What does is it mean by, "By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God."?


1 John 4:2

ESV - 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.

Clarify Share Report Asked November 22 2016 Mini Anonymous

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
In my opinion, this passage focuses on the hypostatic union -- the fact that Jesus was both true God and true man.

As I understand the historical context pertaining to this passage, some false teachers at the time that the apostle John wrote this epistle were contending that Jesus was only a spirit being posing as a human (as occurred on occasion in the Old Testament, such as in Genesis 19 or Judges 6), and thus bringing His redemptive work on the cross into question by implying that He had not actually undergone real human suffering and death, and had not shed His true human blood to atone for sin on behalf of mankind.

The point that John was making was that if any Christian teacher (using the word "spirit" to denote the substance of the individual's teaching, rather than implying a spirit being) taught that Jesus was both truly God and truly human, then that teacher was from God, while those who claimed to be Christian teachers, but who did not hold to this key doctrinal belief, were not from God.

November 23 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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