1 John 4:5

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them, etc. Very suggestive are the words with which our text begins, "Ye are of God." As having communion with him; as heartily holding and confessing the truth which unites with him (verse 2); as having been born of him, and being his offspring morally and spiritually, they were of God. The text suggests the following observations.

I. THAT CHRISTIANS ARE EXPOSED TO THE ASSAULTS OF HERETICAL TEACHERS. It was so in St. John's time. There were those that denied that Jesus Christ had come in the flesh, maintaining that his human body was apparent, not real. And others held, with Cerinthus, "that the AEon Christ had entered into the man Jesus at his baptism, and remained with him until the commencement of his sufferings; but denied that Jesus Christ came in the flesh" (Ebrard). Christians are still assailed by the teachers of grave errors, many of which relate to the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

II. THAT CHRISTIANS MAY OVERCOME THE ASSAULTS OF HERETICAL TEACHERS. St. John's readers had done so. "Ye have overcome them." By their fidelity to the truth they had obliged the teachers of error to retreat (cf. 1 John 2:14, 19). And their complete and final victory the apostle looks upon as an assured certainty. The false prophets were probably plausible, persuasive, and influential; but they were not irresistible. They had been repulsed; they would be completely vanquished. We are not bound to accept any teaching that is offered to us. If we please, we may refuse to read the questionable hook or to hear the teacher of whom we stand in doubt. Or we may read the book and hear the teacher, and then test their teaching by that of our Lord and his apostles, and accept or reject it according to its agreement or disagreement with the Divine standard. "Despise not prophesyings; prove all things; hold fast that which is good."

III. THAT CHRISTIANS MAY OVERCOME THE ASSAULTS OF HERETICAL TEACHERS BECAUSE OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD WITHIN THEM. " Ye have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world." He that was in the Christians is God; he that was in the world is Satan, "the prince of this world."

1. God dwells in his people.

(1) By his Word. The author whose works have been sympathetically and diligently studied may be said to be in the student. The student knows the views and opinions, the thoughts and theories, the principles and convictions, of his favourite author, and sympathizes with them. The godly soul knows God in his Word (Psalm 1:2; Psalm 119:97); and by means of his Word is filled with his thoughts, feelings, and principles.

(2) By the faith which they exercise in him. Their faith in him is not mere intellectual assent, but spiritual conviction, which makes his existence and presence real unto them.

(3) By their love to him (cf. verses 12, 13, 16; John 14:23). There is no real spiritual indwelling apart from love.

(4) By his Spirit (cf. verse 13; John 14:16, 17).

2. God is greater than Satan. "Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world."

(1) God is independent, but Satan is dependent. Satan cannot do anything except by permission of the Most High (cf. Job 1:12; Job 2:6). But as for God, "he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?"

(2) God is infinite, but Satan is finite. However great the power of the evil one may be, it is limited. His intelligence is limited, his agencies and instruments are limited, and the duration of his power is limited (Revelation 20:1-3). But God is infinite in intelligence, in wisdom, in power, in duration, in perfection.

(3) God is the God of truth, but Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44). Truth is a permanent and victorious force; falsehood is transient, feeble, and doomed to extinction. The power of the prince of this world is based upon lies, and, for that reason, its overthrow is certain. But the power of God is the power of truth and holiness, and is therefore destined to continue and grow eternally.

(4) "God is love," but Satan is malignant. However persistent and strong hatred may be, it is not persistent, patient, or powerful as love. In love God dwells in his people for their salvation; but Satan dwells in the world for the destruction of the worldly. And the loving, saving Spirit is immeasurably greater and mightier than the hating, destroying spirit.

3. God's presence within his people is the secret of their victory over heretical teachers. "Ye have overcome them: because greater is he," etc. This Presence in the soul imparts power for spiritual conflict and conquest. The most effective safeguard against error in religious faith and union is not the subtle and strong intellect, but the devout and godly spirit and the upright life. "The meek will he guide in judgment," etc.; "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him," etc. (Psalm 25:9, 14); "If any man willeth to do his will, he shall know of the teaching," etc. (John 7:17). In the conflicts of the spiritual life the mightiest weapons are not logical, but devotional. In this sphere the greatest victories are often won upon our knees. The consciousness of God's presence within us is the inspiration for the achievement of the sublimest conquests. - W.J.

