What this is… This is not a finished article! I find it helpful to write in order to try and understand things as I prepare my sermons. That is what this is! It occurred to me that my blog provided an ideal way of keeping old bits of thinking. I hope that they are useful to you, but please remember what they are!
Continuing to think as I prepare for Sunday Morning….
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 NIV
This is a well known verse, but what does it mean in it’s context? John has been explaining to his readers how they are able to discern the difference between truth and error. IN the middle of that discussion comes this verse.
Verses 1-6 remind me how I can recognise the Spirit of God (v2) and how my receptivity to truth is a sign that I am from God (v6) But none of this is a basis for feeling conceited.
If I am able, to distinguish between truth and error and my heart is eager for the good things of God, then that is of God’s grace.
Notice that John does not remind his readers that they overcame them (the false prophets) by a careful application of a wise strategy, and by the application of a new counseling technique combined with years of careful study. They have overcome and survived the ravages of the false prophets because the one who is in them is greater than the one who is in the world.
This is no basis for laxity in seeking to be discerning, but it is a basis for grateful humility once again to the God of the gospel for his wonderful saving and keeping work.