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Archive for March, 2008

Spiritual Litmus Test

John gives us a clear and easy way to distinguish among healthy and unhealthy spirits in 1 John 4:1-3.

Only those spirits who acknowledge that Jesus came in the flesh and is God’s son can be trusted.

I’ve argued in the past with people who communicated with spirits that did not acknowledge these truths. It made it easy for me to reject their claims.

Truth is no more stable than its foundation.

I pray that my foundation is always Jesus, not my own strength or worldly wisdom.

Categories: bible

Outline of 1 John 4

I. Testing Spirits
II. God Is Love

Categories: bible

True Love

According to verse 18, love is active, not passive.

Just words are not sufficient.

Categories: bible

Righteousness

The person who lives like Jesus is the one who is righteous.

John has a simple way to remind us of what’s important.

Categories: bible

Christ, Sin, and My Life

In verses 4-6, John reminds us that Jesus appeared (phantom) to remove our sins.

If we continue in our sins, then we clearly don’t know Jesus the way that we should.

There is great tension here. On the one hand, all people sin and have fallen short of the glory of God, even after accepting Christ’s forgiveness. On the other, if we continue in sinful patterns, then that is an indication that things are not right between God and me.

Lord, please help me avoid and break out of patterns of sin.

Categories: bible

Phantoms

In 3:2, John writes that we’re already Children of God, even though we haven’t seen or experienced this completely.

In the original Greek–οὔπω ἐφανερώθη (not yet apparent)–the word for apparent has the same root as the word phantom.

For people who are not yet Christians, that’s what heaven and hell are like. They seem no more real than a children’s story about ghosts and goblins.

But that doesn’t make them any less real.

Categories: bible

1 John 3:1

In this verse, John simultaneously highlights God’s incredible love for his people and the great disconnect between Christians and the “cosmos” or world surrounding us. There is an otherworldly feel in the original Greek that I’ve never experienced before.

The gap between Christians and non-Christians is as wide as the gap between galaxies. That’s how differently we see and experience the world.

This makes me want to reach my friends and family even more than ever before.

Categories: bible
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