Summary: The ministry of the Holy Spirit allows us to hear from God; to discern His voice. Therefore, prayer, meditation, and knowing the voice of Him is critical! Do we know His truth over the noise of everything else competing for our attention?

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Testing the Spirits

1 John Bible Study, Part 9

1 John 4:1-6


- John gives us an incredible truth to hold onto (20)

-- We will fail, even though we desire to be holy and to live right for God

-- However, even in that, God knows our heart and knows everything we are

-- Even in our failings, He still accepts us and rejoices that we are His

- Why? We are created in His image; born to serve and exalt Him in everything

-- He knows that we believe in Christ; that our desire is to love Him always

-- Therefore, our heart is not the final standard … God is! (21)

- Our command therefore for living rightly is simple (23)

-- Believe in Jesus Christ and love one another as He has commanded

- Today, we are going to examine the importance of knowing what you know

- Read 1 John 4:1-6 / Pray

∆ Point 1 – Testing the Spirit

- It’s important that we not just believe/accept everything that comes along

-- For example: Just because it’s on television doesn’t mean it’s awesome

-- Consider the amount of diet commercials and solutions offered to us all

-- APP: Does anything really take the place of diet and exercise?

- The same application can be made when it comes to spiritual matters

- John’s mention of “spirits” can be interpreted in three ways:

1) The spirit behind the prophet speaking (there are false spirits sent to deceive)

2) The prophet himself (spirit is a figure of speech)

3) The message being relayed (another use of spirit as a figure of speech)

- While all three are possible, the focus is the same for us to consider

-- Each says: Don’t automatically believe it just b/c someone says it’s true

- What we must listen carefully for is simple: How do they treat Jesus?

- Do they treat the Gospel with reverence and respect; drawing others to Him?

-- Or, is it about what the Gospel can do for them; ex: How can we benefit?

-- IMP: True, the Gospel benefits us, but God is not playing “let’s make a deal”

- False prophets routinely deny that Jesus is the Messiah; or the Son of God

-- It is an IMMEDIATE litmus test of what their message is placed on

-- However, be prepared with the follow-up question as well!

Ex: JW approached me to chat, so after he talked I asked him:

Who is Jesus Christ to you?

His answer was, “Well, He is the Son of God” (hooked …)

I asked the follow-up: “Is there any other way to Heaven but by His salvation?”

He stumbled for some time trying to remember is training

Eventually got out … “God provides us all a way to get to Heaven”

- Did he answer the question? Nope! He failed the litmus test!

-- John is encouraging the believers to do the very same thing in this letter

- Re-read v2 – v3 …

- If they cannot identify who Jesus is, and what His authority is … they fail

-- They are the spirit of the anti-Christ; one who is against God’s word

- The bible never said that Jesus was a “nice guy” … but Lord of all

-- Luke 6:46, “Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?”

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