2013-03-03 - The Best Witness
The Epistles of John ~ Part 100 ~ 1 John 5
Verse 10: The belief in Christ, as He presents Himself, is proof that God has been working in the heart of the believer. It is only through the testimony of the Holy Spirit, that we are even capable of accepting the gospel message.
John wants to make sure that no one misses his point. It is only in accepting the incarnation, that one can be saved and indwelt by the Holy Spirit. No matter what the false prophets were saying, they were calling God a liar, by rejecting the truth of who Christ is.
Verses 11-12: What is the best witness to the non-believer? Finally, John reminds his readers what is at stake. To believe in Christ, according to the testimony of God, is to receive eternal life. But to reject God's witnesses means to face God's eternal judgment.
To follow the false prophets means Hell. To follow Christ means Heaven. Knowledge isn't an issue of semantics. It is the product of a saving relationship with God. Those who were trying to draw the believers out of the church, had nothing to offer but destruction.
And certainly, today's teaching that the time of the church is over, that the Holy Spirit has departed, is a prime example of false teaching - and an attempt to mislead God's children.
Conclusion: The three factors that are found in the life of the believer are faith, love and obedience. Their presence is both the outward sign of salvation, and the product of that salvation. As we abide in Christ, these qualities grow, in proportion to our dependency on Him.
The absence of these factors in an individual is an outward sign of the likelihood of the absence of salvation. John has explained all this specifically to help believers learn to distinguish false prophets from true teachers of God's word.
To be continued.
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