Rev. Dr. Jim Toole
1 John 4
1 John Sermon Series
GOD'S LOVE OVERCOMES
All of us daily are bombarded with contradictory messages. We live in a culture where there is no central worldview rather a kaleidoscope of pluralistic beliefs and ideals. John is saying if you truly want to navigate the complexity of this world and the messages it presents, then Jesus does not just influence your lens, Jesus needs to be at the center.
1 John 4
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,
Discernment is diakrisis: to test in crisis or to distinguish good and evil. It is to see to the heart of the matter with spiritual eyes.
4Little children, you are from God, and have conquered them; for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
Theme: Greater is the one who is in you than is in the world.
14And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. 15God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. 16So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.
John is going straight to the heart of what we call the Gospel. Jesus took the project evil of the world upon himself. For those who confess Jesus as Lord and Savior we can have the assurance that we have direct access to God and God abides in us.
Remember, greater is the one who is in you than is in the world.