John wrote of overcoming the world three times in two verses (1 Jn. 5:4-5). One overcomes in this context by believing in Jesus and refusing the heresies that John confronted in his epistle, namely, the antichrist teachings that said Jesus was not God and did not come in the flesh.
“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 Jn. 5:4-5)
B. The issue in focus was to overcome heresies by believing in Jesus as fully God and fully man.
We overcome the deception and darkness of the world by refusing false doctrines about Jesus.
“Do not believe every spirit…because many false prophets have gone out into the world…3 Every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist…already in the world…5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them.” (1 Jn. 4:1-5) C. Context #2: Overcoming unfaithfulness: not all believers overcome in this specific way.
John wrote of overcoming areas of unfaithfulness in a believer’s life as specifically defined in different ways in each of the seven letters to the churches in Revelation (Rev. 2-3). To overcome means to walk in spiritual maturity or to be consistent in obedience.
“He comes, in that Day…11 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness…12 that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him…” (2 Thes. 1:10-12)
D. Summary: as unbelievers we overcome unbelief and the world on the day we become born again
Christians (1 Jn. 5:4-5). As believers, we overcome unfaithfulness in our lives only after we endure in obedience until the end of our life.