Calvary Chapel Dickinson

This is some blog description about this site

1 John Bible Study Week 6 Notes

1 John 4 lesson 6

We closed last week with the understanding that it is the Holy Spirit that enables us to Love. He is the One who pours out God’s love into our hearts – without Him working in our lives, it is impossible to love the way God desires us to. You can’t give something you don’t have, and without the Holy Spirit, we don’t have Agape love.

1-3

As believers in Jesus Christ, as children of God we are called to have spiritual discernment.

1 Thes 5:19-21

“do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God.”

Just because someone says they are a Christian doesn’t mean that they are nor does it mean that everything they teach is biblical and truth.

What does it mean to discern? It is a judicial or legal term. It means to examine carefully in order to find truth in something, or fault in something.

So what does scripture have to say about discernment?

Proverbs 2:3, 5 “Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding,… Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, And find the knowledge of God.”

            We need to ask for it, desire it, cry out for it

Proverbs 15:21Folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment, But a man of understanding walks uprightly.”

            It is necessary for right living before God;

1 Cor 2:14-15 14But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”       Discernment is God given and we receive it through the power of the Holy Spirit.

So just as the ability to love is poured into us by the Holy Spirit, so is the ability to discern.

Look at Philippians 1:9 “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment,”

            Love and discernment are definitely connected!

The Bible Knowledge Commentary tells us that It was Paul’s prayer that the Philippians’ love for other believers would abound, run over as a cup or a river overflows.     But that love should be more than sentimental; it should be knowledgeable and            discerning. Having genuine spiritual knowledge (epignōsis) of God and depth of insight into His ways enables Christians to love God and others more.

Back when John wrote this, there were those who professed Christ but didn’t believe that He had an actual body, that’s why John stresses that “Jesus came in the flesh”. These were the Gnostics and Docetists.

Today we have kind of the reverse thing going on. People and other religions don’t have an issue saying that Jesus was a man – but rather they doubt that He was God.

            Mormons profess to be Christians yet they believe that Jesus was a created being, the spirit brother of Lucifer.

            Jehovah Witnesses profess to be Christians yet they believe that Jesus was in fact the     Arc Angel Michael.

            Iglesia ni Cristo “which means Church of Christ” (different from what we know as The             Church of Christ) similar to both mormanism and J.W.’s teaches that Jesus is a created    being.

            WE KNOW THAT Jesus was… is God in the flesh – 100% God, 100% man

            These religions teach that Jesus was 100% man and 0 % God

            So in applying verses 2-3, we know that the spirit behind these religions is demonic.

But we shouldn’t just be able to discern if a religious group is of driven by God’s spirit, we need to use this divine discernment to test those things which men profess or teach. Those men who profess Christ’s humanity as well as His deity. Be like the Bereans spoken of in

Acts 17:11; “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”

Are the words being preached from the pulpit lining up with the whole of Scripture?

Does the interpretation provide continuity?

Is the desire of the one speaking to bring glory to God or self?

Jesus said in John 7:17, “If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.”

Spiritual discernment comes from seeking to do the will of God that He would be glorified.

It comes from digging into the Word of God.

Heb 5:12-14 12For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.   13For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.   14But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Without spiritual discernment it is easy to get caught up in partial truths and twisted doctrine. Satan is hard at work trying to deceive and destroy those who love God. He is skilled in deception, masterful in the art of manipulation, able to masquerade himself as an angel light. He is a counterfeiter bent on deceiving us with cheap imitations of the truth. He will twist scripture to suit his purpose, spout partial truths to create doubt.   And he will use men and women behind pulpits throughout the world to spread this deception. He is just as relentless and tireless in his schemes today as he was during the time of the first century church.

Verses 4-6

The deception we see in this world, in our churches is very real.

The spirit behind this deception is very real.

It is demonic!

Eph 6:10-12

Verse 12 is speaking of ranks – military ranks

We are naive to think that issues we have are with people. The issues we have are with the demonic spirits who have influence over those people.

And yet, their influence has limitations

Romans 8:38            They cannot separate us from the love of God

-Ephesians 1:20-2,1Colossians 1:16, Colossians 2:10           Jesus has authority over them

1 Corinthians 15:24           They all have an end

Colossians 2:15       they have been disarmed by Christ. Because of Jesus death and resurrection we have victory!

Verse 4

There continues to be two sides, two kinds of people; those who are of God and those who are of the world. For the children of God, regardless of how hard Satan tries to deceive, tear down and destroy, the final victory remains ours. Why? Because, “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

But because there continue to be 2 sides, we are essentially stepping out onto the battle field every day.

The false teachers of this age speak to the things of this world and those of the world embrace their teaching. 2 Timothy 4:3-4; “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”

The In the same way the child of God embraces the teaching of his master. Jesus sais in John 10:1-5; “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 
But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”

There is a spiritual battle raging around us. We see the effects in our churches, in the media, in entertainment, our government. We are bombarded by the warfare of the enemy. Yes, as believers we hear the voice of our master – we know the spirit of Truth intimately and yet how often do we hand little skirmishes over to the enemy and instead of being a victor, we become his weapon used against one another in the body of Christ…

Verse 7-11

We need to stop beating up the sheep.

“beloved let us love one another” this Greek phrase means, "those who are loved, let us love."

We are not commanded to love one another in order to earn God’s love, or somehow become worthy of God's love.

We love one another because we are loved by God, and have received that love, and live in light of it.

This love is who we are! As children of God we are the vessels of His amazing agape love.

            When I was with my dad the month before he died several years ago the Holy Spirit gave me a song and the last chorus says, “Lord I choose to be an alabaster jar filled with sweet perfume broken at your feet a living sacrifice poured out for You. May the aroma of my life forever be before your throne until the day, you take my hand, and lead me home.”

My dad was an unbeliever when I wrote that. My heart was so broken over his lack of salvation. I didn’t want to hold anything back.

Being loving is a choice.

This should be our heart for all those who have been created in the image of God who are perishing in their sin.

More than that –

This should be our heart for the body of Christ His sheep – the sheep of HIS pasture

Ps 100:3 Know that the Lord, He is God;   It is He who has made us, and £not we ourselves;   We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

We can be so quick to pick apart and tear down our own.

It greaves me to hear Christians throwing other Christians to the wolves. We somehow forget that they are sinners just like us.

Is 53:6    All we like sheep have gone astray;    We have turned, every one, to his own way;    And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Jesus died for that other person’s sins just like He died for ours. We are very good at noticing the shortcomings of others, but how often do we see the brokenness and deep wounds that follow. Many of us have left wounded sheep in our wake of self-righteousness, others are those wounded sheep left on the wayside… this is how the world treats it’s own, not how we as Christians should treat our own…

As Christians, we are all under the headship of the same Shepherd – the Good Shepherd. The lost are watching.

Verses 12-16

People are going to be drawn to the shepherd as they see His love perfected in us.

People are going to see God only when they see His love lived out in the lives of His people. That love should begin at home, within the church.

1 Cor 13talks about all the amazing things we can do in the name of God, but without love, Paul says, it is worthless.

As so we are reminded, we are encouraged to Abide!

            God abiding in us

            Us abiding in Him

            The Spirit given to us

            Abiding in love

God knows how difficult it is for us to love like this. He knows our struggles,

That’s why he reminds us over and over to abide.

We need to stay close to the Shepherd – when we wonder off we become easy pickins for the enemy. This is why sheep flock together – it is protection from their predators.

