Brian Allen
Sinner rescued by God, husband, father, and pastor of Providence Baptist Church in Beaumont, TX.
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1 John Arc
1 John 1:1-5:21
Holiness Leads to Assurance, Leads to Unhindered Fellowship with God and His Church, Leads to JOY!!!
Published September 17th, 2019
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John 1
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We proclaim to you the God-man Jesus, who we are eye witnesses to and love and have been loved by, so that we can have fellowship with one another as His body, the church, and with our Father and Jesus His Son. Therefore, I'm writing this book so that by hearing it and believing it and acting on it, our joy may be made complete in our fellowship with God and one another!
1 John 1:1-4
What was a from the beginning,
Jesus, who has been from eternity past with the Father,
what we have b heard,
Jesus who we have heard teach with our own ears,
what we have c seen with our eyes,
Jesus who we have seen in the flesh with our own eyes and seen His resurrected body,
what we d have looked at and e touched with our hands,
Jesus who we have looked at and touched with our own hands,
concerning the f Word of Life—
Jesus who is the Word of Life-
and a the life was manifested,
and Jesus' eternal life became flesh and dwelt among us and became visible and hearable and touchable and experiencable with our physical senses,
and we have b seen
and we have seen with our eyes
and c testify
and we have told as many people as we could about Him
and proclaim to you d the eternal life,
and we have proclaimed to you the eternal Jesus,
which was e with the Father
who was with the Father from eternity past as God himself
and was a manifested to us—
and who was born as a man and appeared to us in the flesh-
what we have a seen
Jesus who we really and truly have seen with our own eyes! Hear me! Believe me!
and b heard
Jesus who we have heard with our ears! Hear me! Believe me!
we proclaim to you also,
We are proclaiming the eternal Christ who we truly know to you also,
so that you too may have fellowship with us;
SO THAT you too might believe and be saved and be reconciled to God and be baptized into us, His church, and truly have authentic fellowship with us;
and indeed our c fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.
and our (yours and my) fellowship is with YHWY God almighty , and with Jesus God almighty His beloved Son.
a These things we write,
Therefore, we are writing this whole letter to you,
so that our b joy may be made complete.
SO THAT our joy, both yours and mine, may be filled to the brim and that our joy will be in the only true source of Joy which is fellowship with God!
Main point summary
God is completely pure and righteous, therefore, if we are united to Him, our lives will be marked by holiness, BUT this does not mean that we can or will be perfect, but rather REPENTANT resulting in (in one sense) and caused by (in the ultimate sense) God forgiving our sins.
1 John 1:5-10
a This is the message we have heard from Him
This is the truth Jesus gave to us
and announce to you,
and are passing on to you,
that b God is Light,
that God is Light, infinitely pure, infinitely holy, and infinitely righteous,
and in Him there is no darkness at all.
and there is absolutely no evil or flaw or impurity in Him.
a If we say that we have fellowship with Him
Therefore, if we say that we know Him and are in loving relationship with Him
and yet walk in the darkness,
and yet we walk, as a pattern of life, in idolatry and distraction and pride and rebellion against His commands,
we b lie
we are lying about knowing Him
and c do not practice the truth;
and we are hypocrites, not practicing the truth we speak;
but if we a walk in the Light
BUT if we do walk in righteousness as a patter of life and pursue holiness and seek after Him and hunger and thirst for righteousness,
as b He Himself is in the Light,
in the same ways that Christ walked in the light and IS light,
we have fellowship with one another,
THEN, we as brothers and sisters will have REAL authentic fellowship with one another with a common passion and mission and love rooted in Christ,
and c the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
and we can know that Jesus has died to atone for and pay for our sins.
a If we say that we have no sin,
However, even though we must walk in the light to have confidence and assurance that we are His, if we think or expect that we are or can be sinless in this life,
we are deceiving ourselves
we are delusional
and the b truth is not in us.
and we do not have the truth.
a If we confess our sins,
On the other hand, WHEN we sin, if we confess our sins and sin nature to God,
He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins
He is faithful to keep His promise that "whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved" and to forgive those who humbly depend on Him through Christ. He is also just in doing this because the sin was not swept under the rug, but was PAID FOR with the precious blood of Jesus.
and b to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
and He will cleanse us from the penalty of our sin and He will give us His Spirit to enable authentically holy lives.
a If we say that we have not sinned,
If we say or believe that we do not sin,
we b make Him a liar
we make God out to be a liar since He has spoken through David in the Psalms that there is NONE who does good, and through Paul in Romans that ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
and c His word is not in us.
And it is apparent that God's truth has not penetrated our hearts and minds.
John 1
1 John Author: John who wrote the gospel, who wrote Revelation, who was an apostle of Jesus. One of the three closets people to Jesus on this planet (Peter James and John). He was called the disciple who Jesus loved. When was it written: A.D. 90’s What was John’s situation when writing it: “Elder statesman in the church in Ephesus”. So not from Patmos yet. He hadn’t been banished. It appears there were some within the church that were abandoning the faith. There were people trying deceive the believers in his reach. If you read the book, what did you notice about it? · Not linear thought like Romans or a Pauline epistle…he goes round and round. He comes back to topics a few times. So we may need to look at this book like we did James where we clump into topics from the book or maybe we are meant to be look at it and come back and forth to the same ground from a different angle? · Some very strong statements that, without careful interpretation considering all the John has said and all of the rest of scripture, could be easily misinterpreted: o If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. o 6 No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or b knows Him. o 9 No one who is a born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. o 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. o 18 We know that no one who is born of God sins; Why did John write this book? – Read the passages · So that our joy would be complete…in hearing, understanding, believing, and obeying it. · So that we would not sin…as a practice · To give us assurance that we ARE children of God, know the truth, have eternal life because when we examine ourselves against these criteria that John sets out, we see them present in our lives. o To warn us if we don’t see them in our lives and the cause us to fall on our face and beg God to save us and work hard, in the Spirit at obedience. Can you formulate a main idea of the book yet? It may change in the next few weeks, but first pass what would you say? · The obedience of faith produces assurance that gives us joy and peace in fellowship with God and with other believers. · Notes of James 2 come to mind…Was not Abraham justified by works when he… Look at 1 John 1 · We have seen HIM!! o Assume you’re a gentile who has just recently come to faith in A.D. 90 just before John wrote this letter. Jesus has been dead/raised/and ascended for 60 years. You heard the message about God saving sinners through Jesus and you believed. You’ve faced some persecution. Some of the people who professed to believing the same things you do recently left the church and began believing and even teaching something contrary to what you’ve been taught. Maybe you’re confused by this? Maybe some doubts are creeping in about whether you’re truly a child of God? Then comes this letter from an author named John? He was known by some in your church. He had evidently been there before in person some years back. You and the majority in the church have never seen him or met him in person. His letter is being circulated through the churches and towns around you. What are some things we would want to know before we believed what was in this letter. o Read the passage… o What had John seen? § John 13:23 There was reclining on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. 24 So Simon Peter gestured to him, and said to him, “Tell us who it is of whom He is speaking.” 25 He, leaning back thus on Jesus’ bosom, said to Him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus then answered, “That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him.” So when He had dipped the morsel, He took and gave it to Judas, § John was one of the closest three people to Jesus on the earth along with Peter and James. § John was watching Jesus die on the cross when He gave him instructions to care for Mary His mother after He died. § John was with him personally for three years hearing him teach. § Living with him, watching him work and serve and clean dishes and talk around the fire every day. o What about John’s use of Word of Life? § Read intro to John’s gospel… § Jesus words and his teaching and his whole personhood were communicating a unified message about who His Father was and how to be reconciled to Him. · If you have seen me, you have seen the father… · John 10: I and the Father are one… · John 14: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. · Hebrews 1: 1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.... · When John thinks of Jesus and tries to come up with a word that describes Him, The Word in His mind was the most fitting. · We have seen Him and proclaimed Him to you! · We have seen Him and proclaimed Him to you SO THAT you may have fellowship with us (Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and His Church). See verse 7 o What does this say about authentic fellowship? § close association involving mutual interests and sharing, association, communion, fellowship, close relationship (hence a favorite expr. for the marital relationship as the most intimate betw. human beings § It should be the case that our Christian relationships are closest because we are on the same mission! We have the same goals, the same interests, the same things make us happy, the same things make us grieve, our minds are oriented toward the same things. We spend our time thinking about the same things… § If we find that our friendships around other interest are greater, we may need to examine our lives and hearts. § If we have more in common with lost people than AUTHENTIC Spirit filled believers, and the things that get us jazzed align more with lost people than when people speak about the gospel and the mission, we may have a problem. · Therefore, I’m writing this book to help you see that you ARE in His child and that your joy may be complete in your assurance of your standing with God and in your fellowship with us! o So those hard things he wrote… § If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. § 6 No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or b knows Him. § 9 No one who is a born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. § 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. § 18 We know that no one who is born of God sins; o These things were written to eventually lead us to joy and true fellowship with the Church and with God! · God is Holy · Therefore, if we say that we are united to Him and have fellowship with Him, and walk in sin, we are delusional. · Therefore, if we walk in the Light we have fellowship with God and with one another in Him and we can be assured that Jesus has paid for our sins. · We HAVE all sinned… · BUT if we confess our sins in faith depending on Him to pardon them, God CAN now do it!!! Because of Jesus. He is faithful to Jesus’ worth in paying for them and forgiving them and He’s JUST/RIGHTEOUS in clearing the guilty because of Him. Romans 3:21-26 Head: How should I think differently about God/myself/others because of what I’ve just studied? What doctrines are taught in this passage? What specific contribution to those doctrines does this passage make? What other Scripture texts add to the truths taught in this passage? Heart: How should I feel differently about God/myself/etc. because of what I’ve just phrased? What emotions are expressed in this passage? What emotions does this passage exhort me to feel? Hands: How should I act differently because of what I’ve just phrased? What motivations does this passage give for acting differently? What sins do I need to repent of and put off? What good works do I need to put on?
Main point summary
My beloved, I'm writing to you as a means of your sanctification and holiness, BUT we will sin! And when we do, we are to KNOW and HAVE FAITH that we have the ultimate defense attorney and wrath appeaser! And He is not only for a small nation of people, but is for every nation on the earth.
1 John 2:1-2
a My little children, I am b writing these things to you
My beloved brothers and sister, my spiritual children who I dearly love, I writing this letter to you
so that you may not sin.
so that you are armed with truth to help you fight sin and become holy through Sanctification.
And if anyone sins,
But, WHEN we sin,
c we have an 1 d Advocate with the Father,
we have an intercessor, and a defense attorney, and brother and friend who pleads His powerful, infinitely valuable blood over us to His Father on our behalf!!!! Praise God!!! He is the perfect and perpetual high priest of Hebrews!
Jesus Christ the righteous;
His name is Jesus the Messiah, the perfectly righteous champion for us;
and He Himself is a the 1 propitiation for our sins;
and not only is He our advocate, but Jesus Himself is the wrath absorber who drank the tank of wrath that we deserved! He satisfied and perpetually satisfies the NEED for God to pour out wrath on sin. He did this FOR US!!! He is the perfect and perpetual sacrifice of Hebrews, the eternal lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!
and not for ours only,
And not only is Jesus the advocate and wrath bearer for us Jews,
but also b for those of the whole world.
but also for every tribe tongue and nation all over His planet!
Main point summary
We can have assurance that God has saved our souls and that we are in Christ by faith by examining our lives. If we see a pattern of life that fights sin and has real holiness and truly loves people in like manner to Jesus, we can know we are His child! If, on the other hand, we see rebellion and idolatry and a pattern of sin, we cannot assure ourselves of our salvation even if we've been baptized, or walked an isle, or prayed a prayer of salvation, or teach Sundayschool, or even pastor a church.
