1 John CGS #8- 1 Jn. 4:1-6
Do Not Be Deceived
1 John 4:1-6
INTRODUCTION: God values truth. After all, he is the author of truth because in him there is no shifting shadow or deceit. (Jam. 1:17) Or, as John has said, there is no darkness in him at all. (1 Jn. 1:5) The background of these verses, as of 1 Corinthians 12 and 14, is a situation in which ‘prophecy’ was prevalent. The present tense of the command do not believe every spirit (1) suggests that John’s readers were tending to accept uncritically all teaching which claimed to be inspired. They needed to be shown that ‘to identify the supernatural and the Divine is a perilous mistake’. So John urges them to investigate the source of every pretension to inspired utterance.  In other words, not every good idea is a Godly idea. Not every good idea is a Godly idea.
GETTING STARTED – Discuss with your group a time that you learned the truth that, not every idea is a good idea.
IN THE WORD – Let’s dig back into the passage. It is important to strengthen our muscles in reading God’s Word. On Sunday, we walked through the passage in the sermon. Hopefully, that helped you to see the landmarks of the passage with fresh eyes. Now, with your group, go back through it and see what God is saying to you specifically.
First, before you read the passage, take a moment to ask God’s Spirit to quiet your mind and heart and to illuminate the text to you. Second, read the passage aloud to the group. Then, follow the simple method below. (O.P.A)
Observe: Make 8-10 observations from the passage. Pay close attention to observe and note repeated words and phrases, names, places, and themes.
Principles: From your list of observations, what patterns or big ideas do you see emerging? Can you distill it down into 2-4 big idea truths?
Apply: Moving from your list of principles, it is time to apply God’s Word. Remember, we believe that God’s Word is living and active and that it can change the way we live Monday- Friday. What is one tangible way to apply a truth from your list above?
 John R. W. Stott, The Letters of John: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 19, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988), 152.