DISCIPLES OF JESUS MINISTRY

Where He leads us we will follow

Introduction

                                   The First Epistle of John

 

 

                                        Introduction

 

 

Although John the apostle’s name is not mentioned .The style and grammar suggests the same author of the Fourth Gospel and could only be the apostle John

   Internal proof points to John the apostle as being the author of the first epistle. Ancient testimony with no dissenting voices ascribes the epistle to John the apostle.

 

              I believe the title of John’s First Epistle comes from this body of proof because the author never mentions his name

             The John spoken of here the same John author of the fourth gospel. One of the earlier disciples of Jesus Christ later to become one of his most famous apostles

 

          The date of writing most Christian scholars would agree with would be near the end of the first century A.D.90

 

    The purpose behind the writing of this epistle to give assurance of eternal life to those who believe in the name of the Son of God Jesus Christ (5:13)

 

                    Son of God the Man Jn 1:1-4

 

(1)   Everything has a starting point or does it? Our risen Lord had no beginning. He is eternal. When John writes using terminology making us think of beginnings. There is obviously a point he wants you and I to understand

    Jesus is the Son of God. This never changed. He came down to earth but was still God.

He stepped into our world from his realm.

         Jesus Christ our Lord never stopped being the Son of God. He had no beginning and no end. He is eternal. The author wants us to ponder and meditate upon the fact of his deity

        To grasp as much as the Spirit of God will allow us in insight towards the Person and work of our glorious God Jesus Christ. Looking at it from the God perspective not our own. Much is made of the humanity of Christ to the detriment of his divinity both must be balanced

           Uppermost in his heart as he continues to write this circular letter is that the person whom John writes of is God. I believe to get to know God as a person you have to look at where He came from. (Jn.1:1-5)

            Before Jesus Christ became man he is God. Nobody could have done what he done. Incomprehensible as it may sound He is God. He knew himself to be God. I am not taking anything from his humanity but the fact is He Jesus Christ is God. I believe when he was struggling as a human being through the passion of the cross the Holy Spirit would continue to remind him of who he was and is, strengthening him in his weaknesses to enable him to finish his work upon the cross.

            The same Holy Spirit who enabled our Lord to carry out his mission on our behalf is open to us. With out Him we are not able fully to live the Christian life.

              Interestingly John in the next part of the verse writes of hearing and then seeing. Our author uses the plural 'we'. There was more than one of them. They, first of all heard.

             Perhaps the author is thinking of the time when our Lord called upon him to follow, and of the others who followed soon after. Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother and then Simon Peter his brother

          The word heard in the context of how the author uses the term brings a two fold meaning. They had heard listened and obeyed. To listen to the call of Christ upon your life and do nothing is not listening.

         Our author continuing to use the plural speaks of having seen the Christ with their eyes

         Jesus Christ is no ghost neither is he a phantom. He was a man in the flesh such as you and me. With one important difference he had no sin.  Jesus Christ was a real historical man. Still continuing to be God in the flesh hidden from the eyes of mankind a part from those few who had been selected by him.   God incarnate made man. Jn1; 14.

        Looked upon past tense John is reminding his readers of the fact of Jesus Christ’s humanity. He had been a man made in the flesh such as them. Now sits in heaven with his Father exalted and glorified. He who had been crucified and had died on the cross. God his Father resurrected from the dead.

       Before our Lord went back to heaven he made a number of resurrected appearances to his apostles and disciples The author John speaks of this in the next clause of the sentence. Whether they had actually touched Jesus in his resurrected body we do not know but Thomas had. John, Andrew, and Peter were there and saw it happen.

      John the author of this his first letter recorded a detailed account of this in his narrative of the gospel. Jn.20:27.  “Then he said to Thomas, “ Reach your fingers here, and look at my hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into my side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing”

          I would like us to take a moment here to ponder on what the author has just spoken of to the Christians to whom he writes.

         We have on view one who is God who had died as a man. Suddenly He appears before them. Again as a man in his resurrected body. But they were not to know that. I believe they all got a tremendous fright

         After all they all had seen him die on the cross. The human mind had been so used to seeing earthly death and had become accustomed to it. Nobody expected to see Jesus again. He was dead and that was that. End of story. If I had been there I would have acted and felt the same. Try and convince anyone that God can bring the dead back to life when it is in his purposes to do so. You will have a hard job convincing the world that God can do that.. Of course he can. The problem is our belief or lack of it.

       Incredible is the patience and longsuffering of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Which he holds in abundance of which he gives of himself to you and me. Hallelujah!

          Our minds are finite God knows this. There are things that are difficult to understand and interpret in the lives that we lead down here. My understanding and yours was darkened after the fall in the garden of Eden

         Therefore; we cannot depend on ourselves exclusively All of us who are a people of God need to lean on his understanding. Only He can provide the answers to the perplexities of life.

        Can you imagine a man standing in the midst of us. After we had seen him die. With great holes in his feet and in his hands. Including a huge gaping hole in his side. I wonder what our response and reaction would have been.? I praise God for the response and the reaction of his Son’s disciples who believed and followed Him.