1 John 2:3-6
a By this we know that we have come to b know Him ,
This is how you can look at your life and have assurance that you have come to know Jesus and have been saved by Him,
if we c keep His commandments.
examine your life (thoughts, emotions, actions) and observe your obedience of faith.
The one who says, “ a I have come to b know Him,”
To unpack this more, the person who says, "I know Jesus"
and does not keep His commandments,
and yet does not obey Him,
is a c liar,
is lying to himself and to others,
and d the truth is not in him;
and the truth of his standing with God is not known to him...he is blind to his spiritual deadness;
but whoever a keeps His word,
BUT, whoever does work hard and fight in dependence on the Spirit in humbly crying out to God for help resulting in obedience of faith,
in him the b love of God has truly been perfect ed .
in this person, God's love has (past tense cause) accomplished its work in regeneration and justification.
c By this we know that we are in Him :
In summary, by this we can have assurance that we have been baptized into Christ and are in Him like Noah in the Ark:
the one who says he a abides in Him b ought himself to walk
the person who says he abides in Jesus ought to live as a pattern of life
in the same manner as He walked.
such that he is doing, feeling, speaking, acting, thinking in the same ways that Jesus did.
What are the most terrifying, completely devastating words you could ever hear..."Depart from me, I never knew you". On the flip side, what should determine our real feelings of peace and safety and security tonight when we go to bed? "Nothing can separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus" God is for me... How do we know which of those categories we're in? We have faith? How do we know if our faith is genuine? Is it demon faith? Do we just believe facts about Jesus? Do we enjoy this particular lifestyle that cultural Christianity in this area provides? There are perks to be drawn to...stability, wise living that results in prosperity, still some respect of others for being moral and a person of conviction. Morality generally results in wise living and relative peace. We like having moral friends and we like the idea of our sins being forgiven and going to heaven. But that all can be desired in the flesh? How can we gain assurance for our own soul's peace that we truly have been born again and have saving faith? So remember the thee buckets John gave as his motive for writing this book? So that you may not sin... So that you may have assurance/know that you are in Christ So that our joy may be complete! So, lets look at 2:1-6 and see some of the ways John gives to accomplish these goals. 1-2 One test of whether you can have assurance is how we respond when we sin. There is conviction...we recognize things we think and say and do as sin. Outside of this text, we feel broken over the sin, not because of the natural consequences of it, not because of hurting other people only, but ULTIMATELY, we feel broken because we know our sin grieves the Lord and that that sin was punished on Jesus. The main point of this passage is what we do ONCE we feel conviction and brokenness. Do we respond like Adam and Eve and hide from God to let some time pass and distractions calm our consciences? Or blame someone else for it like Adam? Do we lie to God about it like Cane and think we can hide it from God? Do we try to rationalize it and justify it like Israels cowardice and lack of faith to enter the Promised land ? OR do we do what John says we LOOK to our Advocate? Do we look to Jesus immediately? Do we confess it to him like Verse 9 we studied last week? Do we look to the cross and cast our whole hope on the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world? If we do this as a pattern of life, John wants to give us assurance that we are Christ's! This assurance leads to peace and joy in clear fellowship with Jesus and His body. 3-6 The second test of whether or not we can have assurance and confidence that we are Christ's is how we live our lives every day. Do we obey Jesus' commands, and do we "walk like Jesus walked"? What are His commandments? (MATTHEW) Love your enemies Love your neighbor, meaning people in need (Good Samaritan) Give to everyone who asks of you Treat others the way you want them to treat you Be merciful just as your Father is merciful Do not judge or condemn (sinfully...we are called to discern and practice church discipline,etc) Give generously Examine yourself first and then help your brother out of sin Do not be angry with your brother, but reconcile Do not lust, but have purity of mind Do not lie, but speak truthfully and honestly Do not store up treasures on earth, but store up treasures in heaven Do not worry, but trust in the sovereign goodness of God Seek the Kindom of God above all else Do not fear man who can only kill the body, but fear God and boldly proclaim the gospel Love Me above your family and even your own life Come to Jesus for your rest and not other things or people Speak your words knowing that you will give an account of every single one before God Deny yourself and take up your cross daily, desiring to save your life BY surrendering it to Him Forgive one another just as God forgave us Do not divorce Do not love money, but follow Jesus Look forward to and urgently for Jesus' return Use the resources and skills God gives us for kingdom investment and not our own kingdoms Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them and teaching them to practice all that I have commanded you How did Jesus walk? (LUKE) He was baptized (by immersion as an adult) to fulfill all righteousness He fought temptation with the word of God He spoke hard truths without fear of political backlash or concern for his popularity He had COMPASSION for people, healing them and raising dead children and weeping over Lazarus He was SOOO patient and gentle with His disciples, yet blunt and stern when required He associated with outcasts and lowly and sick to the detriment of his reputation and standing with friends, family, and culture. He spend his days discipling people...through teaching and modeling. He taught people what the scriptures mean He showed people who God is and what He is like He prayed all the time....sometimes for hours at a time or all night He relied on the power of the Holy Spirit as He took on the form of us humans.. He boldly called people to follow Him He fearlessly spoke against injustice and hypocrisy and evil in the presence of powerful enemies He spent his first 30 years as an obedient son, working with his hands as a carpenter He spent 3 years in full time mission work, marching toward His ultimate mission He was always humble, depending on the Father, looking toward the interest of others, glorifying His Father. He was ZEALOUS for God and His worship and His word...there was no apathy or laziness or boredom with His Father or His mission or the Word or with prayer. He was willing to suffer, even suffer humiliation torture unto death for the salvation of a people who were still ungodly and enemies. He was calm and at peace in suffering, trusting that it was ALL FROM His Father in wisdom and love. (You would have no power over me Pilate, if it were not GIVEN to you FROM MY FATHER) He forgave until nearly His last breath and in His last breath FINISHED the act of forgiving for His bride. His obedience with motivated by JOY in God! So, if we examine our lives and see that we obey Jesus' commandments and walk as He walked (NOT IN PERFECTION, but as a pattern and posture of life), John want's to give us assurance that we are IN HIM! BECAUSE, we can know that God has done the work to justify us by grace alone through faith alone. As we see fruit and are assured of our justification, we can have peace and joy in Him! One note...Do you think assurance of your salvation is necessary FOR your salvation? I don't think so. I believe that people go to heaven every day who still have doubts about whether they have been born again. BUT, assurance leads to freedom and peace and joy and abundant life and hope. Should we ask for assurance? YES Ask for more of the obedience of faith, which will lead to more assurance. BUT primarily...when we feel doubts about our being in Christ, we should LOOK TO OUR ADVOCATE! Look to Jesus! Cry out for His help! Yes we are to 1) Look AT our obedience on occasion and look for fruit (Read 2 Corinthians 13:5, 1 Peter 1:6-9; 2 Peter 1:5-12.).. if your tree looks bare or you truly believe you fail the test of faith and are not born again...then what? Should the response be much different if we fail our own assessment or if we see very little fruit? 2) Look AWAY FROM your obedience and cry out to Jesus for help ! Both steps are CLEAR in scripture. Let the one remind us of our need for grace. Let the other remind us of the guarantee of grace through Jesus. See Jesus as our champion! See yourself INSIDE Jesus like Noah was safe inside the arc. To the degree that we look to Him and see Him and believe that we are in Him is the degree we will feel assured of our standing with God. Pray for greater obedience to validate your faith to grant assurance leading to peace and joy. Change where you abide. Abide in Jesus. John 15 If you've drifted out from under the waterfall of the means of grace (word, prayer, fasting, Lord's supper, fellowship with believers, Bible study, meditation on His word, service), fight to prioritize getting back under that waterfall. This is how we abide in Him so that we can bear fruit leading to assurance!
Main point summary
I am reminding you of a command you have known for ages that has been transformed into a new command by Jesus: "Love one another AS Christ has loved us" because your obedience to this command will show whether you are born again into the Light or whether you are still in darkness, separated from Christ. But I want you to know that I DO SEE PROOF of your faith and that you ARE born again because I have seen you pass all of these tests by the power of the Spirit!
1 John 2:7-14
a Beloved, I am b not writing a new commandment to you,
Beloved, this command to LOVE ONE ANOTHER that I'm about to write to you is, in one sense, not a new command,
but an old commandment
but one that has been around for thousands of years
which you have had c from the beginning;
which has actually been instilled in you through the general law written on all men's hearts since man was created;
the old commandment is the word which you have heard.
this old commandment has been communicated by God through general law written on all men's hearts and spelled out in the Mosaic Law, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself"
1 On the other hand, I am writing a a new commandment to you,
On the other hand, I am giving you a new commandment in the sense that Jesus said He was giving a new commandment. [Instead of love your neighbor AS YOURSELF; the new commandment is love AS I, JESUS, WHO DIED FOR YOU, HAVE LOVED YOU!]
which is true in Him and in you,
this commandment originated and was inaugurated in Jesus and is being carried out in you,
because b the darkness is passing away
I know it is true in you because I see the darkness in you dying day by day as the Spirit kills your sin
and c the true Light is already shining.
and I see the fruit of the Spirit, Christ in you, shining more and more every day.
The one who says he is in the Light
Therefore, the person who says they are in the Light; in Christ
and yet a hates his b brother
and yet hates his brother and does not love people
is in the darkness
is actually in the darkness, separated from Christ, and the wrath of God remains on him
until now.
as has been the case from their birth until now.
a The one who loves his brother abides in the Light
BUT, the one who loves his brother and neighbor, though not perfectly in this life, is connected to Jesus and abides in Him
and there is no cause for stumbling in him.
and there is no obstacle or hindrance in his assurance of knowing Jesus.
But the one who a hates his brother is in the darkness
But the one who hates his brother or neighbor is walking apart from Christ
and b walks in the darkness,
and is spiritually blind to truth and to his own condition,
and does not know where he is going
and cannot see truth and cannot sense the will of God toward obedience
because the darkness has c blinded his eyes.
because the god of this world, Satan and his own flesh, and demonic forces have blinded his eyes so that he cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ!
I am writing to you, a little children,
But, even though there are dire warnings for those who do not see fruit and love and obedience in their lives, I am writing to you as God's beloved little children
because b your sins have been forgiven you
BECAUSE I truly believe from my experience of you that your sins have been forgiven
for His name’s sake.
to bring glory to His name!
I am writing to you, fathers,
I'm writing these litmus tests to you, fathers,
because you know Him a who has been from the beginning.
because I believe you do know Jesus, who was from the beginning God!
I am writing to you, young men,
I am giving you these evidences of salvation, young men,
because b you have overcome c the evil one .
because you have overcome Satan through Christ and the Spirit is killing your sins.
I have written to you, children,
I have written these evidences of assurance to you, children,
because d you know the Father .
because you really do know God experientially.
I have written to you, fathers,
I have written these things to you, fathers,
because you know Him a who has been from the beginning.
be cause you really do know God the Father and God the Son, the eternal God.
I have written to you, young men,
I wrote this to you, young men,
because you are b strong ,
because I have seen your strong FAITH, strong perseverance in suffering, strong character,
and the c word of God abides in you ,
and I see that God's word has permeated you mind and your speech and that you live on God's word like daily bread,
and d you have overcome the evil one .
and through Christ, you have won the victory over Satan's influence in your life!
Main point summary
Do not give your attention and affection to the things of this world because in so doing, you will prove that you do not love God and He has not set His love on you; and because the things of this world do not last. Fight with all your might against the current of this world and in so doing, prove yourselves to be born again and as a result inherit the greatest treasure of all, God Himself, for eternal ages!
1 John 2:15-17
Do not love a the world
Do not love the world's philosophies and values and its pleasures and its politics and the systems of power and its means and methods of life
nor the things in the world.
