Sunday, October 29, 2006

Why being evangelical is essential

1 John 4 is very striking
"1Beloved, 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, 3and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.... 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error."
The "they" of v5 in the context is the "false prophets" of v1. The test of being a true Christian who "knows God" according to v6 is "listening" to the "us" and "we" of v6. Who is the us/we? Well again the context of the letter in Ch1v1-4 is the Apostles who spent 3 years with Jesus and "heard", "saw" and "touched" him. So as 1v3 suggests and ch4 clarifies, if we are not in fellowship with their teaching then we are not in fellowship with God! We must hold fast to what all of the Apostles taught - which is what the New Testament is. We mustn't pick and choose which bits of the NT to follow!

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