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world

1. The doctrines which are from God have a more intrinsical goodness in them, and teach such things as are most worthy of God, and more likely to proceed from Him.

2. The external confirmation of Divine doctrines is greater and carries more conviction along with it. By external confirmation I mean chiefly that of miracles.

3. Besides the goodness of the doctrines which are from God, and the external confirmation of them by miracles, the Spirit of God doth likewise illuminate good men, and those who are desirous to know the truth, and hath promised to lead them into it, and to assist them in discerning between truth and falsehood (John 7:17).

II. THE MOTIVES WHICH GOOD MEN HAVE TO PERSUADE THEM TO ADHERE TO TRUTH AND HOLINESS ARE MORE POWERFUL THAN THE MOTIVES TO THE CONTRARY. The believing that "Jesus is the Son of God" infers the belief of His doctrine, and consequently of that eminent part of it, the eternal recompense of another world, which, whosoever firmly believes, will be able to resist and overcome all the temptations of this world.


1. There are these two principles in the world, the Spirit of God and the devil, very active and powerful, the one in good, the other in bad men.

2. The Spirit of God which is in good men is greater than he that is in the world: He is more able and ready to assist men to good purposes than the devil is to tempt and help forward that which is evil.(1) The Spirit of God is more powerful than the devil.(2) The Spirit of God is as willing to assist men to good purposes as the devil is to the contrary.(3) The Spirit of God hath a more free and immediate access to the minds of good men, and a more intimate conjunction with, and operation upon them, than the devil.

3. In what ways the Spirit of God doth move and assist good men.(1) By exercising good motions in us, and enabling us to bring them to effect.(2) By supporting us under persecution for religion.

(Abp. Tillotson.)

1. "He that is in the world is great." And his greatness lies in this, that he operates in a two-fold way. He forms and fashions the world spiritually; and he finds for it, or makes for it, appropriate and congenial spiritual food. The world, in a sense, lives, and moves, and has its being, in him. He is in it as the spring of its activities, the dictator of its laws, the guider of its pursuits and pleasures; in a word, "the ruler of its darkness." The darkness of its deep alienation from God, he rules. And he rules it very specially for the purpose of getting the world to be contented with an image, instead of the reality, of godliness. He takes advantage of whatever may be the world's mood at the time, as regards God and His worship, throws himself into it, controlling or inflaming it, as he may see cause, so as to turn it to his own account. And then he contrives to bring under his sway prophets or teachers, not always consciously false, often meaning to be true, able men, holy men, men of God and of prayer, preeminently so it may be. And bringing into contact the world which he has doctored and the doctors whom he has tutored, he adjusts them skilfully to one another. He causes his teachers, perhaps insensibly, to draw much of their inspiration from the particular world which, as to its religious bias, he has influenced with an eye to their teaching. And so "they are of the world; therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them."

II. But "greater is He that is in you, little children," for He is the Lord God Almighty. He is strong; and He "strengthens you with might by His Spirit in the inner man; Christ dwelleth in your heart by faith; and you being rooted and grounded in love." He is strong; and He makes you strong; strong in holding fast the form of sound words, and contending earnestly for the faith once delivered unto the saints; strong in cleaving to the truth as it is in Jesus; strong in your real, personal, close, and loving acquaintance with Him, "whom to know is life eternal." He who is in you is God; God abiding in you; giving you the Spirit. He is in you; not merely on your side, at your right hand, around you; but within you. He is working in you; so working in you as to secure your safe triumph, in this great fight of truth against error, over the world and him who is in it.

(R. S. Candlish, D. D.)

"He that is in you," refers to God, and" He that is in the world," refers to the devil; and the first thought that strikes us is that there is no attempt in the Bible to deny or dispute the greatness of Satan.

