Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

God’s Word Is Truth

1 John 4:1

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

When we are trying to determine Godly values or true Biblical core doctrines – we need to refer to the Scriptures. We need to have Scripture as our base. Truth can be found in God’s Holy Word. God’s Word is truth.

The Wesleyan quadrilateral reminds us that Scripture is primary and we are to use tradition – reason – and experience to help us understand Scripture. Having said that – I remind us that Scripture is primary and the source of our understanding of truth and of God’s will. http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/wesleyan-quadrilateral

We hold this belief because we believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Even though Paul may have understood this in his context to mean the Old Testament – orthodox opinion is that this passage was meant for the entire Bible. 2 Timothy 3:16–17 – 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

The Bible is our primary source of knowledge and understanding. The Bible doesn’t contradict itself. The Bible is true – it is inspired by God – it is the Word of God. Some will come and say it is just a good book. Some will come and say it is part of God’s revelation. Some will come and say they have a new revelation or understanding. If it contradicts the Word of God – it is false and from the devil.

Today’s passage speaks about testing the spirits about us. Here it is in partial context – speaking of the Incarnation – 1 John 4:1-6 – 1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. 4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

There were those in the early church who refused to believe in the Virgin Birth (maybe even some heretics today who refuse to believe). John – the Beloved Disciple – taught that false prophets – false teachers – will come but we are not to fall for their lies. The Holy Spirit will help us to compare teachings with God’s Word and reveal those who are false and of Satan.

As we continue to understand sound doctrine – core values and doctrines – we must do so from the base of the Holy Scriptures. I believe some of the division in the United Methodist Church has to do with our differing understandings of the primacy of the Holy Scriptures. We differ in our understanding of the inspiration of Scripture. We have differing views of the authority of the Word of God. This is foundational as we dig deeper.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

May 18, 2018 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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