How often do we take things at face value or believe the spiritual things that come our way? In today’s Scripture passage, there is a warning not to take things at “face value” or to give acceptance to the first thing that crosses our path.
Why? Because as Christians, we have an enemy. Satan is lurking like a prowling lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). We should never be ignorant of our enemy. Satan wants to confuse us, especially with bad theology, and he is busy spreading false teaching in the church, and we need to be aware of it.
Do you remember the “noble Bereans” from Acts 17 who “received the word with eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so?” They used great discernment by testing things up and against Scripture. Since the Bible is the Word of God, it is the final authority for all matters faith and practice.
In 1 John, one of the “latest fads” of spirituality was to deny either the humanity or deity of Jesus. The docetists (from the Greek word dokeo, which means “to seem” or “to appear”) believed that Jesus only “seemed or appeared to have flesh and blood,” but that in reality, he really didn’t have flesh and blood because, in their minds, flesh and blood were inherently evil.
John actually calls the teaching of the docetists the “spirit of antichrist,” and he teaches us that true Christianity will always have a proper doctrine that Jesus is both fully man and fully God.
False teaching is all around us…from our TVs, radios, internet, and iPhones. We can easily be captivated by these things.
Do you depend of the Word of God and search it like the noble Bereans did? Are you living with discernment? Do you believe that Jesus is man? Do you believe that Jesus is God? These are just some of the questions that this text demands.
Rev. Adam Mumpower, Senior Pastor