Summary: Sermon 11 in the series, "Things that Accompany Salvation." These sermons focus on the Apostle John's evidences of genuine faith as expressed in 1 John. This sermon: The Compatibility Test. Am I hearing the message from God in the messages of men?

Series: Things That Accompany Salvation

Hebrews 6:9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.

Message 11: Sixteen Signs of a True Believer (Part VII)

(2 Cor. 13:5; 1 Jn. 4:1-6)

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

• “Examine” - peirazo = to test, to scrutinize.

• We are to examine our faith.

• But with what are we to test it?

• We are to examine ourselves by the revealed word of God.

• 28 times in 23 verses John tells us that we can “KNOW” that we are saved!

• We cannot afford to ignore what John, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is telling us!

• There is the danger that we may be “reprobates.”

“reprobate” - to be tested by God and rejected as unapproved, found to be worthless and cast away.

ILLUS: These are the gauges on the dash of your life!

NOTE: These tests are not for you to judge your fellow church member’s salvation. They are to be applied by each person to himself!

REVIEW: Thus far, we have considered:

1. The Companionship Test: Do I demonstrate that I love the fellowship of the Father, the Son and the Saints?

2. The Comfort Test: Am I sensitive to sin?

3. The Cleansing Test: Have I experienced and accepted the forgiveness of God?

4. The Commandments Test: Am I keeping God’s commandments?

5. The Conformity Test: Does my life conform to the will of God?

6. The Conduct Test: Am I doing rightousness?

7. The Coming Test: Am I showing that I am looking forward to the coming of Christ by living in such a way that I would not be embarrassed by His coming? “He that hath this hope ... purifieth himself.”

8. The Conquering Test: Am I winning the battle over habitual sin?

9. The Charity Test: Am I demonstrating by my actions and attitude a genuine love for my brothers and sisters in Christ?

10. The Conscience Test: Am I free from the plague of moral guilt?

11. The Communication Test: Have I experienced true answers to prayer?

12. The Counselor Test: Do I show evidence that the Holy Spirit is present in my life?

• TODAY: Sign # 12: The Compatibility Test (4:1-6)

• Have I heard the Word of God in the Messages of Men?

• Or, Am I able to discern between true and false teachers?


• The mention of the Holy Spirit in 3:24 prompts John to inform his readers that those other spirits exist.

• There are demonic spirits, who produce false prophets and false teachers to propagate their false doctrine (see notes on 1 Tim. 4:1,2) MacArthur, J. J.

• Paul warned of this:

1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

• From the very beginning, in the garden of Eden, Satan twists divine truth.

• He is the source and inspiration for every false teacher and every false doctrine.

• Today, we will learn what John, under inspirations, tells us to do that we might test the teachers.

I. The Caution (1 John 4:1)

1 John 4:1-6 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

A. John’s Commands (1A&B)

1. A Call to Be Suspicious (1A)

“Beloved, believe not every spirit”

• It can be a hard thing to tell someone that you do not believe them.

• Essentially, you must accuse them of suffering from delusion, dementia or dishonesty.

• From childhood, we have been taught to believe those that take a Bible and teach us.

• John says, that may not be wise.

• I sometimes get strange looks when I point out the errors of men or denominations!

• So be it. I will follow John’s advice, not man’s!

ILLUS: The United Methodist Church and Homosexuality

United Methodist Church (UMC) - Rev. Edward Johnson, pastor of South Hill United Methodist Church in Virginia, was placed on a year-long leave of absence by his UMC district superintendent. His ecclesiastical crime? He refused to allow a non-repentant homosexual into church membership.

Johnson's district superintendent, the Rev. William Layman, had twice ordered Johnson to accept the homosexual man into membership. Layman acted with approval from the head of the Virginia Annual Conference, Bishop Charlene Kammerer.

When the pastor refused, he was removed from his position without salary. Johnson, who has been in the pastorate for 24 years, had pastored at South Hill for six years.

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