Do not love the pleasures and possessions and houses and lands and money and comforts and conveniences and entertainment.
b If anyone loves the world,
BECAUSE if you do love this world and set your heart and affection and treasure in this world,
the love of the Father is not in him.
you will not be able to truly love the Father because you cannot serve two masters, and it is a sign that the Father may not have set His love on you.
For all that is in the world,
Because all the things that are in the world,
a the lust of the flesh
the sinful things that we long for to satisfy our sexual appetites, the sinful things we long for to satisfy our hunger, the sinful ways we desire to be entertained, or the ways our flesh craves stimulation or relaxation,
and b the lust of the eyes
and the ravenous covetousness that makes us crave more possessions, nicer houses, nicer cars, better clothes, handsome men or beautiful women,
and c the boastful pride of life,
and the cravings for human praise and adoration and power and career success and accomplishment and perfect children and to be admired and envied by our friends and family and neighbors,
is not from the Father,
NONE of this is from the Father...NONE of these cravings and desires demonstrates union with and fellowship with God,
but is from the world.
but rather they demonstrate union and allegiance and loyalty and love for the world.
a The world is passing away,
The tragedy is this...ALL of those things...ALL of the sex or wealth or possessions or career success is going to burn and be worth NOTHING very very soon,
and also its lusts;
All of those things we crave and desire apart from and in exclusion of our desire for fellowship with's all going to burn and we will be left holding ashes and will be destined ourselves for fire for a trillion ages;
but the one who b does the will of God
BUT the person who fights those cravings and lusts by the power of the Spirit and fights with all their might to abide in Jesus and swim upstream from the current of the world and in so doing obeys the commands of Jesus
lives forever.
will live for ETERNITY with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit in eternal joy forever and ever!!!
Last week we looked at litmus tests to either give us assurance or give us urgency to repent and call on the name of the Lord. Last week was broad in that it was do we "keep the commands of Christ" and "walk as Jesus walked". This week, John narrows the scope some.... or possibly calls the two general statements by a different name. What are the three goals of the letter? Don't sin Examination meant to lead to assurance (as they see they pass the test) Joy in unhindered confident fellowship with God and His church Read 7 and 8... What is this command that is old and is new? LOVE ONE ANOTHER OLD: Leviticus 19:18 Love your neighbor as yourself. I feed myself, therefore I feed my neighbor in need. NEW: John 13:34 Love one another even as I have loved you . Jesus was willing to go far beyond treating people as he treated Himself. He was willing to suffer and allow himself to be treated horrendously for the benefit of His enemies so that they would not be His enemies any longer. It is NEW because the foundation of our love for others is how we have been loved by Jesus and no longer how we love ourselves. It's so radically transformed by Jesus that even though it's the same imperative, it is brand new! He then gives this encouragement to his audience who he had to have known...this kind of love is obviously true and apparent in Jesus, BUT this type of love is TRUE IN YOU TOO? Does John give them this assurance because they profess faith in Jesus? Or because they have solid theology? NO...he says, he sees the darkness of selfishness and self preservation and self promotion fading by the power of the Spirit... this is being replaced by the Light of self forgetfulness and Christ centeredness and OTHER centeredness. He sees them loving other people in the name of Jesus. How does our love for other people demonstrate our faith? Put differently, how does the Bible tie our faith and our love for people? Luke 7:40-50 He who has been forgiven much, loves much... He who BELIEVES and KNOWS they have been forgiven much, loves much! we believe our condition apart from grace. We believe that Jesus has paid for our sins and has saved us. We believe in that incredible weight being lifted such that the grace flows through us to others in the form of love... example of the miner rescue...everyone is hugging. faith working through love Galatians 5:6. Next John give the ground of WHY he's reminding them of the command to love one another. What does he say in summary? If you don't love one Jesus loved, you are in the darkness...spiritually blind...lost If you do see that you love as Jesus loved, YOU ARE CONNECTED TO JESUS and there is no hindrance to His assurance and communion with Jesus. Whether we love or not demonstrates whether we are connected to Christ or not!!! Does the rest of scripture tie how we love people so closely to whether or not we are saved and born again? John 13:35 The evidence Jesus gives of people being His disciples was their love for one another. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 Love must accompany all our good work or else we are NOTHING... Romans 13:8-10 Love IS the fulfillment of God's law. Matthew 25:31-46 Love is how Jesus will judge the sheep and the goats. But what does John do next? He thinks of these people he knows well and remembers their lifestyles and says...Yes, I am reminding you of this ABSOLUTELY essential command to love one another as possibly the biggest litmus test of all that you have authentic faith, BUT...however...even though that's true...BE ENCOURAGED!! I do see love in you! I do see faith working through love. From what I see in your lives of love...You do know Jesus! His word and His commands fill your minds and your hearts! Sin and Satan are no longer masters over you! It is apparent that Jesus has paid for your sins and justified you and is in the process of glorifying you! Read 15-17 Why do you think John put these back to back? Loving your neighbor and not loving the world? They are mutually exclusive. One forces you to crowd out the other... One will displace the other. They are constantly in tension until the day we die! So what does it look like to love the world....the things of the world? This is another litmus test...if we set our minds and our attention and our affection on the things of this world, we won't love God! James 4:4 Friendship with the world is to be an enemy of God. Matthew 6:19-24 You cannot serve God and wealth...mutually exclusive He gives two grounds for why we CANNOT love this world? What do you see? We will not love the Father and out of the overflow of the heart the mind craves...demonstrates a heart not owned by God. It demonstrates where our allegiance lies and what we are united to. It's a terrible investment! The world and all that's in it that we could crave WILL BURN! All the worldly things that we devoted energy and attention and money and blood sweat and tears to will burn. It will be worthless VERY SOON. It is the most foolish thing you could do is invest your life into worldliness....unless we don't really believe the gospel. So...what are we going to do? God through John provides us with a litmus test and a choice. Will we love the world and be selfishly ambitious (Romans 2:5-11, Philippians 2:3) and very soon have all the things we worked for vanish and spend eternity in hell....or will we love God and love God by loving people and invest in eternity and store up treasure there and be able to keep it for a trillion ages. If we see that we love this world too much, what should our response be? REPENT! Cry out to God for help! Confess it to each other and ask for HELP from each other.
1 John 2:18-28
Children, a it is the last hour;
Believers, Jesus will return soon!!!
and just as you heard that b antichrist is coming,
Because Jesus said in Matthew 24 that one of the signs of the end of the age is that may false prophets and people against Jesus will arise and try to deceive,
c even now many antichrists have appeared;
and look around you..there are many antichrists and false prophets;
from this we know that it is the last hour.
Therefore, it must be near the end of the age since these things are coming true!
a They went out from us,
You have even seen a specific example of this! The brothers who left us preaching a false gospel and saying that the Messiah hadn't yet come in the flesh...those men who seemed at first to truly be born again and believe the true gospel,
but they were not really of us;
BUT they never were truly of us nor born again;
for if they had been of us,
BECAUSE, IF they were truly born again,
they would have remained with us;
THEN the would have continued in the faith an persevered with us in believing the gospel of Jesus and not have left from us;
but they went out,
BUT, it was a mercy of God that they left us,
b so that 1 it would be shown that they all are not of us.
SO THAT God could show us that they were really not born again and were not baptized into the Church.
1 But you have an a anointing from b the Holy One,
BUT, beloved, suffering, persevering, imperfect, but repentant, dependent brothers and DO have an anointing form God! The Spirit has been poured out within your hearts! [Acts 10:38]
and c you all know.
and you all know it as a result of the fruit you can see and the testimony of the Spirit with your spirit that you are children of God!
I have not written to you because you do not know the truth,
I didn't write this letter to you because I thought you were lost and needed correction or to have your lostness exposed,
but a because you do know it,
ON THE CONTRARY, I wrote this letter to you to show you that you do know Jesus and have been born again!
and 1 because no lie is b of the truth.
and because it is impossible for for lies to come from truth.
Who is the liar
Who is the true liar
but a the one who denies that Jesus is the 1 Christ?
but the person who denies that Jesus of Nazareth, born of a virgin in Bethlehem, suffered under Pilot, is the long awaited, prophesied Messiah?
This is b the antichrist,
This person is operating in the spirit of antichrist,
the one who denies the Father and the Son.
the person who denies God the Father and Jesus, God the Son.
a Whoever denies the Son
THEREFORE, whoever denies Jesus as the Messiah and ONLY way to heaven and to the Father
does not have the Father;
does not have relationship, nor knows the Father;
the one who confesses the Son
BUT the person who confesses (at the risk of his own life) that Jesus IS the Messiah
has the Father also.
does know the Father and belongs to Him as a beloved child.
As for you, let that abide in you which you heard a from the beginning.
THEREFORE, with these warnings of false prophets and deceivers in view, YOU let the gospel of Jesus dwell in you! Let it live vibrantly in your heart daily! Remind yourself of it and preach it to yourself all the time!
If what you heard from the beginning abides in you,
BECAUSE, if it does abide in you,
you also b will abide in the Son
you will live INSIDE Jesus like Noah in the ark, protected from the wrath of God and living in the center of God's love for you IN HIM
and in the Father.
and you will abide in the love and fellowship of the Father.
a This is the promise which He Himself 1 made to us: eternal life.
As you abide in Him and believe the gospel, the result of your God given faith will be eternal life with God!
These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to a deceive you.
The reason I'm writing this section of scripture to you is to warn you to flee from these false prophets and CLING tightly to the true gospel!
As for you, the a anointing which you received from Him abides in you,
As for you, I know and have seen in person, the anointing which you received from God,
and you have no need for anyone to teach you;
and you have no need for anyone to teach you that Jesus is the Messiah and that you need him
but as His anointing b teaches you about all things,
because the Holy Spirit convicts you of this;
and is c true
and what He says is true
and is not a lie,
and not a lie,
and just as it has taught you,
and just as the Holy Spirit has convicted you and taught you,
1 you abide in Him .
I command you to abide in Jesus! [John 15]
Now, a little children, abide in Him ,
Now, as I said, my beloved, abide in Jesus
so that when He b appears,
SO THAT when Jesus returns for His bride, the church,
we may have c confidence
we may have confidence that we are His and that He has come as our brother and friend and not to judge us as His enemies
and d not 1 shrink away from Him
and that we would not shrink back away from Him in fear
in shame
in shame for our lack of obedience of faith
2 at His e coming.
when He comes again.
It is the last hour because the prophecy of Jesus that in the last days anticrhists will come and we have seen them in our very churches leave out from us.
BUT you are not like them but truly have been born again...I want to assure you of this while giving you the very warning that you will heed as the means of getting you to the kingdom.
Therefore, know this...the person who denies Jesus does not know God and is not known by Him! Your Jewish friend, your Muslim friend, your Agnostic friend...what they do or do not do with Jesus, no matter how moral or how much they say they love God, does not have God the Father and is headed to eternal separation from God! We MUST TELL THEM and PRAY FOR THEM and HELP THEM COME TO KNOW JESUS!
THEREFORE, in view of this, YOU fight every day to set the Lord continually before you and fight to believe the gospel every day because the result of that fight will be eternal life with God!
