“By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God…”
By this you know the Spirit of God:
The specific doctrine whereby we test to find whether a teacher is false or true is the doctrine of Christ. If a person denies either the deity or the humanity of Christ, he is a false teacher. Some of John’s readers had come to believe that Jesus did not come in the flesh.
Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God
One test of truth revolves around Jesus Christ. Cerinthus, a Gnostic, taught that Jesus did not have true humanity. By denying the physical, historical humanity of Christ, they attacked the basic doctrine of Redemption. The death of the body of Christ was necessary to pay for our sins. If this did not happen, then it undermines our salvation.
The word “confesses” means to identify. If anyone does not identify with and acknowledge the humanity of Christ, they are a faker. Belief about the incarnate Son of God is a touchstone of the Christian faith. Candid acknowledgment that the Messiah came in the flesh to forgive sins is the heart of Christian belief.
By the incarnation, Jesus took part in our life; by regeneration, we take part in Jesus’ life.
Jesus took on humanity that He might die with it. He gave His life that we might have His life.
Jesus eternally existed as God, but at a point in time, He stepped foot on earth and took on humanity. In doing this, He did not divest Himself of His deity. He set aside the voluntary use of His deity while He lived in His humanity. The babe in Bethlehem was far more than a remarkable child; He was God the Son who stepped into a human body. He never ceased to exist as God. He did not begin when He was born. Denial of this is the spirit of the antichrist.
2 Co 5:18, “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”
1 Ti 3:16, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory.”
C. S. Lewis said, “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse.” Anything less than viewing Jesus as an eternal God who took on humanity is simply throwing kisses at Him. It does not take His deity seriously. We cannot whittle Him down and still worship Him in all His glory.