1 John Chapter 4

July 19, 2014

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on 1 John. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

You can listen to the study by clicking here

John tackles two big subjects in Chapter 4. Be aware of false teachers and love.

1 John 4:1-21 (NIV)
1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 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, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. 4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 13 We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17 In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 8 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

1 John 4:1-6

As Paul, Peter, and Jude had done in their letters, John also warns about false prophets and teachers. Some things to remember when identifying false teachers.

1) Immorality. Is the teacher/teaching promoting or participating in immoral practices?

2) Greed. Is the teacher/teaching clearly serving God or clearly promoting his/her own interest?

3) Lying. Is the teacher/teaching able to stand up to the scrutiny of the Bible?

1 John 4:7-21

The amazing love of God.

We are beloved children that God passionately wants to be in constant meaningful relationship with. He always has His eye on us and He relentlessly pursue us.

We are the apple of His eye

Psalm 17:8 (NIV)
8 Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings

This verse means that He is so close to us, so attentive to us, that we are actually reflected in His eye. He delights in us, cherishes us, enjoys us.

We are Abbas’s child

Romans 8:14-16 (NIV)
14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

Abba means “Daddy” or “Papa”. It is a term of intimacy, it conveys the idea of a child crawling up into the lap of a loving father. As Abba’s child we are invited to crawl up in to His lap, to be wrapped in His arms of love.

We are His masterpiece

Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

The word for workmanship, is poema. It is also translated masterpiece. We are His masterpiece. His poem. His work of art. And He is still at work in us. Living in us, empowering us, transforming us by His Spirit.

We are a chosen people, now belonging to God

1 Peter 2:9-10 (NIV)
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

We have been chosen by God. Chosen for relationship. The creator of the universe wants to hang out with us. Holy and perfect God made this relationship possible at the cross. His coming and dying and defeating death and rising are the proof of His relentless pursuit and love for us. What Jesus did on the cross allows us to be in the presence of His holiness because He sees us in Christ. In Christ we are forgiven. In Christ we are seen as innocent in His eyes.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV)
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

In Christ He does not see our mess, our guilt, our shame, our brokenness. He see the beauty of our potential. In Chris He see us as righteous. He looks into our eyes and see His beloved child. His eyes delight in us, the apple of His eye, His poem.

His amazing love for us, kindles a fire in our hearts to love others. This love for others will be evident in the hearts of those who have received the love of God. We will love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and we will love our neighbors as ourselves.

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