The Spirit that Confesses
In the closing verse of the third chapter of his letter, the Apostle of Love writes that we know God lives in us by the Spirit He has given us. He then begins his fourth chapter by telling us everything that is spiritual is not the Spirit God has given us. He then challenges us to test spirits. This is his method for testing spirits: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God and every spirit that does not confess that fact is not of God.
This raises the question “How does a spirit confess?” The Greek word John uses here for confess is a compound word. It is the word for speaking and the word for sameness. It literally means to say the same thing God says or to agree with God. As we observed in our fourth reason we must love, the outstanding dynamic of Jesus when He lived here in the flesh was love. That’s how a spirit confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. It is when Christ is obviously living in their flesh. Their life could then be described as love incarnate.
The Apostle of Love has now given us six reasons we must love. He wrote in his Gospel that God is a Spirit and we must worship Him in spirit if we want to truly worship Him (4: 24). He is now amplifying that same truth. Are you willing to let this world see the love of Christ in your flesh?
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