Verses 17-18

When we are abiding in Christ

When we are clinging to the Good shepherd, listing to His voice, obeying His commands we have boldness in the day of judgement.

Why?

Because we are His. Nothing sticks,

Covered by His blood

Cloaked in His righteousness

When He shall come with trumpet sound O may I then in Him be found Dressed in His         righteousness alone Faultless to stand before the throne

Wrapped in His perfect love.

There is no fear in that.

That is the love God lavishes on us.

That is the love that we should lavish on one another.

That is the love the lost should see when they look at the church today.

Continue reading
1730 Hits
0 Comments

Love and Tolerance

Love and Tolerance

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 
In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:7-11

Don’t ever confuse love for tolerance. We are called to love the sinner while still abhorring sin. God tells us in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death. He also tells us in Romans 3:23 that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

God’s solution to this eternal separation from Him as a result of sin is love. He loves us so much that He offered up His own son as our propitiation, our substitute for His wrath. We could never pay the wage required to gain eternity with God, so Jesus paid it for us through His death on the cross, the perfect spotless lamb crucified for us. This is the free gift offered to us by God Himself – salvation through the shed blood of His son Jesus Christ. Although we should never condemn the sinner, we should love people enough to condemn the sin. How will people know the love of the Savior if they don’t realize that they are in need of a Savior? Tolerating sin isn’t loving at all, in fact, I believe it is one of the most unloving things a Christian can do.

Continue reading
1670 Hits
0 Comments

1 John Bible Study Week 5 Notes

Last week

            Amazing Love God has for us

            We are his children – beloved

            We should resemble Him take on His characteristics

            That as His kids there is no room for continual sin

            We talked about the contrast between love and hate

            The world hates us

            The example of Cain and Able

            And how we ought to always respond in love

Last week we talked a lot about kinda do’s and don’ts. Comparing and contrasting those who abide and those who don’t; children of God and children of the devil; those who practice righteousness and those who practice lawlessness.

This week, as we finish out chapter 3 :16-24, we will see what love looks like when it is worked out in our lives

In our relationship to others (verses 16-17)

as well as in our relationship to God (18-23)

Practical stuff

1 John 3:16-24

Verses 16-17

God sets the example

We are to follow His example

An example of what that looks like

God is love. What better way for Him to show us what that means than to send His own Son to earth to BE the very definition of love. We see love lived out in every aspect of Jesus life; but the greatest expression of Gods love is found in the willful act of laying down His life for us.

            Romans 5:8

            John 10:11-18

In order for Him to do this, Jesus had to become a part of His own creation

He who was immortal put on mortality

He who was incorruptible – made himself subject to corruption

According to Rev 5:6 Jesus still bears the scars of our redemption.

            “And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures,       and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain

Matt 20:25-28“But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.   And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Jesus love for us was demonstrated in service and sacrifice.

In the same way our love for the brethren – all believers - should manifest itself in service and sacrifice.

Verse 17tells us what this means

Notice in verse 16John uses the term brethren

            Very general

Often times we think that in order to make a difference we need to do something on a grand scale:

            Go to Africa and feed the poor

            Being a part of disaster relief programs

            Give our time and money to organizations that build houses or create clean drinking water in 3rd world countries

These are certainly ways that we can “lay down our lives for the brethren”. But let’s face it not everyone is called to this kind of service and sacrifice. Not all of us have the resources to do these things.

SO John makes a point here in verses 17 to say “brother”

            “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his BROTHER in need…”

We all have something God can use to bless someone else.

            List some off – think of what you have on a daily basis

                        Gas in your car – you can give someone a ride somewhere

                        Clothing, jackets, blankets, and extra pillow

                        Shelter, food, an extra tooth brush

                        Running water

                                    Offer a glass of water to that person doing work on your house.

                                    Offer up the hose to cool off the kids playing in your yard over the summer

                        TIME – I love this one because I think it is what each one of us holds so dear.

Take time and talk to that sister in Christ who is struggling – the chores can wait, homeschooling can wait.

And the exciting thing is, is that we don’t have to go looking for ways to “lay our lives down”.

God presents us with opportunities every day. The question is do we recognize them?

And when we do recognize it, are we willing to use the resources God has given us to meet the need that is before us?

That being said, you can’t open your heart to meet a need if you don’t know the need exists.

Some needs are obvious.

            What are some needs that are pretty easy to identify?

Others not so much.

            The couple with kids, no family in desperate need of a date night

            Single mom

            Family illness

                        Those who have had similar struggles usually have the ability to see these                          needs a little more easily than those of us who haven’t

                       

Sometimes God reveals to us a need without us even realizing it.

            Those random acts of love we do for people just because they pop into our heads.

                        When Ron buys me flowers “just because” there is almost always an                                          emotional need he is meeting without even realizing it.

                        A surprise cup of coffee dropped off at a friends door while you are passing                               by.

But other times needs go unmet because we keep them hidden from the body. When we choose to do this, we can’t complain of being “unloved” because nobody came along side to help. When our pride keeps us from opening up to other believers, we can’t blame them for being unloving.

We need to be women who’s hearts are open and willing to give of ourselves to those who are in need. Women who sacrificially serve and love those whom God has placed in our path on a daily basis.

Verse 18

It is easy to love with our words, isn’t it?

John groups a couple of things together here

Let us not love in word or in TONGUE, but in deed and in TRUTH.

Let’s take a look at the correlation between words and deeds

Saying and doing are two totally different things.

James 2:14-17

I use to ask my Gramma why she didn’t go to the women’s bible study at church. She said because they were just opportunities for women to get together and gossip. When I asked her what she meant, she went on to say that women disguise gossip as prayer. They talk about so and so oh, and how they are going through this and that and “oh, let’s pray for them”. She was put off by the words because there were no actions to back them up.

But there are 2 other words John groups together

Tongue and truth

We all know what truth is right?

Jesus says, “I am the truth” – so if we are unsure whether something is true or not, we turn to Jesus.

So why did he mention the tongue?

James 3:3-16

We can say the right things

We can do the appropriate deeds

But if they lack sincerity, if we are saying or doing with the wrong heart, they profit nothing, and in the long run can do more harm than good, not just to ourselves, but to the body of Christ.

Our words need to be spoken with sincerity and worked out in meekness.

Verse 19

When we love the brethren the way God wants us to, (in word and truth/in sincerity and meekness) it is kind of a confirmation that our heart is right before God – our love for others shouldn’t be a “got to” it should be a “get to” It should be a natural outpouring of God’s love in us.

The more we pour out, the more God pours in, the more we desire to pour out – not so that we will get more but because we have this closeness with the Lord.

Now the great thing is that according to

Verse 20

When our hearts condemn us – when we mess up, when we lack sincerity, when we say we are going to do something and forget, or maybe spoke up boldly without praying and realize later that we can’t follow through…

God is greater! He knows our hearts. He knows our intentions. He is merciful and gracious. He is compassionate and understanding! And even though our own heart condemns us, HE DOES NOT!

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,£ who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1

Verse 21

…even better!

There is nothing as sweet as those times when we are walking in step with the Lord. When we are walking in submission and obedience, dying to self and desiring nothing more than God’s perfect will in our lives.

When we are in this place

Verse 22 tells us…

What commandment?

Verse 23

            Love – love the Lord your God with all your heart soul mind and strength

            Loving our neighbor as ourselves

            This love can only come from a saving faith, an abiding relationship with Jesus

What are those things which are pleasing to Him??

