Drew Berding

Are you going to be overcome?

The Greek word nikao1 which is usually translated “overcome” occurs 29 times in the New Testament. Luke only uses the word once,2 Paul uses it three times3, and the other 25 times it is used by John4.

It means to subdue, to conquer, to dominate, to be victorious, to prevail, to defeat.

In the book of John5, Jesus said “….but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

Likewise, all six times John uses it in the book of 1 John it refers to “overcoming the world.6

In Revelation, John quotes Jesus seven times7 saying to the churches of Revelation “…to him that overcomes…” Each of these is followed by fabulous promises to the conquerors. Later in the book he summarizes these promises by saying8 “He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.” Wow!

In Rev 5:5 Jesus is found to be the only one worthy to open the book and break its seven seals because he is the one who truly overcame9 the world.

Can we overcome the world? If so, how? John said10 “…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.” (NIV)

John says the world tries to overcome us and may even do so temporarily.11

However, in the end we will overcome the world.12 In fact, in the power of Jesus’ blood we will even overcome Satan13 and his beast.14

This will only occur if we follow Jesus. Rev 17:14 says “They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings — and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.” (NIV)


  1. There are beautiful promises for those who overcome the world.
  2. We can do so by believing and following Jesus.
  3. Although there may be temporary defeats,
  4. We will be “more than conquerors15 through Him that loved us.”

Photo Attribution: Tengyart – Unsplash.com


  1. NT:3528 and NT:3529
  2. Luke 11:22
  3. Rom 3:4 and Rom 12:21 (2x)
  4. John 16:33; 1 John (7x) and Revelation (17x)
  5. John 16:33
  6. 1 Jn 2:13; 1 Jn 2:14; 1 Jn 4:4; 1 Jn 5:4 (2x); 1 Jn 5:5
  7. Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 26; Rev 3:5, 12, 21
  8. Rev 21:7-8
  9. Rev 5:3, “…and one of the elders said to me, ‘Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.’” See also Rev 3:21 where he said “…just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.” (NIV)
  10. 1 John 5:4-5
  11. Rev 6:2; Rev 11:7; Rev 13:7
  12. 1 Jn 5:4
  13. Rev 12:10-11 “…for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night. And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death.”
  14. Rev 15:2 “And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious [same Greek word] over the beast and his image and over the number of his name.” (NIV)
  15. Paul uses the intensified form of the word hupernikao (NT:5245 super-conquerors) in Romans 8:37.

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NOTE: Bible references unless otherwise stated are from the NASU (New American Standard Updated) copyright the Lockman Foundation.

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