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Recognizing False Teachers - Part 2

Tom Pennington 1 John 4:1-6


Well last week, we began our study of the third and final test of eternal life in the second cycle or movement in this letter. And the second test, as I noted for you, is a doctrinal test; it is the test of “Faith in the Biblical Jesus and the Biblical Gospel.” I just read for you, in our Scripture reading, the text for the morning which is 1 John, chapter 4, verses 1 to 6; and in those verses, John demands that we diligently apply several biblical tests to every spiritual idea, to every spiritual message, in order to distinguish genuine teachers who teach God's truth from false teachers who teach damning error.

Now in these 6 verses, we are discovering together two crucial details about false teachers. The first of them, last week we considered, and that is, “The Continual Danger of False Teachers,” the continual danger. We noted that we need to “Understand that there are, in fact, “Competing Versions of the Christian Faith,” that are spread out across this world. There is the true Christian faith, and alongside of it and intermingled with it is Satan's Counterfeit. Behind every human teacher who claims to speak for God, who claims to represent Jesus Christ, there are spirit beings. The spirit behind those human teachers is either the Holy Spirit or demons. That means that some human teachers, connected to the Christian faith, are from God; others, however, ultimately trace back, not to God, but to Satan himself, the great counterfeiter.

So, there are these two different, conflicting, never to be reconciled versions of the Christian faith. One is genuine Biblical Christianity, and the other is counterfeit demonic Christianity. You can walk into any church in the Metroplex this morning, any church across this world that claims to be Christian, and you will find one of those two versions. And there are many churches that are one of those. By that I mean, there are many that are true, but there are also many that are false, many that are counterfeit, that are even satanic.

Because of that continual danger, John says, “Test Every Spiritual Idea that you encounter against God's Word.” “Don't Be Foolishly Naive,” verse 1, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit.” Instead, “Be Spiritually Discerning.” Verse 1 goes on to say, “…but test the spirits to see whether they are from God;” carefully investigate the real source behind all revelation, all teaching, all human teachers, to see if they are truly from God. What's the reason? Why is this important? Verse 1 ends, “…because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” There are so many, that was in the first century, that was in Asia Minor where there was an apostle teaching. And the same is true today even to a greater extent. So, there is the continual danger from false teachers; it doesn't go away.

In the rest of this passage, therefore, in verses 2 through 6, John explains for us “The Chief Tests for False Teachers.” We've seen the continual danger; but secondly, we know the chief tests to discern who these false teachers are. John, in fact, lays out several specific doctrinal tests that equip us to recognize false teachers. By the way, there are other tests of false teachers other than doctrinal; we'll talk about those in the coming weeks as well. But these are specifically doctrinal tests. Now the first test that you can use to evaluate whether a human teacher is a false teacher or not, is to discover whether they teach and worship “A Different God,” a different God. Look at verses 2 and 3.

By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.

And nowlet me just warn you that John's logic in these two verses is extremely compact. In fact, as we unfold them together, we're going to discover three doctrinal tests in just these two verses. Even as I read it, you can tell that the primary focus of these verses is on Jesus Christ and His work. Or we could put it this way, the two obvious tests of false teachers in verses 2 and 3 are these: one, do they have a different Jesus? And secondly, do they have a different gospel? That's very clear and transparent in verses 2 and 3, and Lord willing, we'll examine those tests after our conference.

But this morning, before we celebrate the Lord's Table, I just want to focus on this first test, “Does the teacher believe in and teach and worship a different God than the God of the Bible?” Now, this test is not as immediately obvious as the other two tests in these verses, but as we will see, it's a test that John clearly implies in these verses and that he states explicitly throughout his letter. So, first of all, then, let's consider the biblical test to consider whether or not they worship “A Different God.” Let's take a running start in verse 1, read again with me.

Beloved, 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. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.

Now, these two competing versions of the Christian faith are empowered by different spirits. The counterfeit version, look at verse 3, “…every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.” Now, I noted for you last week that by ‘spirits’ here, John is referring to the spirit beings who are behind and who empower and energize human teachers. False teachers are energized by demons. But in the case of true teachers of the real Christian faith, it is the Holy Spirit. Notice how verse 2 begins, “By this (the test he's about to give) you know the Spirit of God.”

