1 John 4:1-6
1 John 4:1-6
How to discern whether someone is from God.
#incarnation
#FalseTeachers
#Fighterverse
Published September 25th, 2020; Updated September 26th, 2020
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Main point summary
Arc
notes
Main point summary
My children in the faith I want you to discern who is from God and who is not and also know that you are from God because you have listened to us.
Arc
editing
NT
1 John 4:1-6
esv
mine
Beloved, t do not believe every spirit,
Those loved by God, do not believe anyone who claims to know God,
but u test the spirits
but test these people
to see whether they are from God,
so that you can determine whether they are from God,
actionpurpose
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for v many w false prophets x have gone out into the world.
for there are many deceivers out there.
ground
By this you know the Spirit of God:
Here is the “incarnation test” that tells you who is from God:
y every spirit that confesses that z Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,
if someone testifies that Jesus Christ came to earth as a man (not just a Spirit) then they are from God,
and every spirit a that does not confess Jesus is not from God.
but every person who denies this truth is not from God.
This is the spirit of the antichrist,
The denial of this truth comes from the spirit of the antichrist,
which you heard was coming
which you heard was going to come.
and b now is in the world already.
In fact , the antichrist is now in the world.
progression
ideaexplanation
alternative
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Little children, you are from God
My young children in the faith, I want to encourage you that you are from God
and have overcome them,
and therefore you have overcome these false spirits.
inference
for c he who is in you is greater than d he who is in the world.
because the Spirit of God, which is in you, is greater than the spirit of the antichrist.
e They are from the world;
[ And how do you know you are from God? ] The false spirits of the antichrist are from the world;
therefore they speak from the world,
therefore their words come from worldly wisdom,
and f the world listens to them.
and, as a result , the world receives their words.
actionresult
We are from God.
On the other hand , we who teach the truth are from God. [And therefore we speak from God.]
g Whoever knows God listens to us;
Thus , whoever also is from God and knows him listens to our words;
whoever is not from God does not listen to us.
but whoever is not from God does not listen to our words.
By this we know h the Spirit of truth and i the spirit of error.
This is the “listening” test to determine who is from God.
comparison
series
Together, 2b and 3a make up necessary and sufficient conditions. Another way of saying this is that a spirit is from God if and only if the spirit confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh.
6b and 6c are also necessary and sufficient conditions.
Test sprits to determine if they are from God.
This is the test: a spirit is from God if and only if the spirit confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh.
Determine if these people who have come into the church are from God by applying the following test: a person is from God if and only if they believe that Jesus Christ came in the flesh.
You are from God and have overcome false spirits because God is in you and he is greater than the world.
The world listens to people from the world because they speak from the world and the people of God listen to the us because we speak from God.
My children in the faith you are from God because you listen to us.
discourse
Comments
Brent Karding
Little children, you are from God
I'm a little confused about the Series within 1-4, and the largest Series in the passage. What distinguishes between them?
Hugh
I revised my arc (And MPS) after considering your comments. Would you mind taking a look?
Brent Karding
Sure! I like your division now between 1-3 and 4-6, but I was just thinking as I read: verse 6 seems similar to 2-3a, distinguishing between the two types of spirits. So maybe Series doesn't work as well between them, since there's a restatement in 6. Something to think about...
Brent Karding
I'm also not sure about making 4 the main point of 4-6. It is a unique statement in the passage, about overcoming, and the emphasis seems to me more in the distinction between spirits, not the overcoming.
Brent Karding
By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
I think "this" in 6d is referring only to 6c, whether believers are listened to or not.
Hugh
Yes, I see that now. Thanks.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.