“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.” I John 4:4
The believers in the first century faced some nasty doctrines. Gnosticism was and still is a faith killer. These people denied that God could become flesh because they saw all matter as inherently evil. Since the human body is made up of matter, they refused to believe that God could have anything to do with human flesh.
As a result of this thinking, their ideas of what God would want and allow from us was drastically different from what God Himself expressed.
These early believers were bombarded by their fine sounding arguments and their wicked ways. In the view of the Gnostic, the body could participate in any action or pleasure it chose because it was only the spirit that mattered anyway. They believed that if the spirit was pure and in tune with God, their bodies were free to do as they chose. They were perverted in their thinking and appealed to the worldly flesh in all of the actions of their lives. They were blights on the love feast, turning them into sexual experiences, bringing back into the lives of the New Covenant believers events from their past lives.
These people had to be stopped and their influence had to be eradicated from the lives of these precious brothers. So John, the shepherd of this little flock, fires off a reminder of strength and power to overcome; “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
These brothers and sisters were drawn in a different direction. They were drawn back to Jesus for the cure of their problem. It was a direct reminder that Jesus is the greater and that no matter how fine sounding the arguments of men are, Jesus is always the source of staying on track.
We live in a perverse world, just like all of those who have gone before us. We think our world today is so much worse than it was back then, but it is just an illusion. Without God at the helm, many people in any century are course and rotten. It is only by His sustaining force and by His sustaining ways that a culture of people walk in righteousness.
We are bombarded daily with issues of darkness that often become overwhelming. We frantically look for answers and formulas which are supplied in abundance from the mouths of religious leaders daily. But the true and faithful answer to the ills of life is still the same. No matter what men say and do, Jesus is still the answer. No matter how bad the hurts hurt, Jesus is still the overcomer.
So, when faced with whatever life throws at us, just as in the days of old, we must remember that “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”