Sure tests for true teaching

  The story is told of Daniel Webster when he was in the prime of his manhood. He was dining with a company of literary men in Boston. During the dinner the conversation turned upon the subject of Christianity. Mr. Webster frankly stated his belief in the divinity of Christ … More

Deity

The churches that John was writing to were having a problem with false teachers who were denying that Jesus of Nazareth was truly the Christ.  John gives two sure tests for teacher evaluation:

  1. The Holy Spirit will bear witness if it is true. -"the one that is in you” is a reference to the Holy Spirit (v. 4). The Spirit’s teaching ministry enables Christians to discern right and wrong teaching concerning Jesus Christ.
  2. If the world accepts the message this indicates that it is not God’s message. - The child of God can perceive the difference between right and wrong by how the people of the world receive the message from the teacher. The words “therefore speak they of the world” (v. 5) does not mean they speak about the world. It means they speak from the world’s perspective. Their message will be listened to and received by unsaved people without offense. This indicates that it is not God’s message (I Cor. 2:14).

The message presented by the true teachers receives the opposite response (v. 6). The child of God will accept his message, but the world will reject it. The Christian need not fear the heretic. In Christ the victory over all the powers of evil was won. The powers of evil did their worst to Him, even to killing him on a Cross, and in the end he emerged victorious. That victory belongs to the true Christian.

Application

I must steer away from the superstition which believes everything, and the suspicion which believes nothing. God will help me achieve this if I will just ask him to.

I John 4:4-6 (English Standard Version)


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