I John 4:1-6 – Testing the Spirits

Paul continues his study in I John.

And so John gives us the test, “You know the spirit of God—every spirit who confesses Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.” You do not distinguish between the man and the divinity, the incarnation, then, is God in the flesh. If you do a little church history it’s amazing how this same thing comes up again and again. I kind of like Luther’s phrase that “God died on the cross. “What he’s combatting is the tendency that he was running into of people splitting up God… Jack Cottrell does this most beautifully. He says, “Well, the spirit of God can’t die, it was the body of Jesus that died.” Oh, we’re right back into dualism and Gnosticism. Other than that it’s a wonderful doctrine, but John says it’s of the antichrist and by this test he would be a false kind of prophet… but I’m not going to say that… Okay, maybe I will.

Music: Bensound

I John 2:1-15 – Three tests of Orthodoxy

John poses three tests to determine orthodoxy: The moral test (How do you walk in light or darkness?), the social test (Do you continue to fellowship with the saints or are you divisive?) and the doctrinal test (Do you believe that Jesus is Lord and that he was fully human?).

Music: Bensound

I John 1:6-10 – Believing with the Body

In this study John’s opposed pairs are shown to counter dualistic notions in that one pair is always pictured as overcoming the other. Salvation is pictured as entailing a set of practices (walking in the light) that John clearly delineates. Practicing Christianity is already an idea aimed at defeating the dualistic separation of faith and practice.

Music: Bensound