Introduction: Shrike System
The ancient sport of falconry used trained hawks or falcons in the pursuit of wild game. When the “educated predator” was allowed to fly, however, it often rose too high for human eyes to see it. So a hunter often carried a small caged bird called a shrike. By watching the antics of the little bird, the man could always tell where his hawk was, for the shrike instinctively feared the predator and cocked its head to keep it in view.
The Christian desperately needs the alert perception of the shrike when it comes to detecting his spiritual enemy. Our adversary, Satan, “walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). Our responsibility, according to the apostle Peter, is to “be sober, be vigilant.” We’re to be always on the alert.
It would be nice if God had giant sirens to warn us of an attack by the devil. But the Lord doesn’t operate that way. Instead, we must read the Bible regularly, meditate on its truths, maintain a prayerful attitude throughout the day, and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Only then will we be sensitive to an imminent onslaught of the evil one, and be armed by grace to meet it.
Is your spiritual “shrike system” working well?
The devil is clever, deceiving us all,
He subtly causes the strongest to fall;
But we his sly methods are sure to discern
By making God's warnings our daily concern. —DJD
He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. —1 John 4:4
Source: Mart Dehaan, Our Daily Bread
I. You Are Of God 4
4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
A. You Are Of God 4a
You are of God, little children
1. We are kind of back to square one for a moment.
a. John is calling his readers “children” again.
b. It is a term of love and affection.
2. The term “children” appears 1200 times in the Bible (OT and NT)
a. That would be an average of about 18 times per book.
b. “Children” occurs in the letters of John 18 times.
c. Consider that we are speaking of 18 occurrences in 7 small chapters.
a. Children – children
b. Children – children of Israel
c. Children – beloved ones
4. But if we are going to get hung up on something, let’s get hung up on this:
a. You are of God!
b. If you receive
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
c. The spirit bears witness
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
d. Shining Lights in a dark world
that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
e. You are of God!
B. You Have Overcome Them 4b
and have overcome them
1. I believe there is a large distinction to be made here.
a. You HAVE overcome them.
b. You have conquered them!
c. You have carried off the victory!
d. You have held fast your faith even in the face of death
i. against the power of their foes
ii. against temptations and persecutions
e. If we see it in a legal sense, when one is arraigned or goes to trail
i. You win the case
ii. You maintain your cause
2. But who exactly have we won the victory over?
a. Those false spirits
b. Those false prophets
c. Those false christs we found in the preceding paragraph.
C. He Is Greater 4c
because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
1. We did not accomplish that victory alone!
2. Rather, He who is in us is greater that he who is in the world!
3. Jesus defeated Satan on the Cross!
4. Jesus defeats Satan in our lives!
D. Application To The Church
II. They Are Of The World 5
5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them.
A. They Speak As The World 5a
1. It is very interesting that John used the word “world” exactly the same number of times as he did “children”
a. When John writes children he means believers.
b. When John writes world he means unbelievers.
2. So when John writes, they speak as of the world he is saying a couple of things
a. They are unbelievers…