            That outward flow of love

            That outward manifestation of what is in our hearts

            Loving not just in word or tongue, but in deed and truth

Psalm 37:4

            Delight means to be soft a pliable and be happy about it

            We need to willingly allow God to mold us, shape us into what He desires.

            And as He does, His desires become our desires and our prayer life changes.

John 14:12-14

When we believe on Jesus

The Holy Spirit indwells us

When we place our faith in Him,

He abides in us and we abide in Him,

not only will our works reflect Him,

but our prayers will align with His will. And He will do what we ask.

Why?? That the Father would be glorified!!!

Verse 24

Loving sacrificially, loving in sincerity and meekness is impossible to do without an abiding relationship with God. In fact it takes all 3 persons of the Godhead to make it possible:

We talked about at the beginning of the study that

God is love    1 John 4:8

            Jesus is the example of love         Romans 5:8             John 10:11-18

            Here as we finish up the chapter, we see that

            It is the Holy Spirit who enables us TO love

                        He is our comforter

                        He is our helper

                        He is the one who helps us pray when we don’t know what to pray for

                        He is the one who reveals the heart of God to us.

                        Romans 5:5 says, “5Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has                               been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

How amazing – God doesn’t ask us to do anything that He has not fully equipped us to do. Are we able to love like this perfectly all the time?

Of course not,

But because of His great love FOR US…

He gives Mercy!

Eph 2:4-5 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,   5even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),  

Lam 3:23 Through the Lord’S mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.

He gives us grace!

James 4:6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.

1 Tim 1:14 the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.

God has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3)

            He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to             the power that works in us (eph 3:20)

                        His power, His love in us, poured out onto others for His glory!

Continue reading
1782 Hits
0 Comments

1 John Bible Study Week 4 Notes

1 John 3:1-15 (including 2:28-29)

Lesson 4

2:28-29

Now, start today – it doesn’t matter what we’ve been doing in the past

            Right now – today – ABIDE in Him.

WHY?

(Verse 28)

            When He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him.

Why would we lack confidence?

What in the world would cause us to be ashamed before Jesus when He returns for us?

Sometimes the best way for me to grasp something is to look at it’s opposite meaning.

The opposite of confidence in this case is fear.

            As a born again believer in Jesus Christ, I know, according to 2 Tim 1:7, that God has not     given me a spirit of fear but of power and love and of sound mind.

1 John 4:17-18 tells me that, “Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”

In other words, If I have been perfected in love, I will have boldness or confidence in the day of judgment – that day when Jesus comes back for me. I will anticipate His coming with joy.

How is it that I am perfected in love?

Well, according to 1 John 4:16 “God is love”.

Jesus tells us in John 15:9-10; “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.”

So if I want to be perfected in love, having no fear but rather confidence at the return of Christ, I need to ABIDE in the love of Jesus – I need to abide in Christ!

If we are abiding in Christ at His return, not only will we be confident, but we will be unashamed.

Unashamed of what?

It could absolutely be the things we are doing, if we are stumbling around in the darkness, entertaining the things of the world

            (which are…..? chapter 2:16)

But given the over-riding theme of abiding and love in this letter, I believe it is even more so speaking of The condition of our hearts ; why we do the things we do.

1 Cor 3:9-15

            Notice it says “how” a man builds, not “what” a man builds…

These rewards will be in the form of crowns:

            1 Thes 2:19  crown of rejoicing

            2 Tim 4:8      crown of righteousness

            James 1:12 & Rev 2:10     crown of life

            1 Peter 5:4    crown of glory

            1 Cor 9:25-26crown of victory

When I stand before the thrown of God, I want rewards, I want crowns!

            Why?

Because we won’t keep them – we will throw them at the feet of Jesus! (Rev 4:10)

The bible says our works are as filthy rags – there is non righteous.

These rewards will be given as a result of acting under the authority of Jesus righteousness.

I don’t want to stand before Jesus empty handed, I don’t want to be ashamed.

Matt 6:19-20

Where is your heart? Who holds it?

Romans 6 tells us that we are either a slave to this world or a slave to God

Romans 6:12-14, 16, 19 (focusing on the last line of 19)

Verse 29

Practicing righteousness, or godly living,

When we allow Jesus righteousness to flow through us in the things we do and say – unhindered by self or flesh

We bear witness to the fact that we are born again believers - we are women who have the spirit of God living in us!

            What is the fruit of the Spirit? What is the 1 things that is produced in the       life of a true believer?

            LOVE

            Gal 5:22– all those other things are manifestations of LOVE.

            This love, this amazing agape love comes from God himself!

Chapter 3:1-3

Verse 1

Behold – don’t miss this! Pay attention!

What manner of love the Father has bestowed on us.

Consider the incredible love of God – JOHN 3:16

Jesus Said greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. That is exactly what He did…

Romans 5:5, Romans 8:39, Eph 2:4, Eph 3:19

He has bestowed this love on us:

            Bestow means to give completely – not holding anything back, expecting nothing in     return. Freely given, freely received.

And the proof of His amazing love for us is that He calls us His children!

            You are a child of God, what does that mean to you?

            Romans 8:17, Gal 3:19, Eph 3:6

            To me this means being chosen, hand picked.

Consider you – when you were growing up, the mistakes you made, the stupid things you did… when you were a young adult… the places you went, the things you did prior to giving your heart to Christ – even after you gave your heart to Christ. God still chose you – you out of everyone in this entire world, God chose you to be His daughter, to lavish you with His love in a way only a Father can…

                        I had a friend one time ask me “if you knew back when you adopted the boys that                       this is how things would be, would you have made the same decision?”

                        I looked at her dumbfounded! Of course I would.

                        I told my boys “God grew you in your mothers tummy, but He grew you in my                              HEART”.

Therefore… (part 2 of verse 1)

If I had never told that we had adopted our 2 older boys, I don’t think you would ever question it. Josh has black hair and hazel eyes. Joey’s hair is the color of mine and his eyes are the same color as Corban’s. Josh has Ron’s skin color, Joey has mine. Same height as Ron, same mannerisms, same sense of humor, God made us a family and He did it perfectly! There would never be a doubt in anyone’s mind that they were Hodson’s.

The same is true from a spiritual standpoint.

When we abide in Christ we take on His characteristics, His mannerisms; and because of that the world doesn’t understand us – the things we do or don’t do, the way we speak, how we act and react makes no sense to them.

My dad, when we were moving out here asked me “how do you do what you do? How are you able to stay home with your kids and homeschool? How can you leave everything and move to ND where you don’t have jobs, you don’t know anyone?” He followed it by telling me how much he admired what I was choosing to do, but he truly didn’t get it.

Verse 2

Beloved –

There is so much tenderness in this word

It is a term reserved for believers alone.

But it isn’t just how God views us, it is how we are to view eachother

BELOVED – someone worthy of love – that extravagant, expecting nothing in return, perfect, holy love.

Beloved, now we are children of God

            Romans 8:15 tells us that we have received the Spirit of adoption (God’s Spirit) by whom       (the Spirit isn’t a what, He is a Who)     we cry out “Abba Father”.

                        Abba means Daddy

Right now, we are God’s kids, loved, adored, cared for, held, carried, defended by, rejoiced over, praised, and disciplined by our Daddy Who has plucked us up like a brand out of the fire (Zech 3:2)

Ps 40:2 tells us that, “ He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,     Out of the miry clay,     And set my feet upon a rock,     And established my steps.”

Why? Because He loves us.

This is the manner of love He has for us

This is the love we abide in as His kids, the kind of love we should have for eachother.