John says, “Here's how you can know that a human teacher is energized by and empowered by the Holy Spirit; does he confess the biblical Jesus and the biblical gospel? If he doesn't, then he doesn't know the true God. And that makes perfect sense when you step back and look at the points John has already made in this letter. Eternal life, remember these are tests of eternal life, and eternal life is only through the knowledge of the true and living God and through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Go back to chapter 1, verse 3, this is how he begins:

What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship (all believers, our fellowship) is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ (The Messiah.).

That life is found in the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. There are a number of other texts, but turn to the end of the letter and look at chapter 5, verse 20. He ends this way as well. He says in verse 20:

And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding (Now watch what he says here.) so that we may know Him who is true (That is the Father.); and we are in Him who is true (The Father), in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

Eternal life is only found in the true and living God and in His Son Jesus Christ. If you're wrong on that point, then you don't have eternal life. That's why, you remember even in Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer in John 17:3, He prays, “This is eternal life, that they may know You (Father), the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” So clearly, salvation is found in the one true God. Turn back to chapter 2; 1 John 2, verse 22:

Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ (Divine Messiah)? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son (Notice that.). Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.

Did you catch what John is saying? By denying that Jesus is the eternal Son of God, the Divine Messiah who has come in the flesh, they were also denying the biblical God. John's point is this, if a false teacher is wrong about Jesus’ nature as the God-man, he's not worshipping the God of the Bible; he's actually worshipping a different god. If a teacher is wrong on the identity or nature of the true God, he or she is a false teacher energized, not by God, but by demons. So that's the biblical test.

Let's consider, secondly, “The Biblical God.” If salvation is only found in the true God, then the question that's very important is, “Who is this God?” Who is the true God in whom eternal life is found? Look again at verse 2; chapter 4, verse 2, “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.” Now, did you notice that in this verse as he's laying it out, we find all three members of the Trinity? The Spirit of God; Jesus Christ who has come in the flesh, that implies His preexistence, before His birth in Bethlehem, and therefore His deity; and God, that is the Father who sent the Son. In fact, look down at chapter 4, verse 9, “By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God (That is the Father.) has sent His only begotten (His one-of-a-kind, unique) Son into the world so that we might live through Him.” So, this is the God, the true God, in whom eternal life is found. And any other God is not a saving God; it's a false god. And false teachers can be identified by teaching something other than the biblical God.

So, let's think, for a moment,about who this God is in Scripture. In the Bible, the true biblical God has a “Unique Nature.” Not talking now about His attributes, that's a different series for a different time, talking about His nature as God. What does Scripture teach? Several crucial concepts flow out of the Scripture; let me just give them to you. Number one, “God is a being.” That is, Scripture teaches that God is a being distinct from His creation. Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” He is a being who exists separate from the universe.

Secondly, “God is living,” He's alive. Jeremiah 10:10, “The Lord (Yahweh) is the true God; He is the Living God and the everlasting King.” 1 Thessalonians, 1:9, I love this, Paul says, “…they themselves report about us what kind of reception we had with you (in Thessalonica), …how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God.” That's the God in whom you've put your faith; He's the living God.

Thirdly, “God is infinite.” That is, God is unlimited in His nature. Here's one example, Psalm 147:5 says, “Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.” And that's true with everything that's true about God; it has no limits; He has no limits.

Number four, “God is Spirit,” that is, He is non-material in His being. Jesus says this in John 4:24, “God is Spirit. Therefore, God is invisible. John 1:18, “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” 1 Timothy 1:17, Paul, in his doxology there, calls God, “…immortal, invisible.” He's spirit.

Number five, “God is personal.” The true God is not the force or a force or some cosmic collection of energy. He is personal. He's aware of Himself as a distinct being. In Exodus 3:14. He reveals His name to Moses. In Isaiah 43:10, He compares Himself with others who are called gods who aren't. In 2 Timothy 3:16, we learn that the entire Bible is a self-revelation of this person. He has a will; God can consider alternative choices and choose as He pleases with the power to do whatever He chooses. Psalm 115:3, “…our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.” Ephesians 1:11, He “…works all things after the counsel of His will.” God is personal and when we say, “God is personal,” we also mean that God is relational. He relates as a rational being to His creation, to us. He answers prayer, He comforts, He loves, He speaks, He became a man in order to serve and to die. If you have any question about whether or not God is personal, just look at the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the greatest proof that God is personal. Read the Gospels and watch the eternal Son of God interact with human beings. That is the God we serve; He is personal, He is relational. John 14:9 says, “…He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” That's what our God is like.