What would you say the litmus test of true faith is in this section? Perseverance in faith in the true apostolic gospel Lots in here about antichrist... Lets read Matthew 24 so we can see what John has in mind from Jesus' teaching. Read 2 Thessalonians 2 It appears there are two meanings for is THE antichrist or the man of lawlessness described in 2 thessalonians 2 and there is the spirit of antichrist that is at work today... Mormons, Jehova's Witness, Prosperity Gospel... I believe the one John is referring to is the spirit of antichrist like Jesus seems to be talking about in Matthew 24. Look at the passage...walk through it in logical blocks What does this passage teach about the perseverance of the saints? If someone appears to be walking with the Lord, maybe for years, and then abandons the faith or begins to teach a false gospel, we do not say that they lost their salvation...we say that if they remain apostate until they die, they NEVER were truly born again. It seems like John can't make up His mind...he gives them assurances that they are in Christ and ALL GOOD...and then he turns right around and gives them another condition that they must meet to get to the kingdom. What's up with that? Assurance 20-21 Warning 23-25 Assurance 27a Warning 27 b-28 This is where we are supposed to live!!! Both the assurances and the warnings are tools and means in the hands of God to get us to heaven! The assurances keep us from despairing and gives us solid hope...the warnings keep us from drifting in overconfidence and are necessary to get us to the kingdom! What about Jesus? This passage is clear that belief in the historical Jesus, the living Christ who sees us right now is essential for ANY human soul to be saved! The implications are HUGE for missions here...there are millions of people in India, Israel, China, Russia, America who die and go to hell because they don't believe in Jesus and haven't heard of Him! How do we not fall away??? Abide in Jesus! Abide in the gospel? Picture the return of Jesus! Imagine it...what are your emotions... Let's abide in Jesus and in the gospel every day so that we will rejoice when He returns!!!
1 John 3:1-3
See 1 a how great a love the Father has bestowed on us,
Oh look at this massive, unfathomable, unbelievable love that God the FATHER has given to us as a pure, unmerited gift of grace,
that we would be called b children of God;
that we would be called His CHILDREN!!! Beloved, cared for, enjoyed, communed with, instructed by, raised by, disciplined in love by, smiled at by, consoled by, comforted by GOD ALMIGHTY! Infinite being!!!
and such we are .
We are not just CALLED children of God, WE REALLY ARE!!!!
For this reason the world does not know us,
This is why the world does not understand us or love us or treat us with kindness and respect,
because c it did not know Him.
because they did not understand the Father or Jesus. They did not value His rule or authority or law. They did not love Him or respect Him. Why would they treat His children any different IF...IF we are speaking and thinking and acting the way He did!
a Beloved, now we are b children of God,
Beloved brothers and sisters, right NOW we are already fully adopted children of God, heirs of God, and fellow heirs with Jesus,
and c it has not appeared as yet what we will be.
and because of that we have no idea, no concept of what we will be in our glorified bodies!
We know that when He d appears ,
We know that when Jesus returns at His second coming,
we will be e like Him ,
we will be given a glorified, redeemed body like Jesus' body, and we will be set free from sin and we will be pure...
because we will f see Him
because at His return we will see Jesus
just as He is .
just as He is in His glorified state, shining like the sun, full of glory and majesty power and beauty.
And everyone who has this a hope fixed on Him
Therefore, since we are children of God, and since we have so great a hope of resurrection and since we will see Him face to face; since we have this great hope,
b purifies himself,
All who truly have this hope fixed on Jesus will purify themselves, by the power of the Holy Spirit through sactification,
just as He is pure.
and we will be conformed to His image in holiness and purity and love and obedience to the Father, just as He is all of those things...NOT in perfection like him, but as a pattern and posture of life.
Prepare your minds and hearts: Meditate on our sin and what we deserve from God. Meditate and write down all the ways you love and care for your children imperfectly...Now try to imagine all of those ways done in perfection. This is our Father!!! Meditate on how unbelievably amazing it is that the Infinite God has not just called us slaves, or servants, or allies, or friends, or team-mates, but rather He has made us His CHILDREN!!! Think about your earthly body and all it's imperfections and aches and pains...think about your parents or grandparents and all that they have going on and failing and decaying... Now try to imagine what we will receive at the resurrection! Write down what you think it will be like, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually. How much do you think about your Sonship? How much do you think about the return of Jesus and our hope of resurrection? To what degree is your hope fixed on those two Christ? How do these two hopes/thoughts affect the way you live and obey Jesus? It blew John's mind that God would make us His child! The sovereign creator has absolute right over His creation to do whatever He wants with us! He could have chosen to treat us as servants or slaves or even just friends, but instead He calls us probably the two most intimate and loving human relationships...a child and a wife... there are no closer relationships in our human experience. We are so numb to it...we've become familiar with this concept and bored with it, but let's try to wake ourselves up again to this unbelievable reality! Who are we apart from grace? Take some time to talk about our attributes... weak, totally dependent on others and moment by moment on God...sinful, selfish, our minds are a factory for coveting and idolatry and selfishness... Ephesians 2:1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. What is God like? Take some time to tell me some of the attributes of God: 1 In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. 2 Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.” 4 And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. 5 Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Isaiah 6:1-5 NASB 1 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.” 2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. 3 And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads. 5 Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God; 6 and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind. 7 The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle. 8 And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, “ Holy , holy , holy is the Lord God , the Almighty , who was and who is and who is to come .” 9 And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” Revelation 4:1-11 NASB 1 Timothy 6:15 He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen. BUT GOD.... God takes the initiative and rescues us...WHILE we are ungodly, while we were still helpless... John 1:9-13 9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. Romans 8:14-17 NASB List off all the ways you take care of your children and then stop to think about how an infinitely perfect God loves infinitely better: I provide them with food and shelter and clothing... I care for them when they are sick I comfort them when they're scared I enjoy them and have fun watching them grow and learn I teach them I discipline them I point them to Jesus and I desperately desire that they have a relationship with God! One day, I will leave them with an inheritance of some sort...junk, maybe some valuable, etc. This is our Father!!! These are just a few of the implications of what it means to be a CHILD OF GOD!!!! The next point is an inference from the first...John is assuming that his readers notice and feel the affects of the world NOT knowing them... What does John mean by that? We already saw it in John 1:9-13. John quotes Jesus in John 15:18 “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. In what ways does the world hate us? How have we personally felt what Jesus is saying? Why have we not felt it more? What does the world see in us that draws the same hatred that Jesus drew and the apostles drew when they were here? What needs to change in our hearts and lifestyles for this sentence to be relevant to our lives? I believe verse 2 is a progression from verse 1...First, we are CHILDREN OF GOD!!! But then, unimaginably, when Jesus returns, we will be LIKE JESUS! John is saying in verse 2...we are ALREADY NOW children of God if we have been born again into His family.... NOW.. and we experience tremendous benefits of that relationship with God today! BUT.....Oh how much better it's going to be!!! Oh how much more intimate and close and tangible our relationship with God the Father and God the Son and God the Spirit when Jesus returns and we receive our full adoption...the redemption of our bodies! 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. Romans 8:22-25 NASB Talk about what it will be like...what can we deduce from scripture about what it will be like when Jesus comes back for us. John says we will be like what ways? John says we will be like Jesus BECAUSE we will see Him JUST as He is! John 17: 22 “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 “O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; 26 and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. How much do you think about your Sonship? How much do you think about the return of Jesus and our hope of resurrection? To what degree is your hope fixed on those two Christ? How do these two hopes/thoughts affect the way you live and obey Jesus? WHY should this hope affect our obedience? 50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “ Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death , where is your victory ? O death, where is your sting ?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 NASB 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:3-9 NASB 13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “ You shall be holy , for I am holy .” 1 Peter 1:13-16 NASB 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:16-18 NASB We fight our flesh and fight our sin and fight for obedience and work for the kingdom and suffer for other people and take risks, BECAUSE we have a sure hope that all of our labors are not in vain! There is nothing we can lose on this earth that can compare with what our eternal future holds! We are children! We will be loved for eternity and recieve an unimaginable inheritance that can never fade or fail!
Main point summary
Jesus came into this world to take away the guilt and power of sin and to bring the dominion of God over this world; therefore it is impossible for those who are united to Him to persistently and habitually sin. Therefore, the marks of someone born of God are thoughts, emotions, and actions consistent with the character of God by depending on Him for their righteousness and obedience.
1 John 3:4-10
Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness;
Everyone who persistently and habitually sins also habitually commits lawlessness;
and a sin is lawlessness.
and persistent sin is rebellion against God's rule and reign [Other places in scripture, sin is doing anything that displeases God, is not aligned with His character, substitutes anything for His glory, and any action done not fully trusting and knowing that it pleases God.]
You know that He a appeared
However you know that Jesus has come to earth and lived a perfect life and died as the atoning sacrifice for the elect
in order to b take away sins ;
for the purpose of taking away the guilt and power of sin in God's people;
and c in Him there is no sin.
and Jesus is perfectly pure, always pleasing God, always aligned with His character, always worshiping the Father as He deserves, always knowing that what He is doing is pleasing to the Father.
No one who abides in Him a sins ;
Therefore, no one who is united to Jesus and daily walks with Him by the Spirit in fellowship and obedience will practice sin;
no one who sins has seen Him or 1 b knows Him .
no one who practices sin has their spiritual eyes opened to the glory of Jesus nor do they truly know (love and fellowship with) Jesus.
a Little children, make sure no one b deceives you;
Beloved body of TRUE believers, make sure that no one deceives you in teaching you that holiness and obedience do not matter. If you've been baptized or have made a decision to follow Jesus at some point, then you're good and obedience doesn't matter. Don't believe them!
c the one who practices righteousness
That is, the person who persistently and habitually (though not perfectly) thinks, feels, and acts consistent with the character and law of God in dependent faith in Him
is righteous,
is just before God, they are saved, they prove their faith,
just as He is righteous;
just like Jesus is just before God;
the one who practices sin
BUT the one who persistently and habitually displeases God in their thoughts, emotions, and actions
is a of the devil ;
is not born again by God but is still under the influence and power of the god of this world, Satan;
for the devil 1 has sinned from the beginning.
BECAUSE the devil by nature has always rebelled against God and displeased Him.
b The Son of God c appeared for this purpose,
Jesus came into this world for this goal,
d to destroy the works of the devil .
to destroy, eliminate, roll back the effects and the power of the influence of Satan.
No one who is 1 a born of God b practices sin ,
No one who has been truly born again, born by the Holy Spirit will persistently, willfully, and habitually sin,
because His seed abides in him ;
BECAUSE the Spirit of Christ dwells in him and has sway over his thoughts, emotions, and actions;
and he cannot sin,
and he cannot persist in sinning,
because he is 1 born of God .
BECAUSE he has been born again, baptized into Jesus, made a new creation in Christ. The CAUSE of holiness is being born of God, not the other way around.
By this the a children of God and the b children of the devil are obvious:
THEREFORE, with all that I've said in view, this is how you can discern the children of God from the children of the devil, in fact it's not even hard to tell; it's OBVIOUS:
1 anyone who does not practice righteousness
anyone who does not persistently and habitually (though not perfectly) think, feel, and act consistent with the character and law of God in dependent faith in Him
is not of God ,
is not born again and is not united to Christ!
Present active verb
Departure from human or divine standards. Missing the mark... "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God..."
Willful rebellion against God's moral law (NOT MOSAIC LAW, although there is overlap). Flagrant defiance of God.
