Comments on Who is an Overcomer?

  1. Michelle L French // December 13, 2018 at 6:44 am // Reply

    Thank you Paul. I am right now standing on Jesus promises that He has supplied all my needs, I applied for a position but haven’t heard back from the employer, and just reading your blog reminded me that I’m not looking for victory because Jesus has already given me the victory! Thank you for your blog that came right on time for me. Thank you.

    Michelle

  2. It’s law vs. grace and it’s religion vs. Truth. Religion says get on the treadmill and accomplish this long list of self-righteous activities and you may just be an overcomer. Grace and Truth say “believe and receive”.

    It is the Grace of God that teaches us to say NO to unrighteousness, not striving to earn it in the flesh. Only took me five decades to learn this! Many thanks to Paul Ellis, purveyor of Grace and Truth

  3. Kristi Gorrod // December 13, 2018 at 6:59 am // Reply

    Amen, Paul! Please keep writing! Your perspective on what the Lord has done is life-giving and unfortunately still counter-culture today. You’re helping me swim upstream and I’m so grateful!

  4. Reading this gave me another glimpse (but I lost it straight away) into Christs finished work. I will meditate on these thoughts as they resonated as true. Thank you.

  5. Joe Conaghan // December 13, 2018 at 8:01 am // Reply

    Wow that was so good, I love you brother Paul. Such a great word of encouragement. Thank you once again for your ministry

    -Joe

  6. This is good news!

  7. Mr Paul infact your page is eye enlightened and God really bless you for your works. Please am in Ghana and I was hoping to know how I can get your PDF books

  8. Thank you so much for this gold nugget of truth! – so frefreshing because it brings life not death We are all in need of these wonderful truths as so much has been distorted and preached in the church today

  9. Thank you so much Paul, I read this book in PDFs format, the revaluations you have revealed are abundant! It was like having all manner of doubt being sucked out the door, and the door locked with a big stamp of APPROVAL across it, knowing without doubt interfering we are approved by God. Brilliant book!
    Going to get the ebook plus, I want the book as well when it’s available.
    Thank you for putting in all those hours of study to write this, you will be abundantly blessed
    I am absolutely sure of that. 😇

  10. I heard a cute analogy – Rocky is an overcomer. When he hands his paycheck to Adrian, she is more than an overcomer.

    • That’s brilliant. The bride of Rocky does none of the training and she wears none of the marks or bruises, but she reaps all the hard-won rewards. What a great analogy.

  11. Bayside Church International Inc // December 13, 2018 at 2:06 pm // Reply

    Nice one bro… especially the bit about being MORE than an overcomer 😝
    When is paperback out?

  12. Anthony Ford // December 13, 2018 at 4:32 pm // Reply

    Hi Paul, my wife I have been reading your articles for years and have found them to be a tremendous blessing! We also have brought and read several of your books and they are also a tremendous treasure of spiritual truth!
    My question is this: As long as I have been a born again believer in our Lord, I have always heard of: “Keeping your Confessions” it is mentioned in the word, for example: if I constantly repeat, “By his stripes I am healed”, that the word of God will not return void. Do I have the correct understanding of Confession. I mean the word says” If you say to this mountain”. Many other Pastor’s that I respect have supported confession: Andrew Womack, Ken Hagin, FF Bosworth and many others. Can you please share with me your understanding of Cofession?
    Thanking you in advance for your time and patience.
    God bless you,
    Anthony

  13. Beautiful encouraging word, Paul.

    Exactly what the HS was whispering in my heart this morning (Roman’s 8:37 and being conquerors). Imagine my surprise when I later looked at your post. I’m getting the book on Kindle right now …

  14. Omg! Thank you pastor. I am lifted by this word. My faith got wings to fly. Christ love me and has overcome for me. Praise Jesus. It doesn’t matter what the devil is doing what matters is that Christ has dealt with him on the cross.

  15. “Letters from Jesus: Finding Good News in Christ’s Letters to the Churches will be auto-delivered wirelessly to your Kindle on 17 December 2018”

    Best Christ-mas present ever! 🙂

  16. Tommy Hawk Teacher/Author // December 14, 2018 at 12:05 am // Reply

    Hi Paul.

    An overcomer it’s like a prize fighter fighting for a million-dollar purse. in the 15th round, the fight is so close either one could win.

    At the end of the 15th round with just a few seconds left, the Challenger knocks out the champ. He persevered and became the overcomer. He gets the check for $1000000 takes it home and gives it to his wife, she’s more than a conqueror or overcomer.

    Tommy

  17. Thanks Dr. Paul. You are a blessing to me.

  18. Absolutely wonderful!
    Thank you so much for this

  19. Thank You Paul, reading this about victory, being overcomers. I see like in the day of King Jehoshaphat, when there were three armies coming to kill them, Israel. Not knowing what to do asked in counsel and got this: “Send out the praise and worship band, He did, and when those three armies were caught up between the clefts I think, saw the praise and worship band first.” Now this I know, being in flesh and blood, I would think what? Who sends out the praise and worship band first?This confused these armies and they destroyed one another.

    And this allegory of what happened then is here today in the risen Christ our leader with Father in Spirit and Truth going out before us. Taking care of our enemies, that area today defeated in the Risen Christ,

    Thank you Victory at the resurrection of Christ for us to turn to Father in belief too. We are risen, after we willingly be dead to this world and self first born in. Having the new inner man of the new heart and spirit given us to abide in his love and mercy given us,

    For by Son’s death for us alone on that cross reconciled everyone as forgiven from Father. We are told this in Col. 1:22, made Holy by the one time death of Son for us to believe, then receive new life to walk in, that I see not to take for granted, to appreciate in thanksgiving and praise all sin today taken away., Standing in trust for the new life given us in the risen Son for us, as predicted in Ez. 36:26

  20. God bless you sir

  21. Paul, only very recently I found your website, so have not yet read a great amount of your articles.

    A statement of present fact is that there is not at this point discernable evidence of my being an overcomer through Christ Jesus the Lord…….though it seems there used to be.
    My obedience to Him died…….so I have been overcome.

    A long time ago, I read Bunyon’s “The Pilgrim’s Progress”, and recall that one of the travellers who had strayed from the right path remarked that it seems to be so much easier to get off the right path than it is to get back on after having left it.
    It seems that is where I am floundering now.

    I am grateful Jesus does not crush a bruised reed, because it seems I am bruised almost to a mushy pulp.
    “Hurting” is barely an apt description.

    • Dustin Harvey // November 13, 2019 at 3:30 pm // Reply

      The only “obedience” you need is the obedience of faith! “For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the obedience of the one Man, the many will be made righteous.”

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