The following is from OBC’s daily devotional for today:
Believers have the Spirit of truth and must distinguish between truth and error. The proof that genuine believers have the Holy Spirit is they (1) obey God’s truth (3:24) and (2) believe God’s truth (4:2, 6).
True believers have been loved by God, love God, and love one another (4:7-19).
Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On
- Christian, you must discern and distinguish true Christianity from false Christianity. In Scripture Jesus gives the criteria by which you must evaluate (judge) false teachers: full belief in and confession of all Christian truth. A particularly essential aspect of such obedience is love for other Christians. Identifying errant, false Christianity does so to protect the church and honor Christ, and thus requires saying, “That is a false teacher” and having nothing to do with such a one (separation).
- Christians can and must be assured that they have eternal life. The evidences or tests of true Christianity that John gives here are: (1) right belief in Christian truth, 4:6, 15; (2) love for other Christians, 4:7-8, 11, 20-21; (3) the Holy Spirit’s internal testimony, 4:13; and (4) obedience to God’s commands in Scripture, 3:24.
- In 4:7-19 John touches on key, essential salvation truths. Listed in their proper order they are:
- God is pure spirit, invisible, 4:12
- God is love, 4:8, 16
- God loved sinners, 4:10
- God the Father sent God the Son into the world so that the Son became a man (incarnation), 4:9-14
- The incarnate Son died as a substitute for sinners, bearing/enduring God’s wrath they deserved (propitiation), 4:10
- God gives life to spiritually dead when they hear the gospel so that they turn to, trust in, and live for and like Jesus Christ (are born again), 4:7, 9, 15-16
- The Triune God indwells believers, 4:12-13
- Believers love one another, 4:7
- Believers have assurance of and confidence in God’s salvation through Jesus Christ, 4:17-19