Number six, a key aspect of God's unique nature is that “God is Trinity,” God is Trinity. Now, I'm going to spend more time here because when you look at those other five, very few false teachers deny those, that is those who are connected to the Christian faith. There are some who do, but for the most part, false teachers, in their denial of the true God who teach a different god, do so in this category related to the Trinity. So, let's spend a few moments thinking about this to make sure we're clear this is what the Bible teaches.

Let me start with a definition. When we say, “God is Trinity,” what do we mean? And let me just say, by the way, that your mind can understand what I'm about to share with you, you're going to have to put on your thinking cap, but you can get it. But you're never going to plumb the depths of the Trinity. There's no illustration in nature that I can give you that is a perfect illustration of the Trinity. There are illustrations, but none of them work perfectly. They're all wrong because there's only one God, and there's nothing He made that's like Him in that way.

So, let me give you a definition, “There is one true God, eternally existing in three distinct persons, without division (That is, you can't separate God into parts.), and without replication of the essence.” In other words, there's one essence in God. So, let me, having given you that definition, let me break that down a little bit. First of all, the one true God is one in His essential being or His constitutional nature. Theologians say, “in His essence,” there's only one true essence in God; He's one Being.

Secondly, in that one divine Being, there are three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The theological word is “Hypostasis,” three Persons. Now theologically, when we refer to a person in the Godhead, we mean a distinct center of consciousness. Now, let me illustrate that to see if I can make it clear. Take for example, God's omniscience. The One True God, in His essence, is omniscient. Each person in the Godhead knows all things and they know them the same. But each person knows all things in a way peculiar to his own person. For example, the Father and the Spirit knew objectively that the Son would die on the cross. But neither the Father nor the Spirit ever thought, “I will die on the cross.” So, in the one divine Being, there are three distinct centers of consciousness.

A third point that needs to be made is that God's essence belongs equally to each of the three Persons. They are identical in their attributes, one in purpose and will; they are, listen to this carefully, essentially in their essence, co-equal. That is the doctrine of the Trinity. Again, you can grasp what I just said, but you will never plumb its full depths. Neither can I. That's what the Scriptures teach as I'm going to show you; that's what we have to believe.

So, let me just walk through it. First of all, let's look at the Old Testament hints. The New Testament doesn't change the Old Testaments teaching about God; it just brings the truth that was intimated in the Old Testament into fuller view, a clearer view. Think of it this way, in the Old Testament, you can see faintly the Trinity. It’s like the dimmer switch is all the way down, and if you squint, you can catch glimpses. But when the New Testament comes, the Holy Spirit turns the dimmer switch all the way up and you see it clearly. The room didn't change, same room, Old Testament, New Testament, same God, but the dimmer switch was on in the Old Testament; you didn't see everything clearly, it becomes crystal clear when the light is turned on in the New Testament. So, what is the evidence for the Trinity in the shadows of the Old Testament? I wish I had time to really camp here, but let me just give you this list.

First of all, “Plural pronouns and plural verbs.” The most famous of these is Genesis 1:26, there is nobody around but God, and God says, “…Let Us make man in Our (own) image.” Or take Isaiah 6:8, when Isaiah had that vision of the Lord and he says this, “…I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’” So, you have these plural pronouns and plural verbs.

Secondly, you have “The plural name Elohim.” This familiar name for God is actually plural in form. Some argue it's a plural of majesty or intensity, like a king might say, “We are pleased to grant your request,” when he's just talking about himself. Well, the problem with that is there are no other Old Testament examples of that. In addition, this plural noun usually gets “A Singular Verb” in Hebrew.