          What they saw was God the Son. The Son of Man in the one body. I have no idea whether they understood the concept but they believed and followed. Many would give their lives for Him.

          My own understanding, weak as it may be. I believe when they saw the risen glorified Christ standing before them. Suddenly the true meaning of life would immediately enter into all of their hearts. A glorious moment for them to treasure while they were still on the earth.

           The Word of life Jesus Christ our Lord. The only life. Eternal life that you and I carry in our physical frames until we are called home to glory. Amen and Hallelujah!

              I cannot end this verse without speaking of my Lord’s deity because I believe this is what is on view here. John ends the verse by ascribing to our Lord another title. “ The Word of life-“ The Word Jesus Christ is life. The eternal Word who exists without beginning began earthly life as a man but that was all. Jn ,1:1 (  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”) Jn.!:4. (   “ In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”)  Our starting point. Jn. 1:14. (“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”) We should all fall down at this moment. Be on our knees in praise wonder, and love that includes sincere gratitude that comes from our hearts. Overwhelmed with the love of God towards us in the giving of His Son Jesus Christ.  Affording divine mercy to all who believe where there is none.

  (2) After introducing the eternal Word Jesus Christ our risen Lord. The perfect man who is also God. John wants those to whom he writes. To capture the fact he who is the perfect man is also God. The deity of Christ is that He is the Son of God. We must always keep that within our hearts and our spirit. Never was there a time when He was not. I have to remember He is God -My God - God the Son. You have to remember He is your God. Our prayer should be to ask God the Holy Spirit to remind us of  this in our daily lives in every situation. To understand Christ’s humanity is very important for all of us.

It and I stress it, should never obscure the fact He is God - My God - You’re God - The Son of God - Our risen exalted glorified Christ -  Lord of lords and King of kings. With that said Jesus the man his life here on earth is now made visible. John is now talking of Christ’s earthly life. 

               John in his narrative of the gospel spoke of the Word of life being the light of men now it has come to full fruition. ( Jn.1:4) Made manifest simply means to make visible, The great apostle Paul contributed his considerable weight corroborating the view of the apostle John.( Rom.16:26)

               In the above named text Christ’s earthly life had been made visible concurring with the author John. The prophetic Scriptures corroborates upholds the view point of John and Paul made known to all of the nations. Notice no nation had been left out.

               The commandment was made by the everlasting God for obedience to the faith. Heavy weight of responsibility as it should be we are dealing with one who is God.

                John now goes on to speak of having seen Jesus the Son of God in earthly form. A man such as them without sin. I and the other apostles witnessed the fact of Christ’s earthly life. Andrew, Simon  Peter and I saw Jesus of Nazareth whom we now know to be Jesus the Christ the Son of the living God. Our Lord who is God.. We now tell you of this.

            This is no ordinary man, He is the eternal life who breathes life into our beings. The eternal life who is the Son of God who had been with His Father God before the beginning. Came down from heaven and made Himself visible to us. The love He gives to us He wants to give to you.

  (3) We are informing you of this because of the love of Christ who abides in us and in you as our brothers and sisters who belong to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We are to love you and you are to love us with the love of Christ who abides in us all. Through the love of Christ who abides in all of our hearts we will have fellowship with one another. When you and I embrace this love into our hearts we will love all of our brothers and sisters no matter how difficult they may seem to us. The love of Christ changes all of that when we allow His love to flow through us.

        The thrust of the passage is to love the Lord Jesus Christ with the whole of our hearts give all of ourselves to Him. Difficult? Of course! Our human minds are only interested in ourselves nobody else. The answer is to allow the Holy Spirit to control our lives. Our thinking needs to be changed and only He can do it within us. To have true fellowship with each other our fellowship with God our Father and Jesus Christ His Son must be in harmony with Him. Unforgiveness of any sort breaks that relationship.

        One of the hardest things God through His Spirit has being trying to get me to understand is to show forgiveness to everybody, and not hold a grudge against them. Even when they have been wrong in their attitude and thinking towards me because He who is my God will deal with that. Jesus Christ. I have to live my life through  Jesus Christ my Lord. Through His love I will love them. And forgive. There is to be no bitter root in me.

           When God the Holy Spirit enables and helps me to do that as He does I have indeed true fellowship with God my Father and His Son Jesus Christ my Lord. I would like to add the words of the apostle Paul to this. A great hero of mine, so much so, my wife and I called our youngest son Paul. ( I Cor.1:9)  “ God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”

    (4) Instead of your joy I prefer the other manuscripts translation “ Our joy”  I love seeing men and women including children coming to the Lord and recognizing Him as their Saviour .They have the joy of seeing their sins being forgiven as I had when my sins were forgiven by accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord. We all share in the same joy. The joy the author John speaks of here is the joy our risen Lord enjoys. The same joy spoken of here he has placed in you and me...Jesus spoke these words. Let us bury them deep into our hearts  Jn:15:11)  (   “ These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, that your joy may be full.” )   The joy of knowing your sins have been forgiven by the Lord. My friends do you know of this joy of having your sins forgiven. If not? Why not ask the Saviour Jesus Christ into your heart today, and make Him your Lord. Only you can do that.           

