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Summary: Lesson 8 in a series of expository lessons from 1 John

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Test Every Spirit

1 John 4:1-6

I. Introduction

A. Harmonica Lessons

1. A young Texas engineer was sent to Ireland to work for two years.

a) He accepted the assignment for the extra money that was needed to put a down payment on a house after his wedding.

b) His fiancé remained in Texas to get all things ready for the wedding after his return.

2. After several weeks loneliness set in both people.

a) The young woman began to express some doubts about her fiancé’s ability to remain true.

b) The young man admitted there had been some temptations but that he was determined to remain true to her.

3. A helpful package

a) The young lady sent a package containing a harmonica and a several instruction books and DVDs.

b) He note read, “I’m sending the harmonica and the instruction books to help you fill your time and avoid being tempted.”

c) The young man replied, “Thanks for the harmonica. I will practice every night and think of you.”

4. Coming Home

a) After two years, the young man returned home, eager to see his fiancé.

b) As he emerged from the airport and ran toward he, the young man noticed that her hand was held up in a restraining way.

c) She said, “Before we go any further, let me hear you play the harmonica.”

B. Cautiously Testing

1. Old skeptical sayings.

a) If you believe everything you read, then you better stop reading.

b) Believe not of what you hear and only half of what you see.

c) Though these saying may seem extreme, there is a point to them – Tests things before you embrace them.

2. God’s command to test – 1 John 4:1

a) Test every spirit to see if they are of God.

b) Because there are many false prophets in the world.

c) Because Satan has disguised himself as an angel of light – 2 Corinthians 11:14-15

3. In 1 John 4:2-6, John gives us four ways we can test the spirit or the teaching of others.

II. Testing the Spirits

A. The Confession Test (2)

1. The Reality of the Incarnated Christ

a) Jesus is God – John 1:1

b) Jesus became a man – John 1:14

c) Jesus was tempted in all ways and did not sin – Hebrews 4:15

d) Jesus was crucified and died a physical death – Mark 15:37, John 19:33

e) Jesus was raised in bodily form – Matthew 28:9, John 20:27

2. The Reason for the Incarnation

a) The need for blood to remit sins – Hebrews 9:22

b) The need for man to be helped when tempted – Hebrews 2:18

c) The need for man and God to be reunited – 1 Timothy 2:5

3. The Results of the Incarnation

a) A true way to God – John 14:6

b) Salvation in only one name – Acts 4:12

c) An abundant life – John 10:10

B. The Cooperation Test (3)

1. With or Against Jesus

a) Matthew 12:30 – “He who is not with Me is against Me and Hw who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.”

b) Jesus identified who was against Him in 1 John 2:22

2. Who is running with whom?

a) Evil companions corrupt good moral – 1 Corinthians 15:33

b) 2 Corinthians 6:14 – “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?”

c) James 4:4 – “…Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself and enemy of God.”

3. Discerning hearts or itching ears.

a) Are people interested in truth – John 18:37

b) Are they interested in being told what they want to hear – 2 Timothy 4:3-4

C. The Conquering Test (4)

1. The Overcomers – The Greek word “nikeo”

a) Those that are true to God and His word are conquerors – Romans 8:37

b) They find the way of escape from temptation – 1 Corinthians 10:13

c) They no longer love the world – 1 John 2:15-17

d) They have found contentment in life – Philippians 4:10-12

e) They are strong in the Lord and His power – Ephesians 6:10

f) They find joy in Christ – John 16:33, 1 John 1:4

2. The Overcome

a) Are carnally minded – Romans 8:6

b) They walk by the flesh and not by the Spirit – Galatians 5:19-21

c) They take more confidence in themselves than in God – Philippians 3:3

d) When life crashes in their spiritual house falls – Matthew 7:25-26

e) Their logic cannot withstand the logic of God – Matthew 22:15-45

D. The Communication Test (5-6)

1. What is said! – Who is talking (5)

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