Number three, another shadow. “There are distinctions between members of the Godhead that can be seen in the Old Testament,” expressions that aren't explainable apart from the Trinity. For example, Genesis 19:24, talking about Sodom, “…the LORD rained…fire…and… brimstone from the LORD.” Hosea 1:7, God is speaking and says this, “…I will…deliver them by the LORD their God.” Or Psalm 2:7, the Messiah is speaking, and it says, “He (That is God.) said to me, ‘You are My Son.’” Psalm 45:6 and 7, “Your throne, O God, is forever…Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of joy.” Isaiah 48:16, God the Messiah is speaking, and says this, “…the Lord God (speaking of the Father) has sent Me, and His Spirit.” So, in one passage you clearly have an intimation of the three members of the Trinity. Isaiah 48:16, compare it with verse 12. So, you have these distinctions among members of the Godhead.

Number four, you have this mysterious character called “The Angel of the LORD,” not ‘an’ angel of the LORD, ‘the’ angel of the LORD. He's identified as the LORD, and yet He's distinguished from Him. Again, I wish I had time to walk you through these, but Genesis 16:7-13, “The angel said, “The LORD,” so you have the angel of the LORD, and then you have when it's all done, and she says, “I'm going to call the ‘name of the LORD who spoke’ with me.” (Paraphrase.)

So, you have the ‘angel the LORD,’ but it's ‘The LORD.” In Genesis 22, verse 15, “…the angel the LORD called…and said,” verse 16, “…By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD.” So, the angel of the LORD speaks as the LORD. In Genesis 31, verse 11, “The angel of God” speaks, and verse 13, “I am…God.” In Exodus 3, you have the burning bush incident, and in verse 2, the angel of the LORD appears in the bush, and in verse 4, God speaks from the bush. In Zechariah 1, verses 12 and 13, and this is a fascinating one because you have the angel of the LORD, the angel of Yahweh and Yahweh speaking to each other. So, you have in the Old Testament then, you have in the dimness of the revelation there, you still have these hints, these opportunities to see the reality.

But in the New Testament the dimmer switch goes all the way up. Let's look at “Two Key New Testament Statements.” Turn to Matthew, chapter 3, verse 16, notice what it says.

After being baptized, Jesus (There's the first member of the Trinity.) came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him (There's number two.), and behold (Here's number three.), a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.

All three members of the Trinity are clearly present at the same time in the same situation.

Turn over to Matthew 28. This is the Great Commission, Matthew 28, and verse 19, “Go therefore (Jesus says.) and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

Now, first of all, I want you to notice what Jesus does not say. He does not say, “into the names” (plural) or the equivalent “into the name of the Father into the name of the Son and into the name of the Spirit.” You might be talking about three separate beings if He'd said that. And He does not say “into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,” omitting the recurring articles in which case He might be simply talking about one person with three different names.

Instead, notice what he does say, “in(to) the name (singular) of the Father and (of) the Son and (of) the Holy Spirit.” In other words, He asserts, as Warfield says, “The unity of the three by combining them all within the bounds of the single name, and then emphasizing their distinctness by introducing them in turn with a repeated article.” Warfield concludes this, Benjamin Warfield, I love this, he says:

Jesus could not have been understood otherwise than as substituting for the name of Yahweh this other name of ‘the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit.’ And this could not possibly have meant to His disciples anything else than that Yahweh was now to be known to them by the new name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. The only alternative would have been that Jesus was supplanting Yahweh by a new God. There is not alternative, therefore, to understanding Jesus here to be giving for His community, a new name to Yahweh, and that new name to be the threefold name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit.

There are “Other New Testament Statements” that emphasize the trinity of God. Let me just give you a few. 2 Corinthians 13:14, “The grace of…Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.” Ephesians 4, verses 4 through 6, say there's “…one Spirit…one Lord…and one God and Father.” 1 Peter 1:2, speaks of “…the foreknowledge of God the Father…the sanctifying work of the Spirit, (and obedience to) Jesus Christ.” Jude, 20 and 21, “…praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

So, folks, God is one in His essence or being, eternally existing in three persons. There are many other arguments, many other passages; if you're interested, get a good systematic theology like the one put out by The Master’s Seminary, others; study this issue at length; but understand this, the evidence in the Scripture is overwhelming that our God is Trinity.

