In Matthew 10:16, Jesus tells His disciples to be “wise as serpents, but innocent as doves.” Sometimes, we focus on the latter and forget the former. In the opening of John 4, John calls the church to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God.” He is calling the church to wise action, to discern between truth and error. Because “many false prophets” have gone into the world” (4:1), the church must know the Gospel, in order to guard the truth of the Gospel. For if the Gospel is compromised, so is salvation. There are, in fact, grave consequences for missing the truth.