I John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
The true child of God is of God. The Bible is clear on this. Christians can and must please God. We are further reminded that the saints had overcome the antichrists of their time. The reason they had overcome them is because the Holy Spirit is greater than the world. II Corinthians 4:3-4 tells us:
II Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
The god of this world has much influence over the lost. He also tempts Christians. Christians do not need to yield to the temptations that the devil sends. Christians need to be reminded of the blessings of salvation. Christians sin, but as we have noted in the past, Christians cannot live in sin.
In verse 5 we are further reminded that the Gnostics and other Christ deniers are of the world. They are different. They are unsaved people. It is natural that these Christ deniers would speak of the world. That is their nature. It is also natural that the world would accept these false teachers. Like minded people agree with one another. There is much squabbling among the lost. However, the lost all have a general principle in that they are lost. That is why the world can agree with the corrupt politicians of our time.
We have an election that just took place in Alberta yesterday. The two main parties should be quite far apart ideologically. However, the run-up to the election stated that it would be quite a close election. Of course there is not that much difference between the parties when it comes to what is important.
Both parties are ungodly. They both accept the corrupt dictates of the past three years. They both supported the arresting and fining of religious leaders in that province. They are both morally bankrupt. Thus the morally bankrupt citizens will accept these people as their leaders.
Christians need to be different. Christians have been given life. Their consciences have been awakened. They need to think differently and they need to have different priorities.
In verse 6 we are reminded that Christians are different. Christians are of God. We have already been told this in verse 4 but God repeats this important fact to remind true saints that we are different. Those who are saved will receive the Word of God. In the immediate context, the “us” would refer to the apostles. For us today, the “us” would refer to Godly leaders. Those who are of God will want to be where God’s people are.
This is why it is a natural fit for a born again Christian to seek out a good church to be a part of. Born again Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and He directs God’s children to find fellowship with other Godly children.
Those that are lost are not interested in the truth. They might tolerate it for a while, but they are not interested in it. This is borne out in our churches. Rather than a scramble to be the biggest church in the area, true saints understand that they will not be appreciated by very many people. If a church has a lot of programs, they might entice people to come. Often times, the majority of those who are coming are quite shallow in their spiritual thinking and actions.
John reminds us that we can discern the difference between the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. They are not compatible. They are not friends. They are opposed to one another. The one who is of the spirit of truth loves those who are in error, but he understands that he cannot fellowship with that group. Those who are of the spirit of error do not want to be together with those who are saved. The lost want to tell their dirty jokes and they want to have their liquor and other ungodly things. They are not comfortable with those who are so “straight” that they cannot loosen up a little and have some “fun”.
Summer time is the time for camping and for outdoor concerts. We have an outdoor concert taking place about an hour from us in a couple of weeks. These types of concerts draw quite a mix of people. They are entertainment for the world, but they have nothing to offer the true child of God. People think they are so nice because you can bring your lawn chair and sit and visit with all kinds of different people. As mentioned, they work well for the compromisers. Those who have the spirit of truth desire to be fed the truth. They are not interested in the anemic, worldly stuff. Those who are saved want to get into the real meat. They desire truth and they want to grow. Those who attend these concerts like to hear the odd emotion-catching story and they like the variety of styles of music that is presented at those events. Of course it is suggested that this shows the wide variety of music and theology that makes up the “family of God.” Actually that is not true, but that is what those who attend those events are taught and that is what they believe.
When you read and study the Bible you find that this is a lie. It is well received by many, but it is all a lie. It is important to be saved and thus indwelt by the Spirit of God. God opens the eyes and minds of those who are His children. They see things that were hidden from them before. As we noted earlier from II Corinthians 4:4, the reason these things are hidden from many is because the god of this world has blinded their minds. These are evangelistic endeavours, for sure. They are evangelizing people with lies.
One of the meanings of the word “evangelist” is “an enthusiastic advocate”. An illustration given for this is an evangelist of physical fitness. In the Bible an evangelist is one who proclaims the Word of God to others. You cannot proclaim the Word of God at these outdoor concerts. Those who attend those meetings are compromised and they do not want to hear the truth. They want to be told they are good as they are. They want to hear stories from others who are struggling with certain things and how they cope with their struggles.
Those who are saved want to hear from God’s Word and they want to be reminded of the importance of forsaking sin and putting on the new man.
II Peter 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
The question is: are you of God? If you are, your life will demonstrate the reality of this statement. Remember to try the spirits. The only way to try them is by the Word of God, not by your feelings. Follow God’s way and be blessed.