Bible Reading: 1 John 4.4-6
You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. I John 4.4-6
I worked for many years in a fraud detection department for a major national bank. Early in my tenure there, I attended a seminar on counterfeit currency taught by an agent of the U.S. Secret Service. We got to handle several fake bills, as well as "real" currency. The main lesson from the seminar was that the best way to catch a phony bill was to be intimately familiar with the real thing.
It seems that in our society today, we are surrounded by imitations, whether they be currency or women's handbags, or something else entirely. Unfortunately, the same has to be said about many of our churches. There are no shortage of congregations that hear a different gospel other than the one taught by the Scriptures. Satan has been allowed to run free. As a result, many in our churches have been deceived and separated from the truth of God.
This passage is a reminder that we as believers have already overcome the false teachers surrounding us, through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Our response, therefore, should be to pattern our words and lives after the example of Jesus. Jesus said that if we love Him, we are to obey His teaching (John 14.15). How do we know what that is? By the daily and diligent study of the word of God, we can be intimately familiar with the real thing, avoiding error and embracing the truth of God's word.
Authenticity of doctrine should be an imperative in our churches. Just as a treasury agent can easily spot a counterfeit bill, so can a believer who is thoroughly steeped in the word of God, and guided by the Holy Spirit spot false doctrine.
I encourage you all to make the daily reading and study of God's word a priority as you are being transformed and renewed.
Weekly Memory Verse: Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1 John 3.2-3