“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.” (1 John 4:1)
We learned that knowing the truth about ourselves and about God is of essential importance. Satan also knows that, and he tries to prevent people from finding and following the truth. After all, he does not want to lose his power over them!
Satan tries to mislead people by sending false teachers into the church. Therefore, Christians should not just believe everything they hear, but test whether it is in line with Scripture. They should not be “tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” (Ephesians 4:14), but stand firm in the truth.
John’s letter gives us useful advice to discern “the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error”: if someone confesses that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who has become man, his teaching comes from the Spirit of God. If he does not confess Jesus, he is not from God but is a deceiver. God leaves no room for “different opinions” or “alternative facts” when it comes to Jesus’ identity and His ministry of salvation.
Can you think of false teachings about Jesus that have gained ground in some churches?