This is why the world doesn’t get us

And as amazing and overwhelming as this is, it is only a glimpse of what is to come;

But what we do know according to the last part of verse 2 is:

That even though we really don’t comprehend what lies ahead, we DO know that when we see Him, we will be LIKE Him because we shall see Him as He is.

            You see, right now, sin hinders our relationship, obscures our vision and distorts our perception of Who God is.

1 Cor 13:12 Paul writes, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

When we meet Jesus face to face sin will be gone.

            1 Cor 15:53 tells us that when Jesus calls us to Himself we are going to change; “53For       this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”

And when this happens we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is – love personified in all of His beauty, all of His glory…

Verse 3

If we are going to be like Him for all eternity, shouldn’t we desire to be like Him now?

4-9

The person who is in habitual, unrepentant sin is rebelling against the Law. In other words:

Habitual sin is rebellion against God.

Jesus life, death, and resurrection offers us redemption – freedom from a life of sin.

            Prior to receiving Christ, we were bond or shackled by sin – we had no choice – we were    destined to a life of sin followed by an eternity in hell. (we talked a little about this in            Romans 6).

Jesus came to free us from that life. Sin no longer has a hold on us. He broke the chains. Now we have the freedom to choose a life of abiding in Christ or rebellion against Christ.

For the person who professes a relationship with Jesus and continues to walk in rebellion, willingly, knowingly continuing in sin, then they really don’t know the God they profess to have a relationship with. Because if they did, there would be conviction followed by repentance. You cannot have an abiding relationship with Jesus Christ and be content to continue in your sin.

Verse 7 says

Brooklyns example:

There is a beautiful field and in the center of this field is a fence. Jesus stands on one side and Satan on the other. There are people on both sides, but one man decides to straddle the fence. Both groups of people are lead away by the owner of the fields. While the man on the fence gazes at Jesus and His followers, Satan approaches and says to the man, “let’s go!” to which the man replies, “I haven’t made up my mind” Satan replies, “yes you have… you see, I own that fence.”

We cannot abide in both worlds. There is no sin that is acceptable in God’s eyes.

1 Peter 1:13-16, Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;   as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;   but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,   because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

If we are truly children of God, we will never be content in a life of sin – it goes against our new nature.

            2 Cor 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things     have   passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

Verses 10-15

John, through the H.S., brings us back to the theme of this letter – LOVE.

There is not gray area, no wiggle room… no “but she… but he…”

(verse 10)

There are 2 groups of people. Who are they?

            Children of God and Children of the Devil.

What 2 things are tied together?

            Practicing righteousness & being loving

We show the world who we are, who we belong to in our actions. Our actions are motivated by the condition of our hearts. The condition of our heart is determined by who or what is enthroned there.

John uses and extreme but appropriate example – love vs. murder

            God is Love – 1 John 4:8

            Satan is a murder – John 8:44

He uses Cain and Able to illustrate this point.

Gen 4:1-8

What do we learn about Cain?

His works were not right and his heart was not right.

            Cain was a man who knew God and went through the motions of worship.

How do we know he was just going through the motions?

            Because God didn’t accept his offering.

God’s response was to offer Cain hope – a way of acceptance.

Cains response was anger fueled with jealous pride which produced hatred leading to murder.

God gave him a chance to repent – “where is your brother?”

Cain responded with a lie – “I don’t know”

God offered Cain forgiveness, Cain chose to be cast out.

My point?

I don’t think any of us are shocked when the world hates us. We know that Jesus said that the world hated Him and so it will hate us also. We can deal with that.

I think the shock and hurt we feel comes when we are hated from within the body. When we are the subject of gossip or the recipients of un-forgiveness. When we are shunned or ignored by those we have trusted.

Does this mean that those who have treated us this way are unsaved? Maybe.

There are absolutely people today who profess a relationship with Jesus Christ and yet their hearts are void of love. When a heart is void of God’s love, it naturally will be filled with what Satan has to offer – lies and hatred.

But there are those who have simply allowed sin to creep in and although they belong to Christ, they battling a heart issue.

This unloving behavior is something that we are all susceptible to. It is another reminder that we need to abide in Christ on a daily basis.

Verse 14 says that “we KNOW we have passed from death to life”. So we need walk in that knowledge.

We need to be those who are compelled by the Love of Christ to pursue fellowship and love the brethren in spite of the hurts we’ve received, or the hurts we have inflicted on others.

Amen?          

Continue reading
1744 Hits
0 Comments

1 John Bible Study Week 3 Notes

1 John 2:15-29 lesson 3

Verses 15-17

“do not love” this is a form of the word Agape – Agapeo

To find your joy in, to delight in

In this case being “do not love” means to neglect, disregard, condemn

In other words, do not find your joy in, or delight yourself in the things in the world, rather neglect those things, disregard those things, condemn those things that are in direct opposition to the things of God.

What things ?

Verse 16 tells us

The lust of the flesh

The lust of the eyes

The pride of life

Why?

Because these are not of the Father, they are of the world.

They have no eternal value…

I see this like an old scale

            Flesh vs Spirit

            Things of the world vs The things of God

            Satan’s will vs God’s will

Do not love the world OR the things IN the world…

There is nothing that we should love more than Jesus! There is nothing that we should make us say, “I want Jesus to come back BUT… FIRST…”

Heb 13:14 (NLT), “14For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. “

1 Peter 2:11, “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.”

                        Sojourner – someone who lives in a place without the right of                                           citizenship.

                        Pilgrim – someone who is from a foreign country and comes to live                                     alongside the natives.

Phil 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

Do not love the world

This includes people

What does Jesus have to say about this in Matt 10:37-39?

(taking up our cross)

There shouldn’t be anything that we are not willing to give up for the sake of Jesus

            No thing

            No comfort

            No person – that’s hard

            Including ourselves

                        All to Jesus I surrender

                        All to Him I freely give

                        I will ever love and trust Him

                        In His presence DAILY live…

Verse 16

Flesh – desiring those things that appeal to our carnality – our old nature - and are in direct opposition to the spirit of God indwelling us. How do you know if you are lusting after the flesh? Look at the fruit.

Gal 5:19-26 NLT “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.”

Eyes

Matt 6:22-24

Where are we focusing our eyes? On the things of the world or on the things of God?

What we have, what we don’t have; or what God has graciously provided.

Are we focusing on our wants, our needs or on God who able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think according to the riches of HIS glory (EPH 3).

Are we looking in the mirror wishing we were something different, doing something different

– Eph 2:20 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

NLT says, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

            Are we looking at our circumstances believing that God is Sovereign?

2 Cor 4:17-18, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,   while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

When we lose this perspective and begin thinking…

            What I really need is…

            I would be better off if…

We are dethroning God and placing self in His rightful place.

This brings us to the pride of life

            Somehow thinking we know better or could do better than God.

                        Sounds ridiculous

            But isn’t that what we do?

            Isn’t that what Eve did in the garden?

                        Gen 3:6

God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble…

These things are not of the Father, but of the world

We need to get our heads on straight, get our eyes off of the things of this world and firmly fix them on Jesus Christ.

Verses 18-23

It is the last hour

            1 Peter 4:7

            Romans 13:11 (keep a marker there – we will be coming back to it)

Many have come

( “The” Antichrist is him who will declare himself god in the Holy of Holies of the new temple and demand to be worshiped. All those oppose him will be executed. anti – Christ (little a)… can mean those who, vehemently, violently, appose Jesus Christ. However it can also mean all who deny that Jesus is the Messiah and that the Messiah is come in the flesh )

Given the context of this portion of scripture I believe this is what John is describing

But before we get to that,

What point is the Holy Spirit stressing in this verse (18)?