I. First, then, let us consider THE GREATNESS OF SATAN so that we may understand the character of the adversary whom we have to contend with. The Bible represents Satan as the head of a great army of foes. If you examine the Epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians, you will find there seem to be seven grades of fallen angels, as there are seven grades of unfallen angels. We read of "Principalities," "Powers," "Dominions," "Authorities," "Rulers," "Thrones," "Wicked Spirits," etc., and above them all, as I believe, there is a rank of arch angels, or chief angels. So we are to imagine Satan as the highest over all the ranks of fallen angels. Suppose that, for instance, one of the provinces or colonies of Great Britain should rebel and cut loose from the parent government; it might carry into its rebellion all its officers, from its governor-general down to the mayors of its cities, and even its police magistrates; and apparently when this great rebellion took place among the angels of God they carried over into their revolt the ranks they had before rebellion came among them, so that Satan is a chief demon, an evil spirit, a fallen angel of tremendous power. Then, again, Satan has marvellous wisdom and knowledge. He knows how to reach the human soul; he knows how to deceive you and mislead you. When the Duke of Richmond presented his report about "fortifications," Sheridan said, "I compliment the noble president on his talents as an engineer, which were strongly evinced in planning and constructing that paper He has made it a contest of posts, and conducted his reasoning not less on principles of trigonometry than of logic. There are certain assumptions thrown up like advanced works to keep the enemy at a distance from the principal object of debate; strong provisos protect and cover the flanks of his assertions, and his very queries are his casemates." And Satan is a civil engineer. He constructs his fortifications to make the evil strong and repel the good. And so, as he is a demon of marvellous power and wisdom, is he also formidable in his familiarity with evil, and it is this that constitutes the great hold of Satan over the human soul. Remember that he has in himself the very secrets of hell.

II. Yet notwithstanding this, we are bidden to remember that "He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world." Conceding the greatness of Satan, let us look for a moment at THE SUPERIOR GREATNESS OF JESUS CHRIST. In the first place, Jesus Christ has all power. Satan has great power, but not omnipotence. Christ is not only a God of all power, but He is a God of all wisdom. Satan is very wise, but he is not omniscient, and Christ is. Then Jesus Christ is everywhere present. He is in your heart, and in my heart, and the heart of every disciple, by the Holy Spirit, so that of a true child of God we may still say, "He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world," since He is the all-powerful, the all-wise, and the all-present God. And, then, remember that Jesus Christ represents perfect holiness, and holiness, like the light of the sun, positively dispels the darkness, that is to say infinite holiness repels evil and drives evil to the wall; and in the great ages to come, when Christ shall be crowned as King, we shall find darkness absolutely dispersed and light pervading the moral universe.

