Title: 1 John 4:1-6
Series: 1 John
Teacher: Jacob Bender
Date: August 22, 2013
Description: It is important as Christians who are growing together and leading each other, that we protect the message we are preaching and guard it by the Holy Spirit and the Bible. In the first six verses of 1 John 4, the disciple that Jesus loved both encourages us and empowers us to test the spirits, and make sure that they are from God.
John gives us an easy tip on knowing if it is from God or not, "any Spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ came in the flesh" is from God. In this teaching, we show why it is so important that Jesus came in the flesh, as well as how easy it can be to lead people astray if we deny this or any other scriptures, as all scripture is from God.
Key Scriptures: 1 John 4:1-6, John 1:14, John 6:38, John 6:42, John 8:58, James 3:1, 2 Timothy 4:3, 2 Corinthians 5:20, Philippians 2:12, Matthew 7:15, Genesis 1
Below is the entire "Kingdom" teaching series by Pastor Brad Reed. It is recommended viewing to go further in your understand of what it means to be an ambassador of Christ here on earth, and to help you as a leader to be strong in your biblical convictions, and to avoid becoming a teacher that seekers heap upon themselves to justify an immoral lifestyle.
Below is the teaching by Pastor Craig Groschel about the prompting of the spirit, the "deo ho pneuma"
Truth Does Not Repel People, Hate Repels People
by Jacob Bender
One of the biggest misconceptions about christianity is that it is a religion that hates those who are different from us..Often we are accused of prejudice or of "discriminating" against a person or people group. The word discriminate actually comes from the word discern, and in many cases has been used for very wrong purposes, singling out people by their race or gender or culture, treating them differently because of a situation or showing partiality for or against someone, but the word does not always represent something bad. and it certainly is not the same as hate though they appear from the outside to go hand in hand. We must as Christians be able to live lives that are lead by the Holy Spirit and we have this amazing roadmap called the bible, and with these amazing tools we have the ability to discern. To know right from wrong, truth from lies. Teachers of the way and teachers who are leading people astray.
John charges us in this section to "test the spirits." He gave us this charge because he knew that we were capable of the kind of discernment required to test whether or not something is from God, because the same Holy Spirit that inspired him to write this epistle is the same Holy Spirit that is with us all the time. We need to listen to Him. Because not all teachings are valid, but at the same time, not all teachings are false. We need to make sure we are not quick to assume either way, but we test the spirits in accordance both with the Holy Spirit instinct that we have been given, as well as the Bible, our perfect road map. (see 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
I think that one of the things that I fear most, being in full time ministry, is that I will lose track of truth in an effort to win people. So often, when we speak the truth (according to the word of God, as ambassadors to the Kingdom of God) it is classified as hate, but if I hated you I would not speak the truth into your life. If I hated you, i would not care if you sinned, or what your eternity looked like, in fact I would likely want the worst for you. We speak truth because we love. John starts the section by saying "beloved." He was writing to people that he considered to be his friends because he saw a problem creeping up in their midst that needed to be addressed before it poisoned them all.
It is scary to me, when James says that teachers will be judged with greater strictness (James 3:1), because I teach. And I have seen a lot of pastors who I have loved and respected and learned a lot from slowly turn into the type of pastors that John talks about all throughout this epistle, and even more so what Paul wrote to Timothy when he said "many will heap upon themselves teachers to suit their own passions." I see so many teachers becoming this to our world who is looking for advocates within the church.
The church is your biggest advocate. That is what people need to understand. No matter where you are, what you are doing, or what you believe, God is on your side. He is for you and just like Jaime said in his teaching on 1 John 3:1-9, Jesus loves you just the way that you are. That does not mean that everything that you do is ok, but God is your biggest fan and the church wants to see you win. But you have to be working out our own salvation with fear and trembling. You do not work out your salvation by looking for teachers who will tell you what you want to hear, you work out your salvation out of reverence for Jesus and his words, according to the scriptures and your convictions, knowing that your ability to meet the requirements is flawed, but trying to do so anyway. You try your best. And as you are working out your salvation, the same Holy Spirit that John talks about in this section who will lead you and guide you and help you discern if a spirit is from God or not, is the same Spirit that will lead you to a conviction, or a peace about whatever you are facing.
Work out your own salvation. Do not let any pastor, leader, speaker, teacher, or person who says they are your friend work yours out for you. Don't be denied this amazing opportunity that you are both given and charged to do.