2012-10-30 - Evaluating Teachings
The Epistles of John ~ Part 72 ~ 1 John
In this first epistle of John, he has presented the truths of the Old Covenant, Christ and the Apostles as the basis for the Christian life. He made it clear that it was important how we live as believers. In fact, the absence of a commitment to truth and living out that truth, is symptomatic of the spirit of anti-christ.
He has shown that the life of the believer is typified by love of God and others. And, while the believer will still sin, he no longer either perfects his sin, or finds comfort in it. In contrast, the unbeliever's life is typified by hatred of God, His righteousness and that righteousness lived out in the believer. The unbeliever may not sin, but his life is identified with - and he is comfortable in - his sins.
But it isn't enough to simply tell John's readers what's wrong with specific teachings of false teachers. He is concerned with believers knowing how to evaluate teachings of others on their own. This section gives the specific approach. And for us, this same method should be used to test the words of contemporary theologians, whether the words are verbal or written. The method can be used to validate systems of church growth, counseling, self-help systems and the plethora of material dropped into the Christian community on an almost daily basis. It can and should be used to test the words of those exercising the Gift of Prophecy.
To be continued.