I Am Strong

Scripture: 1 John 2:14b, ‘I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.’

 

Observations: The Apostles John makes his reasons for writing crystal clear. Over and over he says, ‘We write this because… (1:4; 2:1,12-14,21,26; 5:13)’ In this particular section John explains his reasons for writing in the form of a poem. Rather than rhyming ancient poetry was all about rhythm and style. John’s poem follows a simple pattern.

                1. I am writing to you dear children, because…

                                2. I am writing to you fathers, because…

                                                3. I am writing to you young men, because…

                1. I have written to you children, because…

                                2. I have written to you fathers, because…

                                                3. I have written to you young men, because…

It’s also interesting that the middle four points are short, while the first and last point are much longer, which gives John’s poem a very Jewish feel, even though it’s written in Greek. The last point is the longest, as he explains that he has written to these young men because ‘you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.’ Firstly, he refers to these young men as ‘strong,’ or ‘mighty.’ John would be aware that the Bible talks about man’s strength as being nothing, so it’s most likely he is referring to the fact that they are ‘strong in the Lord. (Eph 6:20)’ Secondly, he says the ‘word of God lives, or remains, in you.’ John isn’t referring to the fact that they have memorized God’s word, but rather that God’s word is having an effect on their lives, it’s producing fruit. Jesus talks about how if his words remain in us we will bear much fruit (Jn 15:5-8). Thirdly, he says that they ‘have overcome the evil one.’ It is possible that the Greek may just refer to overcoming ‘evil,’ but it’s most likely that John is referring to overcoming Satan. And again they haven’t overcome Satan in their own strength, but by the strength of the Spirit. Later John writes, ‘you have overcome false spirits, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (4:4)’

 

Application: If you are a Christian, if you are ‘in Christ’ then these same three statements also apply to you. In Christ you are strong. In Christ God’s word will have its affect. In Christ you have overcome the evil one. Is that how you see yourself, as someone who is strong, as someone who is being transformed by God’s word, as someone who has overcome? Don’t look to yourself for these things, rather look to God and rely on His Spirit that lives in you. Say to yourself today that ‘because of Jesus, because of His Spirit that live sin me, I am strong, I have overcome, because God’s word lives in me!’

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I know that in myself I am not strong, rather I am weak. I am so easily led away from You and Your will, to fill my own desires. So I want to thank You that because of Your Son Jesus and His work on the cross, my weakness has been replaced by the strength of Your Holy Spirit at work within me. Lord, I am strong in Your strength, I am able to overcome Satan and all his schemes, because Your word lives in me, and Your word is powerful and effective, it does what You sent it to achieve. Lord, may I live this day in Your strength. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

 

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