Here was the amazing connection I found—actually it found me!
Commentary: The prophecies “ must not be accepted with credulity but are to be tested by more objective revelation and especially the touchstone of Christ’s Lordship. (I Cor 12:3) and His Incarnation.” (I John 4:1-3)!
I John tells us how to discern between spirits; this was the test the early Christians were to use.
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. 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 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.
And here is the ‘touchstone of Christ’s Lordship’: I Cor 12:3: Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says ‘ Jesus be cursed’, and no one can say,’Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.
So the test that we apply is whether a premise/idea acknowledges and accepts the Lordship of Jesus Christ!
If I’m weighing my options about a decision which determines the course of my life, and impacts the lives of those in my family…which options, if I were to choose them, would allow me to acknowledge and yield to the conviction that Jesus Christ is the Lord of my life? Does this source of wisdom accept Jesus as Messiah…that he is God and came to earth as a man, and that He is my Lord?
And this is what immediately follows John’s test for the discernment of spirits:
I John 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 (the apostles and their disciples); but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. I John: 4-6
Why should the acknowledgment of Christ’s Lordship be the test?
He owns my life! He bought me at a price, the most costly price ever paid for anything. I owe Him Lordship in all matters. All things in my life are seen in the light of his ownership. Everything in my life, everything, is about Him.
“Spiritual discernment is the ability to distinguish divine truth from error or half-truths, right from wrong or good from bad, an ability which is vital to assure a healthy Christian life. Test everything to see if it is authentic Christianity.”
“One way to examine everything carefully is to ask: ‘What does the Lord think about this? How does it appear in His presence? Every area of life comes under the searchlight- conversation, standard of living, clothes, books, business, pleasures, entertainments, furniture, friendships, vacations, cars, and sports.” MacDonald: A Believer’s Bible Commentary
I Peter 3:15 But set apart Christ as Lord.
Gal 1:8,9 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! If they were to test even apostles, we ought to test influences from other Christians, and certainly sources from the world.
Isaiah 8:19-21 encourages us when needing counsel…To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.
Eph 5: 8-17, esp. 8-10 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.
If I agree that He is Lord then I must go to scripture to find out what He says about a matter.
Acts 17:11: Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
“Hold fast that which is good-…This is just as much a duty as it is to ‘prove all things’. A man who has applied the proper tests, and has found out what is truth, is bound to embrace it and hold it fast. He is not at liberty to throw it away, as if it were valueless; or to treat truth and falsehood alike. It is a duty which He owes to himself and to God to adhere to it firmly, and to suffer the loss of all things rather than to abandon it. There are few more important rules in the NT than the one in this passage. It shows what is the true nature of Christianity, …practical value cannot be but be felt constantly in our lives. Other religions require their votaries to receive everything upon trust; Christianity asks us to examine everything.” Barnes Notes on the Bible
We are to be THE thinking people. And I think that God expects us to think, think, think, about everything. Question everything…prove all things. Don’t accept what any other source has to say about anything without putting it to this test.
I Corinthians 2:12, 14-16: Now we have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit of God, so that we might understand the things God has so freely given us. 14-16: Now the natural man does not receive the things from the Spirit of God-to him they are nonsense! Moreover, he is not able to grasp them, because they are evaluated through the Spirit. But the person who has the Spirit can evaluate everything, while no one is in a position to evaluate him. For who has known the mind of Adonai? Who will counsel him? But we have the mind of Christ!
The Word of God says that we have been given al the tools and the ability necessary to think more clearly than anyone, to see the truth absolutely clearly, to discern wrong from right, to be able to discern in all matters; abundant power is at our disposal to act on those judgments.
We’re expected to study, search, think and mediate on His word, and we are to have trust that we will find the answers to our questions. God can speak!
Ps 119:97-101: Oh how I love your law! I meditate on it day and night
Your commands make me wiser than my enemies.I have more insight than all my teachers
I have more understanding than all the elders, for I obey your precepts
I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I may obey your word
You have the mind of Christ. We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Cor 10:5
We never need to consult the wisdom of the world on any important matter. It offers us no reliable or true guide in the making of decisions.