I. "YE ARE OF GOD, LITTLE CHILDREN."
A. We have been taught to test the spirits to see if they be of God and have learned that there is a false spirit of antichrist in the world.
1. There are two basic spirits in the world.
a. The Spirit of God.
b. The spirit of antichrist.
2. These two spirits are in opposition to each other.
3. One is a true spirit, the other seeks to disguise itself as the true spirit.
4. The test therefore is their testimony concerning Jesus Christ.
5. Did Jesus the Messiah come in the flesh?
a. Is He truly the Son of God?
1. The scripture taught that the Messiah would be the Son of God.
2. One of His names was to be "The almighty God."
b. Did He come in the flesh?
1. The gnostic heresy taught that Jesus was a phantom, they believed that everything material was evil, thus it would be impossible for Him to have a material body.
c. Is Jesus the Messiah, God in the flesh?
2. Did the Word who was God, become flesh and
dwell among us?
B. "We are of God, little children."
1. The Spirit of God will have the true testimony concerning the person of Jesus the Messiah.
2. You are of God. That is we have accepted the true witness of God concerning Jesus.
C. Because of our receiving the true witness of Jesus Christ, we have become the children of God.
1. "But as many as received Him, to them gave He the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believed on His name."
2. Beloved now are we the sons of God and it does not yet appear what we shall be but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.
D. As the children of God, we have overcome them. The them is the the world, the flesh and the devil.
1. We are in a struggle against the world. That is, the world system that is governed by Satan and is opposed to Jesus.
a. John describes it as all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life is of the world and is not of God.
b. The world is very appealing to our fallen nature.
c. We are told that we are not to love the world neither the things that are in the world, for he that had the love of the world in his heart, had not the love of the Father.
d. We are to have victory over the world. We are to be overcomers.
2. The flesh is our body and the desires that spring from the biological needs.
a. There is nothing inherently wrong in the basic body desires, they were created in us by God for the preservation and perpetuation of life.
b. It is the misuse of them that is wrong.
c. God never intended that man should be a slave to his body appetites.
d. We are not to be ruled by our flesh, but to overcome the flesh.
3. We are to overcome the devil.
a. He desires to enslave you.
b. He uses the fallen world and appeals to the desires of your flesh to bring you into bondage.
D. In Revelation 2
and 3 Jesus gives special promises to the overcomers.
1. In 2:7 they would be able to eat of the tree of life.
2. In 2:11 they would not be hurt by the second death.
3. In 2:17 they will be able to eat of the hidden manna, and would receive a white stone with a new name written on it.
4. In 2:26, they will be given power over the nations.
5. In 3:5 they shall be clothed in white raiment; and their names will not blotted out of the book of life, Jesus will confess their names before my Father, and before his angels.
6. In 3:12 he will be made a pillar in the temple of God, and he shall go out no more and Jesus said, He will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, [which is] new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and [I will write upon him] my new name.
7. 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
II. HOW DO WE BECOME OVERCOMERS?
A. In chapter 2 John declared that the young men had overcome the wicked one because the word of God was abiding in them.
1. God's word in our hearts is a powerful weapon against the enemy.
a. Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.
b. Jesus overcame the temptations of Satan with the scriptures.
B. In chapter 5:4 John declared that whoever is born of God overcomes the world.
1. He said that this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.
2. What great victories have been wrought by faith.
C. In chapter 5:5 John says, "Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
D. In Revelation we are told that those who were contending against the devil that they overcame him by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony.
1. Jesus overcame the temptations of Satan through the word.
2. Jesus overcame Satan's power over us when He died on the cross for us. Paul told the Colossians that Jesus spoiled the principalities and powers that were against us as He triumphed over them through the cross.
3. The death of Jesus on the cross spelled defeat for Satan's hold over your life.
E. Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.
1. He that is in us is the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, "And you shall receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto Me."
2. He that is in the world is Satan.
3. We need to recognize that Satan is not an opposite of God. He is in opposition to God, but not the opposite.
a. God is the Eternal Creator.
b. Satan is a created being.
c. God is almighty.
d. Satan's powers are limited. Satan complained to God that God had put a hedge around Job that Satan could not penetrate.
4. Satan was created as an angel.
a. Angels are a higher order of beings than natural man.
b. We read that Jesus was made a little lower that the angels for the suffering of death, which would indicate that angels cannot die.
c. Redeemed man becomes a higher order than the angels.
d. Paul told the Corinthians that one day we will judge the angels.
5. Apart from the help of the Holy Spirit, we are no match for Satan, but he is no match for the man filled with the Holy Spirit. For greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.