“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
“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
“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 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: 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
“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 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
“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
“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
Here’s a trend involving the word declare in 1 John chapter 1 (NKJV) that I noticed last Sunday night during the scripture reading.
John’s first declaration is that eternal life was personified in Jesus Christ:
- “the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us –” (vs. 2)
John’s initial declaration is made for the purpose of declaring to others that we are able to enjoy the same fellowship that he has with God:
- “that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” (vs. 3)
John’s final declaration is that this fellowship opportunity being made available through the gospel is a relationship with an ever holy and unchanging God:
- “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” (vs. 5)
Summed up, 1 John 1:1-5 is declaring that the message of salvation is meant to be 1) shared, 2) understood and 3) life-changing.
Such may be the reason why John ends his letter by saying:
“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” (1 John 5:20-21)
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
All I can say is that I’m grateful that the faithfulness of God can overcome the faithfulmess that we can create.
The apostle John warns, “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. And the world is passing away with all its desires, but the person who does the will of God remains forever” (1 John 2:15-17).
This teaching concentrates on the need for believers to separate themselves from the world. What practical tips would you offer someone who is seeking to live out this message?
News from the churches?
At PCYC, we had been talking all week about running the Christian race. In the teen girls class I was teaching, we were talking about how bad attitudes can hinder us in that race. We tied each of the attitudes to a lack of repentance. Yesterday morning, we closed by talking about the great judgment day, when the books will be opened and every man judged according to his works — how there is a record of our lives and that record will be compared to God’s word, which endures forever. Last evening, at the close of PCYC, two young ladies came forward because as they said, they wanted confidence on the day of judgment.
In total, we had 5 responses. One an adult, who is of a Catholic background and has asked for a Bible study. We additionally have two tentative Bible studies set up with families from the community. One teenage girl is begging to come back on Wed nights to be a part of our teenage girls class. I am so blessed to have been a part of this camp.
I will be following up with an article for Brotherhood News.
The chapter reading for today is 1 John 4 (we read 1 John from Monday to Friday). Verse 17 states, “By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.”
Here’s today’s Nudge: How or where have you seen this confidence shown, already, in your own life or in some other saint you know?
Finally, other more factual news of the body of Christ and its members is always welcome.
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (Net Bible) What a beautiful picture! What a wonderful gift! “Walking in the light,” that is, obedience, results in fellowship and cleansing.
Many call 1 John the apostle’s letter of love. Love is certainly one of the major ideas of the book. Yet I think we overlook the dominant idea of the book. Obedience. The topics raised in the book from fellowship to truth to love are framed in this idea of obedience. John addresses these subjects in the form of commands. He speaks of sin and lawlessness–disobedience. He speaks of those who practice righteousness–obedience. One might not agree this is the dominant idea, but everyone who actually reads the book cannot ignore the frequency of occurrences.
Actually, I guess they can and do. They condemn older preachers of hammering obedience and ignoring love. Does that mean we preach only love and ignore obedience? Do we have to choose? Can’t we, shouldn’t we, preach both?
Climbing down from my high horse now.