This month's Series looks at I John verse by verse. (Here is the link to the beginning of the Series: I John Introduction.)
Yesterday's post covered I John 4:2-3. Here is the summary:
John PROVES that every spirit that has a Right WHAT ("Jesus is the Christ") with a Right HOW/WHY ("Jesus is come in the flesh") has to be from God.
John PROVES that every spirit that has a Wrong WHAT ("Jesus is NOT from God") cannot be from God.
Because God is light and in Him there is no darkness AT ALL.
Today, we will continue with John's next conclusion...
I JOHN 4:4
"4 Ye are of God, my little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world."
In the previous verses, John contrasted those spirits that come from God and those that don't. Now that he has made us aware there are spirits from God (that we follow) and there are spirits from God that oppose us, he tells us that we have overcome these "antichrist" spirits. WHY?
BECAUSE greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world.
He that is in us is the Holy Spirit. (Which John still hasn't BLATANTLY named yet.)
We have seen that this is GRACE.
Here is a summary of the preceding link:
Biblical Grace is "the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life."
We saw that John called this "an anointing from the Holy One" in the same passage that warned us about "antichrists"!
God influences our heart through the Holy Spirit. We choose to allow this influence to reflect off of us and be carried out in our life by the Holy Spirit OR do something in our own strength.
We do NOT get credit for the resulting work. We get credit for choosing to allow God to flow through us. We don't obtain Reward through Grace, we obtain Salvation.
It is like taking medicine for an ailment. The medicine cures us. We are only responsible for whether we take the medicine or not. It would be foolish and prideful to state that we cured ourselves. No...the medicine cured us. However, we have to chose to take the medicine or we don't get cured at all. All we can do is PREVENT ourselves from getting cured.
Salvation is by grace through faith. Allowing grace through us results in Righteousness that is God's. I represent this Righteousness with a capital "R". This Righteousness is necessary for Salvation.
Our works result in righteousness which results in Reward. This righteousness is like filthy rags compared to the Righteousness that comes from God and leads to Salvation.
Most "Christians" follow the man-made traditional explanation of grace: unmerited favor. There are Greek words for this concept and they are NOT in the Bible.
Unmerited favor believes that God gives us value we don't deserve to cover our sins. So, the result is we are back to even. There is NO Righteousness that is accumulated. Jesus said our Righteousness needed to EXCEED the righteousness of the Pharisees in order to get into Heaven. Unmerited favor does NOT result in Salvation according to Jesus.
Worse yet, believing in unmerited favor would require the individual to believe we have to reimburse God for what He has given to us OR the individual has to believe that God violates Justice.
Biblical Grace begins with God giving to us and us choosing to let God reflect off of us. The resulting Profitability is attributed to God, NOT us. God supplied it AND God gets the resulting value. This does NOT violate Justice.
I have been accused of believing that we must reimburse God for grace. Actually, I have written that Biblical Grace does NOT violate Justice and would NOT require reimbursement. I have stated that a belief in unmerited favor (which is NOT Biblical Grace and is actually a man-made concept) would violate Justice OR require reimbursement.
As you can see, the person who accused me of believing that we must reimburse God for grace either can't interpret simple text (like the previous explanation) and is projecting his definition of grace onto my explanation of what grace is NOT or he is stating he believes in a man-made traditional explanation of grace that violates Justice and does NOT result in Salvation according to Jesus.
Notice, unmerited favor is theoretically given in the EXACT SAME AMOUNT as the sin. This would make "grace" EQUAL to sin. It would make "grace" EQUAL to the influence that is in the world.
However, John states that GREATER is He that is in you than he that is in the world. Biblical GRACE would be a consistent flow of anointing from the Holy One that would FAR EXCEED the sin a person could do and the influence from the world.
Remember Romans 5?
"20 And the law came in besides, that the trespass might abound; but where sin abounded, grace did abound more exceedingly:
21 that, as sin reigned in death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Paul states that grace abounds MORE EXCEEDINGLY. Paul also states that grace reigns THROUGH RIGHTEOUSNESS unto eternal life (Salvation)! Does this sound like "unmerited favor" to you?
John proves that we have overcome the spirits of this world (antichrists) BECAUSE He that is in us is GREATER than he that is in the world. This is ONLY possible if Biblical Grace is the divine influence upon the heart (THROUGH the Holy Spirit), and its reflection in the life (BY the Holy Spirit).
We have seen that John has called those who are against this anointing (Biblical Grace through the Holy Spirit) "antichrists". So we have overcome these people who are against the anointing (antichrists) BY the anointing from the Holy One (Biblical Grace through the Holy Spirit abiding in us).