“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.” 1 John 4:4
The reality is we are all facing storms, hardships, and trials, and at times it can seem like they will overtake us. But the 1 John 4:4 meaning shows that God is still in control.
“Greater is he who is in me.” This is a powerful statement that we should hang onto and remind ourselves of. It’s a verse that every Christian should know and remind themselves of regularly.
In this blog post, we are going to dive into the meaning of 1 John 4:4 and then look at how it applies to our lives today. Let’s start by looking at the context in which these words were written.
The Context Of 1 John 4:4
1 John was likely written by John to a number of churches around Ephesus. This letter was primarily written to edify these readers in the truth of Christ. At the time, some heretical teachings were gaining popularity. John writes to correct these beliefs and point the church back to the life of Christ.
As we get to chapter 4 of this letter, we see a warning against false teachers. Followers of Jesus are to not blindly accept every spiritual claim that comes from teachers and leaders. Rather, Christians ought to examine these claims in light of the gospel.
In 1 John 4:2-3, we see several “tests” that John gives to Christians to help them determine if a teaching is rooted in the Gospel. In essence, it boils down to this: Those who reject Jesus as God are not to be trusted.
As these false teachings grew, the pressure on these churches mounted. John wanted to encourage these Christians to stand strong, which is what leads us to 1 John 4:4—it’s an encouragement that God is bigger.
The 1 John 4:4 Meaning
To help you better understand the meaning of 1 John 4:4, I’ve broken this verse down into three sections.
The opening words of this sentence offer comfort and reassurance, and this isn’t the first time John uses this endearing term in this letter. He uses the same phrase in 1 John 2:12.
This opening shows the care and concern he has for his readers.
You Are From God And Have Overcome Them
The first thing John does in this verse is remind his readers of their identity: “You are from God.” This is who they are; they are not from the world, they are from God.
This means they will overcome. Though things might be difficult here and now, God will not leave them in this place; they will overcome.
What will they overcome? The opposition they are facing. The false teachers and their doctrine might seem like they will destroy and split the church, but John is promising them that because of God, they will overcome.
This is a common concept through this letter. Six times, John tells his readers that they will overcome the world and the evil one (1 John 2:13, 14, 4:4, 5:4-5). John wants us to know that God is far stronger than the opponents that stand against us, and in the next part of this verse he emphasizes that.
For He Who Is In You Is Greater Than He Who Is In The World
“Greater is he that is in you.” This is a potent reminder of the power that every Christian has living in them. Because of this power, we are more than conquerors. We can face temptations, deny false teaching, disregard false promises, and boldly follow Jesus.
This verse should empower us to live boldly and not in fear. We can confidently follow Jesus wherever he leads because greater is he that is in you than he who is in the world.
How To Apply 1 John 4:4 To Your Life
So how does the meaning of 1 John 4:4 apply to your life?
This verse is a powerful reminder that you have God on your side. The Holy Spirit lives inside followers of Jesus. Therefore, they have the strength to face whatever, or whoever comes against them. You are from God; therefore, greater is he that is in you than he who is in the world.
This is the reminder that should stick with you, not just when you read this verse, but throughout the day. When you know that God is on your side, you have confidence to face the battle into which you are heading. You have peace knowing that the storm will not overcome you, and you have the strength to overcome.
“Greater is He that is in me than he who is in the world.” I would encourage you to write those words down. Place them somewhere you will see them daily. Set a reminder on your phone. Don’t lose sight of the power that is in you. Remind yourself and live in confidence that because of God you will overcome.
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