Updated: Sep 21, 2021
You are of God, little children, and have overcome them because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this, we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. -1 John 4:4–6 (NKJV)
John makes it abundantly clear in this passage of Scripture that there are two types of spirits at work on Earth, a spirit of truth and a spirit of error. In this short epistle, 1 John, he also reveals some essential things that God is...
Over the next three weeks are going to discuss three of John’s revelations of God. The first, God is life. John loved to talk about life, eternal life, life in and through Jesus. So he recorded for us in his Gospel, Jesus’ famous quote, “The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus comes to give life and life more abundantly (Ref. John 10:10).
John also teaches us three things about the reality that God is LIFE:
1. The LIFE was Manifested. (1 John 1:2)
Jesus, the Son of God, was manifested, made present on Earth as the life of God.
2. The LIFE is to be Experienced. (1 John 1:2)
We have the opportunity to experience Him, and it is a life that is above and beyond anything you could ever expect or imagine.
3. The LIFE should be Shared. (1 John 1:3)
We are to be in fellowship with others and with God.
God is life, and he manifested this life through the work of His Son, Jesus. As an original disciple of Jesus, John experienced His Master in the physical, and we are invited to experience the life of Jesus in the spiritual. Then, share it with others! We are called to fellowship, experiencing worship and word in community. God did not design us to do life alone!
In the context of 1 John, John brings about such encouragements as God is Life because he recognizes something is happening with new Christians. When he is writing his letter, he observes the arrival of second and third generations of Christians within the Church. Noticing the young Christians are compromising their faith and falling prey to the ideology of the world, he is extremely troubled. After all, John had been with Jesus personally. He was a member of Jesus’s inner circle. He had seen Jesus in ways no one else could testify to, and he had faced significant persecution for his life’s mission to spread the Good News of Jesus.
A question lies underneath everything John seems to have to save within these five chapters:
Are you a Child of God or a Counterfeit Christian?
On one occasion, the statement is direct:
In this, the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest…-1 John 3:10 NKJV
1 John 4:4–6 told us there's a spirit of truth, and there’s a spirit of error. People of the spirit of truth are children of God, but people of the spirit of error are the devil’s children. Children of the devil may pose as children of God, but they are not. They are not truly saved, and therefore they are counterfeit Christians. This truth is one of the reasons that Jesus called Pharisees by this term, “children of the devil” in John 8:44.
You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. - John 8:44
It didn’t matter that the Pharisees prayed eloquent prayers, dressed in their Sunday-best, or were regarded as highly religious authorities… Jesus said they were counterfeit. You can go through a form of godliness and deny the power thereof. You can pose as something on Sunday but be exposed on Monday for who you really are. Jesus and John both pointed out in their ministries that God is not a fan of hypocrisy. He is looking for His true children.
How do you know if you are a true child of God?
John addressed this question as well; in the Gospel of John, he says, “Marvel not that you must be born again.” We must all have a born-again experience. Call on the name of Jesus by and through accessibility He has made available through the outpouring of His blood. Then go public with the reality of your birth through water baptism by letting everyone know that you are made new, that you have been born again! You are a Jesus-follower! (If you have recently dedicated your life to service of Jesus and would like to take your next steps in God, contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Speaking of being Born Again, John lists some marks for a Child of God with a born-again experience. John states that you will experience these attributes in your life:
You believe Jesus is ‘The One’ -1 John 5:1
You love each other -1 John 4:7
You do what’s right -1 John 2:29
You avoid sinful habits -1 John 3:9
You might be hated by the world -1 John 3:13
You overcome the world -1 John 5:4
What an incredible promise, we will overcome the world! This news is excellent because John also informed us:
We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. 20And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. -1 John 5:19-20 (NKJV)
…And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming and is now already in the world. -1 John 4:3 NKJV
As a result, John warned:
Beloved, do not believe every spirit but test the spirits, whether they are of God... -1 John 4:1
We must heed one of the main reasons that John wrote this book:
13These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. -1 John 5:13, 12 (NKJV)
Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God -1 John 4:15 KJV
Confess His name!
Sometimes all you need to do is say the name, Jesus.
Jesus… every knee shall bow.
Jesus...every tongue shall confess.
Jesus...every demon must flee.
Jesus...the code word for The Way, The Truth, and THE LIFE!
Speak his name...Jesus!
Sometimes you don’t know how or what to pray. You can’t figure out what the next step should be. But when you start to confess the name of Jesus over your life the gates of Hell will not prevail against you!
You are of God…and have overcome them because He who is in you is GREATER than he who is in the world. - 1 John 4:4
May we each choose to be children of the spirit of truth so that we may be children of God, not counterfeit Christians. May we live THE LIFE God intended us to live as we overflow with the attributes of born-again Christians!
I invite you to view this message, God Is...LIFE, in its entirety at this link: https://youtu.be/pTHSoFD_D40