It says "Sin is lawlessness". Does this mean that the definition of sin is "breaking the Mosaic law"? Because it says right here "sin is lawlessness". What are other "Laws" that we know of? Quote the scriptures. Moral law written on all men's hearts (Romans 1,2) The law of Christ (1 Corinthians 9:19-23) What are other verses that could also be quoted as the "definition" of sin? Quote the scriptures. Romans 14:23 - Whatever is not from faith is sin. James 4:17 - Knowing the right and good thing to do and not doing it. Romans 1:18-25 Romans 3:22-23 - Exchanging the glory of God for anything else..this is the fountainhead of all sin. 1 John 5:17 - All unrighteousness is sin. So what is John's point with verse 4? Habitually practiced sin (vs. unintentional or occasional sin like we see specified for the sacrificial system in Leviticus) implies willfulness. Because of the frequency, it implies disregard for what pleases God. It implies rebellion against God's authority. Practicing sin without hating it and fighting it demonstrates lack of concern for obeying God and flippancy and arrogance toward His commands. How would you argue (from this passage) with someone who claims that verse 6 clearly shows that it is possible to achieve sinlessness (as a mark of a true believer), and in fact it is required to get to heaven, prior to being fully glorified when Jesus returns? All of these verbs are present and active...perpetual/habitual "practices sin". John has already said earlier that if we claim to have no sin we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. What John is saying is that if your life looks like the world, if you sin like your pagan neighbors, if you don't HATE your sin and fight it, if you aren't putting to death the deeds of the flesh, if there is not real progression toward holiness, THIS IS INCONGRUOUS with being united to Jesus. If this is us we should have no assurance that we are in Christ! We should FEAR! We should repent! Cry out to Jesus! Beg God to do a work in our hearts. What deception is being taught in verses 7 & 8? Are we being taught this same deception in subtle ways today? It is possible to be "saved" or right with God without fruit, without actual holiness of life, without righteous actions and good deeds. YES, we are being taught this every day! We are being fed the lie that if you make a decision for Christ and accept Him or, even from the reformed fallacy, "I can't do it perfectly, but Jesus did, so these commands are only meant to make me thankful for Jesus' perfection"...these are false teaching and dangerous. This is what John is combating in this book... What is the main point of this passage? Holiness really does matter!!! We must be putting to death the deeds of the flesh. When we see them we cannot keep them and guard them like precious secret pets. We have to shoot them in the head. We have to kill them. A holy life, not a perfect life, grants us assurance of our union with Jesus and new birth as we see His Spirit's work in us manifested in righteous, loving lives. That assurance gives us JOY and uninhibited fellowship with God and the church. Persistent sin is incongruous with union with Jesus, but is consistent with union to Adam and Satan. Persistent obedience, righteousness, and love is consistent with union with Christ. How does this change: How we think? How we feel? How we should act? It should lead us to be very serious about holiness and obedience BY FAITH and DEPENDENCE on the Spirit! We cannot be cavalier or nonchalant about sin or holiness. We teach this way and disciple other people this way. We live and breath on the free grace of God by faith ALONE, but we understand and know that sin and holiness as a pattern and posture of life REVEAL the children of God or the children of the devil.
Main point summary
We must genuinely, practically, and sacrificially love one another in the family of God because loving our brothers and sisters in Christ is an essential mark of the born again life. If we love in Jesus' name, we can have assurance that God has saved us. If we do not love in deed and truth we can't have assurance that we are born of God.
1 John 3:11-24
a For this is the message
For the following is the truth
b which you have heard from the beginning,
which you have heard from the beginning of time, ever since the creation of man,
c that we should love one another ;
that we should LOVE ONE ANOTHER!!!;
not as a Cain,
We don't love like Cain,
who was of b the evil one
who was under the influence of Satan and united to him
and slew his brother.
resulting in Cain murdering his brother Abel.
And for what reason did he slay him?
And WHY did Cain murder Abel?
Because c his deeds were evil,
Because Cain's heart was fallen and sinful by nature producing evil deeds,
and his brother’s were righteous.
and by God's grace alone, Abel had faith resulting in obedience. Cain hated Abel's righteousness, just like the Pharisees hates Jesus' obedience and righteousness.
Do not be surprised, brethren,
Therefore, don't be surprised, brothers and sisters in Christ,
if a the world hates you.
If the world, who has the same evil, broken, evil hearts as Cain, under the same influence of Satan, hates YOU.
We know that we have a passed out of death into life ,
We should LOVE ONE ANOTHER, BECAUSE we can know that we have been born again, regenerated, saved, justified, spiritually raised from the dead,
b because we love the brethren .
BECAUSE we have genuine LOVE for our brothers and sisters in Christ.
He who does not love
The person who doesn't love
abides in death.
walks in a state of spiritual death.
Everyone who a hates his brother
And everyone who hates his brother or sister in Christ
is a murderer;
is a murderer just like Jesus said in the sermon on the mount.
and you know that b no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
and you know that no murderer has spiritual new life living in him.
We know love by this,
This is how we know what love is,
that a He laid down His life for us;
we look at the cross and see Jesus dying for sinners like us, this sacrificial, merciful, self giving, powerful, courageous love of Jesus is where we look to define love
and b we ought to lay down our lives for the c brethren .
therefore, like Jesus, we should love one another sacrificially even to the point of death!
But a whoever has the world’s goods,
But, if a person has money and resources to give,
and sees his brother in need
and sees a Christian brother/sister in need
and b closes his 1 heart 2 against him,
and yet turns away and doesn't love them by meeting that need
c how does the love of God abide in him?
How in the world can that person think the love of God dwells in him????
a Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue,
Therefore, let's not just talk about loving people
but in deed and b truth .
but rather lets actually do practical tangible acts of love and speak the truth of the gospel while we're doing it!
We will know by this that we are a of the truth ,
Because, if we do this, we will know that we are genuine and of the truth,
and will 1 assure our heart before Him 1 in whatever our heart condemns us;
and will have assurance of our salvation even when our hearts accuse us of real sin;
for God is greater than our heart
Because God's grace abounds over sin and God's authority to declare us righteousness in Christ trumps the accusations of our hearts
and knows all things.
and God knows all things and knows us better than we do and knows ALL of our sins, not just the ones we can think of and YET, still LOVES US!
a Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us ,
Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, if our hearts have assurance because we see that we love people and we have a clear conscience before God,
we have b confidence 1 before God ;
we will have assurance and confidence to go into His presence
and a whatever we ask we receive from Him,
and we will have confidence in our prayers knowing that God will answer them,
because we b keep His commandments
Because we see that we truly do keep His commandments {The Law of Christ}
and do c the things that are pleasing in His sight.
and live lives of obedience, pleasing Him.
This is His commandment,
This is His commandment,
that we 1 a believe in b the name of His Son Jesus Christ,
BELIEVE in the person and work and character of Jesus as your King and Treasure and Savior,
and love one another ,
just as c He 2 commanded us.
just like He commanded us.
The one who a keeps His commandments
The person who keeps the law of Christ
b abides in Him,
is IN Christ and dwells with Him and is in genuine fellowship with Him
and He in him.
and Jesus dwells in him by His Spirit.
c We know by this that d He abides in us ,
We know by the following that Jesus abides in us,
by the Spirit
by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ
whom He has given us.
whom God has poured out in us as a gift.
If our consciences are clear, we will have assurance before God and have our prayers answers because our lives will align with His purposes and holiness and because the Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.
We don't love like Cain...with simply dutiful, worldly, family love. We love like Jesus. BUT just like Abel was killed by Cain, because he was of Satan and because he hated Abel's righteous life, so was Jesus killed by the Pharisees...the jealous older brother. Don't be surprised that the world hates us even when and possibly because we love.
The way we define and benchmark our definition of love is by looking at Jesus on the cross. We are called to follow his lead and lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We have no assurance if we notice ourselves unwilling to give and love and serve.
What is the main point of this section? We must genuinely, practically, and sacrificially love one another because loving our brothers and sisters in Christ is an essential mark of the born again life. If we love in Jesus' name, we can have assurance that God has saved us. If we do not love in deed and truth we can't have assurance that we are born of God. In verse 12a it says that we should NOT love as Cain loved. What kind of "love" did Cain have vs. verse 16? Biological Familial love...dutiful/shallow/fake love. In verse 16, describe Christ's love... I believe John may be contrasting the love of a natural family, born of Adam only, with the love between a spiritual family, born of God by the Spirit. The family of God should be marked by deep sacrificial covenant love as defined and demonstrated by Jesus on the cross. What's the logic and point of verses 12,13? Why does John bring up Cain and Abel? See verse 15/16. There are two families represented in this passage. One is the natural family, the very first family and the second is the family of God, born AGAIN family into the church. One thing this shows is how radically above, higher, more real, more substantial, more eternal the love of the body of Christ is above even the love of the family. Those of the devil will hate those of Christ...don't be surprised when they do. BUT, just like Jesus, we are called to love even our enemies. (For while we were yet sinners...For if while we were enemies of God we were reconciled... Romans 5) Just like Cain killed Abel because Cain hated Abel's righteous deeds, the Pharisees, the older brother in the prodigal son, hated Jesus. Jesus defines love by demonstration on the cross. Love does not take life of those you hate like Cain. Love lays down its life for those you love like Jesus. Jesus is the perfect older brother! Here, in this passage, would you say the emphasis is on loving within the body of Christ or loving unbelievers? Why? Loving fellow believers in the family of God... John 13: 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”..... Galatians 6: 9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. 10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. See it in the negative with spiritual discipline...Get out from under the loving umbrella of protection and provision of the body of Christ. What does laying down our lives for our brothers and sister's in Christ look like? In Iran? In China? In America?
Main point summary
Test the spirits of those who come in the name of God because there are many false prophets. Test them by what they believe about Jesus, whether they speak and teach toward fleshly/worldly desires, and whether they listen to those born of God when they are confronted with Biblical truth.
1 John 4:1-6
a Beloved, do not believe every b spirit,
Do not believe everyone that comes in the name of the not trust every not trust nice moral not be naive to think that everyone who says they are a Christian really is and that they are teaching truth,
but test the spirits
but rather test them...test their heart...test their spirit...
to see whether they are from God,
to determine if they are truly a follower of Jesus, born of God,
because c many false prophets have gone out into the world.
because there are MANY false teachers and false prophets in the world, even into the church.
By this you know the Spirit of God:
How can we tell if they have the Spirit of God??? By this:
a every spirit that b confesses that c Jesus Christ has come in the flesh
everyone that confesses openly and publicly that Jesus, born to Joseph and Mary in Nazareth, is the long awaited Anointed One from God, The Messiah, and that He has come to earth as a man and dwelt among us,
is from God;
this person is born of God;
and every spirit that a does not confess Jesus
BUT, everyone that does not confess those things
is not from God;
is not born of God;
this is the spirit of the b antichrist,
they have the spirit of the antichrist,
of which you have heard that it is coming,
of which you have heart is coming as prophesied,
and c now
and NOW
it is already in the world.
is already in the world actively opposing the gospel and the Kingdom and Jesus.
You are from God, a little children,
You truly are from God, beloved little children,
and b have overcome them;
and you have overcome them by your persevering in faith through persecution, by loving your enemies and doing good to them and overcoming evil with good, by not believing their lies, by remaining faithful to God, by staying unified as a church, by continuing to obey Jesus in the face of opposition by the spirit of antichrist!
because c greater is He who is in you than d he who is in the world .
You have been able to overcome because you have the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit living inside you giving you strength and faith and perseverance! He is greater than Satan and his spirit.
a They are from the world;
Those with the spirit of antichrist are from the world which is under the influence of Satan;
therefore they speak
therefore they speak
as from the world ,
like the world speaks in worldly wisdom with worldly goals and plans and idols,
and the world listens to them.
and the world listens to them and loves it (Prosperity Gospel).
a We are from God;
We are born of God and are united to Jesus;
b he who knows God
therefore, other people who are born again by God
listens to us ;
will hear what we speak and the Spirit inside them will affirm it and they will listen to our teaching and truth from us and obey;
c he who is not from God
but he who is of the world and of Satan
does not listen to us.
will reject what we have to say about the gospel and about God and His kingdom.
By this we know d the spirit of truth and e the spirit of error.
By means of all the litmus tests I just gave, we can discern the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
Is this passage relevant to us today and how? 2 Thess 2 Matthew 24:24 What are the means or criteria by which we test the spirits? What truths are packed into the statement "confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh"? What heresies is John trying to guard his audience from and help them see? Are those heresies still around? How do we overcome those who have the spirit of anti-Christ? What does this mean? What does speech "as from the world" sound like? Have we heard if from people who claim to know God? What action on our part is implied in verse 6? Are we doing this? How can we take this teaching and help people? What is our responsibility as those who are "from God"?