 

          

 

 

 

Divine Fellowship with and from God 1:5-2: 1-2.

                                                                                                                                                

                                 

 

(5)   The message John the apostle and evangelist is writing of to the saints in Ephesus is one of love. “We have heard from Him...”   Love that comes from our God Jesus Christ

        No ordinary love. The love of God our Father in heaven provides us with divine fellowship that can only come from Him through the fellowship we have with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Divine love surpassing any other kind of love known to mortals.

         Only when our hearts are right with God. The love He pours into our hearts can be made visible to our brothers and sisters of Christ’s church. The church then can show the love of God to the lost. Notice everything is dependent on us having a right relationship with our God and Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ

         I  cannot do anything unless I love Him fully. The criteria for the whole of His church. Instead of being selfish Lord help me to be unselfish. Jesus Christ unselfishly gave of Himself for the church which is you and I. For that very reason we are His church. He died and was resurrected back to life by God His Father to establish the church upon the earth. The drive and the motivation behind the purpose of doing that is His love for you and me. This is the message the author brings to you and I. One of divine love. The source of and essence of lies within the one triune God. The love our risen Lord pours into our hearts we must show to one another. Later on in the Epistle John makes the remark. (Jn.3:11)  “For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another,” 

        God is light. A metaphor revealing his perfect holiness and royal majesty. I cannot imagine what the divine light will look like or whether I will be able to gaze directly into this phenomenon?  I am told our Lord will be brighter than the sun. Anyone who has gazed directly into the sun in the Sahara desert has been totally blinded. But we will be different when we get to heaven.

           To get a better idea of what John talks of here I believe Paul provides a more detailed description. (I.Tim.6.15, 16)  “ …He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords,(16) who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honour and everlasting power. Amen”

         I have no idea of what was being said in Ephesus. At the time when John felt he had to challenge the saints in that area on certain issues that had arisen.

           To think that Jesus Christ our God and Lord was somehow involved with darkness is totally improbable. Something had entered into the hearts of some of the saints in that area. Perhaps some of them were living lives that contradicted what they believed in regard to the Christian faith. Whatever it was John felt the need to challenge them.

           Speaking of himself Jesus had this to say, “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in me should not abide in darkness.” (Jn.12:46).    Darkness in the context of how Jesus is using the term expresses the attitude of things opposed against Him as one who is God who are of the earth and also the demonic. A lack of divine truth in man. No spiritual perception. The state of those who do not know Jesus Christ as Lord

      (6)  I am telling lies when I say I have fellowship with God when I act contrary to what pleases Him.

            We know what God expects of us but often fail the criteria. To continue failing in our walk with God and say we have fellowship with Him means we are telling lies not only to our brethren but also against God. A terrible and dire state to find one self in.

          When we find ourselves in that condition we must repent of it and seek the forgiveness of God. Not to do so means the discipline and chastisement of God will be upon us until we repent.

  (7) The answer is to walk in the light. I have to walk in the light. Isaiah the prophet spoke on this vital truth (Isa.2:5) “O house of Jacob, come and let us walk.

In the light of the Lord” Standing for the purity of truth to be found in God alone. He is holy, pure in the purity of his character as one who is a Holy God.

       Walking in the pureness of God’s light enables me to have fellowship with my brothers and sisters who belong to the church of our Lord Jesus Christ. When I do that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses me of all sin. His blood continues to cleanse me from all sin providing me with forgiveness when I repent of any wrong doing.

      Speaking on the blood of Christ our Lord the apostle Paul explains what it does for us. (I.Cor.6:11.)   “…and such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

  (8) A warning to stop any spiritual pride from entering into my heart in thinking that somehow I have arrived. When I was saved it did not eradicate sin I have to allow the Holy Spirit to do that. I am not perfect. God the Holy Spirit continues to mould me into the mind and person of Jesus Christ my Lord. An on going programme. I will not be like Him until I see Him as He is. Jesus spoke on this. “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (Jn. 4:24.) If I think I have no sin dwelling within me in the light of the text then I deceive myself and God is not in me. My old nature still exists the Holy Spirit continues to burn it off.

 (9) When I recognize that sin continues to linger in me and I confess them to God. He forgives me.

     The Wisdom literature of the Old Testament carries this truth. “He who covers his sins will not prosper,

        But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Prov.28:13.) He is true and just to His word

        The apostle Paul corroborates what John is saying here in his first letter. (Rom...3:24-26) “... being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

 (25) whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God passed over the sins that were previously committed,(26) to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

 (10) When I say I have not sinned I am calling God a liar. I am accusing Him of lying. The word of God quite frankly states sin is universal covers everything. When I confess my sin I am using a divine prerequisite which gives me the mercy and forgiveness of God.

