I read with interest the various e-mails about the overcomer. I am not familiar with Faust at all nor the theological positions of the various other theologians mentioned by Steve W. However, I did write a book that covers this subject as well as the position of Israel in the end times, the pre-trib rapture, true salvation, sanctification, walking worthily, the race and the prize, etc. I mainly wrote the book for those that will be left behind in the near future. The majority of churches in this country are woefully lacking in the understanding of the need for sanctification, nor the consequences of not giving up sins and letting the Holy Spirit change them. Repentance is rarely taught today. There is repentance for justification and repentance for sanctification. Neither are properly understood in many churches.
You can download and read the e-book for free at http://www.WhileHeTarries.com, or you can order the book at any bookstore. It is 290 pages long. You can download it in various e-book reader formats or a format to read on the computer. Forward the link to anyone you want. Even though you can order it in book form, I don't care if I make money on the book or not. It's purpose is to educate the body of Christ.
Just as the word "salvation" as translated in the Bible can be referring to salvation of the spirit, the soul, or the body, so the word "overcome" can also be misunderstood in the Bible. For instance, in 1 John 5:4-5 the word "overcometh" is referring to justification. As soon as we are born again we have overcome Satan and have been translated into the Kingdom of his dear Son [Colossians 1:13]. But that does not mean that we automatically walk as an overcomer after that. Today you can't tell the difference between the world and the church (in some churches) in their sinful attitudes or actions. Theologically, this is called "Antinomianism". A lot of Christians today believe that there are no moral laws God expects Christians to obey. They will be very unhappy at the rapture and will be asking their pastors, preachers, and teachers why the whole truth was not taught them in the church. This is why I have written this book.
Although I have not read Hodge [although I do think I have one of his books somewhere in my bookshelf of about 1000 books], I think what he means about not using 1 John 5:4-6 to explain who the "overcomer" really is is that the "overcometh the world" in this verse refers to justiification, where being an overcomer refers to sanctification and they are not the same. It is unfortunate that the Greek cannot be adequately translated into "sloppy" English in a number of cases and this can cause a lot of misunderstandings about the Bible.
This is the problem of what is called "proof-texting". You can't take a couple or three verses and understand what the Bible is saying. You have to take the chapter context, book context, and Bible theme context. In my book I cover this in slightly more detail in a short section on hermeneutics.
In Romans 8:37 where it talks about being "more than conquerers", once again it is talking about sactification, not justification, and is not automatic. I am sure we all know someone who is definitely a Christian but is not an overcomer in their life in general. It could be that they have been taught that how they live doesn't matter to God. Of course, we all know that we are not perfect and sin on occasion. God is looking at our life in general [the big picture]. Are we making progress in living the sanctified life, are we backsliding, or do we even care. In chapter 7 of my book I cover items such as believers that can be moved away, fall away, turn away, be a castaway, etc. and still be believers. This is due to the wiles of the enemy. We must be aware of his devices to lure us away from the truth.
Anyway, in the book I use a multitude of Scripture to show how they are used to explain the big picture about sanctification and how it relates to our relationship to God today and in the future. Enjoy!
I am a prison evangelist and teacher. If you need prayer you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org