Main point summary
Love one another because God has first loved us by sending Jesus to die for our sins and purchase for us the deposit of the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and abide in us to unite us to God, and inherit His nature, and enable us to love, and to confess Jesus as Lord! As we see our natures coming into alignment with Christ by our love for one another, we can know that God loves us and has saved us and that we will ultimately be saved at the judgement when Jesus returns for us!!!
1 John 4:7-21
a Beloved, let us b love one another ,
Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, let us love each other,
for love is from God;
because love was invented by, and defined by, and given by, and sustained by our Father, YHWY;
and c everyone who loves
and because everyone who loves people in Jesus' name
is 1 d born of God
is a new creation and is born again by God and is of God
and e knows God.
and they truly know God experientially as Father.
The one who does not love
Alternatively, the person who does not love tangibly and with their hearts
does not know God,
does not truly know God,
for a God is love.
Because God's nature is love and all who are born of God will share His nature as they are conformed to the image of Jesus.
By this the love of God was manifested 1 a in us,
The love of God was made know to us and demonstrated to us and appeared to us BY
that b God has sent His 2 only begotten Son
God sending His only begotten, beloved, precious, Son Jesus
into the world
into this fallen and broken world in the flesh
so that we might live
SO THAT we might go from death to life and darkness to light and slavery to freedom and find what is life indeed
through Him.
through being united to Him in His death and resurrection.
In this is love,
Let me tell you the origins and fountain head of love,
a not that we loved God,
and its not from us...not from our love for God,
but that b He loved us
but rather it is from Him...He is the source and fountain head of love
and sent His Son
and as a result of His love, He sent His Son Jesus from His side eternally existing in heaven with Him to put on flesh and dwell among us
to be c the propitiation for our sins.
so that He would be the wrath appeaser for our sin, the atoning sacrifice, "as a result of the anguish of His soul, YHWY will see it and be satisfied".
a Beloved, if God so loved us,
Therefore, beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, if God loved us this way, and sent His most precious Son to sacrificially die to redeem us and love us
b we also ought to love one another .
a No one has seen God at any time;
No one, except for Jesus, has seen ALL of YHWY, in His full glory, not even Moses, at any time;
if we love one another ,
HOWEVER, if we love one another like Jesus loved,
God abides in us,
this glorious, infinite, powerful, infinitely and dangerously holy God actually has chosen to LIVE, ABIDE, DWELL in us weak frail human beings
and His b love is perfected in us .
and His love, His powerful love is completed in and through us as we love one another.
a By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us,
We know that we abide and dwell in God and God in us
because He has given us of His Spirit.
because He is empowering this love in us by giving us the first-fruits of the Spirit, which is how He abides in us and dwells in us.
We have seen and a testify that the Father has b sent the Son
We apostles have seen and testify that YHWY has sent Jesus
to be the Savior of the world .
to be the savior of a people from every tribe tongue and nation, not just Jews, whom the Lord calls and grants faith.
a Whoever confesses that b Jesus is the Son of God,
Whoever confesses openly and publicly that Jesus is the unique, eternal, divine, Son of God,
God c abides in him,
God dwells in this person by His Spirit,
and he in God.
and he has been baptized into Jesus and is IN Christ.
a We have come to know and have believed the love which God has 1 b for us.
We all, in the beloved, have come to experience and wholeheartedly believe that God truly loves us.
c God is love,
God's nature is love and we can only know love by looking at Him as the source, inventor, and definer of love,
and the one who d abides in love
and the person that lives a life of love toward God and other people
abides in God,
has been born of God and has been baptized into Christ and lives in and through Him,
and God abides in him .
and God dwells in him by His Holy Spirit.
By this, a love is perfected with us ,
Love is completed or matured and eventually perfected in us by our abiding in God and His abiding in us by His Spirit
so that we may have b confidence
so that we will have confidence and assurance before God
in c the day of judgment;
when Jesus returns and we are judged by God;
because d as He is,
because as Jesus lived and walked and loved and thought and felt,
so also are we
so also do we by the power of the Holy Spirit, although not perfectly,
in this world.
in this world.
There is no fear in love;
There is no fear when we love like Jesus loves
but a perfect love casts out fear ,
In fact as we observe our lives and see that by the power of the Spirit we are loving people, it casts out fear
because fear 1 involves punishment,
because fear assumes there is punishment, but we have confidence before God because we see His Spirit working love in and through us to others and to Him and we know that we are His
and the one who fears is not b perfected in love .
so then the person who fears punishment from God does not see the obedience of faith working its way out in love toward others and does not have assurance before God the He has given them of His Spirit.
a We love,
We love God and people
because He first loved us .
because He first loved us by dying for us and regenerated us and gave us the will and ability to love by His Spirit.
a If someone says, “I love God,”
If someone says, "I love God,"
and b hates his brother,
and hates his fellow Christian brother,
he is a c liar;
that person is a liar
for d the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, e cannot love God whom he has not seen.
because the one who does not love his brother, who he can see and touch, cannot love God, who he cannot see with his eyes or touch with his hands.
And a this commandment we have from Him,
And this commandment we have from Him,
that the one who loves God
the one who truly loves God and is loved by God
b should love his brother also.
should as a result, LOVE his brother also.
God's love is clear by sending Jesus so that we could have abundant life forever!
God's love is clear by sending Jesus to be the atoning wrath appeaser for our sins!
Everyone who loves God and other people is born of God because God is love.
Love one another because 1) those united to God will love since that is His nature and 2) God has shown us that He loves us and what love truly is by sending His beloved Son to save us!
If we love, we can know that God has given us His Spirit to dwell in us and enable us to love.
Whoever confesses Jesus is Lord and the Son of God is in Christ and God dwells in Him by His Spirit.
We love people and confess Jesus as Lord which gives us confidence that God has given us of His Spirit which is the only source of power to do those things! Therefore, we know that God has saved us and loves us in Christ!!!
Those who see and know that they are being conformed to Christ in love toward God and other people by the indwelling Holy Spirit abiding in them can have confidence that God will save them at the day of judgement!
There are three imperative sentences (or three sentences that are a command) in this passage, what do they say? Verse 1,11,21; LOVE PEOPLE!!! Especially those of the household of faith. Piper draws out, "Why does God command in 7a and then show that those born of God WILL by nature love. Why the need for the command? Commands from the Word combined with the Spirit are the means by which God accomplishes the inevitability of Christian love... What are the conditions John gives for assurance that we are saved in this passage? 7: IF We love 12: IF We love one another 15: IF We confess Jesus as the Son of God 16: IF We abide in love 17: IF We are as Jesus is, conformed to His image in how He loves So I thought we are saved by Grace alone through faith ALONE? This sounds like loving people is a CONDITION of my salvation? Well, guess what, IT IS! It's not the ground, but it is a condition. John and James and Paul are all on the same page...there's no disagreement between them. Paul: Galatians 5:5-6 James: James 2:14-26 Believing God and being born again has to/must/will always result in changed affections, goals, dispositions. What really matters to God is faith WORKING through love. Sincere/authentic faith WORKS for the good of other people. Faith that is ALONE is demon faith. What are God's actions of love toward us in this passage? 7: He caused us to be BORN AGAIN! 9: He sent His ONLY begotten Son so that we might LIVE! 10: He sent His Son to be the propitiation (wrath appeaser/wrath absorber) for our sins! 13: He has given us His Holy Spirit! 14: He sent Jesus to be the savior of the world, not just Jews! 16: He comes to abide in us by His Spirit! 19: He loves us!!! What verses do you see the Holy Spirit? What's the Spirit's role in our assurance? 7: He regenerates us and causes us to be born again and He testifies to who God is so that we can truly know Him as He opens up the word to our souls! 12-13, 16-17: He abides in us and empowers and enables (perfects/completes) us to love God and people! He is doing the work in us to conform us to Christ! The Holy Spirit was purchased for us by Jesus (Galatians 3:13-14). He is a gift to us from God to dwell in us! He kills sin and enables obedience and love in and through us, which in turn shows ourselves the miracle at work in us! We see and know that this obedience is ONLY possible by the Spirit, and we can have assurance that God has saved us as He manifests Himself in us through obedience. This assurance of God's grace toward us produces unhindered fellowship with God and His people, which results in JOY and happiness and peace!!! THIS overflows in love to other people, which starts the process again! This the upward spiral of going from glory to glory in Christ! Explain 1 John 4:17 . Perfected: Does this mean flawless? No...means accomplish, fulfill, bring to completion... John 19:28, Acts 20:24 He's not saying our love for people will be flawless or untainted by our remaining sin. What he's saying is that God will bring to reality and completion the goal of us truly loving people. God abiding in us by His Spirit perfects (matures/completes/accomplishes) love for others in us so that as we see the miracle of obedience worked in us, we will have confidence that God has saved us in the day of judgement...its' because just like Jesus loves sacrificially, so also we see the same love in ourselves toward others! We see that we are being conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:28-29) See Matthew 25:31-46 This is what we see going on in Romans 2:5-13. Paul is not giving a hypothetical impossibility here to show that Jesus is the only one that could do it. He's saying what Paul and James and John are saying here. The law is summed up in one word..LOVE. Therefor those who love in Jesus name by the power of the Spirit will be justified...BECAUSE God has saved them by grace and given them faith that works through love and keeps the Law of Christ! John has already talked about the need to love so that we can know IF we are born of God. Is there anything different about John's emphasis in 7-21 than what he's already said? Here, John solidifies the GROUND and the MEANS of how we love vs. simply stating the fact that IF we love, we are born of God. This gives the amazing means of the Jesus coming, dying to purchase the Spirit for us, the Spirit's work to enable love and enable faith and confession of Christ. There's also even more emphasis on "We will be like who we are united to". If we are born of God WE WILL inherit His nature. His Spirit WILL produce love for other people in us. If you could pick a single verse to place as the bedrock ground or maybe summary sentence of this passage what would it be an why? REVIEW THE ARC... . 19...We love God and people ONLY because of God's initiating work to send Jesus to purchase the Spirit, who enables, compels, and empowers us to love! God is the hero of this passage! God is the one who initiates this chain. He is ALWAYS the giver and we are always the receiver. When you have an opportunity to sacrificially love someone and you choose to love. We need to praise God and thank Him for sending Jesus to purchase the Spirit in us and for giving us the gift of showing us that we are real! When we love and serve, in one sense we are serving Jesus like Matthew 25 says, but ultimately we are not giving to Him! He is mercifully revealing our genuine faith to us so that we can have JOY and confidence that we are His! How important to God is our love for other people? How essential is how we treat, think about, serve, feel toward other people for our assurance that God has saved us? What practical steps can we take to make provision to love people well: Luke 7:36-50. The most important and powerful and practical and effective thing we can do is to get happy in the Lord every morning. Preach the gospel to ourselves in a new way every day so that we remember, like this woman, how much we have been forgiven and loved by God SO THAT we will LOVE MUCH! We have to be filled. We have to remember and know how much we have been loved by God so that we will love others. Pray for people often...make a list of all the people God has placed in your life. Check on them and ask for prayer requests from them. Spend time every day thinking about other people and their needs and how to help them flourish in the Lord....ESPECIALLY your spouse and kids. Look for physical, emotional, spiritual needs. Build margin into your time so you will be more open to break-ins and serving. Build margin in your budget so you can be more generous. Encourage one another... Be willing to admonish one another... Be hospitable and spend time with one another... LISTEN WELL to one another...
