By Stan Brown
I 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.
Ah, what a fantastic affirmation. Once more, John addresses his readers as little children demonstrating his love and paternal concern for them. He has previously (2:12-14) declared them as little children, because your sins have been forgiven and because you know the Father. He has called them fathers because they know Him who has been from the beginning. He has called them vigorous young men because you have overcome the evil one. Now in the midst of the onslaughts of the world and the antichrists; in the midst of chaos in the world around us; indeed, in the midst of the deceptions from the evil one; John reminds us that we are of God. As we walk in the light, we have come to know Him.
Therefore, we have overcome all the assaults of the evil one. We are viewed as victors over all that would deny who Jesus is and what He has done for us. He uses the same word here that he used previously to describe the vigorous young men. Paul uses the noun form of the word when he declares DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory (1 Cor. 15:54). The battle appears to rage around us as chaos and evil seem to gain ascendancy. Yet, the conflict is truly very personal as we gain victory through our relationship with God and live out that relationship in love for one another. Hatred can never defeat hatred. It is only through love as demonstrated by Jesus that we may overcome.
Ah, now the great climactic statement of this verse appears as John declares, because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. It is not because of who I am that overcoming is realized. It is because of the One who indwells us. It is because of our reliance on Him. We must remember that it remains possible to be influenced by the lustful pleasures of the world that have been distorted by the evil one as well as the attacks of the antichrists that deny our Savior. We must continue the mutual abiding of He in us and we in Him. We must continue to love one another.
Praise the Lord! We are overcomers as we abide in Him and He in us because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.