Have you ever read a passage of scripture and thought it was just a collection of thoughts that didn’t really go together? That was me with 1 John 4, until yesterday.
The passage I speak of is one about knowing that you have surety in Christ and security in your salvation. The first few verses read:
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
–1 John 4:1-4
The context of that last verse is something we often overlook. We haven’t overcome physical things, but spiritual things. The spirits of darkness have been conquered in our lives because of the Holy Spirit living in us. We overcome in our own life first, then we can overcome for others.
But, not every voice you hear as a Christian is a voice from heaven. That’s why we are to prove the spirits, the voices; test them and try them to find whether they be of God or of the devil.
Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
–1 John 4:13
Hereby we know that we dwell in Him and He in us… We know; we are sure of; we do not doubt that we are in Him: that we are saved and secure. How do we know? Let’s go back to verse 1: try the spirits whether they are of God.
We question the spirit that speaks to us to prove whether it be of God. That spirit gives us a comfort and a peace, and by testing or trying the spirit, we can know that we are saved. If that spirit can testify of Christ and convince us of our salvation, it is true and we can testify of Christ and convince others of His love.
Prove your salvation. Know that you are saved.
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
–1 John 5:13
As always, thanks for reading.
–the anonymous novelist