That it is the last hour.

This should affect our perspective.

This truth should affect the way we live our lives on a daily basis

            Romans 13:11-14

            Phil 4:5

            James 5:7-8

Now, verse 19is referring back to “many antichrists”

Where did they come from?

            This isn’t talking about the church hopper.

            It isn’t talking about the one who leaves a church because of doctrinal or personal issues        in order to find biblical truth or simply a better fit.

            These are the folks that are wolves in sheep’s clothing – uncomfortable in a healthy,      Christ centered, bible believing body. And because of this, they will not stay long in        fellowship.

            They are attending church with an agenda, and it isn’t to sit under sound biblical           teaching, to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. They are not true followers of Jesus Christ, they are driven by the things of the world – those things we    just talked about “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life”- and                       they will keep searching for a place, or a group of people that will fill their self- serving desires – even if they have to create that environment   themselves.

1 Timothy 4:1-2

But you – verse 20-21

You have an anointing from the Holy One and you know all things.

            What do you mean?

From an application stand point:

Let’s take a look at

Eph 1:13-14 “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14who£ is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”

As believers in Jesus Christ we have the Holy Spirit of God living within us. Nothing and nobody can take Him away from us or change this amazing truth! But we know Satan tries to feed us lies causing us to doubt this truth.

Perhaps there were those in the body who began to doubt what they believed, maybe even doubting their salvation, as a result of others within the flock leaving and teaching false doctrines. Has Satan ever placed questions in your mind that tempt you to doubt what you know to be true? The word “know” used in verse 21 to turn your eyes toward something and inspect it with great care and discernment, it means to be sure of something– you know that you know that you know.

Satan loves to cast doubt and he uses lies, being that according to scripture he is the father of lies (John 8:44), to this end. Peter said in John 6:68-69, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” When these doubts arise, we need to follow the example of scripture and seek the one Who is Truth, because within Him we know there is no deceit (1 Peter 2:22). Perfect light – no shadow or variation.

Now, contextually, I want to take a look at

2 Cor 1:21-22,“Now He who establishes (saves) us with you in Christ and has anointed us (set apart to the service and ministry of Christ and His gospel by the gift of the Holy Spirit) is God, who also has sealed us (marked us as His) and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

We have been called, set apart, equipped for ministry by God through the indwelling of His Spirit and because of this we are able to understand spiritual truths.

Because we have the Spirit of God indwelling us, We should, we have everything we need to be able to identify those who are in the church but not of the body. We should be able to separate the truth from a lie.

 

1 Cor 2:10-12, “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.   For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.   Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”

Verse 21- John didn’t write this because they didn’t know, he wrote it because they NEEDED REMINDING!

We need to wake up!

Verse 22

So who is a liar? Who is the one who breaks faith? Who is this false and faithless man? Who is this one who professes salvation but lives and thinks contrary to Christian Truth?

Anyone can acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God. Anyone can acknowledge that Jesus is God.

Matt 8:28-29

Did the demons believe Jesus was the Christ?

Did they believe He was the Son of God?

Did this “belief” save them?

Weirsbe said this:

True confession involves personal faith in Christ—in who He is and what He has done. A confession is not a mere intellectual “theological statement” that you recite; it is a personal witness from your heart of what Christ has done for you.

Therefore

Because it is the last hour

Because there are false teachers and wolves in sheep’s clothing

Because satan want’s nothing more than to come in and steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10) – totally ripping us off of the blessings of God

ABIDE!

            Jesus came to give us life, not just life, but an abundant life!

ABIDE!

Verse 24-25

“that” – points back to verse 12

            Your sins are forgiven you for HIS name’s sake!

                        Let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning.

If that truth abides in you

If it is a part of you

If you know that you know that you know

It is because you have a relationship with Jesus and the Father!

            Those who have walked away and are teaching another Jesus – they don’t!

Look at what Jesus says in

John 10:22-30.

Back to 1 John 2:25

26-27

In these 2 verses we receive an admonishment – the way we guard ourselves from deception is by listing to the Spirit of God.  

Does this mean we don’t need to go to church or bible study?

How do I know that?

Hebrews 10:24-25, “24And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”  

As believers we are to gather together with other like minded believers on a regular basis. When we sit under godly teaching from the word with other believers, we are strengthened, convicted, spiritually nourished, equipped, resulting in a desire, a need to be closer to Jesus than before.

Why? Because of the man behind the pulpit?

No, because of the power of the Holy Spirit working in each member of the body individually and as a whole.

It isn’t man that teaches, it is the Spirit of God empowering the one with the gift of teaching. It is the same Spirit empowering the listener with the gift of wisdom and understanding. (examples Acts 4:31, Acts 10)

How do we know if the one who is teaching is speaking by the power of the Holy Spirit or by the strength of his own flesh and intellect?

The Holy Spirit will give us discernment in all things if we are abiding in Christ. The more we understand the things of the Spirit, the greater our desire will be to abide.

In closing:

Verses 28-29

Abide…

We will dig into these 2 verses next week.

This chapter places a huge emphasis on Abiding in the truth, abiding in Christ.

I challenge you to meditate on that this week – what does that mean to you? How does that effect you? Challenge you?

Continue reading
1684 Hits
0 Comments

1 John Bible Study Week 2 Notes

1 John 2:1-14

V 1-2

My little children

          The love that John has for those he is writing to

          As we grow in our faith we should have this same kind of spiritual parental love

          for those coming up in the faith – regardless of where they fellowship.

                        Titus 2:3-5 tells us what?

                        (chronologically probably, but more so spiritually older)

                        Are we loving on the younger women at church?

                        Is our own behavior above reproach so that we can be that example                                                             that they need?

 

These things I write to you

            What things??

            Everything from chapter 1 – who Jesus is, the fellowship we have with Him,   the forgiveness He offers us when we come to Him and confess our sin.

I’m telling you all this because I don’t want you to sin, miss the mark… you will, but you should strive not to.

Remembering Who Jesus is, what He has done and continues to do for us should be enough to keep us from “missing the mark” or getting distracted from the things of God and wondering off the narrow road which He has laid out before us. We should want to abide so closely with Jesus that we never miss that mark of perfection.

But we do.

Ps 103:11-14

And God knows we will fall short and sin – miss the mark.

This is a huge truth, and we need to be careful that we don’t take sin lightlybecause we know we have God’s mercy and grace available to us.

Paul said in Romans 6:1 “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?   Certainly not!”

We also need to make sure we do not become complacent walk with the Lord.

As believers, we don’t just stumble around in the dark (according to chapter 1), right?

James 1:13-17

Satan is very real, and he wonders to and fro, back and forth on the earth (Job 1:7) as a roaring lion seeking those he may devour   (1Peter 5:8)

We need to fully girded with the full armor of God that we might be able to stand against the wiles of the devil EPH 6:11

But because we are flesh

Because we are sinners

As hard as we try to live godly, holy lives,

We are going to sin

And when we do, remember

We have an ADVOCATE (interesting, same word used several times in the NT for the HS being our comforter – same word)

Who is with the father…

            Heb 8:1, 7:25

Who is our ADVOCATE? (V1)

Jesus Christ the righteous

            The innocent

            Guiltless

            Faultless

            blameless

            The one Who kept the commands of God perfectly

            Wholly conformed to the will of God

And He had to be because verse 2 says:           

He himself is the propitiation for our sins and not just ours but for the whole world.

