Summary: Let me ask you a question. How many people do you think stay home now, that used to enjoy a rich, full, spiritual life with God. And why do you think they stay home?

Look around you this morning, tell me what do you see? Let me ask you a question. How many people do you think stay home now, that used to enjoy a rich, full, spiritual life with God. And why do you think they stay home?

The only explanation is that they did not as we studied, “Test the spirits, whether they be from God or not.” And those spirits being not from God led them away, and because they did not test them they could not tell the difference and let themselves be led away.

“You dear children…” He calls you “Dear Children” because he is making a distinction now from the other people(the ones that were led away) You my little children are from God. You have heard the false teachers and have decided for yourselves and decided right. You have not been deluded by their errors. You are from God and have overcome.

How did you overcome? Was it because of your great theological knowledge? Did you undergo some intense training. No. John says that you overcame because…” greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” It was nothing the Christians did that saved them. It was the One that dwells inside them and you. It was the greatness of God that kept them pure.

When you look around at the success of evil in history, and especially in our day, you can see that the enemy has great power. Think of our world and all that it is going through in terms of agony, struggle, evil, violence, and heartache, with confusion abounding on every side

But -- despite all the appearances. God is greater than the power of the enemy. In fact, it is almost ludicrous to put it that way. God is so incomparably greater than there is no contest whatsoever. This is where the eye of faith must always turn in hours of darkness, discomfort, or despair; turn to what the Scriptures reveal as the truth about God and how incomparably greater he is than anything that is present among men or behind men. Read of God’s greatness in Isaiah, the 40th chapter

Have you not known? Have you not heard?

Has it not been told you from the beginning? {Isa 40:21a RSV}

"What is the matter with you people," he is saying. "Why all this gloom and despair? Why this mood of pessimism? Why this wringing of the hands and rending of your clothes? Haven’t you been told what God is like?" He goes on:

Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?

It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,

and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;

who stretches out the heavens like a curtain;

and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;

who brings princes to naught,

and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing. {Isa 40:21b-23 RSV}

To whom then will you compare me,

that I should be like him? says the Holy One.

Lift up your eyes on high ... {Isa 40:25-26a RSV}

That is what people need to do in these days of darkness.

Lift up your eyes on high and see:

who created these?

He who brings out their host by number,

calling them all by name;

by the greatness of his might,

and because he is strong in power ... {Isa 40:26 RSV}

Would that we could get men to hear that today when so many are insisting upon their rights and saying that no one is standing up for them. The prophet says, "Imagine thinking that your right has been disregarded by God."

Have you not known? Have you not heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God,

the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He does not faint or grow weary, ... {Isa 40:28a RSV}

He gives power to the faint,

and to him who has no might he increases strength. {Isa 40:29 RSV}

I love that wonderful cry of triumph on the part of the Apostle Paul in Romans 11 after he concludes his great treatise on the providence of God and the free will of man with the cry,

O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! [past finding out.]

"For who has known the mind of the Lord,

or who has been his counselor?"

"Or who has given a gift to him

that he might be repaid?"

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory for ever. {Rom 11:33-36 RSV}

God is greater -- incomparably greater -- than the wisdom of the enemy.

Now the point of all this is, as John brings out, that all this incomparable, superior wisdom is available to the humblest Christian believer, so there isn’t a chance, not a chance, that he will be swept away by the silken errors of the day, attractive and alluring as they may be, if he combines the two things together that John mentions here. These two factors guarantee deliverance. They are the relationship of being "of God" and of being "little children." You see, it is not by accident that John uses this title, "little children," for that is the name that indicates the trust -- the childlike trust of one who believes the Word of God. Now, you don’t have to fully understand it; simply accept it, trust it, and act on it. You will discover that all the wisdom and greatness and superior intelligence of God is imparted in that simple word, and, though it may appear foolish to others, it is wiser than men. He who in childlike faith trusts the Word to guide him through life, acting upon it, regardless of how widespread are the opinions of men who speak contrary to it, will find that he will be safely kept through all entrapping errors. He can sing as we do sometimes sing together,

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