Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1
There are diamonds and there are "diamonds." Among the latter are imitation gems made from hard-earth minerals in temperatures of 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit and above. They can be bought and sold, provide the buyer knows that they are not the real "mined diamonds." To sell them as such would be dishonest.
There is a true Christ and many false Christs. Jesus said of the last times, "False Christs and false prophets will appear" (Matthew 24:24). Gamaliel, a respected teacher in Israel, mentioned two of them: Theudas and Judas (Acts 5:36-37).
In our time, the danger is not so much that religious leaders will claim to be Christ as that they will proclaim a false Christ--they will misrepresent Jesus and His work. Those who say that He is not the Son of God are offering a fictitious Christ, a make-believe "diamond" instead of the true gem that He is. Some leave Him out altogether. A modern false prophet was recently quoted as saying: "The only time you hear the name 'Jesus Christ' in our church is when the janitor falls down stairs."
In Galatia, false teachers claimed that Jesus did not fully redeem us and that therefore we are not saved by faith alone but by faith and good works. All who today proclaim a salvation by faith and something else--faith and good character, faith and a golden-rule morality, faith and human righteousness--preach only a partial Savior, and a partial Savior is none at all.
Saint Peter is a true witness of Jesus. He confesses, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:16). He tells us that we were redeemed "with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect" (1 Peter 1:19). This apostle is a spiritual jeweler offering us Christ as the genuine diamond.
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, true God and my one and only Savior, I pledge my loyalty, faith, and love to You. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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