Welcome to our study on 1 John! Grab your reading guide here if you are just now joining us: 1 John Reading Guide. Grab a cup of coffee, your Bible and your journal, and let’s dive into God’s Word together.
Reading: 1 John 4:1-6
A few months ago I was running some errands and turned on the radio. My husband and I rarely listen to the radio, but on this specific day I was too lazy to plug my phone in and find my own music. As I flipped through the stations one of them caught my attention. It was an interview with a man who had studied the life of Jesus. Immediately I wanted to hear more. As the talk show host asked him questions about his new book, he began to explain that through his research, he believes that Jesus is not the Son of God. HUGE red flag! My heart immediately was up in arms against this false accusation. I listened a little more and then turned the radio off. That entire day I felt unsteady and angry. I was angry that someone had falsely accused my Savior. I was angry that people were believing this over the authority of Scripture. I felt as if he had hurled insults against the One I love and live my life for.
The flag that was raised in my heart that afternoon was the Holy Spirit. Through His prompt, my discomfort and knowing that what this man said did not line up with God’s Word, I was able to discern a truth from a lie. When Jesus was on earth, he explained to the disciples that he would not leave them alone, but would send them the Holy Spirit as their Helper and Teacher. Not only that, Jesus also said that it was better for him to go to heaven and send the Helper to us because the Helper (the Holy Spirit) could be with all believers because he would dwell in us. Read John 14:15-17,26 below and write down all that you learn about the Helper (the Holy Spirit):
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you…These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
The Holy Spirit is our promised Helper. The word for “Helper” in the Greek is “parakletos.” This means to “call to one’s aid, plead another’s cause before a judge, counsel for defense, an intercessor, assistant.” The Holy Spirit is our “very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). He is our Guide, Leader, Teacher, Reminder, Comforter, and He is always with us. When you became a follower of Jesus, the Holy Spirit made his residence in you. Do you take great comfort in that?
God has not left us alone to face the false accusations of false prophets or sift through every lie of Satan. He never leaves us ill-equipped for the battles we will face. Rather, He has given us all that we will need for this life (2 Peter 1:3-4). We each have the Holy Spirit in us as our seal, or “as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us” (2 Corinthians 1:22). In his book, “Forgotten God,” Francis Chan states:
If it’s true that the Spirit of God dwells in us and that our bodies are the Holy Spirit’s temple, then shouldn’t there be a huge difference between the person who has the Spirit of God living inside of him or her and the person who does not?
The Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit) literally lives in us and we are “from God” (1 John 4:6a). Shouldn’t our lives looks different? What we listen to, say, do and believe should be different from the world. As believers, we should maintain a spirit of diligence and discernment in us. We should constantly match up what we hear, whether in society or from the pulpit, with what we see in the Word of God. How do have a discerning spirit in this culture?
- Diligently spend time in God’s Word, meditating on it and memorizing it. The Word of God is living, active and infallible. We must know God’s Word to know what is not God’s Word. In college I went through a very hard time of testing and waywardness. The Holy Spirit constantly used Scripture that was stored up in my heart to fight the lies I believed and lead my in truth. The Word of God was deposits of truth that God used to fight the enemy’s tactics to bring me down. The Holy Spirit speaks through God’s Word.
- Know who God is as your Father, Savior and Helper. Study Scripture and know what you believe. If an unbeliever were to ask you what you believe, would you stumble over your words? Or would you be able to answer clearly and with the authority of Scripture? This is an area we all need practice in to be ready to make a defense for the Gospel. If someone were to falsely accuse my husband, I would know the accusation is not truth because I truly know him. The same applies to our relationship with Jesus. If someone falsely accuses Him, we know because we truly know Him from spending time with Him.
- Watch for red flags and test everything. The Holy Spirit often works in us through gentle nudges and promptings. 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 instructs us in this: “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good.” Did you see that? Test everything. The more you test everything you hear according to God’s Word, the more confident you will be in who God is and who you are in Him.
We have the promised victory already, because He who is in us has already overcome the world (verse 4). I pray this truth fills you with great joy today as you go into the world, fully equipped for battle, already on the winning side. Christ has won, sister. He has already conquered your battles and your giants. Find your refuge and help in Him. He is right there with you, fighting the battle and running the race.
running with the Spirit,