Faith knowledge

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

By this we know that we reside in God and he in us: in that he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God resides in him and he in God. 1 John 4.13-15

We know that we reside in God and he in us. It is more that just head knowledge. It is a knowledge based upon what God has told us in his word. It is faith knowledge. In John 14.23 we read that if we love Jesus, we will obey his words and God and Jesus will come and take up residence in our lives. He comes to live within me. Acts 2.38 teaches that after we are baptized, we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit becomes a part of my life. My confession cannot be in word only. It will do me no good to call Jesus Lord if I do not obey him, Matthew 7.21-23. This residence within my life does not depend upon anything other than the permanence of my life walking within the words of Jesus. Obeying his words. Following his example of obedience to God the Father. Like Father, like Son. Think about it.

#risingjoy #1-John #knowledge

Love by action

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been fathered by God and knows God. The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love. By this the love of God is revealed in us: that God has sent his one and only Son into the world so that we may live through him. I John 4.7-9

God is love. The initiative to love comes from God. He took the first step to make possible the renewing of my relationship with him. He sent Jesus, his one and only son, out of heaven, into the world. He sacrificed him upon the cross. Why? So that you and I might have hope of a renewed walk with God. The fact that I am alive spiritually through the blood of Christ shows the love of God in me. Now what do I do with that love that is shown in me? I love other Christians, not in the way the world defines love as an emotion. But in the way that God shows love, by action. If God is my father and I am like him, then I will show my love by action. To those who do not know him, I will teach them the good news about love with love. Just as God took the initiative to show love to me, I must take the initiative to show love to others, especially those who do not know him.

#risingjoy #1-John #love

The meaning of true love

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

We have come to know love by this: that Jesus laid down his life for us; thus we ought to lay down our lives for our fellow Christians. But whoever has the world’s possessions and sees his fellow Christian in need and shuts off his compassion against him, how can the love of God reside in such a person? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue but in deed and truth. 1 John 3.16-18

Love in action. That is what could describe the purpose of Jesus here on this earth. His purpose was to obey God and die for you and me. Jesus tells us that we must follow after him. I have to take up my cross and die to myself, Matthew 16.24. If I care more for my possessions than I do for a fellow Christian, then I fail to follow Jesus. If I refuse to help a fellow Christian in need, then I am denying Jesus and all that he came to do. John tells us that words alone do not get the task done. I can talk all day, but to no avail. I have to act. I have to do something to help those in need. But acting in any way I want also does not cut it. I have to act in truth. I have to act in such a way that the truth is being carried out and acted upon. Why is it so important for you and for me to read the Scriptures? Because within the Scriptures is where we will find the meaning of true love.

#risingjoy #1-John #love

Fathered by God

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been fathered by God, and everyone who loves the father loves the child fathered by him. 1 John 5.1

Have you been fathered by God? What exactly does that mean? Mark 16.16 tells us that the one that believes and is baptized will be saved. In the first part of John 3, Jesus talks about the necessity of being born from above. We must go through a second birth of water and Spirit to enter God’s kingdom. The birth of water refers to baptism by immersion in water at which point we receive the gift of the Spirit’s presence in our lives. We become adopted children of God the father. God becomes our father. We become part of a spiritual family including brothers and sisters, with Jesus being our oldest brother. If I love the Father, I will also love the ones who are fathered by him by being born from above. I have blood brothers who make up a part of my earthly family. But I do not always agree with them or even at times get along with them. My own three children often did not see eye to eye on things or get along all the time. But the effort was made. Love is not the gushy emotion that we have made it out to be. It is a decision to do what is best for the other person. I watch out for God’s family. I am not a watch dog. But I do try to encourage my spiritual family to remain faithful. And I welcome when someone helps me to remain faithful by correcting me and encouraging me when I need it. We all need help. It is good to know that I have someone who is watching my back.

#risingjoy #1-John #fathered-by-God

Knowing truth

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us insight to know him who is true, and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This one is the true God and eternal life. 1 John 5.20

True. Let’s hammer it home. John uses this word three times in this verse. He states that the coming of Christ to the earth to live and die is fact. We know. There is no doubt. Of course, this apostle walked with Jesus while on this earth. He should know. Jesus helps us to understand who God is. He has given us insight to know him. God is true. When we are baptized, Galatians 3.27 says that we are baptized into Christ, so we are in him who is true. We are in Jesus Christ. 1 John 5.11 tells us we have eternal life in Jesus. He is the true God and eternal life. I have talked with people who do not believe that Jesus is the true God. They believe he was just another good man among many. But not really all that special. Most of the time I find that these same people have never read the Bible to understand who Jesus is and what he came to do. They will not experience eternal life or even truth without the correct knowledge of who Jesus is and the God that he reveals. They will live a lie basically depending upon someone or something that is false. God made himself known through Jesus and he is true. Knowing truth brings joy!

