Heavenly Father, thank You for allowing us to meet You again in daily devotion. We pray for a relationship, fellowship, communion, and communication with You. We pray that You speak to us as only You can, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
1 John 4:1-11, God is love
VV 1-3, 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.
John warned his audience and us to test and discern every spirit because not all spirits are from God. Some spirits are from false prophets who belonged to satan. Every spirit that acknowledged the incarnation of Christ is from God. Every spirit that denied the incarnation of Christ is the spirit of the Antichrist. John refuted the heretic gnostic teachers who denied the incarnation of Christ.
VV 4-6, 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.
1 John 4:4 is a beautiful memory verse, “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world”. Jesus Christ who is in us is greater than satan who is in the world. The world listened to non-Christians who belonged to it. God listened to Christians who belonged to Him but will not listen to non-Christians who do not belong to Him.
VV 7-9, 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.
John encouraged his audience and us to love one another because God is love. To know God is to love God. We are to love God vertically and love one another horizontally. God sent His Son into the world because of love, John 3:16.
John 3:16, “for God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life”.
VV 10-11, 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.
Greek for propitiation is “hilasterion”, which means Mercy Seat. Mercy Seat is the golden cover on the ark of the covenant. In the Old Testament, the high priest enters the Holy of Holies to sprinkle the blood of the lamb upon the Mercy Seat as an atonement of sins for the Israelites for one year. The NIV translates propitiation as the atoning sacrifice. The Mercy Seat was a foreshadow of Christ. Christ’s death on the cross is the atoning sacrifice for our sins. We are to love one another to reciprocate Christ’s love for us.
God is love. God demonstrated His amazing love for us by sending Jesus to the cross as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. We are justified by grace through faith in Christ. God considered us just as if we had not sinned if we believe in Christ. Having been justified by grace we have peace with God and we can come with boldness and confidence before Him in prayer.
Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us even though we do not deserve it. Thank You for Your mercy and grace. We acknowledged that we are sinners saved by Your grace. Thank You for all that You have done for us in our lives, in Jesus’ name, Amen.