We who have received the apostolic doctrine are of God.  We have been born of His Holy Spirit, and live for higher and better purposes than the world, yea, even than the religious world.  John then makes an extraordinary statement, one which our modern pluralistic age would consider the height of bigotry: “He that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us.”  This means that spiritual life and spiritual death hinge upon our response to apostolic doctrine.  If we are among those who know God, and are known of God, then we will receive the teaching of the apostles concerning Jesus Christ, His person, His work, His ways, His ordinances.  If we are proud and self-willed, deluding ourselves that we are in the light when in reality we are still children of Satan, we will reject the doctrine of the apostles.  We will reject is as harsh, as undemocratic, as unfair, as either licentious or legalistic.  Whatever the reason, whoever knows not God will not receive the Gospel, as Christ delivered it to the apostles and they preached it to the nations.  They will instead embrace their own notions of what they think God should be like, or they will be seduced by the lies of some false teacher.  Apostolic doctrine is the touchstone of truth and error.  Any religious doctrine is true only insofar as it squares with Scripture.  This is the spirit of truth.  Everything that goes to the contrary is the spirit of error, and must forthwith be rejected by us.

Advertisements