Propitiation is a means of reconciliation and is only used twice in the NT both being in the book of 1 John. Jesus had to be righteous in order to be a worthy sacrifice.

Wrapped up in the Greek word – hilasmos, this word propitiation, is something so amazing.

In this word, and it’s subtle variations we find everthing necessary for the OT sacrifice for the “COVERING” of sin – you needed an High Priest to prepare the sacrifice, the lamb without spot or blemish to be sacrificed, and the mercy seat on which the high priest sprinkled the blood.

Within this phrase – Jesus is our propitiation – We see Jesus, our High Priest who lives forever making intercession for us sitting at the right hand of the Father. Jesus, the perfectly righteous spotless Lamb of God sacrificed for us. Who’s blood was sprinkled on the cross – our mercy seat at Calvary.

He is OUR propitiation – yes He died for the entire world, but He is OUR propitiation… His death was personal, His life was personal, our relationship with Him is personal!

V3-6

According to verse 3, how do we know that we know Him, that we have a relationship with Him?

We see in these verses a contrast similar to that in chapter 1:5-7. But instead of speaking about fellowship and light, John is drawing a correlation between truly knowing Jesus, having an abiding relationship with Him and being obedient TO Jesus Christ.

What same truth does John bring out in verse 4 that he also stated back in chapter 1:6?

So what is it that John is telling us we need to do? Do we need to keep the law?

Yes and no. I think we find the answer to that question in verses 5 & 6.

“whoever keeps His word” what word?

Matt 22:35-40 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

(handout 10 commandments)

*****divide – loving God loving others

John 14:15, 21, 23-34

So we know what Jesus said (v5)

What did He do (read verse 6 again)

John 6:38

So why both examples?

Because it isn’t enough to simply “keep His word” - Obedience w/o love is legalism.

Our motive behind the obedience must be LOVE.

            1 Cor 8 – speaks about having liberty to do certain things (in this case eating meat offered to idols) but should we exercise those liberties at someone else’s expense?      When we do that we cause that person to stumble – there is no love in that.

            Eph 4 sais there will be those who are tossed about by waves of different doctrines and           trickery of men – we are to speak the truth to them IN LOVE – that they might grow up            in all things I Christ.

Col 3:12-14

1 Cor 13:1-3

John 14:29-31

            (he has nothing in me = he has no power over me)

According to verse 31, why was Jesus willing to be taken by the prince of this world? He didn’t have to be – he CHOSE to be? Why?

When people see us doing the right thing, they see a good person.

When people see us doing the right thing IN LOVE, they see God.

V 7-11

Verses 7

John is referring to John 13:34 where Jesus sais to His disciples, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

Although at the time Jesus gave this command, it was “new”, for us it isn’t. We have been taught to love – God is love. We need to love others like God loves us.

Verse 8

But as we grow in Christ, as we abide in Him, this command should be fresh and new every day.

Are you loving people the same way you love them at the time you got saved?

The more time we spend with Jesus, the greater our love for Him grows. The more our love grows for Him, the more it grows towards others.

In other words, as we grow in Jesus, He continues to chase away the darkness in our lives with His amazing light. As we are infused more with His love, we in turn will greater love, greater compassion for others.      

In verses 9-11 John pulls both truths together – walking in light and obedience with love.

Light and love go together just as darkness and hatred do.

And he does this by using the example of us as believers loving our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

Read Verse 9

Hate means to have active ill will in words and conduct, a persecuting spirit. To persecute. To stand in opposition of Agape – godly perfect love. If a believer is exhibiting this hatred in his life it is evidence that sin has been allowed to take root in that believers heart. Our actions and words are a direct reflection of the condition of our hearts.

It reminds me of Christmas time

There’s that person who has the most beautifully lit tree one has ever seen sitting in front of a picture window so that everyone who passes by will see it and “ooo and ahhh” at its beauty. But because the rest of the house is in such a state of disarray, she keeps the shades pulled and as a result, the beauty goes unnoticed. The lights are still on, she knows they are on, but they go completely unnoticed by the rest of the world. To everyone else the house is just another dark house whose residence has no “spirit” at all.

But you know what? Each day, she has the ability to choose to clear out the clutter, throw open the shades and let the world see those beautiful lights.

(v9) until now!

Until now – this sin, like any other sin doesn’t have to continue.

Verse 10-11

When we are abiding in Christ, our path is illuminated – its bright. We can clearly see where we are going, and identify what lies ahead

avoid it,

walk around it,

step over it,

remove it

When we are not abiding in Christ, our path becomes dark and we begin to stumble.

Just like joy, The love we have in our hearts toward one another is a good barometer to gage our walk with Jesus Christ.

Jesus shows us this in Matthew 5:21-24

When there is an issue between us and fellow believers, it effects our worship – it effects our relationship with the Lord. If we allow it to continue, that separation continues to increase and we find ourselves wandering around, stumbling in the dark.

We need to stop, turn around, repent and return Jesus. If we don’t that darkness will deceive us into thinking we are ok, causing us to justify our actions, our inner thoughts, not realizing that we are blinded to the truth of our own sin.

Verses 12-14

John address 3 groups of people… twice

He is speaking spiritually

Little children

            Spiritual babies – new believers.

            This is what is important – necessary

            Your sins are forgiven! For HIS name sake

                        It isn’t about us, it is ALL about GOD.

                        It is easy for the new believer to get caught up in the pride of look at what God                                     has done for me!

                        God has forgiven us for Him – His name sake.

Fathers

Not just head knowledge from being in the word, but life knowledge. God has seen him through the tough times and rejoiced with him in the good times. This is the one who realizes there is no category good or category bad, only category God! The one who realizes the truth in 1 Cor 13 and can from the heart say, “when I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” There is a humility, and true understanding of the importance of Agape love in ones life.

Young Men

Overcome the wicked one.

These are those in their spiritual prime

Those who are on the front line – fully engaged in the battle

Those who are learning the importance of putting on the whole armor of God – that all of it involves and revolves around Jesus! Read Eph 6:14-18

Little children

Different word for children here – it means small child – one who is growing

This is the one who Peter writes about in 1Peter 2:2 “So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech.   Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment,   3now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.”

They are learning, they are growing.

Fathers

This one, like Paul in Phil 3 can say “I count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord”

This is the one who is willing to loose everything that she may gain Christ and be found in Him.

This is the one that the longer she walks with the Lord, desires to know Him more, the power of His resurrection, the fellowship of His sufferings, that she would truly be conformed to His death.

This is the one who desires eternity with Christ at any cost.

Young Men

Strong, and the word of God abides in you

It was after God delivered Israel from the Egyptions when they passed through the sea that Moses and the children of Israel sang, “The Lord is my strength and song,

And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.” (ex 15:2

David wrote in 2 Sam 22:33 “God is my strength and power, And He makes my way perfect.” After God had delivered Him from the giants of the Philistines.

Ps 31:4 “Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, For You are my strength.”

It is when we are engaged in battle that we experience wounds, losses, set backs, difficulties as well as victories. It is in these times that we draw from the strength of God’s Word – how important for us to have God’s word abiding in us.

So why these examples? Why repeat them?

My opinion? 2 reasons. Both are found in

1 Cor 10:12-13

  1. It keeps us humble we are all prone to sin regardless of where we are spiritually.

“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.  