Main point summary
Faith in the historical Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God and source of eternal life shows that we are born again by God and our love for the Father will result in our loving His children by obeying His Law of Love. This law of love is not a burden because God has granted us faith in Jesus and has sent Jesus and manifested Him in front of our eyes and has given us His Spirit to testify of the Son. God has granted us faith to believe that in Christ is our only source of eternal life! God give us new birth, resulting in faith in His beloved Son, resulting in justification, resulting in the indwelling Spirit, resulting in power to obey the Law of Christ, the Law of Love, resulting in our assurance that we are born of God, resulting in joy in fellowship with God and His church!
1 John 5:1-12
a Whoever believes that Jesus is the 1 Christ
If a person believes that Jesus of Nazareth, born in 1 BC, suffered under Pontious Pilot is truly the long awaited, prophesied Messiah of Isaiah 53 and Genesis 3 and Psalm 2 and ALL over the Old Testament,
is 2 b born of God ,
then this person is born again by God and is regenerate as the cause of their belief,
and whoever loves the 3 Father
and if a person truly loves YHWY
c loves the child 2 born of Him .
then they will by new nature love those born again by God; the Church.
a By this we know that b we love the children of God ,
By the following, we can know if we are truly loving those begotten/born again by God,
when we love God
As we see ourselves loving God
and 1 observe His commandments.
BY obeying the Law of Christ, the Law of Love, for the all of the commandments are summed up in this saying "Love as I have loved"
For a this is the love of God,
For this is what loving God looks like,
that we b keep His commandments;
that we keep the Law of Christ, the Law of Love
and c His commandments are not burdensome.
and His commandments are not burdensome when we walk by the power of the Holy Spirit...His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
For whatever is 1 a born of God
BECAUSE whatever is produced by God and whoever is born again by God
b overcomes the world;
lives in victory in this world; "Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good"
and this is the victory that has overcome the world—
and this is the means God uses to grant us the victory in this world-
our faith.
our God given faith that He supplies and sustains to trust Him in all circumstances, to depend on Him in everything, to keep looking to Him and trusting Him when all around my soul gives way!
Who is the one who overcomes the world,
And WHO is it that has this victory over the flesh, Satan, demons, powers, principalities, world systems, sin, and the grave???
but he who a believes that Jesus is the Son of God ?
It's the person that God has given faith to trust that Jesus truly is the only begotten eternal SON of GOD almighty? This man who had no stately form or majesty nor appearance that we should look upon Him. This man who was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. This man who was crucified by humans...HE IS GOD! He is the one true God's Son.
This is the One who came a by water and blood,
This is the One who came by natural birth and natural flesh,
Jesus Christ;
Jesus the Messiah;
not 1 with the water only,
not with natural birth only,
but 1 with the water and 1 with the blood.
but with natural birth and with our own flesh and blood just like ours.
It is b the Spirit who testifies ,
It is the Holy Spirit who testifies about Jesus in our hearts,
because the Spirit is the truth.
because the Holy Spirit IS the truth personified in us.
For there are a three that testify :
For there are three that God uses to testify about Jesus coming in the flesh:
1 the Spirit
The Holy Spirit testifies of Jesus and reveals who He is in His glory
and the water
and His natural birth
and the blood;
and His natural human flesh
and the three are 2 in agreement.
These three are ONE in Christ. They are in agreement that Jesus has come in the flesh and is God!
a If we receive the testimony of men,
If we listen to the testimony of human beings,
the testimony of God is greater;
how much more should we listen to the testimony of the infinite God;
for the testimony of God is this,
BECAUSE, the testimony of God is this:
that b He has testified concerning His Son.
He has testified about His only begotten beloved Son, Jesus.
Lesser to Greater
The one who believes in the Son of God
If a person believes in Jesus as the Messiah and Lord and Savior of sinners
a has the testimony in himself;
then they have the testimony IN them by the Spirit that testifies about Him living inside them;
the one who does not believe God
If a person does not believe God's message about His Son,
has b made Him a liar,
they are making God almighty out to be a liar,
because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son.
BECAUSE they have not believed the word of God about His Son Jesus.
And the testimony is this,
And the testimony is this,
that God has given us a eternal life ,
that God has chosen to gift us with eternal life,
and b this life is in His Son .
and this eternal life is found IN Christ.
a He who has the Son
If a person believes in and is united to Jesus
has the life ;
then they have eternal life beginning NOW;
he who does not have the Son of God
If a person does not believe in or is not united to Jesus by faith
does not have the life .
then they do not have eternal life.
Why does he say "Whatever" vs. "Whoever"?
Whoever believes in Jesus is born again by God and whoever loves God will love the church by keeping His commandments by the power of the Spirit!
Keeping God's commandments is not a burden or difficult because being born again, receiving the Spirit, we overcome the world by the faith given us by God through the Spirit. We love God and people in obedience to God by our faith in Jesus as the true and only begotten Son of God who truly came born of woman and born with our own flesh and blood.
Questions: What is implied by the phrase "Whoever believes that the Christ" or "believes that Jesus is the Son of God"? Put yourself in the position of someone who lived in AD 30-60 and possibly saw Jesus in person. How is Jesus described in Isaiah 53? Would you believe that that person was the Anointed One/The SON of GOD Almighty? By all Biblical accounts, Jesus was not huge physically, he wasn't beautiful, He wasn't stronger than other men physically, He may have looked thin and frail. He was a carpenter, He wasn't a Rabbi, He wasn't training under Gamaliel or some other well known theologian. He was relatively poor, He looked normal or even unattractive... from everything the eyes could see, He couldn't have been God. His virgin birth in Bethlehem sparked the possibility for a while...there was a flash of thought that He could be the Messiah until he kind of disappeared into Egypt for a few years and then came back and grew up normal and was a simple carpenter for 30 years with His dad. There was maybe a tiny blip on the radar when He was 12 at the temple asking the Rabbis questions they couldn't answer...but them from 12 to 30 He went dark and silent...there were a handful of people maybe that were still staring at Him to be the Messiah, but most of the world probably thought this man was completely normal and boring. Then, he goes to a wedding at age 30 and turns the ceremonial hand washing bowls into 100 gallons of wine...He hits the radar....then He is baptized by John in front of a large crown and the Father Speaks and the Spirit descends on Him....He hits the radar even more... How do we know if we're truly loving the Children of God? Does John's answers make sense to you? Try to explain John's (The Holy Spirit's) logic. We can know that we're truly loving people if IN our love, we are motivated by and first filled with love for God...Remember WE LOVE BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US...we love as a result of our relationship with God that HE initiated. Loving people in Jesus name is the only way to truly love people! Acts of kindness done without ever seeking to connect a lost soul to God is not truly loving. We love God BY keeping the Law of Christ, the law of Love...We love HOW God tells us to love!!! Truly loving people only happens when we love as God proscribed. We don't get to decide what love toward another person is. We don't get to decide that loving a person means affirming their co-habitation or affirming their covetousness and greed or affirming their homosexual lifestyle. We love ACCORDING to the law of Christ, His commands... Example of Lauren Daigle. What commands of Christ do we feel are burdensome? Which one's do we struggle to obey or struggle to even WANT to obey? Why? Why/how should His commands NOT be burdensome? Why does John expect that obeying the Law of Christ is not hard, miserable, like pulling teeth? What changes do we need to make in our lives so that "His commandments are not burdensome"? God's people are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, the fruit of the SPIRIT is obedience to the commands. When we walk in the Spirit we will desire obedience more than sin. That new birth John talks about which causes us to overcome the world as we keep the Law of Christ, is the deposit of the indwelling Spirit. He gets more practical and says that His commands are not burdensome because the new birth brings about FAITH...this is the victory that overcomes the world. Hearing the promises of God and believing them...hearing the promise that He will give us words to say when we need them gives us boldness to speak... Hearing and believing that He won't even let a teeny insignificant sparrow die in the middle of the woods unless He allows it, will give us fearlessness to take the gospel to hard people and hard places. Hearing and believing that He works all things for our good enables us to have joy in suffering and persevere in it. Hearing and believing that we have a GLORIOUS inheritance coming allows us to live in joy no matter that circumstances and to not fear death. Who/what all are testifying about Jesus? What in the world do verses 6-8 mean? Before you look at commentaries, try looking at 1 John 4:2, John 3:1-6, John 1:12-13, 1 John 1:1-5. Water and blood: I believe in the context, John is trying to say that Jesus the Messiah has come in the flesh! Apparently, John was fighting false prophets who were denying that the Messiah had come in the flesh in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; ... John's use of both water and blood to refer to natural birth and natural human flesh and blood/genetics (John 3:1-6, John 1:12-13) . In 6a it says "he CAME IN/with water and blood". This seems to have to do with how he came to the world. John's emphasis in the first 5 verses of His letter that he had really seen him and touched him with his hands seems to point to John's emphasis on the physical human life Jesus really lived. John saying that the litmus test of being born of God is believing that this fully human, natural born, natural flesh and blood man is the Messiah and is the Son of GOD! He has come in the flesh! The Spirit testifies of His divinity and the water and the blood testify of His humanity and they are in agreement of WHO Jesus is as the incarnate God/Man. What is the flow of thought in this passage? Summarize the passage... God miraculously, mercifully, supernaturally causes us to be born again. Those who have been born again WILL believe in Jesus as the long awaited Messiah. AND the new birth causes us and enables us to love God and if we love God we WILL by nature love God's children, the church. We love the church by keeping the Law of Christ, which is the Law of Love, which can be summed up as "Love one another AS I have loved you!" Obeying this Law of Love is not a burden Because God has given us the new birth Through faith in the historical Jesus Who REALLY came to earth in the flesh As testified by the indwelling Holy Spirit And by the fact that he was born by natural birth (Water)... John 3:1-6 And because He was truly flesh and blood like us (Blood)... John 1:12-13 THEREFORE, the one who believes in Jesus has the indwelling Spirit testifying that whoever is in CHRIST has eternal life! How does this passage affect our evangelism and discipleship? It says again, that those born again will love people... This just highlights the manner in which they will love overflow from their love for God through keeping the Law of Christ...loving HOW Jesus commands us to love. Again, the gospel is a historical message about a factual person who really walked the earth 2000 years ago...We should evangelize with this in view... Having Jesus, being united to Him by faith, abiding in Him, determines whether we spend eternity in hell or heaven.
Main point summary
I have written this letter to you expecting that you will see and know that you truly have eternal life, resulting in confidence in prayer and assurance before God, because we examined our hearts and lives and saw 1) we do not practice sin because we trust and rely upon the One who empowers our obedience, 2) we see that we are born again by God, 3) We believe that the God/Man Jesus is the Messiah and the One True God, 4) and that we are IN HIM like Noah in the Ark! Even still...GUARD YOURSELVES FROM IDOLS!!!
1 John 5:13-21
a These things I have written to you
I have written this whole letter to you,
I write f these things to you
who b believe in the name of the Son of God,
and by "you", I mean those who truly believe and trust in Jesus,
who g believe in the name of the Son of God
so that you may know that you have c eternal life .
SO THAT you can examine all of these litmus tests and see that you pass the test, that you truly are born of God and that you truly possess eternal abundant life.
that you may know that you have eternal life.
This is a the confidence which we have 1 before Him,
As a result of this assurance, we can have the following confidence as we go before the Lord,
And this is h the confidence that we have toward him,
that, b if we ask anything
that if we ask Him for anything
that i if we ask anything
according to His will,
according to what He desires and knows is wise and the best outcome for His glory and our good (prayers He GIVES us to pray by His Spirit),
according to his will
He hears us.
that He hears our prayers.
he hears us.
