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Truth is the Basis for Faith and Love -- Spiritual Teaching Must Be Examined to Identify Its Source

1. Christians Are Commanded to Exercise Discernment (:1)

a. Commandment stated negatively -- Don't be gullible

b. Commandment stated positively -- Test the spirits

1) the nature of the test

2) the subjects of the test

3) the goal of the test

4) the need for the test

2. The Touchstone for Orthodoxy is a True Confession of Jesus Christ (:2-3)

a. The Spirit from God Confesses Jesus as the Christ Come in the flesh

b. The spirit not from God does not confess Jesus as the Christ come in the flesh

3. God's Children Have Victory Over False Teachers By the Holy Spirit (:4)

4. The Source of Spiritual Teaching Determines the Audience (:5-6)

a. The World Responds to False Teaching

b. God's Children Respond to God's Spokesmen

c. Therefore, the character of the audience distinguishes between the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error


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