II. WHAT IS THE SECRET OF OUR POSSESSION AND EXERCISE OF THIS OVERCOMING POWER? We are told in this epistle that there are three secrets of overcoming power (1 John 2:14; 1 John 3:8, 9, 24). The first secret is, the Word of God abides in you. The second is the seed of God abides in you; and the third is God Himself abides in you. Now look successively at these three secrets. The Word of God is represented in the Scriptures as the "sword of the Spirit," "a two-edged sword." A Damascus scimitar has but one sharp edge and a dull back. Hence you can hew with a scimitar, but you cannot thrust with it successfully. But when you have two edges to a sword, and each side is keen, you can cut both ways with such a blade; and the two keen edges unite in one burning point, and you can thrust with such a sword. And so the Word of God is represented as having two keen edges and one burning piercing point. Again, it is represented as a living sword. The Word of God is quick, i.e., alive and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword. Knowing the Word, and having it in your heart, you shall find that Word going forth like a two-edged sword out of your mouth, a living sword, and a powerful sword, that hews men to pieces before God, and lays bare their thoughts and intents. Secondly, the seed of God abides in the child of God. The seed represents the living principle. I suppose you are all familiar with certain great facts of nature. You know how, for instance, in the vegetable world the seed is the most carefully preserved and guarded of all the products of plant life. Here is a little plant growing up and putting out its branches and leaves, and by and by its flowers. The flowers may be very beautiful and very fragrant, and you may value them and consider them the finest products of the plant, but, if I may use such language, the plant does not so regard them. The thing the plant cares most for in the economy of nature is not root nor stem, is not beauty nor blossom, nor even fruit, but seed. Now the teed in the plant and the seed in the animal represents not only the highest products of life, but the means of producing and propagating life, and therefore the seed is the most precious thing in nature. And how significant it is that the principle of life in God which represents the highest perfection of Deity and represents the means by which God's likeness is reproduced in you and in me is called by the sacred name of "seed," and we are told that when the seed of God remains in us we feel that we cannot sin. We have a new affinity. We are like a tree planted by the rivers of water with its little spongelets at the end of the roots drinking up the blessed water of life, and making sap of it. That is what John means when he says the seed of God is in the disciple, and he feels that he cannot sin because the seed of God leads him to love the things of God, and hate the things of the evil one. But we are told once more that God Himself abides in us (John 14:23). God would have you to feel this great fact, that if Jesus Christ dwells in you by the Holy Spirit, He makes you strong to overcome Satan, as He Himself was strong to overcome Satan in the desert and in the Garden of Gethsemane, and that is the secret of your triumph over evil. We are told that when Hercules was a little baby in his cradle, there were some serpents that came into the room and wound their way into the cradle and tried to sting him, and folding their coils round him to choke the life out of him. But we are told in the fable that with his little hands he just took hold of the necks of these serpents and strangled them to death. God would have you to feel that a little babe in Christ that is rocked in the cradle of the Church, when he comes into contact of She the great serpent, the devil, if Jesus is in him, can beat back the serpent, the serpent cannot strangle him. But remember this, that you are only strong when you are on the Lord's ground, not on the devil's ground. Nosy I have read a story about a swan that was walking on the shore of a lake, and a wolf came up and ran after the swan, and would have torn him to pieces. But the swan said to himself, "I am not strong on the land, but I am strong on the water." So he plunged into the water, and when the wolf followed him into the water, he with his strong bill just gripped the wolf by the ears, and pulled his head down under the water, and drowned him. There are a great many people who try to fight the devil on the devil's ground, and they always get defeated; but if you can meet the devil on the Lord's ground you will defeat him.

(A. T. Pierson, D. D.)

Wherein consists the superiority of the power of good over the power of evil in us?

1. The power of God is much nearer to us, and, by its relation to our true nature, so much more capable of becoming ours than the power of evil or the devil. We are the children of God. Can the renewed child of God say that any evil power lies nearer to his heart and more appropriately belongs to him, than that influence of a Father's love which he acknowledges to be the holiest and most blessed thing in the universe?

2. The greater power of good over us may be seen by comparing those parts or elements of our nature to which good and evil influences respectively appeal. On the one hand, we have the appeal of God, of good, and of truth, to our reason, judgment, and conscience, to the deepest instincts and most fixed principles of the soul, and to love, in itself the strongest element in our nature. On the other hand, the appeal of evil is only to prejudice, fancy, and appearance, to passion and to selfishness.

3. The objects through which good principle influences us are vastly greater than those with which evil is associated. Even in reference to the present visible world, we may see this contrast. Evil, which is necessarily selfish, limits the objects of our thought and life to our own mean, narrow selves. It knows no large and noble objects or ends. Good embraces all things, all beings, all great and lofty ends. Good objects and aims kindle the heart to an enthusiasm before which difficulties vanish; evil purposes sink the heart into meanness and weakness. But when we turn to the invisible and eternal world, how much more striking is the contrast. God Himself is the centre and fountain of all sublime thoughts, of all mighty emotions, and of all boundless hopes. The summit of greatness is before us in Christian perfection. All this greatness we as Christians can claim as our possession; and can all this dwell in and fill the soul, and yet awaken no sense of greatness and power? But what has evil to compare with this? Where are its sublime heights, grand conceptions, boundless prospects? What immortality invests it with unfading splendour, what solid reason guarantees its infinity of bliss? Can we, then, say that the ignoble and mean has the same power over us as the sublime and glorious?

