On Friday, Roxie talked about how we need to be in God's word and examining the scriptures so that we won't be swayed by false testimony and that we can be sure of what we believe.
In today's passage, we are told that we can recognize the Spirit of God....if we know what to look for. MacArthur says:
"There is the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit, and there is the spirit of error who would be Satan and his demons. Nothing is benign. All spiritual truth either comes from a divine source or a demonic source. And we know that God speaks truth and reveals truth and Satan speaks a lie and is a deceiver and so it is critical that we be able to discern the difference. God's truth must be guarded very, very carefully. It is always under attack. It is relentlessly under attack."
Unfortunately, God's truth is "relentlessly under attack". So many areas that used to be black and white have now blurred into an unrecognizable grey. The values and morals that were once upheld as good are now regarded as outdated and worthless. This is probably Satan's biggest victory in his quest to turn people from God...to make them believe that there is no ultimate truth and that everyone can decide on his or her own version of it.
I started reading this blog awhile ago after finding a few of her ideas pinned on pinterest. I admire her parenting style and her willingness to be bold. A few days ago, she posted a letter to her kids and the backlash from her words have prompted many to comment their displeasure at teaching her children to be "so judgemental" and also that many were disappointed that she failed to tell her kids to "go live their dreams" and "figure out who they are to be the best they can be". Sarah's views expressed in her letter are extremely countercultural and very "boat rocking" indeed. Relentlessly. Under. Attack.
It is our duty to be aware of the attack on truth and to know what to do about it.
"And this duty falls heavily upon me as it does any servant of God. It requires two things to guard the truth. One, you have to know the truth. That's why Paul said to Timothy, "Hold on to sound doctrine." You can't guard what you don't understand. If a minister or a pastor does not know sound doctrine, he can't guard it. So, first of all, it requires the fulfillment of this duty requires the knowledge of sound doctrine, and secondly, it requires the recognition of error. Sound doctrine and sound discernment, essential in the church. This is our primary responsibility and it runs parallel to our teaching. How can we teach sound doctrine if we don't know it, how can we teach our people to avoid error if we don't recognize it. Sound doctrine and sound discernment go side by side and are the primary responsibility of every preacher, every elder, every shepherd and pastor in the church. And John discharges that responsibility. John knows sound doctrine and he articulates it and John also possesses sound discernment and he provides helpful warnings to aid others to do the same."
We need to know the truth and then we need to hold on to it. If we don't, it is..
"not just wrong, it is against Christ. There in the middle of verse 3, "This is the spirit of the antichrist of which you have heard that it is coming and now it is already in the world." We think of antichrist, we think of some future person, the beast of Revelation. But antichrist, he's just the final antichrist, the antichrist spirit exists in the world because demons that are espousing anything that is not a representation that is accurate concerning Christ are espousing an anti-Christ idea. So there are many antichrist teachings. All teaching that presents untruth about Christ, lies, is the spirit of antichrist which is already in the world and yet in its final form is coming....They're everywhere...everywhere... [and] I feel a necessity to appeal to you to fight earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints. It is a battle. It is a battle that has to be fought with all our might to guard the truth for the next generation, as well as this one."
It is a battle. A battle that has already been won but it is our job as Christians to stand up for this truth for this victory and to hold it and guard it and know it. The world speaks loudly and it is threatening to drown us out. May God grant us the courage to rock the boat.
Tomorrow's scripture focus: 1 John 4:7-12