#risingjoy #1-John #truth

Be a conquerer!

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

because everyone who has been fathered by God conquers the world. This is the conquering power that has conquered the world: our faith. 1 John 5.4

Three times. A form of the word conquer is used three times. God has conquered the world. He created it and it is in His power to destroy it. He rules. He has given His children the power to conquer the world. If I have been fathered by God then I conquer the world. That is power! From where does that power come? It is my faith that I have in the one who fathered me. He gives it to me! However, my faith has to be informed and knowledgeable. It matters where I place my faith if I want to conquer. Romans 10.17 states that faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of God. So if my faith comes from God’s word, it has the power that conquers. If I place my faith anywhere besides God’s word, I am not connected to that power and consequently deny myself the conquest. God gives me the ability to choose where I put my faith. Choose wisely. Be a conqueror!

#risingjoy #1-John #victory

Spirit of the antichrist: 1 John 4.3

“but every spirit that refuses to confess Jesus, that spirit is not from God, and this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming, and now is already in the world.”

1 John 4.3

One test of belonging to God was the teaching about Jesus, his deity and humanity. Whoever denied it (spirit=teaching) was not only wrong, but belong to the present evil forces arrayed against God.

God’s truth is clear. To teach different is to “refuse” to confess Jesus. The truth must be welcomed and obeyed. To what spirit do I belong?

#votd #1-John #doctrine

God protects: 1 John 5.18

“We know that everyone fathered by God does not sin, but God protects the one he has fathered, and the evil one cannot touch him.”

1 John 5.18

John concludes his first letter with three things that Christians know. The first: God protects his children. They do not face the opposition alone. The power of God makes us sure of success.

Is God my Father? Have I been born of water and the Spirit, immersed to have sins forgiven? Am I engaged in the struggle against sin? Am I committed to God’s purity? Am I certain of his protection?

#votd #1-John #protection

Eternal life in the Son: 1 John 5.11-12

“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. The one who has the Son has this eternal life; the one who does not have the Son of God does not have this eternal life.”

1 John 5.11-12

Eternal life is the life that God possess in all its beautiful qualities. It can be found and possessed by man. Only in his Son can we have it, for the Son is God. Outside of him there is no life.

To enter into the Son, we must be immersed in water for the forgiveness of sins. Have I done that? To remain in him is to continue hearing and obey the teaching of Christ, 1 Jn 2.24. Am I doing that?

#eternal-life #1-John #in-Christ

They did not really belong to us: 1 John 2.19

“They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us, because if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. But they went out from us to demonstrate that all of them do not belong to us.”

1 John 2.19

John refers to false teachers. They denied that Jesus came in the flesh. Separation in teaching must result in separation in fellowship.

The church must be vigilant against false teaching. We must be aware that some will depart from the faith. We must not be disturbed when some leave us. This is as it must be.

#votd #1-John #false-teaching

In this is love: 1 John 4.10

“In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

1 John 4.10

God is immeasurably lovable. We, as rebellious sinners, are not. But God still loved us and sent his Son. Redemption is the greatest love of all.

God asks us: Don’t you get tired of sinning, of rebelling, of keeping your distance? Why not surrender and find peace? Why not turn you back on sin and come to me? Here is love. Come with me.

#votd #1-John #redemption

So you may have fellowship: 1 John 1.3

“we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.”

1 John 1.3 NRSV

This appears to be John’s purpose statement for his letter, along with v. 4. It’s about fellowship with the One who came in human form, so that all, accepting the gospel’s truth, could be one with God and with him.

To have fellowship with God, Christ, and his people, he must be proclaimed. What are you doing right now to proclaim Christ?

#votd #1-John #fellowship

They speak from the world’s perspective: 1 John 4.5

“They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world’s perspective and the world listens to them.”

1 John 4.5

The false teachers circulated among the Christians, but they had different origins. Speaking (teaching) from the world’s perspective was a sign their origin was the world.

False teachers can be found in the church today, but they teach a different doctrine that comes from the world. This is why they must be rejected.

#votd #1-John #doctrine

The world is passing away: 1 John 2.17

“And the world is passing away with all its desires, but the person who does the will of God remains forever.”

1 John 2.17

The world of sin and rebellion will not last. It and the desires that invest in it are transient. Let us then become people who do God’s will.

What desires of mine turn me toward the world? How intensely am I pursuing the will of God?

#votd #1-John #will-of-God

Not from the Father: 1 John 2.15-16

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, because all that is in the world (the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the arrogance produced by material possessions) is not from the Father, but is from the world.”

1 John 2.15-16

Christians must walk as Jesus did. They must love one another. They must be assured of their salvation. They must reject false teaching. The world and all it contains are opposed to the Father.

Love means commitment to, involvement in, support of the world. How do we show our rejection of the world and our commitment to God?

#votd #1-John #world