36 East Victoria St.
Santa Barbara

Test the Spirits

February 26, 2017 ()

1 John 4:1-6 |


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"The gospel, like its faithful preachers, is ‘of God’, and the people of God recognize it as such through the inward witness of the Spirit in their hearts."

—F.F. Bruce

Sermon Summary: We are called as a corporate community to test the spirits. All persons speak by the inspiration of one Spirit or another. Because the Holy Spirit leads us to Jesus Christ—the truth—we can be confident that we know the truth by testing things against the standard of Christ.


Passage to Consider: 1 John 4:1-6

1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.


Preparation Question: What is truth? What is your process of discerning it?


Confession of Sin:

Gracious God, we pray for your church universal, that you would fill it with truth.

Where we have corrupted it, purify us.

Where we are in error, direct us.

Where we are amiss, reform us.

Where we are in want, provide for us.

Forgive us when we are indifferent to your word and deaf to your Spirit.

Lead us to Jesus Christ, who is the Truth. For his sake, Amen.


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