(S. Edger, BA.)

I. THERE ARE TWO MIGHTY SPIRITS AT WORK AMONGST MANKIND. There is some correspondence between their operation.

1. Both act uncoercively. There is no invasion of the principles of responsibility in either case.

2. Both act universally. The one is the prince of the power of the air; the other is in all our hearts.

3. Both act perseveringly.

4. Both act productively. Both "produce fruits in their subjects" (Galatians 5:19-23).

5. Both act resistibly. "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." "Ye do always resist the Spirit of God."


1. The Church cherishes the Spirit, and resists the devil.

2. The world cherishes the devil, and resists the Spirit.


1. The one that is in the Church is absolutely independent; the one that works in the world is not so. The Holy Spirit can do whatsoever He please; Satan cannot move without His permission.

2. The one that is in the Church sways His influence by absolute right, the other by usurpation.

3. The one that is in the Church works to save, the other to destroy.

4. The one that is in the Church acts through truth, the other through error. The first stone of Satan's empire — the foundation stone — was a lie.But the Spirit works by truth — regenerates, sanctifies, comforts, by truth. Which is the greater, truth or error? Truth is eternal, error is not; truth is a necessity, error is a contingency; truth is mighty, error is weak. A lie has no power, only as it wears the garb of truth. Conclusion:

1. The human soul is an object of stupendous interest. These two spirits are working for it.

2. The philosophy of human commotions is explained. Two opposite spirits are working in the heart of the world.

3. The ultimate triumph of goodness is certain. "Greater."


They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world
The water riseth not (unless forced) above the fountain. Out of the warehouse the shop is furnished.

(J. Trapp.)

which the mind always travaileth and teemeth with, and which after its birth is wont in features to resemble its parent.

(I. Barrow.)

John, Jude
Ear, Gives, God's, Heareth, Hears, John's, Language, Letter, Listens, Reason, Speak, Talk, Third, Viewpoint, World's
1. He warns them not to believe all who boast of the Spirit;
7. and exhorts to brotherly love.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
1 John 4:1-5

     8750   false teachings

1 John 4:1-6

     4132   demons, malevolence
     7774   prophets, false

1 John 4:4-5

     4124   Satan, kingdom of

1 John 4:5-6

     5165   listening

Love of God and Man
FIRST SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY. Eversley. Chester Cathedral, 1872. 1 John iv. 16, 21. "God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. . . . And this commandment have we from Him, That he who loveth God love his brother also." This is the first Sunday after Trinity. On it the Church begins to teach us morals,--that is, how to live a good life; and therefore she begins by teaching us the foundation of all morals,--which is love,--love to God and love to man. But which
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons

First Sunday after Trinity God is Love.
Text: 1 John 4, 16-21. 16 God is love; and he that abideth in love abideth in God, and God abideth in him. 17 Herein is love made perfect with us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, even so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love: but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath punishment; and he that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19 We love, because he first loved us. 20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

Christ's Mission the Revelation of God's Love
'Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.'--1 John iv. 10. This is the second of a pair of twin verses which deal with substantially the same subject under two slightly different aspects. The thought common to both is that Christ's mission is the great revelation of God's love. But in the preceding verse the point on which stress is laid is the manifestation of that love, and in our text the point mainly brought out is its
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

The Servant as his Lord
'... As He is, so are we in this world.'--1 John iv. 17. Large truths may be spoken in little words. Profundity is often supposed to be obscurity, but the deepest depth is clear. John, in his gospel and epistles, deals with the deepest realities, and with all things in their eternal aspects, but his vocabulary is the simplest in the New Testament. God and the world, life and death, love and hate, light and darkness, these are the favourite words round which his thoughts gather. Here are nine little
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

