1 John 4:4-6 / The Spirit of Truth or Error? (Sermon notes and Audio)

Posted on May 26, 2014


This is the sixteenth in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of 1 John. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the evening of May 25, 2014. This message deals with being able to discern between the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

AUDIO – Listen Now:


1jon 4_4-6


1 John 4:4-6

This is one of the most reassuring promises in the Bible for the believer. Because we are “of God” and because He is in us as the Holy Spirit

1 Corinthians 3:16

and is “greater . . . than he that is in the world,” we have already overcome!

There are no empty promises in the Bible, and this passage is true.

But just what does this promise promise? And who are “them” that we have to overcome?

To begin with, the Greek word means to conquer, overcome, prevail, or get the victory.

In fact, The Lord Jesus has overcome the world.

John 16:33

Since we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, we too will get the victory over the world.

1 John 5:5

The “them” are those who are driven to embrace ungodly doctrines of the antichrsit, and worldly philosophies.

1 Timothy 4:1-3

They are those who love the world.

James 4:4

1 John 2:15-17

They seek nothing less than to cheat the people of God.

Colossians 2:8

We, on the other hand, are to prevail over evil with good.

Romans 12:21

We are to take them captive with the mighty weapons of our warfare, which are the Word of God and prayer.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Ephesians 6:13-18

So, how do we discern who they are?

The first thing we see is that we speak different languages.

Those of the world speak their own language, and it is only their language that they understand.

Christians speak a different language from the world.

It is a language which the world does not understand.

We are also told that we will be able to tell the difference in people by the way they respond to the Word of God.

The emphasis is on the believer’s ability to discern a spirit of truth or error among those to whom we witness.

This is important because we are told not to cast pearls before swine.

Matthew 7:6

Some will disguise themselves as ministers of righteousness when they are really the ministers of Satan.

This is satan’s age old deception.

2 Corinthians 11:14-15

How can we tell which is which?

The spirit of truth is relatively easy to discern.

Those who hear the Word and receive the Word are of the truth.

Mark 4:18-20

John 18:37

Such people come willingly to the light.

John 3:21

The spirit of error can be more difficult to discern.

Its source is Satan, who deceives and uses his servants to manipulate and mislead.

John 8:44

Some of these run amok among God’s family and live in error, and deceive others.

2 Peter 2:18

They are clouds without water, fruitless trees, raging waves, and wandering stars.

Jude 12-13

They won’t listen to truth.

We need to be ready to discern between the two, to embrace one and reject the other.

Posted in: Sermons