Rev. Andrew Belt, pastor at Christ Lutheran Church in Marshfield, WI, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study 1 John 4:1-6.
St. John exhorts us to test the spirits, so that we would know which are from God and which are from the antichrist. The diagnostic is this: does this spirit teach that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh? Those spirits that do not teach this truth are not from God; we must take care not to listen to their lies. We hold to the truth because we are from God, who is in us and greater than the world. Distinguishing between the Spirit of God and the spirit of error equips us to show true love to each other.
“The Love of God” is a series on Sharper Iron that goes through the three epistles written by St. John the Apostle and Evangelist. As St. John rejoiced to be the disciple loved by Jesus, so he writes his epistles to give us the same joy when we know that we are the beloved of God. God’s love for us in Jesus shapes our lives as Christians in all that we believe, say, and do.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
1 John 4:1-6
Test the Spirits
4 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. esv.org