Shelby G. Floyd
The Christian system is a system of faith based upon the word of God. We are taught to believe, trust and obey. But, we are also taught to not believe everything we hear. John declares that we are to have a healthy skepticism of those who claim to speak God’s word. We are to test the spirits to see if what they are teaching is from God: “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (1 John 4:1).
The reason we must be somewhat skeptical is that Jesus and the apostles warned us, “Because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). These false teachers are deceived themselves and deceive those who are gullible. The classic examples in our day are Jim Jones and David Karesh who led their naive followers to an untimely death. “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves (Matthew 7:15). Paul advises us that even Satan masquerades as an angel of light and that we should not be surprised that his agents do the same (2 Cor. 11:13-15).
All teachers must be tested by Christ and his inspired apostles. Any teaching that denies the Biblical teaching about Christ and his church must be rejected. “This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God (1 John 4:2).
Therefore, the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error can be distinguished by whether the teachers listen to the apostle’s doctrine. (1 John 4:6; Acts 2:42).
Copyright © 2020 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved
Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana 46142