Love and Fear
'There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.'--1 John iv. 18. John has been speaking of boldness, and that naturally suggests its opposite--fear. He has been saying that perfect love produces courage in the day of judgment, because it produces likeness to Christ, who is the Judge. In my text he explains and enlarges that statement. For there is another way in which love produces boldness, and that is by its
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

The Ray and the Reflection
'We love Him, because He first loved us.'--1 John iv. 19. Very simple words! but they go down into the depths of God, lifting burdens off the heart of humanity, turning duty into delight, and changing the aspect of all things. He who knows that God loves him needs little more for blessedness; he who loves God back again offers more than all burnt offering and sacrifices. But it is to be observed that the correct reading of my text, as you will find in the Revised Version, omits 'Him' in the first
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

May the Sixth the Perfecting of Love
"Herein is our love made perfect." --1 JOHN iv. 11-21. How? By dwelling in God and God in us. Love is not a manufacture; it is a fruit. It is not born of certain works; it springs out of certain relations. It does not come from doing something; it comes from living with Somebody. "Abide in Me." That is how love is born, for "love is of God, and God is love." How many people are striving who are not abiding. They live in a manufactory, they do not live in a home. They are trying to make something
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

Love's Logic
But, dear friends, I trust after many years of instruction in the doctrines of our holy faith, I need not keep to the beaten doctrinal track, but may lead you in a parallel path, in which the same truth may be from another point. I purpose to preach an experimental sermon, and possibly this will be even more in accordance with the run of the passage and the mind of its writer, than a doctrinal discourse. We shall view the text as a fact which we have tested and proved in our own consciousness. Under
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 17: 1871

A Psalm of Remembrance
Let me add another figure to render this truth yet more apparent. Suppose an eloquent foreigner, from a sunny clime, should endeavour to make you appreciate the fruits of his nation. He depicts them to you. He describes their luscious flavour, their cooling juice, their delicious sweetness; but how powerless will be his oration, compared with your vivid remembrance, if you have yourself partaken of the dainties of his land. It is even so with the good things of God; describe them as we may, we cannot
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 5: 1859

Can you imagine a being placed halfway between this world and heaven? Can you conceive of him as having such enlarged capacities that he could easily discern what was done in heaven, and what was done on earth? I can conceive that, before the Fall, if there had been such a being, he would have been struck with the singular harmony which existed between God's great world, called heaven, and the little world, the earth. Whenever the chimes of heaven rang, the great note of those massive bells was love;
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 5: 1859

Dark Times
1 JOHN iv. 16-18. We have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. Have we learnt this lesson? Our reading, and thinking, and praying, have been in vain, unless
Charles Kingsley—The Good News of God

"And if Christ be in You, the Body is Dead Because of Sin; but the Spirit is Life Because of Righteousness. "
Rom. viii. 10.--"And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness." God's presence is his working. His presence in a soul by his Spirit is his working in such a soul in some special manner, not common to all men, but peculiar to them whom he hath chosen. Now his dwelling is nothing else but a continued, familiar and endless working in a soul, till he hath conformed all within to the image of his Son. The soul is the office house, or workhouse,
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

"For what the Law could not Do, in that it was Weak Though the Flesh, God Sending his Own Son,"
Rom. viii. 3.--"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak though the flesh, God sending his own Son," &c. Of all the works of God towards man, certainly there is none hath so much wonder in it, as the sending of his Son to become man; and so it requires the exactest attention in us. Let us gather our spirits to consider of this mystery,--not to pry into the secrets of it curiously, as if we had no more to do but to satisfy our understandings; but rather that we may see what this concerns
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

The Torment of Fear
(First Sunday after Trinity.) 1 John iv. 16, 18. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. The text tells us how to get one of the greatest blessings;
Charles Kingsley—Town and Country Sermons

"The Fruit of the Spirit is Love"
I want to look at the fact of a life filled with the Holy Spirit more from the practical side, and to show how this life will show itself in our daily walk and conduct. Under the Old Testament you know the Holy Spirit often came upon men as a divine Spirit of revelation to reveal the mysteries of God, or for power to do the work of God. But He did not then dwell in them. Now, many just want the Old Testament gift of power for work, but know very little of the New Testament gift of the indwelling
Andrew Murray—Absolute Surrender

