The Blessings of Belonging
I was working on my Bible study from 1 John 4:1-6 where John speaks of being aware of false prophets. Christians need to know and test what they hear to make sure it is from God. 1 John 4:2 states, “This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.” John speaks often of former Christians who have once belonged, but have left the faith and now share a distorted view of God looking at half-truths.
I was blessed by how the New Living Translation phrases verses 4-6:
4 But you belong to God, [emphasis mine] my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. 5 Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. 6 But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.
I grew up in a Christian home and was taught from early on the assurance found in Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1:
Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death?
A. That I am not my own,
body and soul,
in life and in death–
to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.
He has fully paid for all my sins with His precious blood,
and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.
He also watches over me in such a way
that not a hair can fall from my head
without the will of my Father in heaven:
in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.
Because I belong to Him,
Christ, by His Holy Spirit,
assures me of eternal life
and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready
from now on to live for Him.
Thinking about belonging to God, made me decide to Google “belonging to God” to see what others thought of the blessings of belonging. What a surprise that the first website that came back was someone who had belonged to God growing up in the Christian faith but somehow became disenchanted with God. This person IS one of the people John is warning about. He talks very intelligently about the Christian faith and other religious beliefs and backgrounds. Even as he quotes God’s Holy Word, he claims that he fully believes the sayings of “God’s Prophet.” Careful reading shows that he fully believes in Muhammad. He believes “God is the Olive Tree…” It’s no wonder John WARNS us to watch out for false prophets. This person quotes from the Qur’an and many of the verses are minor twists to God’s Word. If we don’t stay in God’s word, we can’t compare one with the other. Does part of the responsibility in belonging to God come with being in a close and growing relationship with Him? Most definitely.
Belonging has a sense of being enveloped in someone’s arms. What a wonderful picture to be held tightly in God’s grip of grace. I only have that sense of belonging because I believe in my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. God’s only Son, our Lord. Conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary. Died and Rose again!
So what started out as a look at belonging because of the words of 1 John 4:4-6, ended up with the reality of the importance of staying true to God’s Word and being filled with the Spirit of God to be able to discern the false teachings and prophets. I think I came away from this study with two meanings for belonging – 1) the blessing of belonging to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ, as God’s dearly loved child and 2) the blessings of belonging in God’s Word.
Praying you enjoy fully the blessing of BELONGING TO JESUS CHRIST, OUR SAVIOR ~ Faye
Posted on November 9, 2011, in Belonging, God, God's Blessings, Trust and tagged 1 John 4:1-6, belong, blessings, false prophets, God's providence, love, truth. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.
Hmmm, I never thought of ‘the blessings of belonging in God’s Word’. Well put .
My daughter was a member of the cult of Scientology for about 3 years. We read the material they had and they sure distorted the Word of God. My daughter said you could be of any faith and belong to the group.
She was raised in the things of the Lord, yet due to falling away from Him was easily deceived by the false prophet of Ron Hubbard.
I thank the Lord that she left the cult. And just before she became a full time member. Oh what a relief that was. She has still not come back to the Lord, but we keep praying.
Things can get confusing for some people when a little bit of truth is thrown into false beliefs. And as you said if you do not know the Bible well enough you may be easily deceived.
Carol, I think I left my quiet time last night with that perspective – we have a privilege of having the written Word of God with us. There are blessings that come from belonging/being in God’s Word and one is knowing how to discern against false teachings. I’m grateful your daughter has left the cult and pray that she comes back to God as much as I know you pray for my prodigal. Satan knows how to use just the right amount of truth from God’s Word mixed with lies and distortion to try to pull us away from THE TRUTH. Besides, I want to be able to be bold and confident for my God and be ready to give an answer for the Hope that is within me – belonging to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ!
Have an abundantly blessed day ~ Faye
I’m deftniiely going to join you and I’m so glad ya’ll decided to do this! This will also be a good motivation for me since I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve read but am not as far as I thought I’d be by now 🙂
As my world sekahs, rattles, and rolls for the fourth straight week, I am beginning to wonder if this is because one His curve balls? Thank you for making me say hmmm.www.myhmmmcollection.wordpress.com
I am viiitsng from ifellowship so glad I came by. What an important, beautiful message. I think I need to do the gratefulness journal, as I get so bogged down by the everyday struggles and disappointments in mothering my 4 children. Here’s some of mine today:all 4 children love their swim lessons and are great swimmers too!the delicious brats my husband grilled to perfection last night for supperthe sweet bunny rabbit we are caring for this summer and how all my kids love to take care of himmy 5 year old spontaneously breaking into a praise and worship song!