The One in Me is Greater

Scripture: 1 John 4:4, ‘You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.’

 

Observations: John loves to refer to the people he is writing to as ‘dear children,’ or ‘beloved,’ or ‘dear friends.’ All throughout his letter are scattered terms of affection. He reminds them that they ‘are from God.’ They have been born again by the Spirit, they have believed in God’s Son, Jesus Christ, they have listened to the message proclaimed by the Apostles (v6). They have ‘overcome’ the false prophets mentioned in verse 1, who ‘are from the world, who speak from the viewpoint of the world, and whom the world listens to. (v5)’ The Christians John is writing to have not overcome false teaching because they are such great people, but ‘because the one who is in them is greater than the one who is in the world.’ The spirit that fuels the message of the false prophets is nothing compared to the Holy Spirit who lives in God’s people. The Spirit helps us discern what is true and what is false. The Spirit helps us respond to the gospel and reject whatever is contrary to it.

 

Application: While John is specifically talking about false prophecy in this passage, this word has application for all of life. As Christians the one who lives in us is greater than anything else. We can overcome the lies of the Evil One because we have the Spirit. We are able to overcome addiction because we have the Spirit. We are able to overcome sin because we have the Spirit. Our weaknesses and failures and struggles are not because we don’t have access to God’s power but because we try and do life in our own strength rather than the strength God provides. We can overcome by relying on the Holy Spirit.

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, so often I fall into sin, and I listen to the world, and I struggle in life, because I try and do life in my own strength. But Lord, You have given me Your Holy Spirit, and Your power is available to me to overcome any challenge. Lord, help me do life not in my own strength, but in the strength that You provide. Lord, fill me with Your Spirit, help me turn to You in prayer in times of need, and help me trust in You. In Jesus’ name I pray.

 

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