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Discerning the Spirits, Pt. 2
1 John 4:1-6
May 18, 2014

I’ve always been pretty curious, and I like to collect questions and somewhere I picked up these:

  • What color is a chameleon on a mirror?
  • Where does weight go when you lose it?
  • Why are Chinese fortune cookies written in English?
  • Why is abbreviated such a long word?
  • Is there another word for synonym?
  • Why is there only one Monopolies Commission?
  • How do you write “zero” in Roman numerals?
  • How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?
  • Would a fly without wings be called a walk?
  • Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains?
  • What was the best thing before sliced bread?
  • Where do forest rangers go to “get away from it all?”
  • How is it possible to have a civil war?
  • Whose cruel idea was it for the word “lisp” to have an “s” in it?
  • Why is there an expiration date on sour cream?

Now some questions are more useful than others. And while we might chuckle at those, some questions are essential for a believer in Christ. A mature believer is discerning and he cultivates that discernment by asking questions. He doesn’t accept every teaching as true. He doesn’t accept every teacher as being right just because he is a teacher. He digs and queries and probes. He does this because he wants to distinguish between the true and the false, so with his questions he is conducting a series of tests. How can we tell who is true and who is false? By giving tests.

To be a discerning believer, test what you are taught.

In 1 John 4, John provides five tests to determine whether a teacher and his teaching are informed by the Spirit of God or the spirit of Satan.

  1. Does the Teaching Originate from God? (v. 1)
  2. Does the Teaching Exalt Christ? (vv. 2-3)
  3. Does the Teaching Oppose Worldliness? (vv. 4-5)
  4. Does the Teaching Honor Scripture? (v. 6a)
  5. Does the Teaching Elevate Truth? (v. 6b)

Download the rest of this sermon on 1 John 4:1-6.

The audio will be posted on the GBC website.