Verses to review today: 1 John 3:17-4:1
New Verse: 1 John 4:2
By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, (ESV)
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: (KJV)
Greek: ἐν τούτῳ γινώσκετε τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ θεοῦ• πᾶν πνεῦμα ὃ ὁμολογεῖ Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν ἐν σαρκὶ ἐληλυθότα ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐστιν,
Transliterated Greek: en toutō ginōskete to pneuma tou theou• pan pneuma ho homologei Iēsoun Christon en sarki elēlythota ek tou theou estin,
Literal Word for Word Translation: by this you come to know the Spirit of God – every spirit that confesses Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,
Vocab: γινώσκετε, ginōskete, you come to know; πνεῦμα, pneuma, spirit; ὁμολογεῖ, homologei, confess/agree; σαρκὶ, sarki, flesh; ἐληλυθότα, elēlythota, he has come (completed prior to confession).
Commentary: The testing of the spirit amounts to the need for the spirit to accept and agree that Jesus is the Messiah who has come as a human. He isn’t just in human form, but IS human as much as He is also the presence of God among men. The demons know who Jesus is, even if they don’t submit to Him (Mt 8:29; Acts 19:15). So, only a spirit with an intent to deceive would claim Jesus is anything other the Messiah as a man. The Gnostics were claiming that Jesus was not physical but only appeared to be. They thought God was so holy that He could not physically be present in corrupted creation. But the fact is that humanity could not be redeemed if Jesus did not come as a representative of the human race. Man may not be able to dwell with God, unveiled in His full holiness, i.e., in heaven, without being pure, but that does not mean that God cannot enter creation in a veiled form (see 2 Cor. 3:12-18; Mt 5:8; 1 Jn 3:3).