   (2:1, 2)  Even although I am saved the apostle John knew like those to whom he sent this letter. There would be a time when they would commit an act of sin in the future.

                 As we all do .God knew this. He provided a way to restore us to Himself. He appointed Jesus Christ His Son and our Lord to be our advocate to plead for us and because of His righteousness. He has secured our pardon because He is the propitiation for our sins.

      Propitiation in general terms means the appeasement of the divine wrath of God by a sacrificial offering. The Lord God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is a righteous God who hated sin. Exactly that His wrath is directed against. He loves mankind but his anger is directed towards their sin. Jesus Christ His Son voluntarily came down to earth became the victim of our sin with his crucifixion and death upon the cross to appease His Father’s wrath against sin. Therefore; we see the judgment against sin. Christ our Lord endures the wrath of God for our sins. The Christ God resurrected to life. Judgment mercy love and appeasement upon the cross of Christ for my sake and all those who believe and love the Lord. Our propitiation is Jesus Christ our Lord. Not only for the church He is the propitiation for the whole world...

              Praise the Lord our God. Hallelujah!!!

Knowing Him is to trust God wholly 2:3-11.

    (3)

          Unequivocal!!  After digesting what has already been said, concerning what God had already done for me. In and through His Son my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The possibility of keeping His commandments is greater than what it would have been had He not come. I am able to do this by trusting in His Spirit. The same Spirit applies to all of God’s people. You and I cannot live our lives for Christ on a daily basis without the help of the Holy Spirit.

         On these premises when we grow in the knowledge of the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ. We will only want to do what pleases Him to know Him as a husband knows his wife. As that increases through Him and our knowledge of Him. He graciously provides us the strength and ability through His Spirit in each of us to keep His commandments.

     Our commitment to our Saviour and Lord must be true. He wants you and I to live his way not our own. Only when we do that we please Him.

       My relationship with Jesus Christ my Lord is of a personal nature deep and intimate and it has to be. Being the Son of God He is the living God... My God and your God. God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ the risen Lord speaks and converses with me in His still small voice through His Spirit in my spirit. The key to this is He is the God of the living. When you and I have that we have passed the test of knowing Him but it is a continuing desire of knowing Him more and more as we journey through this life down here. The desire of our hearts must be this.

 (4)    Obedience to the word of God is how the Lord wants me to live... There is no point of talking of the love of God that abides in me if I do not put it into practical fashion.                                                                                                When I do that I am showing the fruits of the Spirit. To know God is to listen to Him and obey his instructions.

          I know John keeps reiterating the phrase, “If we keep his commandments.” Sounds harsh when nobody did. Only the Son of God accomplished this. God already knew we could not keep his commandments the main reason why He sent His Son Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. T o take this a stage further. One of the reasons Christ our Lord died and was resurrected by God our Father was to give to us all the gift of the Comforter

      He gives us the ability to please God that is why He was sent to us. Best known to us as the Blessed Holy Spirit.

      When I refuse to do what God clearly asks of me then his truth is not in me. I am a liar not God. The Psalmist corroborates this.PSS.62:9 “Surely men of low degree are a vapour,

Men of high degree are a lie;

If they are weighed on the scales,

They are altogether lighter than vapour.” We are nothing without God. We must look to God regardless of circumstance. H e can help us to overcome anything this world can throw against us. My response is to live in Christ’s righteousness. Only through Him will I be able to do that. The criteria that all my brothers and sisters must meet to live lives wholly acceptable to the Lord. There is no other route.

(5)   The more I do what God wants of me with love towards Him. The more His love will be perfected in me. He will continue to do that as long as I seek his face. My life must be to continually please my God and Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ.

        Maturity and spiritual perfection is an on going thing in our relationship with God our Saviour Jesus Christ. Every second and minute of the day He is interested in you and me.

  Perfected brings the idea of accomplishment not what the author here has in mind. John the apostle thinks ahead of the work that the Lord had begun in his life and to the completion of it when his Lord brings it to an end. Then and only then the author will have reached full spiritual maturity when he is called home to glory. One of the greatest saints to have ever lived down here on earth who exemplified all that our glorious risen and exalted Lord continues to be...

 (6) Who better than the author John the apostle to instruct me how I ought to live and walk because at the time of writing this letter. John knew what it was like to have the risen Christ abiding in him. He writes from his own personal experience in his relationship with his risen glorified Lord. How God the Holy Spirit enabled him to be obedient to the voice of the Lord. H e certainly knew of that in his life

         In this passage the apostle is instructing the saints to whom he writes to be likewise. To say, I abide in Jesus Christ is not enough on it’s own. I must walk in the same manner He walked. An active faith is when those around us know we belong to God by our words and actions

          It is no good if I do what pleases me in any given situation without asking God what He would have me do in the same circumstances. The author’s point from the divine perspective.

          Simon Peter the apostle concurs with John the apostle on the same ground. (I Pet.2:21) “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps.”

