Daily Devotional Monday 13th November 2023

by William Moody

1 John 4

Test the Spirits

4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

God Is Love

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have 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 ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is 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 his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot1 love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.


[1] 4:20 Some manuscripts how can he


John urges his hearers not be taken In by false teaching (v1). John calls for a bit of steel from believers as there are many false prophets (see 1 John 2 v19).

True prophets will believe and teach the truth about Jesus (v2-3). They will teach that He is the eternal Son of God, ‘the same in substance, equal in power and glory’ with the Father and the Holy Spirit. True prophets will teach that Jesus is the Christ, the promised Messiah who has come to save His people from their sin. True prophets teach that Jesus has come in the flesh, which means truly taking on human nature, a human body, mind and soul.

It is not surprising as the focus of the Holy Spirit’s work is to draw people to glorify Christ. It is also the desire of evil spirits to draw people away from Christ by obscuring and twisting the truth about who He is and what He has done.

False teaching is overcome by He who lives within the believer (v4); the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ. The Spirit with unlimited power, goodness, knowledge and wisdom is the one who gives us the victory. Jesus in John 16 v33 says, “I have overcome the world”. The Holy Spirit applies to our souls the victory which Jesus has secured for His people.

True and false teaching divides between those who belong to the world and those who belong to the world (v5-6). Do you love the truth about Christ?

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.