The One who is in you is greater 1 John 4:4
- Judi Budi
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“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.” 1 John 4:4
This verse, taken alone, is a very popular-used motivational verse, and often linked with
1 Tim 1:7, “God has not given us a Spirit of fear…”, and mostly used in reference for fearless living. But let us put it into the context of what John is teaching here. Chapter 4 starts with a warning not to believe every spirit, but to test to see if they actually are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. Much like today, there were false teachings that believed that truth comes from personally applied experiences and knowledge (Gnosticism). In other words, instead of trusting the revealed Word of God in Scripture, they believed in personal revelations to understand hidden meanings of scripture. Just because someone says it is inspired by God, doesn’t mean it is. In their day, the test (the Greek word dokimazo, meaning recognize as genuine after examination) that John gave was whether they acknowledged Jesus had come in the flesh is from God or does not acknowledge this is not from God (from the spirit of the antichrist). Same applies today, and today we also have the complete Word of God, where in the closing Biblical book of Revelation 22:18-19, we are given a warning not to add or subtract from these words of prophesy. Today we have many false prophets who have taken verses out of context to attain their own measure of right and wrong, in the church and out of it. Our world is filled with many voices claiming to have the truth, but we are encouraged because as His children, we are assured to overcome false doctrines, by reflecting a true and accurate doctrine of Christ, revealed by knowing His Word, so we can recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. For this we ought to give thanks
daily to God, that we are blessed to have His revealed divine Word at our fingertips, all that we need to stay on track and finish the race. Our joy remains in this, that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.