Walking in His Love: A Study of John’s Letters, 19

Have you been testing the spirits this week? That’s where we left John in his letter to his friends and dear children in the faith. He was reminding them of those false prophets and antichrists who would be doing all they could to twist God’s Word and attack his bride. I love John’s writing because it is so full of encouragement and hope. That’s what we find today, even in the midst of the tests:

You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world. Therefore what they say is from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Anyone who knows God listens to us; anyone who is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deception.

1 John 4:4-6 CSB

Even though he’d told them the spirit of the antichrist was here, he wanted to also remind them of something of even greater importance—they have already conquered him!

Before the battle begins, we’ve won!

How can we win a battle we have yet to fight? Because the One in us is greater than the one in the world. Yes, Jesus, who lives in us through his Spirit, equips us with everything we need to put the devil in his place. In fact, the victory is already secured through his incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension. His return will seal the deal.

So, what do we do in the meantime? Keep an eye out for the trickster.

When we test the spirits, speak truth to lies, continue to meet together, and proclaim Christ as Lord, we limit the gains of the antichrist in this world. Yes, as John says, the world listens to the antichrists of our day, but his word does not satisfy. Only in Christ, do people find hope, peace, true love, and the Spirit that exposes the deception they once knew.

We are from God, and as we test the spirits, and speak truth to the Body in response, those who know God will listen. Satan cannot gain a stronghold in a church as long as there are believers testing the spirits and speaking against the deception. Yes, we’ve won the final battle in Christ, but there is the daily battle we must wage to hold each other accountable to the Truth of God’s Word.

When someone in the church refuses to acknowledge the Truth of God’s Word, he is not from God. These are times when the Body must take action and purge the falsehood and those who proclaim it. Our goal is to present a purified Bride at Christ’s return. That takes work but is not impossible through the power of the Holy Spirit and the guidance of the Bible.

Are we encouraged by John’s word today? Absolutely! The battle is won! Is there work yet to do? Absolutely! By me and by you. May he find us faithful.

Grace and Peace

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