You have overcome THEM

…and every spirit which does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard that it is coming, and now is already in the world. You are of God, little children, and you have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world: on account of this they speak of the world, and the world hears them.

(1John 4:3-5)

The spirit that is in the world is connected here with those of the world. The child of God has overcome them by faith; that is, overcome the spirit that is in the world, and consequently, the people of the world, in whom the spirit of antichrist works.

It’s in this context that John says, Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.

We’ve often only understood this in terms of overcoming the devil, whereas John says you have overcome THEM: those whom the devil uses to try and bring you down.

Therefore, when we make the glorious and triumphant affirmation of the truth, bcos we believe it, that Christ in us is far greater than he that is in the world, we should also understand it in terms of Him having overcome the world, not just the devil.

Do you let people bring you down? Do you let them defeat you? Do you let them get to you? Do you let them get under your skin and rob your joy? Do you let them throw cold water on your fire?

You have overcome THEM. Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world.

In other words, NO ONE pushes you around any more. You’re no longer a victim. You stand firm in faith, on Christ the immovable Rock, and Christ in you is your victory; the One who has overcome the world and is greater than the world and its dark prince.

2 Responses to “You have overcome THEM”

  1. ianvincent Says:

    It’s interesting (to say the least) how John describes the saints who remained faithful, after the gnostics (we think) “went out from among them” , that is, split off into a sect separate from those submitted to the Apostles (like John).

    He describes these saints as having “overcome THEM” – that is, the false christians. They were not overcome by the falsehood, rather they overcame the falsehood and the perpetrators of it.

    The position of overcoming “them” – the spiritual posture, would be synonymous with our Lord’s commands to “Bless those who curse you. Love your enemy”. When we truly bless all and love all then it shows we have overcome them(the grace of God working in us powerfully to do this).

    The refusal to bless, to love and forgive (yet not approve) indicates one is being overcome by evil, instead of overcoming evil by good.

  2. ianvincent Says:

    When our Lord Jesus patiently endured His terrible sufferings prior to the Cross and on the Cross, by entrusting His life into the Father’s hands, submitting to Him, in that suffering He was overcoming everything : sin, the world and the devil. WE are to follow in His steps – the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.

    1Peter 4:19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.

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