Today I read 1 John chapter 4 in the New King James Version.
It was too long for me to simply speak about it all, so I’ve decided to write ‘sermon-style’ blog posts on each section over a few days.
For today’s post I’ll speak about 1 John 4: 1-6, which says “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that 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 was coming, and is now already in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”
Even in these 6 verses there’s a lot of content. If I were preparing this for a sermon I’d most likely try to tackle each verse in turn. I was quite tempted to do that now, but I’m not going to. In fact, I’m going to focus on these few words: ‘You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.’
This is one of my favourite sentences in the Bible. It never used to be. I used to get more excited by the prophetic verses and anything end-times related – so I would have got excited by the mention of the Antichrist . My pastor has changed my mind on that. Gently, of course, but persistently. One of the first things he said to me, when I had spoken about my love of all things related to the end-times, was I prefer meet on a plate to pie in the sky – or something to that effect; I can’t recall exactly the phrase he used as it was over 6 years ago. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that moment – even though I can’t recall his exact words. I was really hurt, at the time, by his words. That was mostly because it felt like a personal attack against me and my belief. It also seemed to be attacking why I clung so much to end times prophecy. I’ve since come to understand, and indeed share, his point of view. In case you’re wondering our pastoral relationship survived and he’s still my pastor! 🙂
That all seems rather beside the point, but it seemed important.
The reason it’s one of my favourite sentences is because it gives me firmer ground to stand on than that of the end times prophecy. Since 2012, when I had that conversation with my pastor, I have become a ‘proper’ Christian (in 2016). So, now, Abba-Jesus-Spirit dwells within me in a way that I hadn’t really experienced. As a child of Abba, Jesus has won the war. The One within me helps me to overcome all of the battles in my life – that have already been won for me. I’m not sure that that explanation does it justice. I encourage you to read it for yourself and discover what it means to you.
© Hannah Kirk 2019