Summary: Just because someone says they speak for God, don’t rush to believe them.
November 4, 2007 Morning Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: Just because someone says they speak for God, don’t rush to believe them.
Focus Passage: I John 4:1-6
Supplemental Passage: Gal 1:6-9 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!
I. The Test is “To Test False Teaching”
a. The Message translation of verse 1 in our text clarifies this truth. “My dear friends, don’t believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world.”
b. What do we look for in a false teacher?
They will deny Christian doctrine. They will claim to have a new teaching or new revelation. Peter said “there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them”. (II Peter 2:1 NKJV). They will claim they are the only ones who hold the truth.
c. They will display an exclusive spirit. They will pull away from other evangelical groups. John spoke of this. “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.” (I John 2:19 NKJV)
d. They will emphasize a salvation by works. They minimize the grace of God. I call this Jesus plus salvation. They will speak about Jesus but emphasize good deeds and works as a part of their experience.
II. The Test “Their Belief ABOUT Jesus Christ”- What should we believe about Jesus?
a. Jesus is eternal. He was not created. He was the creator. (Jn 1:1-3)
b. Jesus is God in the flesh. (4:2)
c. Jesus is God. John touches this truth several times in his book. (1:3,7; 4:2)
d. Jesus is the only way to God. (Jn 14:6)
III. The Test of “Your Personal Faith”
a. Personal faith involves a confession. “By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God” (4:2 NASB).
Has there been a time when you by faith confessed Jesus as the Son of God who came to die as for your sins?
b. Personal faith involves a new character. John repeatedly discusses the signs of a new character. He mentions obedience, love for others, love for Jesus and the Holy Spirit’s testimony. The Bible says “If any man be in Christ he is a new creation.” Every person who has been genuinely saved has been given a new character.