Our scripture this morning is 1 John 4:1-6.
Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here. But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.
John warns us against “believing everything we hear”. He asks us to test what we are told to discern whether it comes from God or the world. The ways of the world are in opposition to God’s plan for us to be connected to Him and love one another.
Jesus came as a human so we could relate to him directly as a person. Because of this we know He understands our frailty and our needs. He shows us what a life lived fully in God can be, sharing the gifts we are given for everyone’s good.
We must avoid the spirit of the world and put our faith in Christ in order to be saved. Nothing the world offers can accomplish this. All our hope is in Him and we will rejoice at His return.
Loving Lord, we are grateful for Your coming to be one of us and Your sacrifice for us. By this we are called to be part of Your plan and one with You. Amen.