Warning Against False Teachers
1 John 4
1My dear friends, many false prophets have gone out into the world. So do
not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from God. 2This is
how you can know God’s Spirit: Every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ
came to earth as a human is from God. 3And every spirit who refuses to say this
about Jesus is not from God. It is the spirit of the enemy of Christ, which you
have heard is coming, and now he is already in the world.
4My dear children, you belong to God and have defeated them; because
God’s Spirit, who is in you, is greater than the devil, who is in the world. 5And
they belong to the world, so what they say is from the world, and the world
listens to them. 6But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. But
those who are not from God do not listen to us. That is how we know the Spirit
that is true and the spirit that is false.
Love Comes from God
7Dear friends, we should love each other, because love comes from God.
Everyone who loves has become God’s child and knows God. 8Whoever does not
love does not know God, because God is love. 9This is how God showed his love
to us: He sent his one and only Son into the world so that we could have life
through him. 10This is what real love is: It is not our love for God; it is God’s
love for us in sending his Son to be the way to take away our sins.
11Dear friends, if God loved us that much we also should love each other.
12No one has ever seen God, but if we love each other, God lives in us, and his
love is made perfect in us.
13We know that we live in God and he lives in us, because he gave us his
Spirit. 14We have seen and can testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior
of the world. 15Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God has God living
inside, and that person lives in God. 16And so we know the love that God has for
us, and we trust that love.
God is love. Those who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
17This is how love is made perfect in us: that we can be without fear on the day
God judges us, because in this world we are like him. 18Where God’s love is,
there is no fear, because God’s perfect love drives out fear. It is punishment that
makes a person fear, so love is not made perfect in the person who fears.
19We love because God first loved us. 20If people say, “I love God,” but hate
their brothers or sisters, they are liars. Those who do not love their brothers and
sisters, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have never seen.
21And God gave us this command: Those who love God must also love their
brothers and sisters.
The Holy Bible, New Century Version
Love of God Manifested Toward Us (1 John 4:7–
“God is love.” We may ask the question, “How do we know that God is
love?” Answer: “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has
sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this
is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the
propitiation for our sins.” Apart from this, there is no knowledge of the love of
God. Born again ones know that love. Believing it they receive eternal life. In
His great love He has met all our needs. If God so loved us, we ought also to love
one another. Love is the very essence of the new nature. This love rises above all
the barriers of circumstances, and attaches us to those who are His. His love is
perfected in us by loving one another. “By this we know that we abide in Him,
and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. There is no fear in love; but
perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has
not been made perfect in love.” His love casts out fear. The coming day of
judgment is not anticipated in fear but in boldness, for that day will but bring the
full realization of Christ to us, of what we are in Him. Loving God and being
obedient to His Word is the final test of eternal life. Love of God is the spirit of
obedience, being subject to Him in all things. Our faith is the victory which
overcomes the world that is in opposition to God. The sinner needs to be
cleansed—morally and from guilt. Jesus Christ came by water and by blood. The
water is for cleansing and the blood, telling of expiation, cleanses from guilt of
sin. It is purification and propitiation as accomplished and provided for in the
death of Christ for all who will come to Him and believe. The Holy Spirit bears
witness to it. He is on earth and was given to bear witness to Christ and to His
work. What a terrible thing it is to reject this witness.
One purpose of this epistle stated at the beginning of the notes was “that
Christians might know of a certainty that they have eternal life.” Assurance is
possible, and God’s testimony is that eternal life is found through our personal
relationship with Jesus Christ. The outcome of that relationship with the Father
and His Son gives to the Christian confidence and assurance in a daily life
committed to the will of God. We can come in prayer with boldness to the throne
of grace and know that whatsoever we ask according to His will, He will hear us.
As a loving Father, He listens and He answers according to His will.
God’s children should be separated from the world. To venture into the
territory of the enemy exposes one to his touch; sin and sorrow result. The
Christian life is walking with God and keeping ourselves from idols, those things
that are displeasing to God. An idol is anything that comes between the Christian
Title: Explorers Bible Study: New Testament Epistles & Revelation,
Author: Constance, N.E.