So, in light of that and in light of the warning that John's giving us about this false Christianity that's out there, let's consider “Some Heresies about God,” some heresies about God. Let me just start just for clarity, outside Christianity. Here are a few that are really popular in our day. Obviously, there's “Atheism, there is no God.” Then you have “Pantheism, God is all in all is God.” There are several different forms of this native African and American religions, Transcendentalism, New Age religion. “Polytheism, there are many gods.” Of course, the ancient religions of Greece and Rome taught that; and today, this is primarily taught outside of Christianity in Hinduism. There's “False Monotheism, there is one God, but it's not the God of the Bible.” This is Islam and Zoroastrianism. Where does all that come from? Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:19 and 20, that the gods of the nations, that aren't the true God, they are demons, masquerading as those gods.

What about “Heresies Related to God Connected to Christianity?” Let me give you a little list. Some of these are more familiar than others. Some of these you won't recognize; some of these you absolutely will recognize, all right? Let me just give them to you. First of all, “Tritheism – that is the Trinity is three separate gods.” This heresy teaches there are three full distinct essences, or three separate gods.

“Partialism – each of the three persons in the Trinity has a third of the Divine.” The results, of course, is that none of the three persons is fully divine.

“Monarchianism – God is not three persons, but just one person.” This heresy from the second and third centuries taught there's only one God who exists as one person, the Father.

“Marcionism – (And you will recognize this one.) The God of the Old Testament is evil; the God of the New Testament is good.” Marcion, in the second century, rejected the Old Testament and taught that Christianity is completely distinct from Judaism. And he believed and taught that the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath and judgment, while the God of the New Testament is a God of mercy.

“Sabellianism, also called Modalism – God is one person who manifests Himself in different modes.” Think of it this way, there's one God who wears different hats at different times. This third century heresy name for its founder, taught that Father, Son and Holy Spirit were just different modes of the One God rather than three distinct persons. Like I am one person, but I am a father, and I am a son, and I have a spirit. That's how they taught. Today, this heresy is taught by the United Pentecostals, also called the “Jesus Only” or “Oneness Pentecostals.” The best known Modalist today is right here in Dallas. His name is T.D. Jakes.

“Socinianism – God is one person; Jesus is just a man.” This 16th century heresy denied the Trinity by claiming that the Holy Spirit isn't a person, just God's power, and that Jesus was just a man. This is the view of modern theological liberals in most mainline Protestant denominations – United Methodist, United Presbyterians, and so forth, as well as the Unitarians.

Another is “Subordinationism or Arianism.” And this one you're very familiar with if you've ever talked to a Jehovah's Witness. This says God is one person, the Father, and He created the Son. This isn't new, this is old, as are all these heresies. Arias, the bishop of Alexandria who died in 336 A.D. taught that God the Son was created by God the Father. Today this is the teaching of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Here’s from their official documents:

Is Jehovah a Trinity, three persons in one God? No, Jehovah the Father is the only true God. Jesus is His firstborn son, and he is subject to God. The Father is greater than the son; the Holy Spirit is not a person; it is God's active force.

Another is “‘Christian’ Polytheism.” This is what the Mormons believe. There are many gods who were once human. Again, these are their official documents, “As a man is, God once was, as God is, man may become.” Here's another:

Mormon prophets have continuously taught the sublime truth that God, the eternal Father, was once a mortal man. He became God, an exalted being, through obedience to the same eternal Gospel truths that we are given opportunity today to obey.

In other words, you can become a god just like He is; just keep on pursuing obedience to the gospel truths, which, by the way, isn't the gospel as we'll find out in coming weeks. Here's another quote, and if you doubt this is what Joseph Smith taught, here's a quote from a sermon by Joseph Smith, well documented, in fact, there were five men transcribing it at the same time to make sure they didn't miss a word. Here it is:

God Himself, who sits enthroned in yonder heavens, is a man like unto one of yourselves. You have got to learn how to be God's yourselves. To be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you.

That’s polytheism.

And then finally, there's “Feminism, which teaches that God is our mother.” Some United Methodists and others in mainline denominations have embraced this idea. Now, don't get me wrong, I’m not a misogynist; I love and appreciate women, they are fellow heirs of the grace of life, they are equal in every way to us spiritually before God. So, this isn't about that; this is about what does the Bible teach about God?

I was in a United Methodist Church in Frisco for a concert, pulled a supplemental hymnbook out of the rack, and read a hymn dedicated to “God, our mother.” That is heresy. That's not the God of the Bible.

