Testing the Spirits
Verse 1 – Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God’ because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Don’t believe everyone that says they are under the influence of the Holy Spirit. There are many ways to test teachers and preachers to see if their message is truly from the Lord: (1) Does their words match what God says int he Bible? (2) Are they truly committed to the body of believers? (3) Does their life-style show fruit?
Verse 2 – By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,
Verse 3 – and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. and this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which now already is in the world.
John says the most important test of all is what they believe about Christ. Do they teach that Jesus is fully God and fully man? There are many that claim they are from God, but if you give them these tests, you will know for sure. If the person is truly form God, they will teach and believe what Jesus taught.
Verse 4 – You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
As Christians, we have embraced the truth and triumphed over the arts of temptations; efforts to draw us into error and sin.
He who abides in us by the Holy Spirit, whose strength and grace enables us to achieve this victory, is more mighty than Satan!
Verse 5 – They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them.
Spiritual deception is more attractive and plausible to non-Christians than the truth of the gospel message.
Verse 6 – We are of God. He who knows God hears us, he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
People don’t like to be confronted with their sin and they sure don’t want to be told if they don’t get born-again that they will spend eternity in hell. The world’s way of teaching is that God accepts all people and loves all people. They contradict what God says in Scripture in order to not offend those “hearers.”
When a believer has the Holy Spirit living on the inside, He will let you know what you hear is in error or truth.
Verse 7 – Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
Verse 8 – He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
God is love – all true love has its origin in God; real love shows that we have His Spirit, and that we belong to Him; love assimilates us to God, or makes us more like Him.
Hatred, envy, wrath, and malice, all have their source in something other than God. He neither originates them, commends them, nor approves them, so don’t be fooled when you hear someone spew hateful words against another and claim its’ from God. Not true! And that goes for anyone including pastors, leaders in the church, or a politician.
Verse 9 – In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
Verse 10 – In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Verse 11 – Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
If we do not show love, kindness, and compassion to our fellow believers, than how are others to know we belong to Him?
Verse 12 – No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.
Jesus is the complete expression of God in human form and He has revealed God to us. When we love one another, the invisible God reveals Himself to others through us, and His love is made complete.
Verse 13 – By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
Verse 14 – And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son a Savior of the world.
Verse 15 – Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
Confession of the truth about the Son is a condition for a relationship with God the Father.
Verse 16 – And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God and God in him.
Verse 17 – Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.
As Christians we have no fear when the day comes that we stand before God, because we are forgiven and made righteous through Jesus Chris.
Verse 18 – There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
Verse 19 – We love Him because He first loved us.
Verse 20 – If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar, for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
Verse 21 – And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
Followers of Christ love God and love others – or they are not true disciples of Christ. We show our love for God in how we treat others.
However, there are those who profess to be Christians that are bitter, hateful, envious of others, and are only concerned with what affects them. After reading this chapter we can decide whether we are disciple of Christ or disciples of the devil.