1 John 4:1-21
1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,
3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them.
6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.
13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.
15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
19 We love Him because He first loved us.
20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
While there are plenty of teachings coming to us from an endless supply of sources on devices and in person, we can have confidence knowing that by walking in the love of God we have already overcome any deceptions and distractions in Him. True belief in the love that would compel Jesus to abandon His heavenly existence and join us in the flesh will be evidenced in demonstrations of that same love. A heart given to living as He is in this world will be able to discern the illegitimacy of any notion of diverting from love’s fruit in the least. Any movement from laying down our lives as He did because of some grand revelation of self-exaltation over self-sacrifice will be recognized as the delusion it truly is. What will be known and understood is that anyone following after those anti-Christ notions are actually opening their heart to fear and its dark path. This is because the sacrificed life that is following Him in love really has nothing that can be threatened with loss.
What a beautiful gift is ours in knowing God’s love. It surrounds our heart and soul with an impenetrable shield against insecurity that is the way of life for those in the world. Nothing can ever separate us from the loving embrace that is ours in Him. Also, though, it becomes this very effective presentation of what knowing God really is. Others get to experience the amazing gift we’ve received as our lives effectively demonstrate it from hearts untainted by prideful deceptions. His love perfected in us becomes a sermon that actually leads to the heart of God and away from a fruit destroying pontification of pride.