1 John 4:2, Knowing Whether Instruction is from God

By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God

//How do we know, when we hear instruction from another, that it comes from God? In the book Unfettered Spirit, Robert Cornwall presents three rules to help us critically examine any instruction we may hear. I thought these rules to be interesting enough to repeat. Three verses from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians will highlight the three rules.

 1. First, as with today’s verse from 1 John, the instruction cannot contradict Jesus, or that Jesus is our Messiah.

Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. –1 Cor 12:3

2. Next, it must be spoken in love.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. –1 Cor 13:1

3. Third, it must be to the benefit of the Church.

He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. –1 Cor 14:4

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