And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask ,
And IF WE BELIEVE that He is hearing our prayers in whatever we're praying for,
And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask,
a we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.
we KNOW that we will receive the answer to our prayers from Him!
we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
If anyone sees his brother 1 committing a sin
One specific example of asking God for something is if you see a brother in Christ committing a sin
If anyone sees his brother committing a sin
not leading to death,
not leading to physical death,
not leading to death,
a he shall ask and 2 God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death.
you shall ask God to spare your brother's life and for your sake, God will continue to give physical life to your brother.
he shall ask, and j God 1 will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death.
b There is a sin leading to death;
However, there is a sin or sins that will result in physical death;
k There is sin that leads to death;
c I do not say that he should make request for this.
I do not say that you should pray for your brother's deliverance in this.
l I do not say that one should pray for that.
a All unrighteousness is sin,
All unrighteousness is sin
m All wrongdoing is sin,
and b there is a sin not leading to death.
and there is sin not leading to physical death.
but there is sin that does not lead to death.
a We know that b no one who is 1 born of God sins;
We know that no one who is truly born again by God habitually and persistently and un-repentantly sins;
We know that n everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning,
but He who was 1 born of God c keeps him ,
but instead, Jesus keeps Him from falling away and gives him victory over sin by His Spirit,
but o he who was born of God p protects him,
and d the evil one does not e touch him.
and so Satan cannot destroy his faith or take Him out of God's hand.
and the evil one does not touch him.
a We know that b we are of God ,
We do know that we are born again by God,
We know that we are from God,
and that c the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
and that all those not born of God are under influence of Satan.
and q the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
And a we know that b the Son of God has come ,
And we truly KNOW that Jesus Christ has come,
And we know that the Son of God has come
and has c given us understanding
and He has spoken truth to us and shown us the Father and showed us the way and the truth and the life
and r has given us understanding,
so that we may know d Him who is true;
so that we may know God, who is true;
so that we may know s him who is true;
and we e are in Him who is true ,
and we are IN God who is true,
and we are in him who is true,
in His Son Jesus Christ.
and IN Jesus like Noah in the ark.
in his Son Jesus Christ.
f This is the true God
This is the true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
He is the true God
and g eternal life.
and this is our eternal life! Knowing God IS eternal life! There is no other source of abundant life!
and t eternal life.
a Little children, guard yourselves from b idols.
And yet, even through I know you love God and are born of Him, beloved brothers and sisters, guard your hearts from ANYTHING that would pull your hearts away from God as your supreme and ultimate joy and pleasure and hope!!!
Little children, u keep yourselves from idols.
John assumed his audience is born again believers in Jesus Christ. We have to keep that in mind as we look at these commands and litmus tests and exhortations and warnings. BORN AGAIN BELIEVERS NEED COMMANDS, WARNINGS, and TESTS OF OUR FAITH! These are the means God uses to sustain our faith and bring Godly sorrow and keep us on the narrow way.
These sins unto death and sins NOT unto death must somehow be evident to other watching believers. It would be difficult to say that this was a unique internal heart attitude. What if this simply means that if you see a believing brother in sin and God has not brought discipline up to the point of physical death, pray for their repentance and God will grant it to them such that they will repent prior to getting to the point of discipline unto death. BUT, if you see a pattern of sin such that God takes their physical life, don't pray that God would bring them back to life. Think Annanias and Sapphira. Think those who had "fallen asleep" from taking communion with a wrong heart. How would it be possible for us to SEE and know that a person was committing "the unpardonable sin" or sinning unto eternal destruction vs. eternal life?
Some say, "Brother" must not mean born again believer since they interpret this to mean eternal life or eternal death. But, this is a difficult interpretation because, the verse would read. "If you see your unregenerate friend sinning in such a way that it doesn't result in eternal death (what sins of the unregenerate don't lead to eternal death???) then pray for them and God will (for the benefit of the one praying) give the unregenerate sinner eternal life (seemingly independent of their own faith or repentance?). That's a difficult interpretation.
John thinks it's very important that we have assurance of our salvation. He knows that having assurance results in true fellowship with other believers and unhindered fellowship with God. It gives us confidence in our prayers that He hears us and will answer our prayers. But ultimately it results in JOY!!! Mature, healthy, completed JOY!!! This is the abundant life we want. I life of peace and joy in God. Without our assurance, we will be fearful and timid and will not walk in power.
In 1 John, he uses the Greek word for "brother" 14 times. Most of the uses can either be inferred to be or are clearly references to brothers and sisters IN CHRIST. In 2nd and 3rd John and Revelation, his uses of "brother" or "brethren" are even more clearly referring to believers. It would be hard to find a use of this word by John that was used for generic people vs. assumed follower of Christ.
What is implied by the phrase, "believe in the name .... of the Son of God"? Know Him to be holy, righteous, pure, perfect, loving, just, merciful, wise, good, ...all of who He is as revealed in the scriptures. We believe and know Him as He is portrayed in the Bible. How importance is assurance of salvation to John? Why? John thinks it's very important that we have assurance of our salvation. He knows that having assurance results in true fellowship with other believers and unhindered fellowship with God. It gives us confidence in our prayers that He hears us and will answer our prayers. But ultimately it results in JOY!!! Mature, healthy, completed JOY!!! This is the abundant life we want. A life of peace and joy in God. Without our assurance, we will be fearful and timid and will not walk in power. When John's audience looks into the Spiritual mirror, He expects true believers to FEEL assured that they have eternal life by what they see. What specific things does John expect them/us to see in our spiritual mirrors to give us assurance? See 18-20. Holiness of life...victory over sin by the Spirit, by the power of God preserving and enabling obedience. That they have truly been born again by God..they sense that they are a new creation. The old things passed away, behold new things have come. They believe that Jesus is God, and has come in the flesh as the long awaited Messiah, and that they know Him and have relationship with Him. That they are UNITED to Jesus like Noah in the Ark. We are IN CHRIST! What is the logical relationship of 13 to 14-17? What's the flow of thought, if any? Having assurance our our salvation leads to assurance and confidence in our prayers such that when we pray (as our union with God is unhindered by sin and doubt) we hear from His Spirit and we pray things that align with what He is doing. One example of this is when we see a brother or sister in sin, we can pray for them and God will spare their life and bring them to repentance??? How would you explain vs 14-15? Does this mean, if we can guess what God's will is, we'll get all of our prayer's answered? We'll have to think about the whole council of scripture on prayer. See above...having a clear conscience before God facilitates walking in the Spirit, which facilitates hearing from the Spirit, which directs your prayers to pray things that God is going to answer! What in the world is going on in 16-17? For this put on two hats... first read the verse as physical death and physical life. Then read the verse as eternal damnation and eternal life. Are there any verses that discuss sins that lead to physical death you can think of? What about sins that lead a "brother" to eternal damnation? What kind of sins can you "see" your brother commit such that you know they lead to eternal death/life vs. physical death/life? I lean toward John meaning PHYSICAL life and death vs. ETERNAL LIFE/PUNISHMENT for the following reasons: It says, "If anyone SEES his brother committing sin unto death..." It is very reasonable to be able to see your brother sin leading to physical death. You can see them sick and dying. (See the sin of taking the Lord's Supper in vain as demonstrated in 1 Corinthians 11, or to be able to see Anannias and Sapphira sin by lying to the Spirit and dying physically). On the other hand, it seems very difficult to be able to know or see when a person has committed a sin unto eternal death? For an UNBELIEVER there may be the "unpardonable sin" of "blasphemy against the Holy Spirit" which may lead to eternal death, but we are never told exactly what that is? How would we recognize this sin when we saw it??? John assumes that it will be obvious that our brother is sinning unto death. In 6d the sentence..."There is sin unto death" wouldn't really make sense if it meant eternal punishment. It was obvious from the teaching of Paul and Jesus that ANY and EVERY sin warranted eternal punishment. But, what would have been more surprising, possibly, to the audience is that there is still sin that resulted in physical death, even in the new covenant. Likewise in 17b, "There is sin NOT unto death" would not really make sense either if it means there are some sins that do not result in eternal punishment??? Nowhere else in scripture does it say that. Apart from Christ ALL sins result in eternal death. In Christ, no sins result in eternal death. John says, if anyone sees a BROTHER committing this sin, implying this is a brother or sister in Christ, which is what his meaning has been in 1 John so far. No sin that a true brother in Christ commits leads to eternal death because Jesus has paid for them all on the cross. What is the point of including 16-17 in this section? Is there logical flow of thought? I believe it's an example of the general statement about asking God for things in prayer with confidence because we have assurance of His love for us in Christ. Explain verse 18? Does this mean we will never sin? Does this mean satan can never harm us? We will not persist in unrepentant sin and we will see growth in Holiness. Satan will not be able to take us out of Christ's hand! He cannot touch take away our faith. The Spirit's power to keep us believing is greater than his power to pull us away. BUT...God may allow us to suffer at his hands for our good and for His glory. What are the implications of verse 19? Could it really be this black and white; this binary? How should this make us feel about our salvation? There are two types of people in this world...slaves of sin...those under the influence of satan and slaves of God...those with the Spirit and new nature by faith. There is no middle ground although we look around and see sliding scales of niceness and kindness and morality in believers and unbelievers with huge overlap in those things. What are John's parting words about Jesus? Could He be more explicit??? Jesus is Almighty God! He is the ONE TRUE GOD!!! He IS the one source and object of eternal life!!! Lastly, why does John seem to throw a random sentence on the end of his letter? What has he said about His audience? These are people who know God, who are in Christ, who do not continue in sin, who go to their advocate Jesus! Why would he need to command this to THAT group of people? Why oh why, would he leave this one note resonating with His audience? What about us? Where is our treasure? This is probably the most powerful and appropriate word for me and us as a parting teaching just like John for this group of solid believers... Brothers and sisters. Guard yourselves from idols!!! We are in the land of thorns! We are in the land of distractions and comforts and netflix and air conditioning and comfy couches and vacations and amazon prime and nice careers and promotions and houses and lands...we are surrounded by thorns and weeds!!! We have to fight so hard to see them as weeds... We are in a river with a strong current! If we stop swimming hard upstream we will quickly drift! If we don't swim hard to not be conformed to this world, we will be choked out and we'll look down the road 15 years and Jesus will be an afterthought, and we will prove ourselves to be of the world under to power of satan. We HAVE TO PLUG OURSELVES INTO A PEOPLE WHO WILL MAKE US SWIM!!! We have to BE A PEOPLE WHO WILL SPUR OTHER PEOPLE TO SWIM!!! PLUG YOURSELVES INTO FOLKS WHO WILL NOT TAKE THEIR FOOT OFF THE GAS of pursuing a life pressing into Jesus and obeying Him.... or else we will drift! If we surround ourselves with cultural Christians that love soooo many other things as much as God, we will be pulled downstream with them.

You have certainly invested a large amount of time here.  Be blessed!  I question however the "Action-Result" between verses 24 and 25.  As I understand it, through God's grace we receive eternal life and that is when we begin to abide in Him.  In other words, abiding in Him is our stand in Christ as Christians.  I would be interested to hear what you think about this.

Thanks for sharing your work!

Adnan Yaqub
Brian Allen
Adnan, I totally agree with your statement, "through God's grace we receive eternal life and that is when we begin to abide in Him.  In other words, abiding in Him is our stand in Christ as Christians."

However, what we know from this book especially is that there are essential evidences of new birth. There are conditions that must be met for eternal life. Abiding in Jesus and holding fast to the gospel are conditions that John is giving for eternal life. Those who persevere (in faith) until the end will be saved. 

BUT the glorious reality of the gospel is that we are justified by GOD GIVEN faith alone! That God given faith and Spirit empowered obedience is HOW we meet the conditions. In other words, yes, the action of our holding fast to the gospel and abiding in Christ RESULTS in eternal life. BUT God is the one who sustains our faith in the Gospel and sustains our abiding in Him. It's all of grace! 

Not sure if that clarifies what I believe John is saying. Thank you for your comments! God bless brother!
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.