TRUTH IS INDESTRUCTIBLE
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognise the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood (1 John 4: 4-6)
Really, John! Are you so arrogantly cocksure of yourself? How can you say that you are from God and that anyone who knows God listens to you? What about the times you said things that drew a rebuke from Jesus?
No, John was not being arrogantly cocksure but calmly confident for several reasons. Let’s examine them one by one.
- John was a disciple of Jesus. He was not chosen simply to trail around behind Jesus for three years. Discipleship in Jesus’ day carried with it some very specific privileges and responsibilities. He was chosen because his rabbi believed that he could become more than his rabbi did. He was to learn to imitate his rabbi in everything He said and did until he was an exact replica of his master. He was to learn His teachings (His yoke) and pass them on without adding or taking anything away. He would eventually do more than his rabbi did because Jesus was at the Father’s right hand representing him to the Father (John 14:12).
- As a disciple of Jesus, John carried His authority to interpret His yoke in the spirit and disposition of his rabbi. Jesus taught His disciples that His yoke (His interpretation of the Torah according to God’s original intention) was mercy and His disposition was gentleness and humility (Matt. 11: 28-30). This was the yoke John was to pass on to those who believed in Jesus through his witness.
- John was equipped with the Holy Spirit who was poured out on the believers on the Day of Pentecost. Jesus promised His disciples that the Spirit whom He would send in His place, would lead them into all truth and would remind them of everything He had taught them. They could rely on Him to represent Jesus and His teachings accurately.
- John was writing under inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Although at the time he was writing this letter, he may not have been aware that it would be included in the Holy Scriptures. It was nevertheless recognised as inspired and authoritative by the early church fathers as they accepted the writings of the apostles and others into the canon of Scripture.
For these reasons John had the right to claim authority to write these words of confidence, not arrogance and to claim that he and his fellow disciples were from God and spoke for God. Unlike the claim of the papacy down the centuries who believe that they are the vicars of Christ and whose words carry more weight than the very Word of God, John wrote, not to contradict the words of Jesus and set up his own standards but to affirm and expand on Jesus’ teachings in the spirit of Torah and in harmony with the nature and teachings of his rabbi.
The Spirit of truth in John would never allow him to set up his own standards. John was assured that, as long as he taught the truth revealed to him by his Master, and in harmony with the nature of Jesus, he could be sure that he was in line with the revelation Jesus brought about the Father and His work through Jesus. Those who received his teaching as the truth became part of a fellowship of believers in whom the Holy Spirit resided and continued to reveal the truth about the one in whom they believed.
Truth is indestructible. Those who received and believed the truth Jesus taught and steadfastly obeyed His words, could not be caught up in the ways of the world and stray from the path of obedience to God. The world represents beliefs and ways that are opposite to the kingdom of God. It is impossible to think and behave like those who are in the world’s system and to live as citizens of the God’s kingdom at the same time.
John assured his readers that their citizenship in the kingdom of God nullified the world’s power over them because they had, living within them the Holy Spirit with all His power and truth. No amount of false beliefs propagated by unbelievers could overpower and neutralise their confidence in the truth of God. They had the edge because lies will never outlive truth.
Scripture is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!
ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3, eBook 978-4828-0511-6
My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), a companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, has been released in paperback and digital format on www.amazon.com.
For more details, check my website: