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The New Birth Tested By Belief (7 of 9)
I John 4:1-6
This is the third and final test for the new birth as revealed in I John. There is a key phrase in the passage, "of God". It appears seven times. It has been translated various ways; such as, "comes from God", "belongs to God", God's children", and "of God", as it is in the KJV. The literal meaning in the Greek is "has its source and origin in God". This is what the entire passage is about. Trying to find out what it is and who it is that has its source and origin in God.
In this context the best synonym for belief is "doctrine". The new birth is tested by righteousness, by love, and by doctrine (what you believe) ...What you believe about God and what you believe about Jesus Christ.
All the cults can apply the first two tests of the new birth to their lives and meet the test. Many of them live righteously and love one another. They often have a commander that is more dedicated than that of Christians. But the third test is the one that breaks the back of all the cults. False prophets always have false teaching. That is the way we know they are false prophets. A teacher is known by his teaching.
It seems to me that there are four conclusions in these six verses that help us to determine if we are born again as it is tested by belief, doctrine, or what you believe. Your belief is a summary of what you believe.
I. SPIRITS, WHO CLAIM THEY ARE FROM GOD, ARE TESTED BY BELIEF. Verse 1
Have you ever heard something like this: "It doesn't make any difference what you believe, just so you believe it." That started in the 1st Century. The Church got together for a meeting, and someone said, "There are several in our local church who are teaching that Jesus was not really the Christ. What should we do?" Someone stands up and says, "I know who you are talking about, but they are such good people; and they are sincere. What difference does it make? That is the reason that John wrote this lette ...
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