            A challenge to our mortal ways of life. Of course our flesh and earthly attitudes shrink back and recoil from the very idea of suffering. Walking means to be active in our glorious faith following in the footsteps of Christ our Lord. To walk and overcome the suffering the Devil will bring against us in and through our Lord Jesus Christ. He will give us the victory. Therefore; let us press on to the final victory  that lies in front of us .Until the day comes when you and I are called home to receive a golden crown of eternal life A crown that will be handed to each of us from our glorious Lord. He who is King of kings and Lord of lords Jesus Christ.

(7) My understanding of what the author is speaking of in the word he uses in one of the phrases of his sentence, “from the beginning” Is the commandment to love one another a fact they already knew from their very first encounter with the risen Lord.

          He is reminding them of what Christ had commanded of them in their very first experience of the risen Lord.

           To love one another without exception. I am commanded to do just that. But I can only do this with the help of God the Holy Spirit. To be able to love one another brothers and sisters with the love of Christ who abides deep down in our hearts. We all need the help of God the Holy Spirit to release the love within us to each other. Jesus Christ our risen Lord commands us to love one another with the love he continually loves us with. I am commanded to show Christ’s love which abides in me to my brethren and the world. The love God gives to you and me we are responsible to show to others.

(8) Our author returns to his recurring theme of a new commandment. Not a suggestion a law of love. When I truly love God He activates his love in me towards others. The author of this his first letter was also the author of the Fourth gospel. The Spirit of God is bringing back the words Jesus used when he addressed John the apostle and those whom our Lord had chosen. Reminding the apostle of the second greatest commandment. (Jn.13:34)   “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” He in turn reminds those to whom he writes of this imperative. A rule of love that must be seen in all of us as we continue our walk in Him who is the light to our souls.

                   Continuing to read further into the verse our author speaks of the inherent truth that has been made visible to all who are the disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. The historical facts illuminate the truth of what Jesus Christ said of Himself. He could never be untrue to his own godly character because he is deity within himself. He is and has always been God. Full stop.

                  The truth is not only seen in his words. It is also seen in the actions of his very public ministry. The work of the cross which validated his words to us. Words of life. Jesus Christ our Lord.

                 How absolutely marvellous!! The same truth of our Lord. He has placed in you and me. The wonderful news of this is that we never deserved such truth and love. We in ourselves would never have been able to have achieved the divine love he showers upon us each day. Our salvation is only because God softened our hearts towards Him. Amen.

               There will come a time when there will be no darkness only the light of the risen glorified Christ. You and I will bask in that rarefied atmosphere. John talks of the darkness, of its passing. Taking the idea of the risen Christ dwelling within us we must open our ears to His Spirit within you and me. We must make it a reality. Do what He asks of us simply that. He is our armour without his armour we can do nothing. The apostle Paul adds his own considerable weight concurs with John’s statement. (Rom.13:12.)  “The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” Christ is our armour of light.

The true light Jesus Christ who dwells within us shines through you and I. (9) I cannot hate my brothers and sisters. If some of them dislike me I am to forgive them. Love them with the love of Christ who abides in me. The same love that abides in them... We are to love one another. Without the love of Christ who dwells within you and me we are nothing. (1.Cor.13:2)  “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”  I must continue to love Jesus Christ my Lord so that He can show His love through me to all who come across my path. My responsibility is to love Him first. The second great commandment will easily follow when I put into practice the first one. (Deut.6:5)  “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” I believe when you and I properly digest what is being said here. We will fear nothing because God has already given us the victory in His Son our risen victorious Lord Jesus Christ.!!! Hallelujah!

 (10) Simply because a brother and sister may upset us from time to time we must continue to forgive them as Christ has forgiven us no matter how hard and difficult that may be. Our risen glorified Lord will help us to do that with the help of the Holy Spirit whom He has provided us with. Ask God to help you to forgive. As I do. The only way to stop rancour and bitterness from growing in our hearts.

      The opposite is a terrible state to be in. Infact the next verse describes those who have never known Christ even when they profess they do (11) I believe the author is speaking of a continuous state of mind in the man or woman he describes here. He or she hates their brother or sister. Could be both? Hate is a very strong and emotive word. Hatred leads to all kinds of terrible things. Clearly it must have been in the church to which the apostle writes. Not only was the darkness in some of the members of the fellowship they continued to walk in that state. If you and I cannot forgive one another for something we have said and done against one another. There is something clearly wrong. The dimensions of which are huge. How can I expect my Lord to forgive me when I hold resentment against a brother and sister in Christ’s church. I am thankful to God for this reason. He always points out the errors of my ways brings me back to the position H e wants me to be in. He loves me and He wants me to love Him and show His love to my brothers and sisters in Christ continue to forgive them as He forgives me.

     The people whom John describes here have never known Christ because they have put themselves before God’s Son Jesus Christ. To know Jesus Christ as Lord means we have to please Him in all that we say and do. Not what you and I think we should do and say? What He thinks we should do and say. The authenticity that marks out the true church of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

Spiritual Growth 2:12-14.