Scriptural Predictions of an Apostasy.
Who has not wondered, as they read of the Savior's and the apostles' warnings of "false teachers," grievous wolves, delusive powers, and deceptive lights, what it all could mean? These things certainly are not without meaning. Jesus says, "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound the love of many shall wax cold. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they
Charles Ebert Orr—The Gospel Day

The Established Christian Urged to Exert Himself for Purposes of Usefulness.
1, 2. A sincere love to God will express itself not only in devotion, but in benevolence to men.--3. This is the command of God.--4. The true Christian feels his soul wrought to a holy conformity to it.--5. And therefore will desire instruction on this head.--6. Accordingly, directions are given for the improvement of various talents: particularly genius and learning.--7. Power.--8. Domestic authority.--9. Esteem.--10. Riches.--11. Several good ways of employing them hinted at.--12, 13. Prudence
Philip Doddridge—The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul

The Manifestation of Holy Love.
"And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us." --1 John iv. 16. The question which now presents itself is: In what way is the divine, majestic act of making man a partaker of true love accomplished? We answer that this is-- 1. Prepared by the Father in Creation. 2. Made possible by the Son in Redemption. 3. Effectually accomplished by the Holy Spirit in Sanctification. There is in this respect, first a work of the Father, which the Heidelberg Catechism designates, "Of God the Father
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Love in the Triune Being of God.
"God is Love."--1 John iv. 8. Between natural love even in its highest forms and Holy Love there is a wide chasm. This had to be emphasized so that our readers might not mistake the nature of Love. Many say that God is Love, but measure His Love by the love of men. They study love's being and manifestations in others and in themselves, and then think themselves competent to judge that this human love, in a more perfect form, is the Love of God. Of course they are wrong. Essential Love must be studied
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

I May Briefly Reduce the Chief Persuading Motive to this So Needful and So Much...
I may briefly reduce the chief persuading motive to this so needful and so much desiderated grace into some three or four heads. All things within and without persuade to it, but especially the right consideration of the love of God in Christ, the wise and the impartial reflection on ourselves, the consideration of our brethren whom we are commanded to love, and the thorough inspection into the nature and use of the grace itself. In consideration of the First, a soul might argue itself into a complacency
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Dwelling in Love
"We love Him, because He first loved us."--1 John iv. 19. Mechthild of Hellfde, 1277. tr., Emma Frances Bevan, 1899 I rejoice that I cannot but love Him, Because He first loved me; I would that measureless, changeless, My love might be; A love unto death and for ever; For, soul, He died for thee. Give thanks that for thee He delighted To leave His glory on high; For thee to be humbled, forsaken, For thee to die. Wilt thou render Him love for His loving? Wilt thou die for Him who died? And so by
Frances Bevan—Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series)

Whether Initial Fear Differs Substantially from Filial Fear
Whether Initial Fear Differs Substantially from Filial Fear We proceed to the eighth article thus: 1. It seems that initial fear differs substantially from filial fear. For filial fear is caused by love, whereas initial fear is the beginning of love, according to Ecclesiasticus 25:12: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of love." Initial fear is therefore other than filial fear. 2. Again, initial fear fears punishment, which is the object of servile fear. Thus it seems that initial fear is the
Aquinas—Nature and Grace

Here Some one Will Say, this is Now not to Write of virginity...
52. Here some one will say, This is now not to write of virginity, but of humility. As though truly it were any kind of virginity, and not that which is after God, which we had undertaken to set forth. And this good, by how much I see it to be great, by so much I fear for it, lest it be lost, the thief pride. Therefore there is none that guardeth the virginal good, save God Himself Who gave it: and God is Charity. [2211] The Guardian therefore of virginity is Charity: but the place of this Guardian
St. Augustine—Of Holy Virginity.

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