Not only must God's church be marked by Christ-like love for one another, but she must be a stalwart of the truth, a defender of biblical doctrine! As a defender and proclaimer of God's truth, God's church must be equipped to recognize untruth so as to protect the sheep. The New Testament consistently warns against false teachers, as seen in such passages as Matthew 7:15 and Acts 20:28-30. John begins our passage with a sobering tone of warning and then quickly moves to encourage the church in vs. 4. He writes, "Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." In the face of opposition from the enemy, John stops to remind God's church of the Gospel. He reminds them of their new identity and their victory, both of which are evidenced and enabled by the indwelling Holy Spirit. If you have the Holy Spirit, it means that you have conquered the spirit behind the false teachers seeking to lead you astray (see 1 John 2:13-14), since the Holy Spirit marks those who have embraced the Gospel of Jesus Christ (see Ephesians 1:13-14). The Holy Spirit is the ultimate assurance for the people of God!