                                         Spiritual Growth 2:12-14.

 

     When we first came in contact with the glorified Lord something began to grow in us of Christ’s divine nature. John      describes this as the day you and I were saved we began to feed on spiritual milk because at that time we were small children... We had to crawl first when we where babies. Same s spiritual milk. They knew that their sins had been forgiven in the name of Jesus Christ.

          Nobody else can forgive us of our sins only our glorified Lord. The apostle Paul spoke upon this subject. In his first letter to the Christians in Corinth (1.Cor.6:11) the text speaks of the Christians in that city being justified in the name of our Lord. This same message applies to you and me. All of this for the sake of His name. Nothing can be done unless it is in the name of our Lord, (13) from being children who started off with being fed and nourished on spiritual milk they have now become spiritual fathers who now eat of the spiritual meat. The onus to grow spiritually is our responsibility. You and I must have the desire to study God’s Word be guided in what the Holy Spirit reveals to us in the Word of God and be obedient in the application of it in the lives we lead A desire to please God is crucial to the success of how we grow in spiritual truth. When you and I actively take this on board we will go from being fed on the milk of the Word to the meat the solid food of God.

        John describes the qualities needed to be spiritual fathers. Look at the verse the transparency can be seen in the sentence.

          When Christ first revealed Himself to them in his deity. He being God and man in the one body the Word of God. They knew Him. Accepted Him as little children do with their earthly fathers, spiritual babies. But from that point grew spiritually to become fathers of the faith. However; we must continue to desire and want this spiritual food in order that you and I become more and more like our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Our earthly lives must continue to show spiritual maturity, increasing in maturity. The necessity of the light of the risen glorified Christ who abides in us to shine through us illuminating the darkness which holds men and women captive. Through this mechanism, breaking the chains that hold them, and bringing them into this incredible brilliant light of love and forgiveness that we all enjoy which can only be found in Christ our Lord Hallelujah

         The importance of knowing Jesus and wanting to know Him as our Lord and Saviour as well as a brother and friend is crucial not only to you and me but also the world we live in.

          I would like to quote from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible.NKJV.Page1785.

Kingdom Dynamics.2:12-14 Growth in Stages

                                            GROWTH    When a baby is born, biologically he has everything he needs for adulthood. He just has to grow into it. The same is true of our spiritual progress. Godly growth is a providential journey of becoming what we already are. These verses do not refer to ages as much as to stages of godly development. As infants, or “little children” we are excited about the newness of a relationship with God. But as we feed on the milk of the Word (1.Pet.2.2,) we see there is more to salvation than the forgiveness of our sins. We grow beyond our infancy into young adult lives of challenge and victory as people who live daily by faith (2.Cor.5:7) finally, “fatherhood” is that designation given to saints who have come to know God as friend. Fathers know the joy and peace of intimacy with the Lord and endeavour to begin producing spiritual offspring through the loving process of discipleship (Matt.28:19, 20), It is important to ask ourselves if we are progressing to new levels of spiritual growth. End of quote.

                       There is nothing new in this because we find the same message in the Old Testament but it was much harder to put into practice because of the absence of the Holy Spirit in the sense He still had to come in the Person of the comforter. The Son of God had still to come to earth as a man.

                        We must bear in mind that the Holy Spirit was still there part of the Godhead from everlasting to everlasting.   God could still be found when He disclosed  Himself to His chosen people Israel. What He commanded of his people then is commanded of us. (Lev.20:7, 8). The words of God spoken to Moses to give to His people including us. “Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God, (8) And you shall keep My statutes, and perform them: I am the Lord who sanctifies you.”  I am to seek the face of the Lord at all times. The same holds good for the whole of the church of Christ our Lord.                    

Love God not the world 2:15-17.

 

                                 Love God not the world. 2:15-17.

 

(15) You and I must examine our hearts before God and let His Spirit search us for anything that would hinder our fellowship with Him. I believe this is the reason why our author commands the Christians to whom he writes not to love the world and the things of the world. “Do not love the world...”   A direct command that must be obeyed in order to keep God in our hearts. He must come first to enable us to keep His love flowing through you and me. The world we live in can also mean the age we live in. Paul the apostle describes it as being evil. (Rom.12:21) You and I must not let evil cloud our thinking but overcome the evil with the good Jesus Christ has placed within our hearts.

       Reminds me of the phrase two wrongs do not make one wrong right. We are to be different from that because Christ our risen Lord gave of Himself for our sins to deliver us from this present evil age. The world we live in is evil the enemy controls it. Apart from those who are in Christ Jesus who through His Spirit abiding in His people Christ is wrestling back control from His arch enemy the Devil.  Hallelujah! (Gal.1; 4.)  

        James the brother of Jesus while my Lord had been on the earth warns me not to be stained in the ways of the world to keep myself clean as He is clean through the Spirit of Christ who abides in me. (Jm.1:27) He will be able to show through me the fruits of the Spirit.

            If I only love what the age I live in has to offer me and I live my life to that end then the love of Christ is not in me.

