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The White Stone by Dr. Paul Douglas Smith

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God (1 John 5:4 – 5, all Scripture in this article is from the KJV).

The word overcometh here is the Greek, nikao, to prevail. It is a present participle and expresses a continuous act and refers to those in Christ who live in continuous victory over worldly influences.

In Revelation 2:17 we are told that, to him that overcometh the world, Jesus “will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving [except] he that receiveth it.”

In the Ancient Greco-Roman era, the victor of the Olympic Games received a white stone, inscribed with his name, as a symbol of his victory. Known as a victory stone, the Olympian who held one of these stones was entitled to lifetime support at government expense. Likewise, judges during this era used stones to pass judgment in criminal cases. If the black stone was cast, the defendant on trial was condemned and punished. If the white stone was cast, the defendant was pardoned and given the stone as tangible evidence of his pardon.

Relating this to the Christian experience, white refers to purity. In Isaiah 1:18 we find that because of Jesus our sins will be as white as snow. In Daniel 12:10, we find also that by the cleansing power of Jesus' blood, we are purified and made white. This purified state will become complete in the Resurrection (Revelation 3:4 – 5). Secondly, we are told that in this stone we will be given a new name, which in Greek, means a fresh character. This stone refers to our position in Christ and the new name refers to the freshness of our character in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 10:4).

The white stone also refers to our pardon in Christ. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death [BLACK STONE]; but the gift [WHITE STONE] of God is eternal life [PARDON] through Jesus Christ our Lord” (note John 3:16).

A man holding a white stone with "your name" on it.Because of our rebelliousness and sin-nature (propensity toward sinning), we are irrefutably guilty before God and deserving of death, which refers to spiritual death or alienation from God — a place of darkness. But Jesus came to this earth to redeem us from the curse. He freely went to the Roman cross of execution totally innocent of any offense and shed his blood so that we will be granted pardon and reserved a place in his Kingdom where all of our needs will be met for all eternity.

The gift of a white stone is the gift of GRACE and LIFE that only Jesus has the authority to grant — a gift we in no way deserve. As recipients of these gifts, we owe it to Jesus to make a conscious effort each day to walk in his likeness (Romans 6:4) so that others can see his reflection (Matthew 5:16; 1 Timothy 4:12) and draw closer to him and become overcomers and aliens in this worldly realm of Satan. We must be overcomers and CHAMPIONS for Christ Jesus!

Picture credits:
Title background: © Coprid. Image from BigStockPhoto.com.
© Gino Santa Maria. Image from BigStockPhoto.com. Composite with previous photo by Roland Earnst.