The Real Deal
Today’s scripture selection: First John 4-5
Key verses: First John 4:1
Every now and then I catch myself saying that someone or something is “the real deal.” I suppose that dates me. I don’t know that people under a certain age would even get what that means – or at the very least, it probably sounds very old-fashioned.
At any rate – I still think it’s a good expression.
To me, it simply means that someone or something is genuine; reliable; trustworthy.
John the apostle never used such an expression – but he would know what I mean when I say it. He warned his “beloved” children in the faith to “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
Here’s how Eugene Peterson’s translation puts it:
“My dear friends don’t believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers in the world.”
Ouch! But it couldn’t be much clearer than that. John even gives his “beloved” very practical advice on how to tell the liars from the ones they can trust:
“Here’s how to test for the genuine spirit of God. Everyone who confesses openly his faith in Jesus Christ – the Son of God – who came as an actual flesh-and-blood person – comes from God and belongs to God.”
That help clears thing up. And even though I would argue that there are some who “confess openly” and still do very questionable things – John’s advice is still worth hearing.
In short, he is warning us to be on our guard when it comes to our spiritual life. And that is very good advice indeed.
So keep your eyes peeled for “the real deal” – or whatever you call something or someone who is genuine and trustworthy.
It will save you a lot of heartache.
Prayer: Lord, give me a discerning spirit, that I may always follow the truth. AMEN.