In the Balance: Four "Greater Than" Statements from Scripture

I remember struggling to use the greater than and less than symbols correctly during elementary school math when learning about comparisons. In the beginning, it all seemed so random. Which direction is greater than? Which way is less than? Why can it switch? How do I know which way to point the symbols? It wasn’t until some time, and some failed quizzes later, that I understood the idea that the direction of the symbol changed depending on the numbers used. For example, 10 > 3, but 4 < 12. Once it was brought to my attention that the ‘alligator mouth’ wanted to ‘eat’ the number of greater value, it finally crystallized in my mind. It no longer seemed random, no longer seemed arbitrary.

Scripture includes several “greater than” statements which help us make sense of things in the spiritual realm. Rather than simply pointing out comparative values of numbers, these greater than statements reveal reassuring truths. Understanding and meditating on these truths will help crystallize them in our minds, making life seem less random or arbitrary as well. Take a look:

1. What is Unseen but Believed by Faith > What is Seen

Jesus expresses this idea to His disciple Thomas, who up to this point had misunderstood the other disciples’ previous encounter with the risen Lord as seeing a ghost. After examining Jesus’s hands and feet, after putting his hand in Jesus’s wounded side, Thomas suddenly believes and confesses Jesus as his Lord. Jesus responded, “Thomas, now that you’ve seen me, you believe. But there are those who have never seen me with their eyes but have believed in me with their hearts, and they will be blessed even more!” John 20:29 (AMP).

We do not have the benefit of seeing Jesus incarnate as the first disciples did; however, we have the promise of being even more blessed, precisely because we believe without seeing Him. The Amplified Bible defines blessed as “happy, spiritually secure, and favored by God.” The implication here is that what is unseen but believed by faith is greater than what is seen and believed.

2. The New Covenant > The Old Covenant

Hebrews 9 talks of how the new covenant, in which Christ became the spotless Lamb to pay the penalty for humanity’s sins, is a greater and more perfect covenant than the old one, which required continuous sacrifice by the Levitical High Priest on behalf of Israel. This original means of atonement, in a recurring sacrifice ritual, was imperfect and could never permanently assuage the conscience of man nor satisfy the wrath of God. According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, but deal only with food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation. But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Heb. 9: 9-14 (ESV).

The perfect sacrifice of Christ ushered in the New Covenant between God and humanity: namely, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (Rom. 10:9). This once-and-for-all salvation and forgiveness of sins is a greater covenant than the old covenant because it is dependent on Christ’s completed work on the cross.

3. What God Says > What Our Hearts Say

How many times has your heart deceived you? How often does your heart condemn you, saying that God could never love you after what you’ve done? How many times has your heart tried to convince you that your sins are too much for God to forgive? How frequently does your heart attempt to tell you that you don’t matter to God? How often does your heart cause you to doubt if you’re really saved? I’ve got great news for you! The Bible reminds us of the truth in 1 John 3:19-20: By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. In other words, any time our heart condemns us or we are convicted of sin inwardly, we can (and must!) believe with assurance that God has forgiven us because of the atoning sacrifice that Christ made on the cross.

4. He That is in You > He That is in the World

I hope this truth reassures you, friend. Romans 10:9 states, "if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Once you confess and believe, you are saved. Once saved, you are sealed with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit makes his dwelling in you (Eph. 1:13). 1 John 4:4 assures us that we need not fear: 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.

Because of this, we as believers need not fear the prince of this world, that is, Satan, or his demons. The Holy Spirit living in you is greater than (more powerful, stronger, has the victory over) he who is living in the world.

Greater than and less than math problems don’t trip me up anymore because I have the idea settled in my mind. I pray that after sharing these ideas from scripture with you, you will have these truths decidedly settled in your mind as well. Knowing them in your spirit can encourage you in dark times.