            Jesus Christ our Lord spoke on this very issue and we need to look at it very closely to understand the implications it holds for us all. His Lordship over us covers every aspect of our lives even to the tiniest detail. (Mtt.6:24.)  “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and riches.”   If we love the pleasures and desires of the age we live in more than God? John makes it quite plain His love does not abide in us. The meaning of what he says is quite clear. “The love of the Father is not in him.” Not one word of ambiguity totally transparent.

          James the earthly brother of Jesus uses even stronger language to underline what the apostle John writes to his brethren. (Jn.4:4) “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to make a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” Metaphorical terms to describe those who go after worldliness breaking the vows to love God and Him alone.

          To serve and please God our Father through His Son our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To have no false idols or graven images taking his place in our hearts. When we allow that to happen we become estranged with God His hostility comes against us (16)

         Speaks of a world without God, The age we live in does not have God. Lives under the tyranny and dominion of the Devil and his demons. A dominion and tyranny that is being steadily broken under the sovereign rule of our God.

         The world rejected Christ even although it was made through Him. An age that is slowly being brought to its knees. Lust of the flesh what I want. Sometimes chiefly seen as a sexual desire for a person or persons forbidden by God. Satisfying the lust within us without any regard to the consequences that others will suffer because of our actions . All who collude and plot together committing an act of sexual desire suffer the consequences.  Sex comes into mind because this is the chief weapon of the adversary that destroys Christian marriages

        A lust for something that is clearly not yours and belongs to either a brother or sister. Can be tangible and not. The word covet comes to mind goes clearly against the instructions of God The lust and covetousness of our eyes when we see something someone else has got and we want it for ourselves. (Eccles.5:10, 11.)  “He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver, Nor he who loves abundance with increase. This also is vanity (11) When goods increase, They increase who eat them; So what profit have the owners Except to see them with their eyes” Nothing of the earth lasts. Quite apt for what follows in the next verse. (17)

.           Our author writes of this subject to the believers indicating to them that the age they were living in was passing. The same is true of the age we are living through. A point that should motivate all of us to live for Christ. Paul the apostle had a clever train of mind in the use of the words he uses to explain this thought. (1.Cor.5.31.) “… and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away.”

        When you and I seek earnestly to do what pleases God we will live forever with Him... Show the fruits of the Spirit to one another and the lost Then the world can see we belong to Christ.

                                                                                                                          

           

Liars in the End Times and the Last Hour. 2:18-23.

                                

           The last hour as John sees it begun with our Lord’s first coming and it has been that way ever since. Our author speaks of his readers as being little children. They are still being nourished on the milk of the Word. Perhaps John is thinking of how Jesus addressed him and the rest of the apostles after His Father had raised him from the dead.

         (Jn21.5) Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?”  You and I who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are children of God his Father. To reiterate the words of the author he affirms, “It is the last hour.” Obviously not literally an earthly hour as we know it. Had that been the case you and I would not be here.

                     Even then the apostle saw the rise of impostors who taught lies denying the truth of Christ our Lord. Not from outside of the church of Christ from within. Indicating to you and me the beginning and end of all things.

                      A man who is a Christian brother as well as a politician standing for the conservative party here in the United Kingdom spoke out against homosexuality as sin against God was sacked as a candidate for the 2010 coming election by the Leader Mr Cameron. Makes you think about what kind of morals and integrity belong to that man. Nobody who knows Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour is likely to vote for that man, nor any of his candidates who are standing for election.This is just another sign of the end times we are living through. The same applies to all of the political parties who today prefer to be politically correct rather than having Godly values.

        (Acts.2:17) “ ..And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God.”  Another text. (1.Pet. 1:20)   “He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.” Finally, (Rom.13:11.)  “ ….And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” Antichrists are two words combined together. Anti means instead of or against. The second word Christos means anointed. I prefer the stronger of the two, “against.” We use the term to describe anti aircraft fire; guns that bring down aeroplanes injure and kill pilots.

               The antichrists are types of the Antichrist still to come and they are out to destroy our faith, if at all possible? - False teachers taking the place of Christ our Lord .

               Many of the antichrists had now come out of the shadows beginning with the 9th century A.D. They still continue to be with us in one form and another. Whatever their guise will be?

                         Regarding false teachers, John totally opposes and continues to write to the saints warning them of these false teachers and to oppose the false teaching they were espousing. (See v.22; 4:3; 2. John.7). Our Lord had spoken of these false teachers to his disciples while He was here on earth. Jesus called them false christs. (Matt.24:24) “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect”.

                      Now the reality of that was happening in the later stages of the author’s life and continues to be with us. We must be on our guard against  falling into the trap of false teaching allowing the Holy Spirit to guide and help us at all times.

                       Unless you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour,  in  a deep and personal way  and have an intimate relationship with Him, how can you face the future that lies ahead? He loves you and wants you to truly know Him, not just know about Him.

