1 John 4:1-6
Start with the person and work of Jesus. The true Spirit of God is going to get the doctrine of the Son of God correct. The Spirit of God always glorifies the Son of God. Always tells the truth about the Son. So the first test of which spirit you’re listening to is: Is the person speaking the truth about Jesus? The second test is to examine what the world thinks of them. Remember, the world has one system – Performance. Religion fits perfectly in this system of the world. Religion is simply adding God into our best attempts to try to prove our worth and acceptance through the things we do. But it all feels the same as the world. But grace, true Christianity, is not a version of that. It’s a completely different paradigm altogether – a paradigm and wisdom that would never have come from this world. It had to come from the mind of God Himself. Grace says that you can finally be fully accepted when you stop being your own god, stop looking to yourself and the things you do and trust what Jesus did for you. A person who puts his faith in the person and work of Jesus and lives by grace becomes unrecognizable to the world. But very recognizable to other saved people. The reality is that in every church, there are many people who still practice religion. They still want to turn the life of grace into the life of performance – into goals, checklists, and to-do lists. They view the church as a proving ground, trying to determine their worth and acceptance through the activities of the church. That’s not grace. If those people teach or try to influence others, file test the spirits behind them. If it seems a lot like the world, it’s probably not grace. Don’t stand for it.