1 John 4:4
Posted December 05, 2015
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them,for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
What beautiful words of truth and comfort we find here! The book of 1 John was written to Christians who were actively resisting the false teaching of heretics denying to incarnation of Christ. Though they resisted this teaching and its teachers, this resistance came with its fair share of problems and doubts. John was writing here to re-assure them of two truths: who they were and who God was.
Who They Were
John contrasts these false teachers (those referred to in this verse as “them”) with his audience whom he describes as little children, those from God, overcomers. They were not orphans, all alone in this situation, but rather their father was God Himself. Truth will always and eventually burnt out the lies, and because of that, God was promising His children that they would not be overcome, but rather that in Him and His truth, they would overcome the opposition of the false teachers. The victory was already theirs in God.
Who God Was
John moved on to remind them that not only were they from God but also through the Holy Spirit, God actually dwelt within them! As His little children, they were filled with His own Spirit by which they cried out to Him, “Abba Father!” (Galatians 4:6). By His Spirit, they were not only marked as God’s own, but He was also leading them into truth, unlike Satan who by his false teachers was seeking to lead them into lies. The word “greater” used in this passage means “stronger. Often we can think of opponents and enemies, and even Satan himself, as stronger, but God reminds us of His ultimate power and strength! This is the God we serve and who lives within us.
Christian, be encouraged! At the end of the day, God’s word and truth will be the final word, and victory will be His and for all who are from Him and in Him. Satan and his false teachers will be overcome, while God and His Spirit-filled children will endure. At the present moment, it may not seem like He who is in you is greater; it may seem like you’ve been overcome. Do not despair, little child! You are held by a Father who is greater than whatever it is you’re going through. May this glorious theological truth cause you to breathe a little more deeply and sleep a little more soundly as His child.
Song by Hope College Worship.
Production by Cardiphonia.
Artwork by Michael Van Patter.
Devotional by Joel Limpic.