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Summary: What we have before us is a critical passage from the standpoint that it is important to discern the spirits. Whenever anyone comes to know Christ as Savior, they are immediately transported into a relationship with God... The Holy Spirit of God is our a

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ARE YOU DEALING WITH THE RIGHT SPIRIT?

1 John 4:1-6

INTRODUCTION: What we have before us is a critical passage from the standpoint that it is important to discern the spirits. Whenever anyone comes to know Christ as Savior, they are immediately transported into a relationship with God. It is a love relationship. They have moved from being enemies of God to being friends of God. The mark of that relationship, or using the biblical term – the seal of that relationship is the Holy Spirit of God -- Ephes. 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

The Holy Spirit of God is our assurance of a relationship with God Himself. John makes the point that not every spirit gives the kind of assurance we received at salvation and we are to make sure that we are following the right spirits!

Proposition: if we follow what is right we will never go wrong!

I THE HEARTFELT ENCOURAGEMENT OF JOHN 4:1

A John addresses the listeners as children and friends

B John ask that we avoid complacency in our acceptance

1 Encouraged to not believe every “spirit” that comes along

2 Reference to those who present themselves as teachers and preachers – prophets!

C We are encouraged to test each spirit

1 Test with the goal of approval

a Not a test to find some minute difference

b Rather a test to find the common ground Christians are to have with each other

D The reason for testing

1 Many false prophets are in the world

2 Since the Lord could come at any moment

a There must be those elements in place to fulfill biblical prophecy

b One important element is the existence of the antichrist

c If Jesus could come at any time, there must be an “anti-Christ” in the wings

d We need to test because there will ALWAYS be an anti-Christ influence in the world – even if the anti-Christ has not been revealed!

JOHN ENCOURAGES US TO TEST THE SPIRIT OF THE TEACHERS!

II THE BASIS OF THE TEST – JOHN 4:2-3

A The test is CONFESSIONAL

1 “Every spirit that acknowledges”

a Does not take for granted what it believes

b What a person believes is important

c Does it conform with biblical truth?

d Does the person take biblical truth for granted

B The test is CHRISTOLOGICAL

1 “that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh”

2 What does the person believe about Jesus

a His deity

1) His person

2) His office

3) His divinity

b His death – flesh implies death

1) Vicarious

2) Just a “sign post” regarding how we should live righteously

c His incarnation

C The subtleness of a false confession

1 Jesus was a great teacher (true), but there are other ways to God (false)

2 Jesus was a religious teacher (true), but not the anointed one of God (false)

3 Jesus was a practical teacher (true), He taught us how to worship and serve God (false)

Luke 5:31-32 Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

THE IMPLICATIONS OF DENYING THE INCARNATION OF CHRIST:

If Jesus Christ has not come in the flesh, then it means...

§ that God has not loved us enough to reveal Himself to us (1 John 1:2).


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