1 John 4 Bible study

Living Word Magazine

Chapter 4


Testing the spirits 1 - 6.


(1Jn 4:1)  Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.


John is concerned that believers should not be taken in by any false teachers, so called prophets or those who profess to know Christ but whose lives to not bear witness that they do (Math. 7: 15 - 20).   It is evident by what he says that it is not easy to discern those who are of the Truth to those who are not.   Therefore we are not to believe every spirit (person) but test them to prove whether they are true or genuine and to discover if they are of God.  He gives three tests .


(1Jn 4:2-3)  By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses Jesus as the Christ who has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God, and this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming, and now is already in the world.


Firstly, every spirit (person) that acknowledges and confesses that Jesus Christ has become  man and has come in the flesh is from God.   Every spirit that does not do so is not of God but is the spirit of Antichrist.   It has been revealed that the Antichrist will come and he has and is prevalent throughout the world.


(1Jn 4:4)  You are from God, little children, and have conquered them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.


Those who belong to God have already triumphed over the agents of the Antichrist through Christ who is in them because He is greater than Antichrist or any of his cohorts.


(1Jn 4:5)  They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world's perspective and the world listens to them.


Secondly,  Because these spirits (people) belong to the world their conversation, teaching and lives will be taken up with the things of  the world.


(1Jn 4:6)  We are from God; the person who knows God listens to us, but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit.


Those who belong to God who teach His word will be listen to by those who also know Him.   Third test is that those who do not belong to God will not listen or receive His Word.


God is love  - love is of God 7 -11.


(1Jn 4:7-8)  Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been fathered by God and knows God. The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love.


Again he exhorts believers to love one another for the source of love is God and therefore it follows that those who love are born of God and know Him.   But if a person is not loving then he cannot be born of or know God.


(1Jn 4:9-10)  By this the love of God is revealed in us: that God has sent his one and only Son into the world so that we may live through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.


The greatness of God's love to us was made known in that He sent the Lord Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, into the world who gave His life upon the Cross for an atonement for our sins that we might live through Him. (John 3:16).   In this very act we see the magnificence of God's love in that He sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins when we did not love Him (Rom. 5:8).


(1Jn 4:11)  Dear friends, if God so loved us, then we also ought to love one another.


If God loved us as much as that surely we ought love one another.


He is in us and we are in Him 12 - 16.


(1Jn 4:12)  No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God resides in us, and his love is perfected in us.


No man has at any time seen God (John 1:18 and John 6:16) but if the love of God beams from us to one another then this shows that He lives in us (John 13:35) and that His love is brought to a completion perfection) in us.


(1Jn 4:13)  By this we know that we reside in God and he in us: in that he has given us of his Spirit.


It is because He has imparted the His Holy Spirit to us that we know that we live in Him and He lives in us.


(1Jn 4:14)  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.


Apart from this John could say along with his contemporary disciples that they had seen with their own us the Lord Jesus Christ and bear witness to the whole world that the Father sent Him as the Saviour.


(1Jn 4:15)  If anyone confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God resides in him and he in God.


Moreover whoever acknowledges, owns, that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in them.


(1Jn 4:16)  And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has in us. God is love, and the one who resides in love resides in God, and God resides in him.


Furthermore we are conscious of and believe in the love that God cherishes for us.   The one who lives in  love, lives in God and God dwells in him.


Perfect love 17 - 21.


(1Jn 4:17)  By this love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, because just as Jesus is, so also are we in this world.


As we continue with Christ this love will grow more perfect  and complete so that we may have confidence, a bold assurance, when we stand before Him in the day of judgment to face Him without shame because as He love us so we love Him.


(1Jn 4:18)  There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears punishment has not been perfected in love.


We do not need to fear someone who love us so perfectly, for it is His perfect love for us drives all fear and terror from us.   Fear brings with it a dread of punishment and so those who are afraid have not attained the full maturity of love (is not fully convinced that He really loves them L.B).


(1Jn 4:19)  We love because he loved us first.


Our love for Christ comes from Him loving us first.


(1Jn 4:20)  If anyone says "I love God" and yet hates his fellow Christian, he is a liar, because the one who does not love his fellow Christian whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.


If anyone says that he loves God but hates his brother in Christ then he is lying.   No one can say that he belongs to Christ and loves God, who he has not seen, if he has hate in his heart for the brother he has seen.


(1Jn 4:21)  And the commandment we have from him is this: that the one who loves God should love his fellow Christian too.


This is a command that we have received from Him that if we love God then we must love one another.

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