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The Writings of John, the Elder

For true Christ-followers, the Apostle John proclaimed: “you have already won victory”

Our Victory is Won – Part I

Today’s Scripture: 1 John 4:1-6

Key Verse: 1 John 4:4

But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.

The Apostle John starts chapter four with a warning about false prophets. The first part of that warning is simply that false prophets are coming! As we draw closer to the day when Jesus comes back after His followers, there will be more and more people claiming to have spiritual truth.

The second part of the warning is to figure out whether a person is speaking the truth. We are responsible to test the voices that we listen to and discern what is true and what is false. The message for us today is that we cannot believe everyone who claims to speak by God’s Spirit.

How do you test to see if a person is speaking the truth?

The Apostle John boils it down to one key indicator: “If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God.” (1 John 4:2).

When a person starts to offer his ideas, we have God’s Spirit in us to help us figure out truth and falsehoods. If a person diminishes Jesus being the Son of God, dying on the Cross to give us our salvation, and other fundamental biblical truths, then the Spirit within us is faithful to show us the falsehood of this person’s message.

John calls a person with these false messages an “antichrist” and said these antichrists were already present when he lived. In our present age, we can presume that there are many more antichrists living among us!

The Apostle was writing to the true Christ-followers of his day, and he was confident that they belonged to God (1 John 4:4). Being true Christ-followers, John proclaimed, “you have already won victory over those people…”.

We do not need to fear that the antichrists will lead us astray, if we are keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus. True Christ-followers do more than just show up for church each week. They worship God in spirit and in truth every day. Jesus predicted this in John’s Gospel, chapter 4: “but the time is coming – indeed it’s here now – when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23).

This simply means that true worshipers are not just saying words or singing songs, they are sincere in their love for God and His truths. As true worshipers pray, they give reverence to God; “hallowed is His Name”. They humble themselves in prayer daily and present themselves to God as a living sacrifice… this is their spiritual act of worship (Romans 12:1).

Father, may your Spirit help my prayers to be sincere and full of true worship for you. You are worthy! In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.