The Message of Overcoming
The word of God often speaks of "overcoming" (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21; 5:5; 21:7). It also speaks of "deeds," which is watered down from the original Greek word "works" (Rev. 2:2-3, 5, 19, 23, 26; 3:1-2, 8, 15-16). These works, which a follower of Christ must keep, are Christ's works (Rev. 2:26). They are the same ones Jesus Christ kept in order to overcome the world (John 16:33).
When a believer dies, he ceases from glorifying God with good works and his good works follow him to the grave (Matt. 5:16; Rev. 14:13; John 5:28-29). Disciples of Jesus Christ are called blessed when they die keeping the works of the Lord. The fine linen and white robes given to the saints represent the righteous acts (good works) they did for God the Father (Rev. 19:8). They did all their works in Jesus' name while living on earth (Col. 3:17; Rev. 6:11). They didn't do their good works for reasons of being noticed by men (Matt. 6:1).
Jesus is purifying for Himself a peculiar people who are zealous for good works and are turning away from evil by doing good for God (Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 3:11; Rom. 12:21). Paul told believers to engage in good works constantly and that this is something they would have to learn how to do (Titus 3:8, 14; Is. 26:9-10; 1:16-17). They were admonished to encourage one another to love and good works (Heb. 10:24). They were also told not to get weary in doing good works (Gal. 6:9; 2 Thess. 3:13). Christ Himself even said some people would do greater works than He did (John 14:12). Why are we to do good works? Doing good works is how we overcome our natures and live the repentant life (Psalm 37:27).
Jesus Christ, our true Teacher, says the righteousness we do must eventually come from our hearts or we cannot enter the kingdom (Rom. 10:3; Matt. 5:20; Eph. 6:6). We must strive and force ourselves into the kingdom that is within us (Luke 13:24; 16:16; 17:21, KJV). We must seize it for ourselves by daily disciplining ourselves for the purpose of godliness (Matt. 11:12).
This process of overcoming is very easy and pleasant (Matt. 11:30). It is not burdensome (1 John 5:3). It involves a life of sharing, of caring and of learning to be a servant of others, and it is called the Way of righteousness (Luke 3:11; James 2:15-16; 1 John 3:17-18; Matt. 25:33-40; 20:26; 21:32).
Overcoming is how we bear good fruit on our trees and assure that we won't be burned up (Matt. 3:10). Good fruit is good works (Col. 1:10). We enter the good life by imitating God's Way of life. We depart from evil by doing good so we will abide forever (Psalm 37:27). Simple, isn't it? However, it is simply not known or practiced by many people in the world today. Jesus' disciples practiced that Way (Rom. 2:7). Isn't it time we returned to the true faith that was once delivered to the saints (Jude 3; 1 Tim. 6:3; Titus 1:1)?