"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21)
Paul closes Romans 12 by reminding us to overcome evil with good. The battle between good and evil has been in operation since the Garden of Eden. These entities are polar opposites and fight against each other. The stronger gaining ground in the world around us. To master evil we must overcome it with good. This does not mean that we should try to be good to ward off evil in our lives, but we should operate in biblical principles to overcome and conquer it once for all.
As Christians we are called to overcome in this world, but to overcome we must master evil. To do this, we must hate sin and cling to what is good. Throughout this entire chapter Paul gives us insight on overcoming evil. First we have to renew our minds to the word of God being transformed into his likeness ( Romans 12:2 ). Secondly, our gifts must be in operation in the body of Christ, to which we were called to belong ( Romans 12:5 ). Next we must love sincerely without hypocrisy, devoted to one another ( Romans 12:9, Romans 12:10 ). We are to keep ourselves zealous for the Lord, joyful, patient and faithful ( Romans 12:11, Romans 12:12 ). These things will keep our focus on God and off our circumstances. Looking to Him will allow His characteristics to daily flow out of our lives overcoming and mastering sin.
Next Paul instructs us that we are to remain blameless in the midst of hardship. This is key to overcoming evil with good. We are to bless when cursed, feed and care for our enemies even when we are wronged and live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:14, Romans 12:16, Romans 12:18, Romans 12:20). We should allow God to judge and settle all wrongs for us (Romans 12:19). As born again believers we should be above reproach as far as the world is concerned.
Fortunately, we have a perfect example in Jesus who overcame and conquered sin, death and Satan on the cross. I John tells us "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work: ( I John 3:8 ). Since those works of Satan have been destroyed with this victory, we are also called to overcome. John went on to say, "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. " ( I John 5:4-5 ). Through faith in Christ Jesus we have overcome the evil that previously held us in chains. And by operating in that same faith we can extinguish the fiery darts that are meant to cripple us ( Ephesians 6:16 ). Our faith enables us to overcome.
Jesus told Simon Peter immediately after his profession of the Christ that "on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. ( Matthew 16:18 ). The rock was Jesus and anyone who believed in Him would likewise overcome the world. Sin, death and the gates of hell would not overshadow and overpower it. Because the revelation of Christ is the means to break free from the evil of this world.
Knowing these truths will enable you to stand firm as the days become more and more evil ( Ephesians 6:13 ). God did not leave us unprotected and unequipped in this world. We are more than conquerors through him who loved us ( Romans 8:37 ). Today I pray that you realize victory has already been won through Christ Jesus. Now we are instructed to hold our ground and overcome evil by the good that lives inside us. May your faith overcome any obstacles in your way as you master sin with the goodness found in Jesus, amen.