  1. It encourages us. We all sin, but we are not in this alone. There is grace and forgiveness, and God is faithful!

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

Continue reading
1410 Hits
0 Comments

1 John Bible Study Week 1 Background Notes

Back ground on 1 John

 

This is the disciple who, with his brother wanted to call fire and brimstone down the people who rejected Jesus… He was so hot-headed, impetuous and outspoken that he along with his brother James were nick-named by Jesus the “sons of thunder”. Here in his advanced years he’s singing a different tune… Love!

This letter reveals how a life in Christ can truly be transformed!

This Letter, which was most likely written somewhere around 90 AD while he lived in Ephesus, teaches us about Fellowship:

   With Jesus Christ

   Which enables us to truly Love (love God and one another), how to walk in truth, righteousness, and obedience.

   With each other

We see 4 different reasons for this letter according to Johns writing

  1. 1:4
  2. 2:1
  3. 2:26
  4. 5:13

With that… let’s get into 1John 1

1-4

These things were written, why? (4) that our joy might be full!

What things were written? (back to v1)

JESUS - That which was from the beginning – John 1:1-3

Which we have heard –

Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of          God.

The NLT says it like this: So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.

Which we have seen –

            John 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.

John walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus – sat under His teaching…

Which we have looked upon –

            2 Peter 1:16 says they “beheld His Majesty” referring to his baptism. They beheld His glory on the mount of transfiguration and again at the             assentation! Every day they gazed into the face of God!

Our hands have handled –

            Luke 24:38-39 And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do             doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I             Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as             you see I have.”

            John 13:25 – John leaned upon the chest of Jesus during their last supper together!

Concerning the Word of Life –

            Back to John 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

This section is obviously speaking of our joy being found only in Christ. John reminding his readers that he was an eye witness to Jesus Christ and His deity – Jesus from the beginning, he heard firsthand the teachings of Jesus – but he didn’t just hear, he heard with understanding. He saw him with his own eyes – but not just seeing, he became acquainted with Jesus through personal experience. His look was not passing – it was an attentive look to perceive to understand. He had touched Jesus.

When I read the word do I simply read or do I desire to hear from my Savior, my Jesus? When I hear His voice to I listen? Do I desire to understand? Do I ask Him to give me understanding, allowing Him to impart His teachings to my life? In my prayer time, do I sit in silence and wait for my Jesus to speak? Or am I the only one talking? When He speaks do I really listen? If I am listening, my life should reflect that with joy.

When was the last time I “touched” Jesus? Or maybe a better thing to ask would be when was the last time I recognized JESUS TOUCH in my life?

Our barometer or the measuring devise is JOY.

A synonym for this word “handled” is cling to or lay hold of.

If we are clinging to Jesus, if we are laying hold of him, we are ABIDING in Him

In John 15 Jesus says that He is the vine and we are the branches. He explains that we can do nothing apart from Him

John 15:9-12

How much inner joy you have is a direct reflection on how closely you are abiding in the VINE.

V2

Manifested – made known, visible, whether by word or deed, plainly recognizable.

Seen – or become acquainted with through experience

All of this – Who Jesus is, what we have seen and heard, what we experienced first hand – we declare to you

God makes Himself known to us so many times in our life; by guiding us through scripture and showing us truth upon truth; by bringing His word to pass in our lives.

Although God has done this, for your edification, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith; according to verse 2 he has revealed Himself to you, to me, so that we could declare Him to others. Everything God has done in our lives is ultimately for one purpose – to bring Him glory. When we reach out to Jesus and He touches our lives, others see and God is glorified. Every trial when we turn to Jesus instead of ourselves or the world, God receives the glory. When we turn to Jesus, when we listen intently to what He is saying in His word, when we look to Him and allow His life to affect us, to change us; whether it be by resting in Him, trusting in Him, being obedient to Him during impossible situations – without us even knowing, others will see. This gives glory to God. It isn’t always our words that declare Jesus to others. More often than not, it is our actions, our choices, our attitude. How important to be abiding in Christ so that it is HIM who people see and not us…

WHY??? Why declare all of this to others?

V3

As we share Jesus, Who He is, the things He has done in our lives, His character, His attributes with other believers the fellowship that happens is unbelievable. When Jesus is the center of our friendships, our friendships are transformed. When our conversations revolve around Jesus and what He is doing in our lives, when we edify one another with the Word and hold each other up with scripture when we are being pressed on every side, we are able to experience that joy even in the midst of the trials.

V4

What an introduction!

V5-10

5

Message – a promise, a gift graciously given only by God

What is that “promise”, that “gift graciously given” to us by God?

That He is light and in Him is no darkness at all.

James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”

John 1:4 John refers to Jesus as the Light of Men

John 8:12 “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

As a believer in Jesus Christ, I have the light of life in me. This means that if there is darkness in me (sin) and we know according to verse 6 and on that there is – there must be an absence of light. Right? By definition there can be no darkness in light. This means that if there is a problem or as a friend of mine said once, “hiccups” in my relationship with God, the fault lies within me.

V 6

“If we say we have fellowship or ABIDE with Him” and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth”

The closer you are to the source of light the more pure it is. As you walk away, there begins to be shades of gray, and on the outskirts is total darkness.

John 12:35 “35Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going.”

Ps 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet  And a light to my path.

This word “walk” in verse 6 means –

          To be occupied with, continue in, follow after

 

Jesus, the word made flesh, is our lamp, He is the light for our path. If we are abiding in Him clinging to Him there is no way we will chase after, be occupied with or walk about in darkness.

BUT, IF I AM practicing sin (meaning make it a habbit), my works prove me a liar. When I sin, my heart should be grieved. It is the continuing in sin without true repentance that proves us liars when we declare ourselves to be children of God.

V 7

If we walk in light, Jesus illuminates our hearts, revealing even the darkest, dirtiest corners – casting that darkness out.

When Jesus shines his perfect light into the dark recesses of our hearts and the bugs and vermin scurry in search of another dark place, they shouldn’t be able to find any. They should have to flee and look for a new house.

What do you do when you are expecting company? You clean house.

We shouldn’t be embarrassed or pretend that we aren’t home or make excuses as to why someone can’t come over because there are things laying around that we don’t want them to see.

When we are walking in the Light of Jesus Christ, we are able to have fellowship with one another. When we have unrepentant sin in our lives, those areas that are “hidden” create barriers. Remember, nothing is hidden from Jesus, but He will not come in and bust down doors to areas we have locked up. He will wait for you to give Him access to those parts of your life. Our relationships with one another will be a reflection of how much access we have given Christ within our hearts. Why? Because our relationships with other believers revolve (should revolve) around our relationship with Jesus, His blood, His sacrifice, His Lordship in our lives.

V 8-10

We are all sinners, we all sin and fall short of the Glory of God - Romans 3:23. There is non righteous, no not one. For us to think otherwise is foolishness. It is a deception from the enemy – John 8:44. It is a lie that separates us from fellowship with God and fellowship with one another. Worse yet, if we say that we are in no need of the sacrificial blood of Christ, we are calling God a liar because His word says we are sinners in need of a savior, and that Savior is Jesus.

God is pure and holy. He is perfection. He is light. In Him there is no, nor can there ever be any darkness. When Christ took upon Himself the sins of the world, God turned His back on His own Son. He cannot be in the presence of sin or darkness. So what makes us think that we can cling to the things of this world and still have perfect fellowship with God? We need to be willing to let go and repent of those things those sins that we are holding on to and grab onto Jesus with BOTH hands, with our whole heart. Amen?

