By this You Know the Spirit of God

Every person is born into the world in a state of innocence. We then become aware of the natural world and learn to recognize sin. But God has not left us, in Ephesians 2:12 “not having hope, and without God in the world”, but in Jesus Christ, as it says in 1 John 3:2 “now we are children of God”. Well, that is, if we accept the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. John makes this very simple in 1 John 4:2 “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God”. 

You Have Known the One Who is From the Beginning

1 John 2:12–17
John writes to every generation because they each have a different insight into the things of God. To the “little children, because your sins have been forgiven” in 1 John 2:12 and it is little children that first come into an awareness of sin as they pass from the age of innocence. Then to the “fathers, because you have known the One who is from the beginning” in 1 John 13 and it is older men, fathers, that have experienced the presence of God, the salvation of God, the eternal faithfulness of God. Finally, he writes to “young men, because you have conquered the evil one” in 1 John 2:13 and it is those who have moved beyond the control of sin. The young men have learned God’s word and have become strong in faith, overcoming the evil, no longer driven by the desires of the flesh but as it says in

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another with all wisdom, with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God,

You Have an Anointing from the Holy One

1 John 2:18–27 

Now We Are Children of God

1 John 2:28–3:10
At one time we were lost and without hope, as it says in

Ephesians 2:12 that you were at that time apart from Christ, alienated from the citizenship of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, not having hope, and without God in the world.

but now it says in

1 John 3:1 See what sort of love the Father has given to us: that we should be called children of God, and we are! Because of this the world does not know us: because it did not know him.

God loved us and made a way for us to become his sons and daughters even though many are still lost. And we do not yet see the fullness of what God has for us as it says in

1 John 3:2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that whenever he is revealed we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is.

but what we do know is that God is righteous and holy and pure so if we are his children, then we also have this same nature in us, as it says in

1 John 3:9 Everyone who is fathered by God does not practice sin, because his seed resides in him, and he is not able to sin, because he has been fathered by God.

And This is His Commandment

1 John 3:11–24 

By this You Know the Spirit of God

1 John 4:1–6
There is a simple test we can use to “test the spirits to determine if they are from God” in 1 John 4:1 and it is found in

1 John 4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,

and if this isn’t clear enough, there is the negative test as well in

1 John 4:3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God, and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.

There is natural knowledge and wisdom that is “from the world” in 1 John 4:4 and it says in

Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seems upright to a man, but its end is the way of death.

and there are many that offer this way of the world as the way of life. But it is by this test, “Jesus Christ has come in the flesh” that we know whether someone is giving us God’s truth or the deceit that is in the world in

1 John 4:6b “By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit.

Love is From God

1 John 4:7–21

Study Verses

Today’s Reading

  • 1 John 2:12-29
  • 1 John 3:1-24
  • 1 John 4:1-21