1 John 4:1 “…do not believe every spirit…”
He just mentioned the Holy Spirit as the proof that Christ abides in us. Now he warns of the existence of other spirits who will try to mimic the work of the Holy Spirit. One of satan’s ploys is to try to duplicate what Christ does, to create counterfeits. We must be diligent to test the spirits, and we do this by comparing what they say to His word.
2 “…Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God”
Amazing that some still do that, deny Christ, but I guess they can’t go on with their own ideas unless they do since their ideas will obviously contradict what Christ said. They will admit to God but not to Christ. Some will be subtle. They will admit much regarding Christ, but won’t go completely with Him. May defy His divinity or perhaps try to put other words in His mouth. That’s why it is also important that we believe in His word and read it daily so it is in us.
6 “…He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us…”
Connected to the same source. Those not connected to God through Christ will not want to hear anything of Him that contradicts their own ways.
9 “…God has sent His only begotten Son into the world…”
God is love. Total commitment.
10 “In this is love…He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
He did it before we loved Him. And in fact, some still will not love Him even though He died for them.
11 “…if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another”
Share what He has given us with others so they might receive what He has for them also. Love, total commitment to the good of another. Not warm, fuzzy feelings. Not feelings at all. Can create warm feelings, but that is not the substance.
12 “No one has seen God at any time…”
Seems odd to have this statement right in the middle of his discussion on the love of God since he doesn’t seem to refer to it or blend it in with the topic. Like it stands there all by itself. Apparently he’s putting it in there to reinforce the idea of God’s love causing us to love others. Doesn’t say God loves us so we should love God, which we should of course, but that we should love others. Obviously we would love God because He loves us, but we can’t see Him. If we love Him whom we cannot see, certainly we should be able, with His love in us, to love those we can see.
17-19 “Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment…There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear…We love Him because He first loved us.”
No fear in love. We have a relationship with Him so there is no reason to fear Him. Not speaking of respect, but of being afraid of Him. Afraid of what He will do to us in judgment. We can have boldness in the day of judgment because He has cleansed us of our sins and put His love in us. We will give an account of our actions, whether they are worth anything or nothing, but our standing as children of God is assured by what Christ has done. We didn’t have to do anything for this love or relationship. He loved us first. All we have to do is hear Him calling us and respond.
20-21 “…he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen…he who loves God must love his brother also”
Supply and capability is there, but it is still a choice. We must allow the love of Christ to flow and work in us.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.