Speaker: Don Guthrie
1 John 4:1-6
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A tolerant age. "Speak your truth."
The Bible declares TRUE truth. Unchanging. Life-giving. Soul-judging. "I am the way, the truth and the life" (John 14:6).
False prophets. How can we know what actually is, what actually will be?
"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (2) By this you know the Spirit of God; every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; (3) and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit
of the antichrist, of which you have heard that is coming, and now it is already in the world. (4) You are from God; little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. (5) They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. (6) We are from God: he who knows God listens to us; for he is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error" (1 John 4:1-6).
John is an old man. 60 years following Christ.
Christianity is exploding in growth. Imposters are changing, diluting, corrupting the message. The serpent in the garden (Genesis 3).
Test the spirits. Preachers, books, movements, organizations.
"Who do you say that I am?" (Matthew 16:15)
Doctrinal test. Christological. What is being said, declared about Jesus?
"Has come"--perfect tense verb. He came with permanent effect. The truth remains as if it happened yesterday.
"God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son" (Hebrews 1:1-2).
"The Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we saw His glory" (John 1:14).
Christmas for the culture is sentimental. Christmas for believers is ASSERTIVE and CORRECTIVE.
Jesus is His human name.
Christ is His eternal office. chrio--to anoint. Symbol of Holy Spirit, preparation for office.
He DID what ONLY GOD could do.
He SAID what ONLY GOD could say.
He LIVED as ONLY A MAN should live. God/Man. Both!
--True Christianity has WORSHIP in it. "My Lord and my God" (John 20:28).
--True Christianity has SYMPATHY in it. "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are" (Hebrews 4:15).
--True Christianity has MISSION in it. "We are FROM God" (v. 6). Simple preposition. Ek--out of. Origin and direction. As the Father has sent me, so send I you.
--True Christianity is SPIRITUAL. "By this we know that we abide in Him and He is us, because He has given us His Spirit" (1 John 4:13).
Why should I bother? Real diamonds? Real chemotherapy? True Christianity?
The sad fact of false prophets doesn't change our responsibility to discern and decide truth.