Brothers and sisters, look at that list. Test the spirits to see if they teach a different God, and those who teach these heretical views of God do not belong to the true Christian faith, but to the false version of the Christian faith. And the Spirit who empowers such teachers to teach these things is not the Holy Spirit but demons. They do not come from God; they come from Satan, and their version of the Christian faith does not save; it damns all who believe it. The only God who can save us from our sins is the one true and living God who sent His Son for us. Look at 1 John 4, and verse 9.

By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten (One-of-a-kind, unique) Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the satisfaction of His own wrath against) for our sins.

That's the true God and He is the only Savior. Eternal life is found only in Him and only in His eternal Son who became flesh. What the true God has done through His Son; that's what we celebrate in the Lord's Table. Take a moment and prepare your heart as the men come to serve us.

Oh, God, we acknowledge that You, the maker of heaven and earth, the sustainer of all things, the One who is revealed in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, the One who taught us to know You by the name Yahweh, the One Who is, and whom our Lord taught us to know as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We confess that you alone are the true and living God, and there is no other. The gods of the nations are idols. Lord, we confess that you alone are the only Savior, through Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Lord, because of that, it is our joy to worship You through this means that You’ve given to us through the Lord's Table.

But, Lord, even as we come to take of the Lord's Table, we come first confessing our sins, judging our sins before You. Lord as those who are already followers of Christ, who've already repented and believed in Him, who've already heard the gavel of Your justice come down declaring us forever innocent, and not only not guilty, but righteous with the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Lord, we still come seeking forgiveness, not at Your courtroom, but to You as our Father because we acknowledge that while our sins are forgiven before You as our Judge, they still offend You as our Father. So, Lord, we come confessing our sins of thought, of attitude, our sins of speech, our sins of action; Lord, our failure to do what You've commanded us, and our actively doing what You've forbidden.

Lord, each of us in our own hearts, we know our sin. It's, as David said, ever before us and we confess it to You, seeking Your forgiveness. Lord, forgive us not only for the outward act, but forgive us for the roots within our hearts, the root sins like pride and selfishness, lust, independence from You. And, Father, help us to submit ourselves to You afresh, seeking Your forgiveness and to commit to resolve once again to follow our Lord Jesus more closely; to walk in the path of obedience more deliberately and wholeheartedly.

And then, Father, we can take of His table in a way that honors His sacrifice for sin. We thank You that we are reconciled to You through nothing in us, but solely through the atonement that He purchased at the cross. Receive our worship now, we pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.


Recognizing False Teachers - Part 1

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Recognizing False Teachers - Part 2

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Tom Pennington 1 John 2:18-27

The Christian's DNA - Part 1

Tom Pennington 1 John 2:28-3:3

The Christian's DNA - Part 2

Tom Pennington 1 John 2:28-3:3

The Christian's DNA - Part 3

Tom Pennington 1 John 2:28-3:3

The Christian's DNA - Part 4

Tom Pennington 1 John 2:28-3:3

The Christian's DNA - Part 5

Tom Pennington 1 John 2:28-3:3

Oil & Water

Tom Pennington 1 John 3:4-6

Researching Your Spiritual Ancestry - Part 1

Tom Pennington 1 John 3:7-10

Researching Your Spiritual Ancestry - Part 2

Tom Pennington 1 John 3:7-10

Love as a Sign of Life - Part 1

Tom Pennington 1 John 3:11-24

Love as a Sign of Life - Part 2

Tom Pennington 1 John 3:11-24

Love as a Sign of Life - Part 3

Tom Pennington 1 John 3:11-24

Love as a Sign of Life - Part 4

Tom Pennington 1 John 3:11-24

Love as a Sign of Life - Part 5

Tom Pennington 1 John 3:11-24

Love as a Sign of Life - Part 6

Tom Pennington 1 John 3:11-24

Love As a Sign of Life - Part 7

Tom Pennington 1 John 3:11-24

Recognizing False Teachers - Part 1

Tom Pennington 1 John 4:1-6

Recognizing False Teachers - Part 2

Tom Pennington 1 John 4:1-6

Recognizing False Teachers - Part 3

Tom Pennington 1 John 4:1-6

Recognizing False Teachers - Part 4

Tom Pennington 1 John 4:1-6

Recognizing False Teachers - Part 5

Tom Pennington 1 John 4:1-6