Posted by: missionventureministries | February 20, 2019

HE WHO IS IN YOU IS GREATER THAT HE WHO IS IN THE WORLD – 1 John 4:4

“You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

John starts off by cautioning the believers to: Test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world (1 John 4:1-3).

The spirit of the antichrist was very much alive in John’s days as is today. When we think of antichrist, we think of some future person, the beast of Revelation. However, all teaching that presents falsehood about Christ is the spirit of antichrist which has been in the world for nearly 2000 years and is yet to come in its terrifying final form.

False prophets are equal to present day false teachers; therefore, before we accept any teaching, we need to be sure of the person’s understanding of Christ, their understanding of salvation, and their understanding of Scripture. Do they acknowledge that: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness? (2 Timothy 3:16). Do they manifest a regenerate life? Do they submit to the Word of God?

After the initial warning John continues by affectionately addressing his audience as you are from God, little children, making this one of the most reassuring promises in the Bible for the believer.

Then he states that they have overcome them: Overcoming has to do with no longer being deceived by Satan, his tactics and false prophets, this is the “them” he is referring to, and therefore the child of God need not fear.

And the reason they do not fear is because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world, meaning that the believer has a resource for victory, the vital presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit, which makes victory possible, instead of relying in ourselves.

Once the believer understands this, this understanding will give him or her great comfort and strengthening, because, for those walking in this truth, victory is assured. This is a positive statement, not a wishful hope; because we know that the Holy Spirit is more powerful and stronger than Satan. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit equips the Christian with the tools to defeat the evil one and turn away from temptations. This encouragement should empower believers not to fear Satan, but rather trust the Lord and obey His commands. By doing so, we can overcome the powers of darkness and walk with boldness in this life.

We are overcomers because we belong to Jesus Christ who overcame Satan on the cross. Therefore, the verb “overcome” speaks of a past finished victory and a present state of being an overcomer. In other words, our victory over Satan is finished and complete.

We need to understand that John is talking to believers and that the presence of the Holy Spirit distinguishes believers from unbelievers. Scripture teaches that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the result of asking for God’s presence in your life through faithfully accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

The New Testament Scriptures clearly teach that no one has the Holy Spirit until a person approaches God and accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  

The presence of the Spirit is the single most important mark distinguishing believers from non-believers. As Paul writes, “The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His” (Romans 8:7-9).

Paul also says, “The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14). And Jesus tells His disciples, “I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17).

If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior and He is the Lord of your life, never forget that you belong to God. You are his beloved child. As you go out into this world, remember this, you are in this world but not of this world. Rely on the indwelling Holy Spirit, because He will give you victory over every obstacle the devil and the world throws at you.

Jesus commands us to go out into the world to reach the lost for His honor and glory. He sends us knowing we will be hated and will face trials and temptations, but He reassures us that our ultimate victory is already secure because He himself lives in us.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord.

Jeremiah 17:7

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