1 John Chapter 4

John warns the believers of false spirits - that they should obey only the ministrations of the Holy Spirit and not demons and fallen angels. As Balaam was also channeling a demon, there are many such spirits because there are now many false prophets. (v1) John sums up in few words how we are to recognise the spirits as from God. If Jesus Christ is come in the flesh: that is, that the law is fulfilled in person by God and that He is bodily resurrected and has appeared to His disciples having won the grace he mediated to us, then that spirit is of God. (v2)

John implies here that obedience is then implied by the law being kept, eternal life is implied by the resurrection, and the ministering to eternal life is then implied by the ministration of the spirit towards obedience to the predestination of the believer to eternal life. QED.

Likewise, if a spirit doesn't minister at all, and does not mention of Christ than the spirit is not of God - It does not have to deny Christ.

Clearly every spirit that does not confess the resurrection and the obedience to the law can not be of God. (v3) John commends the believers as "of God" and that they have overcome such spirits and false prophets, because they dwell in the truth of the gospel, and the Holy Spirit in them is greater than false teaching and the false gods shaped after the religious systems that are worldly and satiate the personal wants of their believers. (v4)

Such false prophets are of the world, and the spirits they have speak of worldly riches and desires, and those that treasure only worldly riches and desires rather than the things of God hear those prophets. (v5) (Because they draw to themselves false teachers having "itching ears".) (They prefer "G v p" statements and systems.)

John and the believers are of God, and those that understand God's voice come to correct teachers because not only have they received the love of the truth but they are tired of the world, want to be obedient and thirst for eternal life. Then there is the clear division between false religion and true faith. (v6)

John encourages them to love one another yet again, for loving one another is to follow God's example, and loving one another in and with the truth of the gospel shows that the faith of the believers is genuine, and he knows the will of God for them, to be one people without division of error. Love is then to edify one other charitably and correctly. (v7)

A believer that doesn't love the truth and doesn't love his brethren; (ministering for the truths sake by the Holy Spirit) can not know God: because Christ was gifted to us as an example out of love for us for the truth's sake. (v8) Christ example is wholly given to us out of love for the truth, this is what "God is love" means. (v9) God's attitude towards His children is wholly motivated out of love in the truth. That God would give Himself even to death to show us obedience that it might be completely justified before Him to give grace to us by the perfect example of Christ (When He could have feinedly given it (grace) by His word anyway as by love.) - even grace to eternal life, that we might be ministered to, to be made obedient and come into the knowledge of Him. (v10)

John therefore encourages them that so loving (to edify each other charitably) is the correct attitude to have one toward another (v11) We may not have seen God and do not know His mind, but if believers edify each other - God will be pleased in us: that we also have the love of the truth - His love will be perfected in us to the saving of our souls and of others. (v12)

What is in view here is the same love for each other even to the laying down of our lives. If we are prepared to do so for the truth of the gospel we should be willing to do so for each other - in having that love for each other there can be no limit to the strength of the ministering of the true gospel between us.

We know that we share the love of Him and His gospel, that we have the same love of the truth towards one another because He has given us His Holy Spirit which ministers the love of the truth to us, encouraging it in us. (v13) John confirms that God indeed sent Jesus to be the world's saviour indeed, that this is the truth: (For it all rests on the resurrection and fulfilment of the law as witnessed by the apostles) (v14) So then, every one that confesses (or teaches) these two things, that Jesus is perfect in faith (with obedience) and has eternal life forever, ministers in the Holy Spirit and for the Holy Spirit. Those that hear that Jesus Christ is perfect according to the law and lives forever is ministered to correctly, if they hear the Father's voice and test the spirits as John commands. (v15)

John testifies of this same love that God has had to them - God gave His Son out of love. He that lives in the same love for obedience and the spiritual state of His brethren (For we are Christ's brethren) lives within the will of God, and the Holy Spirit of God lives in him. (v16) Then, is the love of believers made perfect, John writes, for we can boldy approach the judgement if we all share the same love for being obedient and in it are charitable to our fellows, knowing God and standing in the truth of the gospel before Him. For as Christ is, so are the believers one to another if they have that same love. (v17) In ministering the truth to one another the believers stay strong in the truth, and God dwells in them, rather than they being of the world.

There is no fear in such love John writes: because of that boldness to approach God. In knowing we love our brethren and stand in the truth, we lose fear of God - we become reconciled wholly to Him and know Him through the Holy Spirit by His grace. Any man that does not love, but hates His brother and does not love God and understand His grace, has much to fear from the judgement and his conscience has much to wrestle with - the judgement will bring him fear and to be fearful at the judgement is to expect torment. (v18) Any man that fears the judgement of God has not yet been made perfect in love: not having the love of the truth perfected with its knowledge, or not loving His brother and fearing judgement for sin.

We love God, because God showed us what love was: not because we did not understand how He loves. To show our love for God can then be summed up as obedience to love, but rather we are also happy that Jesus "has been anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows" and that He has become the victor and perfector of us all. (v19) John asserts that a man can not love God and hate his brother - because he has seen his brother who shares God's love for him: but then hating his brother he can not love Christ for having the same manner of love, when he has not seen Him. John has that then as a commandment from Jesus, that if any man loves God and His Christ, he should love his (and Christ's) brother also.

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