Winning the battle
I am writing to you who are young in the faith
because you have won your battle with the evil one.
I have written to you who are God’s children
because you know the Father.
I have written to you who are mature in the faith
because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning.
I have written to you who are young in the faith
because you are strong.
God’s word lives in your hearts,
and you have won your battle with the evil one.
1 John 2:13b-14 NLT
John, from the text, is commending the young in the faith because of their determination to win the battle against sin and temptation. Instead of giving in to Satan’s ploys, they resisted them and won the “battle with the evil one.” They rejoice in their salvation, constantly reminding themselves that they belong to the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. They live in the light of God’s revelation and rely upon the strength that God provides. It is through the love of Jesus Christ that His children experience the love of the Father. John repeated twice in this chapter the phrase “because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning” (see v. 13). This is very significant for he is emphasizing that what had happened in the past, knowing Christ, has a lasting effect in the life of every believer. This is why we cannot afford to relax and not be concerned about our spiritual growth for the devil is constantly looking for the opportunity to defeat us and make us useless in God’s Kingdom. “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith” (1 Peter 5:8-9). Strength that overcomes the battle against the devil is through “God’s word” living “in your hearts.” We cannot fight the enemy by just relying on our strength. We need to “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power…putting on all of God’s armor so that [we] will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10-11). When we treasure the Word of God in our hearts, obey and believe that Word, we will overcome and resist the deceptions of Satan. “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3).