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Read Introduction to 1 John


“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”


You are of God, little children,

The readers of this epistle belonged to God’s family and, as such, had God’s resources to fight false teaching.  New birth, spiritual birth, has an affinity with the truth.  Regenerated people owe their allegiance to their Father, their Procreator.  There is a correspondence between the message of God and the people of God. 

and have overcome them,

John’s readers overcame the false prophets and teachers with all their deception.  This does not say that they overcame error with apologetics or clever arguments.  They had no extended course in cult awareness.  They found their power in the next phrase – “He who is in you is greater.” 

Re 12:11, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 

because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world

The one who is “in” them is the Holy Spirit (3:24; 4:2).  He is the foundation of their victory over false prophets and is far greater than satanic power (he who is in the world). 

1 Jn 5:19, “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.”


There is an affinity between God’s people and God’s truth. 


Satan aims his primary attack against weak Christians.  The world system hates Christianity.  We must not forget that.  The religious world, the political world, and the everyday world hate Christ.  Satan constantly comes up with arguments against Christianity that people want to believe. 

Satan’s primary appeal is to get people to think independently from the Word of God.  If he can get them to buy into that idea, then he has them.  This idea makes man the ultimate authority.  The Bible requires that man make the revelation of God’s ultimate authority.  Man is finite, and he needs an infinite being to communicate eternal truth to him.  He especially needs the light of divine revelation because sin blinds his mind to spiritual things (2 Co 4:3,4). 

The Christian does not gain victory over the world by his superior intelligence or his knowledge of the cults.  He gains that victory through the Holy Spirit.  He puts confidence in the Spirit of God, using the Word of God to give an understanding of God’s truth.  The indwelling of the Holy Spirit gives him power beyond himself.  The Holy Spirit is the true power in the believer.  Satan is the real power against God and God’s purpose in the world.