“Hereby know ye the Spirit of God; Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God,” 1 John 4:2.
We are not talking about common sense. Our own thinking and reasoning comes from ourselves. We are talking about the Holy Spirit, which can go much deeper within us. Our trust, assurance or belief is in the Spirit of God.
We act in the Spirit wisely. I’m sure we have all seen some people who are over-confident in what they believe. They can be just plain arrogant and cocky.
Remember Job’s three friends? They thought they had all the answers to Job’s problems. Job told them, “No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you,” Job 12:2. Job’s friends were using common sense. Some people don’t have enough confidence, which is not good. Christians need and will find the right balance.
John said that we receive whatsoever we ask of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight, 1 John 3:22. We must have faith in the one who gave the commandment. We believe that the person lived and that His message is true. Believing in this way is the first step of salvation. We act based upon what He said. Loving as He taught us shows a close relationship between Jesus and us.
Our relationship with Jesus is comparable to the relationship between a tree and its branches. “I am the vine, ye are the branches,” John 15:5. What is on the inside will show on the outside. We obey because He lives in us, not so that He will do something for us.
When we hear the word “spirit,” Christians first think Holy Spirit, but there are also false spirits in our world. They show themselves to us in messages, signs, wonders, and impressions. We need to examine every message that comes to us, to be sure what spirit we are dealing with. False prophets are all around us. The Holy Spirit can always be clearly recognized because He acknowledges the Lordship of Jesus.
Satan thought he had won when Jesus died on the cross. Instead Calvary accomplished more than Satan could imagine. A part of Satan’s strategy is to discredit God. He told Eve back in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3, that God didn’t really mean what He said, and Eve fell for it.
There is much teaching in the Bible about us being victorious, overcoming, more than conquerers. We can never be any of these things without first a battle. There will be battles to fight. We may consider ourselves weak, but with God we are stronger than the enemy, Philippians 4:13. It is nothing of ourselves, but the superiority of Christ.
What we believe does affect how we live. If we choose to live sinfully, we will soon change our beliefs in order to feel more comfortable in our actions.
John did not leave any middle ground. We either accept Jesus for who He is, or we become a part of the spirit of Antichrist.
Willie Lee Schmitz leads the Church of God in Derma.