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1 John

The Proof of Faith (2) (1-John 5:9-12)

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In the previous program we saw that the existence and quality of our faith in Jesus Christ is tested by moral power. Before that, we also saw that our faith is tested by our expression of love. Now God, through Christ’s Apostle John tells us a third way in which our faith is tested. It is tested by our witness for Christ.

The Proof of Faith (1 John 5:4-8)

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In the last program we saw that our faith in Jesus Christ is tested by our love. In these verses we will see that our faith is also tested by moral power. This scripture tells us that, “Everyone born of God has overcome the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believers that Jesus is the Son of God.” (1 John 5:4-5 NIV).

Testing Our Faith (1-John 5:1-3)

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Being a follower of Christ involves both inner and outer elements of our being. It is important to have practical methods for evaluating the quality and reality of these essential factors in our lives. Evaluating the inner elements of being a follower of Christ, since these factors are invisible qualities, is infinitely more difficult than appraising the outward perceptible elements one must have to follow Christ.

The Origin and Proof of Love (1-John 4:19-21)

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The followers of Jesus are not only commanded to love but are empowered to express love. One of the most complete discussions of our responsibility to love is given by Christ’s Apostle John. John originally wrote the scripture which God gave him by using the Greek language. One Greek word for love refers to physical passion (eros). Another Greek word for love refers to affection like that between brothers (phileo) The highest form of love is expressed by a the Greek word ‘agapae.’ It seeks nothing in return for being given. It only seeks the well being and joy of the one to whom that love is given. That is the kind of love the followers of Jesus are commanded to show.

Fellowship with God (1-John 4:15-18)

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God seeks the most intimate fellowship with those who serve him. Through the Apostle John God tells us, “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God abideth in him, and he in God.” (1 John 4:15 ASV)

Deeper Awareness of God (1-John 4:12-14)

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Everyone has some awareness of God. How close may humans come to the Creator of the universe? John answered that question when he wrote, “No man hath beheld God at any time: if we love one another, God abideth in us, and his love is perfected in us:” (1 John 4:12 ASV)

The Origin of Love (1 John 4:7-10)

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So far, the apostle John has given us two ways to test whether a prophet is from God or not. Now, he introduces the third test we may use to evaluate the spirit by which a ‘prophet’ speaks. If a prophet really speaks for God, this will first be evident in what he teaches about Christ. Secondly, it will also be obvious in the respect he shows for the teaching of Christ’s Apostles. In the third place, it will be evident in the reflection of the nature of God in his life and teaching.

Testing the Prophets (1-John 4:5-6)

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The danger from false prophets is so great that the Apostle John gives us further information about them. First of all, he tells us, “They are of the world: therefore speak they as of the world,” (1 John 4:5 ASV)

Jesus is at the Center (1-John 4:3-4)

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How can we accurately evaluate spiritual teaching? Christ’s Apostle John gives us the answer which all of us need. He points out that the definitive reference point by which we can judge the truth of religious teaching is Christ himself.

Recognizing False Prophets (1 John 4:1-2)

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Jesus Christ said, “ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32 ASV) Of course, the most important truth is the truth about God and about God’s will for our lives. That is the kind of truth that God gives us through prophets. But Satan sends lying prophets to lead us astray. It is essential that we be able to distinguish between a true prophet of God and false prophets sent by Satan. God used Christ’s Apostle John to tell us how to distinguish between true prophets and false prophets.