                     The antichrists whom John speaks of here are only types of the Antichrist who is to come. Adolf Hitler committed genocide and so to did Stalin add to that list Poll Pot in modern times. But this is nothing compared to what is before us. They are only types of the Antichrist who is to come in the future.

                      I do not say this to frighten you only to warn you of what God speaks of that lies in the future of the age we live in. While we live in the year of his favour we can turn to his Son Jesus Christ and accept him as our Lord and Saviour if we have not done so already.

                The Antichrist of whom the author speaks of is known as the Beast in the book of Revelation. A revelation given to the present author..(  Rev.13:1-18) He will exalt Himself above and against God. ( Daniel.9:27). He the Antichrist will stop Israel from performing anymore blood sacrifices that had been restored in the last days in which we live, but still a future event. He will build a graven image of himself in the temple and require everyone to worship it.

                     Jesus Christ our Lord spoke on this subject I know most of my brothers and sisters are aware of the Antichrist but it is good to refresh ourselves in regard to it. ( Matt.24:15.) “ Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” The apostle at the end of the verse continues to speak of being in the last hour and in a sense when he saw all that was happening around him he had every reason to think he was right.

                   I believe it breeds a healthy attitude in us to think we are living in the last hour  in our love and commitment towards our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul spoke to Timothy on the issues John raises here with his readers ( I.Tim.4:1) “ Now the Spirit explicitly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,”

         ( 19)  I believe when the author writes to his readers speaking of us he is meaning himself and the other apostles The Apostolic doctrine and teaching for the life of Christ’s church. They who went out and left did not agree with the apostolic teaching. The same thing had happened with Israel recorded in the Old Testament.( Deut.13:13) “  Corrupt men have gone out from among you and enticed the inhabitants of their city, saying, “ Let us go and serve other gods” ‘-which you have not known”  The apostle makes the point that they were not of us. What we can also say when the apostle speaks of we he means those like himself who had been eyewitnesses of the earthly life of Christ you are the readers.

                  We must then stick to the teaching of Christ’s apostles as taught in the New Testament asking the Holy Spirit to strengthen and enabling us to be true to these principles. Those who teach falsely will leave because they do not agree with the apostolic doctrines and belief for Christ’s church. John concludes in this verse by pointing out that they had left because they did not come from their group. The telling remark by the author is in the words he writes to his readers.  “They did not belong to us.” You and I have been left a warning on these issues by the apostle Paul. (I Cor.11:19)

   “For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you.” The body of Christ his church the bride is not perfect but is being perfected through the operation of the Holy Spirit continuing to burn the dross off.

               We who know him are members of his body the Holy Spirit is bringing us into conformity of Jesus Christ our Lord enabling us to be like Him. (20) My personal belief and opinion here which I believe all my brothers and sisters share is that John the apostle as a human father figure is making visible the love of God our Father and Jesus Christ his Son our Lord to the believers to whom he writes. He knows they already know what he is speaking of here. Making confirmation and affirmation of what they already have.

               An anointing from the Holy Spirit.is what we all need to do what pleases God, none of us can operate without Him. To enable us to overcome the Devil and his temptations we need the Spirit of the living God. The believers to whom the author writes reminds them that they already had in abundance the anointing of the Holy Spirit. And they know as much as they needed to know to deal with what was coming against them. God’s Spirit who dwells within us enables you and I to live godly lives. The same applied to the readers of John’s first letter. Brothers and sisters who have yet to experience the Baptism of the Holy Spirit I urge you to pray that God the Father will give you this immeasurable gift in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. You need Him to help you to live lives pleasing to God without depending on your own strength that leaves many saints being burned out.(21) I can understand in part why John is called the disciple whom Jesus loved because we can see the traits of his beloved Lord coming to the surface of his character.

                We see it in this letter and in all his contributions to the New Testament while being guided in and through the Spirit of God. Even when he has to write negatively immediately afterwards he brings a word of encouragement. I did not write to you because I felt you did not know the truth. A great word of encouragement because John knew they were sorely pressed.

                I would like also to encourage my brethren to bring to your memory that whatever circumstances you find yourself in God knows. He has anointed you with his Blessed Holy Spirit. The truth is in you. Look to Him and He will help you to overcome what the enemy has brought against you. Continue to pray earnestly without ceasing giving praise glory and honour to God. Call on the name of the Lord and he will help you. No idle promise.

  2.22, 23.There were those who denied the deity of Christ and they still continue to be with us but not in the church of Christ. They are found in other sects and different religious organizations. The opposition to John and the rest of the apostles denied that their Lord and ours was the Christ. They are liars and deceivers, antichrists. If anyone denies the deity of Christ they are doing the same as denying the Father and the Son.

            Denying Jesus is the Christ as  John’s epistles states as well as denying the fact he came in the flesh means you are against God. Nobody can worship God when you deny Jesus Christ the Son of God is fully God and he is man fully human in his one body existing in the one triune God

              Praise God for those like me who do not deny the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. One who is God as well as man held together in his own precious body. Hallelujah! Praise God.

 

 

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