Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


1 John 4:4

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Ye are of God - Ye are under the influence of the Divine Spirit, and have overcome them - your testimony, proceeding from the Spirit of Christ, has invalidated theirs which has proceeded from the influence of Satan; for greater is the Holy Spirit which is in you, than the spirit which is in the world.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Ye are of God - You are of his family; you have embraced his truth, and imbibed his Spirit.

Little children - Notes, 1 John 2:1.

And have overcome them - Have triumphed over their arts and temptations; their endeavors to draw you into error and sin. The word them in this place seems to refer to the false prophets or teachers who collectively constituted antichrist. The meaning is, that they had frustrated or thwarted all their attempts to turn them away from the truth.

Because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world - God, who dwells in your hearts, and by whose strength and grace alone you have been enabled to achieve this victory, is more mighty than Satan, who rules in the hearts of the people of this world, and whose seductive arts are seen in the efforts of these false teachers. The apostle meant to say that it was by no power of their own that they achieved this victory, but it was to be traced solely to the fact that God dwelt among them, and had preserved them by his grace. What was true then is true now. He who dwells in the hearts of Christians by his Spirit, is infinitely more mighty than Satan, “the ruler of the darkness of this world;” and victory, therefore, over all his arts and temptations may be sure. In his conflicts with sin, temptation, and error, the Christian should never despair, for his God will insure him the victory.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Christians who are well acquainted with the Scriptures, may, in humble dependence on Divine teaching, discern those who set forth doctrines according to the apostles, and those who contradict them. The sum of revealed religion is in the doctrine concerning Christ, his person and office. The false teachers spake of the world according to its maxims and tastes, so as not to offend carnal men. The world approved them, they made rapid progress, and had many followers such as themselves; the world will love its own, and its own will love it. The true doctrine as to the Saviour's person, as leading men from the world to God, is a mark of the spirit of truth in opposition to the spirit of error. The more pure and holy any doctrine is, the more likely to be of God; nor can we by any other rules try the spirits whether they are of God or not. And what wonder is it, that people of a worldly spirit should cleave to those who are like themselves, and suit their schemes and discourses to their corrupt taste?
Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 216.3

We are the Lord's little children, and we are to be led and upheld by Him. If we will learn lessons from the kindness and patience and tenderness of Jesus, we will be a blessing to all with whom we are associated. The Lord would have us take comfort in His promises, and praise Him much more than we do. “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me” (Psalm 50:23). Let us learn how to express our gratitude to God for His wonderful condescension and love for mankind. TDG 216.3

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Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 266.2

The Christian parent should never lose the sense that he is one of God's little children, and that he is to cultivate a courteous, compassionate disposition, because he is an educator. He is to represent Jesus to his children. In his dealing with them, there is to be seen no impetuosity, and neither is there to be seen the cold, icy dignity that freezes love in the heart. He is to be so kind, so tender, that the hearts of the children will be softened and subdued, prepared to receive the love and grace of Christ. No harsh words are to be spoken by a Christian to any one, old or young. Such words are prompted by the enemy.... TDG 266.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, 285-6

James 4:4: “Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” 1T 285.1

James 1:27: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” 1T 285.2

Titus 2:12: “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” 1T 285.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, 188-9

It is recorded of the holy men of old that God was not ashamed to be called their God. The reason assigned is that instead of coveting earthly possessions or seeking happiness in worldly plans or aspirations they placed their all upon the altar of God and made disposition of it to build up His kingdom. They lived only for God's glory and declared plainly that they were strangers and pilgrims on earth, seeking a better country, that is, an heavenly. Their conduct proclaimed their faith. God could entrust to them His truth and could leave the world to receive from them a knowledge of His will. 5T 188.1

But how are the professed people of God today maintaining the honor of His name? How could the world infer that they are a peculiar people? What evidence do they give of citizenship in heaven? Their self-indulgent, ease-loving course falsifies the character of Christ. He could not honor them in any marked manner before the world without endorsing their false representation of His character. 5T 188.2

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