Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God (1 Cor. 2:12).
Nobody can fully know the thoughts of another unless that person chooses to reveal them. In the same way, we cannot know or understand the thoughts of God unless God chooses to reveal them to us; and thus He has: “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” (John 16:13).
The beauty of this revelation is that it is not confined to certain Christians but to all “that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God” (1 Cor. 2:12). With this revelation, we now have the potential to discern the spirit of the world from the Spirit who is from God.
Unfortunately, error found its way in the church. In early times, people would not try and test the spirits, because they said, “I have received such a wonderful experience, and therefore I must be right.” What we are concerned about is not a matter of sincerity and honesty—we are concerned about truth and error, and the identification thereof.
This challenge to identify truth from error is not only for theologians, professors, elders or ministers, it is for every Christian. John says: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God” (1 John 4:1). He has provided us the ability to do so: “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Since God has revealed His will for us, let us always be on the alert, test the spirits, and keep the church pure.