Sunday service, Erlo Stegen, 25 Dec 2016
“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
4 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.”
Today is a great day because we celebrate that Jesus came in the flesh! Why should Jesus have come in the flesh? We know that there are many false prophets and we need discernment, especially in our day and age. But this text helps us to understand and see the difference between the spirit of Jesus and of the anti-christ. From the first verse we’re told not to believe every spirit but test whether they be of God, because of the many false prophets. How are we then to discern? It says that you will know the Spirit of God through this: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God. What does it mean that Jesus came in the flesh? Because it is admitted by most religions that Jesus came in the flesh. Let us look more carefully at what is meant in our text and the test. Jesus is both God and man. We are told that all things were created by Him and unto Him. Which shows that Jesus is God, the Creator of everything. He is also the Alpha (being from the beginning) and Omega. He created heaven and earth. Jesus is God Himself. He came down and became flesh, fully human like you and me, while being God simultaneously. He was known here as the Son of God. His Blood is precious. We should never take it lightly.
We are washed by the Blood of God, the Most High. How precious shouldn’t that Blood be to you. It’s not just any Blood.
The Bible says that the one that confesses and forsakes his sin obtains mercy.
He was fully man by Mary, but fully God also. Woe to the person who tramples this Blood underfoot.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom 8:1)
We cannot conquer sin without God’s help. That’s why we read in Romans 7:24
“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”
But then we hear the answer in the next verse:
Rom 7:25 “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Paul and the people of his day understood this expression “o wretched man”. Their capital punishment for murder was to tie the murdered to the murderer, mouth to mouth, hands to hands, feet to feet. And so he would walk down the street and cry out. Eventually if he’s not freed (nobody was allowed to free the murderer), the putrefying body would get maggots and enter the living man and he would die too.
God saw mankind in their wretched state and sent His Son to save them.
Jesus Christ is able to set us free from this body of death. The law of life in Jesus Christ has set us free from the law of sin and death. Jesus alone is able to set us free. Because sin indwells us we cannot get victory out of ourselves. He must give us the victory.
If Jesus Christ indwells you even if sin is put in front of you, you can be victorious. That is why Christmas is so special. And that is why the Bible says that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.
The Gospel changes lives. Those that stole steal no longer. This is the greatest Christmas gift!
But the spirit of the one who rejects this is the spirit of the anti-christ.
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