CALL TO WORSHIP: ONE: God of grace:
ALL: We come with all we have;
bodies, souls, minds, all here to worship you.
ONE: We have come for a glimpse of your kingdom of kindness--
ALL: a world where love rules over all, a world where enemies
embrace, distinctions between friend and foe
evaporating in the light of your love.
ONE: We dedicate this hour of worship to you
and to your kingdom come. Amen.
Special Music - Nelson, Gord & Nancy – “Why Me Lord”
Main point, message.
Test the spirits..
We overcome the world, by understanding what spirit is from God and what spirit is of the world.
Isn't it great to know that all who know Christ have indeed overcome the world! I don't know about you, but I feel pretty good inside when I think of myself as "overcoming".
But..The world... is a pretty big thing to overcome, what does that mean?
We see in the Scriptures ideas like.
And John is not referring to loving Gods creation, Acts 17 vs 24.
Acts 17:24 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands;
World of human beings. John 3 vs 16-17.
John 3:16-17 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His [a]only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
John 12 vs 31
John 12:31 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
31 Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.
Ephesians 6 vs 11-12-16
Ephesians 6:11-16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
James 4 vs 4
James 4:4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
1 John chapter 4 vs 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.
Who is in us? The promised Holy Spirit
Who is in the world? The spirit of antichrist.
John's main concern for the church in-line with "loving the church" , is that they discern truth from error. In other words, stand firm in the word of God.
The problem he was addressing. Heresy,,, here Gnosticism = The belief that Christ did not come in the flesh, and that only those with superior esoteric knowledge. Greek word Gnosis,
can one be saved.
1 Jn 4 vs 1-3
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but because 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 of God, 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.
(Jesus spoke plainly and openly to his disciples concerning this).(and who the god of this age is)
The scripture say the god of this age has has blinded the eyes of people.
(A)We need to pray that the Holy Spirit will remove the blinders from people's eyes.
(B)We need to pray for opportunities to lovingly and respectfully share Christ with those who are in darkness.
(C) We need to be on guard and realize that there are many seemingly wonderful views and ideologies out there that are in direct opposition with Gods views.
(D) Finally and most importantly we need to realize that standing firm in your faith means we don't have to be ashamed of what we believe. But having said that, to balance it out, or to clarify, we absolutely must be people who deeply respect and care about others with opposing
Or else we are just clanging cymbals, and not displaying The love of God.
But mostly we all need to recognize that those who call on the name of Jesus Christ, are Gods children and that we are more than Overcomers!
Does that mean, Rich and successful?... healthy and happy? Yes,No, not necessarily.
It is much more than that!
And it means that we have everything we need in the Scriptures to discern right from wrong.
We have everything we need to resist a worldly system that opposes God.
We can overcome negativity and despair!
How does this passage and John play out?
1 John ch 5 vs 4-5
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world/our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the son of God. ......
Finally vs 20 and 21
And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, we are in Him who is True, and His Son Jesus Christ, this is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. .....
Why does John say,,,, keep yourself from idols?
Idols are anything and everything that gets in the way or between you and God, or that we use to replace God, fill a void, meet a need.
This world will do everything I can to beat you down, To get you to submit, surrender, give up, to give up ground, to water down your convictions. To say what's the use!
But we were created for greater things, we were called to greater things! We can and we will overcome! not because we are "amazing human beings" or better than anyone else.
But simply because Christ has made the way. When He went to the cross on my behalf and on your behalf,He not only demonstrated a perfect love and sacrifice, He not only demonstrated
The grace and mercy of God, and/or the righteousness and justice of God.
He Equipped you and I. And left us the Holy Spirit that dwells in us. And He helps us to discern good from evil.
Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. 1 Jn ch 4 vs 4
Ladies and gentlemen, if God is for us who then who can be against us?