Summary: Often we are led into error by our ignorance of the Word of God and His character. Often when we hear the voices of those in authority we believe whatever they say without question. Are we armed with, "the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God?"
Please stand with me as we go over our current memory Scripture:
“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”
And our memory Scripture “refresher” verse is:
1 Corinthians 10:13 (ISV)
“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. But when you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.”
Today we will be reading from 1 John 4:1-6
Pastor Karenlee and I enjoy watching TV courtroom dramas.
Probably two that we watch the most are Matlock and Law And Order if they are available.
So, what do these TV courtroom dramas have to do with anything found in 1 John 4:1-6?
Well, I’m glad you asked!
In the courtroom there is an attempt to get to the truth so that a right judgment can be made based on the truth.
When the first attorney questions a witness it is called the Direct Examination, then the opposing attorney Cross Examines the witness. Following that the first attorney may ask for permission to engage in a Re-Direct Examination which may be followed by a Re-Cross Examination.
Why? The purpose of all of that is to get to the truth.
With that in mind let’s go ahead and read 1 John 4:1-6
(Prayer for help)
We are in a time of spiritual and political turmoil.
Both sides claim that the other side is spewing “fake news”.
Many times in a trial a witness will be extremely convincing on the stand. And yet, when they are cross examined their story falls apart.
Both sides may sound true until they are cross examined by the opposing side.
1 Joh4:1 says,
“Dear friends, 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.”
OK. Before we go any further I want to make this clear.
THIS IS NOT ABOUT POLITICS.
This IS about discerning what we can believe from any source that presents itself as a source of truth.
If you were to catch me in a lie of any sort would you believe what I would say in the future? Probably not.
Suppose I were to tell you that I believed that gambling is a waste of resources that God has provided for you to live on and to be used for His kingdom and His glory. (Which I DO believe …) And then, suppose you come into a gas station and you see me buying $20 of lotto tickets.
Wouldn’t you start thinking differently about anything I would tell you in the future? I would hope you would.
1 Joh4:1 says,
“Dear friends, 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.”
Have you ever thought about that when watching the news?
It’s just the news. How can it be tested to see whether it is from God or not???
How can we do that? Well, first we need to know what God’s Word says about anything. We need an intimate knowledge of God’s Word and His character which is revealed in the Bible. The combination of this along with the indwelling Holy Spirit will produce something called “spiritual discernment.”
How do we know what God’s word says about something? We read it! That’s how! And, we ask the Holy Spirit to help us understand what it says.
The Bible which comes directly from God is the only source of spiritual truth in the universe.
So, let’s say we want to watch the news in order to know what is going on in our town, our state, our nation and the world.
Can we believe what they say?
Can we believe what we are being told?
What do they say when the subject of abortion comes up?
Can what the person says be tested to see if it is in alignment with the Spirit of God and the Word of God?
Do they refer to abortion as a “women’s health issue” or a “woman’s right”, or, do they refer to it as a “sanctity of life issue”?
There is a world of difference between the two.
Do they label it as pro-choice?
Do they always refer to the pro-life position as anti-abortion?