Bible Study

1 John Bible Study, Day 20: The Greater Power

Today’s passage: 1 John 4:4–6

Focus verse: The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

After talking about the Holy Spirit and false prophets—that is, false teachers under Satan’s control—John gives us a comforting truth.

As Father God’s children who believe in Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit (whom John calls the Spirit of truth) living in us. Greater, John says, is the one who lives in us than the one who is in the world.

Many people don’t realize this, and their behavior belies John’s teaching. They view God and Satan as equal and opposing forces. They’re left quaking, wondering which force will win—and praying that they haven’t misplaced their faith. 

Yet this perspective is incorrect. God and Satan are not equal. God, as Creator, made all the angels—including Satan, a fallen angel. The Creator is clearly superior to his creation.

That’s why John can confidently teach us that God—who lives in us—is more powerful than the devil who lives in the world around us.

Yes, God has granted Satan a bit of authority in our world for a time. But our Lord will one day take back that authority and punish the evil one forever.

This victory over Satan began when Jesus died in our place for the wrong things we have done, defeating death and our enemy who specializes in death (John 10:10).

We’ll find the finale of Jesus’s victory revealed in full at the end of time, when Father God ushers in a new heaven and a new earth where we’ll live forever (Revelation 21:1–2).

We must focus on God’s power and Jesus’s victory. John reminds us that we are children of God. As his children, our heritage comes through him. He has overcome evil, and as his children we can overcome evil too.

God is greater than the devil. The battle has already happened, and God has won. We are on the winning side. And God is in us. Through him we can overcome the evil one’s opposition and the evil that is in the world.

We can count on God as the ultimate power and should live confident lives as a result.


  1. How can we better embrace God’s spirit who lives in us?
  2. In what ways do our lives show we believe we’re on the winning side? 
  3. When have we placed too much emphasis on the power of our enemy?
  4. What does it mean to you to be a child of God?
  5. How should we respond when we encounter evil?

Discover what else John says about the Spirit of truth (Holy Spirit) in John 14:16–17, John 15:26, and John 16:13.

Tips: Check out our tips to use this online Bible study for your church, small group, Sunday school class, or family discussion. It’s also ideal for personal study. Come back each Monday for a new lesson.

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Discover practical, insightful, and encouraging truths in Love One Another, a devotional Bible study to foster a deeper appreciation for the two greatest commandments: To love God and to love others.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

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