Focal Passage: I John 4:1-6
The old Verizon phone commercial asked people the question, “Can you hear me?” The question that John wants his readers to ask is, “Should we hear you?” John wanted to prepare his readers to be able to discern between those who taught the truth and those who did not. They needed to have their spiritual antennas up to make sure they were hearing the truth.
One of the grave dangers is to believe everything that you hear. John encourages his readers not to do this. The word “spirit” could refer to teachers who espoused a teaching they claimed they had received from a spirit. He challenged them to remember that just because someone claims to be spiritual does not mean they are. Just because someone has a Bible does not make them a preacher. The key is what they have to say. John admonished his readers to search the Scriptures to see if their teaching agrees with the Bible. The reason for this is because there were so many false prophets among them. His readers had experienced this themselves when some left their fellowship (I John 2:19). [Read more…]