Continue reading
1458 Hits
0 Comments

Be Strong in Grace

You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 2:1

 

What is grace? It is God’s unmerited favor. So what does that mean to you and me?

It means that the God of creation, who spoke the universe into existence, who measures heaven with the width of his hand (Isa. 40:12), who owns the cattle on 1,000 hills (Ps 50:10), who alone is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient (all powerful, all places, all knowing), that this God has bestowed His favor upon me!

“Well,” you think to yourself, “and why not? After all, I am a pretty swell person! I go to church almost every Sunday, and I toss a couple bucks into the offering plate occasionally. I hardly ever yell at my wife…all in all I am doing pretty well. Of course God would bestow His favor on me!”.

Actually, friend, that is exactly what makes this grace so amazing! NONE OF US DESERVE IT! That is why it is “unmerited” favor. Do you not know that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rm 3:12), that our hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9)?

Unfortunately, many folks try to bestow favor upon themselves. They have an over-inflated sense of self-worth, like our friend in the earlier example. Honestly, that attitude may make you feel better, but that and 2 bucks will get you half a cup of coffee!

God’s grace poured out on His children has power! We can count on it, not only for salvation (Eph 2:8), but also for obedience (Rm 1:5), sufficiency (2 Cor 12:9), edification (Eph 4:29),  everlasting consolation and hope (2 Thess 2:16); I could go on and on!

Just remember, my brothers and sisters in Christ, grace is amazing not just because it is “unmerited favor”, but because it has the power of our almighty God behind it!

Continue reading
1859 Hits
0 Comments

Consider Jesus

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus
 
Hebrews 3:1
 
The word consider in our text is a Greek word that means "to observe fully, to behold or perceive." In the first two chapters in this book, the author was demonstrating the pre-eminence of Jesus, first over the prophets (Heb. 1:1-2), then over the angels (Heb. 1:3-3:18). It is in view of this exaltation of the Son of God over created beings that we are asked to "consider" Him.
 
I find that just as this was an issue for the church in the 1st century, so also is it pervasive in the 21st century. It seems many Christians are stumbled, and take their focus off of Jesus, because they place created things in a position of exaltation over Jesus. "Wait, Pastor Ron, no way do I have anything in my life that is ahead of my Savior!". Many may be thinking that, and in their heart of  hearts they believe it, but often time actions will belie your true heart.
 
I encourage you to take a look at your life, and see where your time is spent. Is there anything that you do that takes time away from fellowship with Jesus? Everyone has daily responsibilities, and many of those require much of our attention. But if you are so busy that you find little time is spent in worship, and study, and prayer, I submit that your priorities need a radical adjustment! 
 
Jesus just desires that we stop periodically during the day and "consider" Him. We can all spend time during the day in quiet, prayerful thought where our Lord is the center and focus of our quiet time. After all, He gave His life on the cross so that our sins can be forgiven, and we can spend eternity with Him. Surely that massive sacrifice merits a small part of our day "considering" Him!
 
May God richly bless you!
Continue reading
1730 Hits
0 Comments

Rest In Christ Jesus

So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

 Hebrews 3:19

 In Hebrews chapter 3, the author is revealing the supremacy of Jesus Christ, in that He provides for us perfect rest. There is no rest available to man that can compare to the rest we have in our Saviour. And who among us does not long for rest? Sure, we can go on vacation and relax, we can open a good book and kick our feet up, but this will result only in physical rest. What Jesus offers us is a deep, spiritual peace that passes all understanding.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

I don’t know about you, but I want a peace and rest like that! But there is something hindering us from receiving this rest. It is unbelief. Just as the unbelief of the Hebrews wandering through the wilderness after being freed from Egypt kept them from entering the rest that God had for them in the land of Canaan(Heb. 3:11), so our hearts of unbelief will keep us from experiencing the rest Jesus has for us.

Are you experiencing depressing, anxiety, stress, or many other negative emotions? We all do at one time, but true belief, not just lip service, will free in from those things in Christ Jesus! We must believe that He is sufficient (2 Cor 12:9) to deal with any and all issues that we are dealing with. We just need to lay them at the foot of the cross, and Jesus promises to take those burdens from us. (Matt 11:28).

Believe, and rest in the peace of Christ!

Continue reading
1789 Hits
0 Comments

Milk Drinker or Meat Eater?

For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.

Hebrews 5:13


There are few pleasures in life for me personally than gulping down a big glass of ice cold milk! I realize there are groups of people that say milk is bad for you, that humans are the only creatures that consume milk after being weaned (they never met my dog and cat, apparently!). But the nutritional value of milk, high in calcium, vitamin D, protein, and other healthy stuff has been well documented. I prefer to drink mine as God created it, without the corruption of pasteurization and homogenization...but that is for another blog.

As much as I like milk, it would be unwise of me to eat or drink nothing other than milk. That may be fine for a baby who is unable to eat anything else, due to an immature digestive system and lack of teeth. But for an omnivore such as myself, with incisors and canines for tearing and ripping meat in my mouth, along with four rows of bicuspids for chewing and grinding, it is obvious I was designed for eating much more. As much as I enjoy feeling that white, smooth beverage slide effortlessly down my throat, I adore taking my time chewing on a  rib eye or new york cut steak, medium rare. Not only is that the source of much enjoyment, bu also the added nutrients in other foods are necessary for our health and very survival.

Just as feeding on a variety of good food allows for physical maturity, so feeding on God's word on a regular basis will allow us to grow spiritually. To many Christians today (and when the epistle to the Hebrews was written), are satisfied being baby Christians. They go to church where the average pastor spends a few minutes reading a couple of verses from God's word, then expounding on a topic of his choosing for the week. The people then consider themselves "fed" for the week, and forget about God's word until next Sunday.

They are starving spiritually! They are not recieving the full spiritual nutrition available to them by chewing on and digesting God's precious word to us. Let us recieve all the blessings that He has for us by making His word a part of our every meal, every day!

Taste and see that the Lord is good! Psalm 34:8

Continue reading
2067 Hits
0 Comments

Truth or Dare?

For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 2 Peter 1:16

In 1 Peter, the apostle encourages the early church in enduring the persecution that comes on each and every believer in Christ from outside of the church. In 2 Peter, he once again addresses persecution, but this time from within the church. In 2 Peter 2, he specifically speaks of false teachers being among them, with many being decieved, and following in their destructive ways (2 Pet. 2:2). In v18, he speaks of how they "speak great swelling words, they allure through the lusts of the flesh". As an elder of that church, his concern was that the sheep would be led onto a path of destruction, and as a caring shepherd, it was his desire to point them in the more perfect direction.

 As a pastor and elder, I am often called on the carpet by well meaning brothers and sisters for "naming names" when I speak of what I see as deception in the church. There are many "pastors" within the body of Christ that speak, if not outright heresy, then certainly deceptions that lead a good number of Christians on a very dangerous path. I do not believe that teaching grace and works is necessesarily heretical, but leads a Christ loving saint on a path of depending on themselves for salvation. I do not believe teaching "warm fuzzy" sermons are heretical. In fact that is the kind of sermon most preachers prefer to preach! But a steady diet of sugar will only rot your teeth! At some point, your hand needs to be slapped when you are overdosing on ice cream! God's justice and righteousness cannot be ignored.

Certainly these things lead to spiritual immaturity, but much more dangerous are the "fables", or mythos in the Greek (where the word myth comes from). Beware of the "pastors" that teach that all roads lead to God, and that a sincere Muslim, Buddhist, atheist, etc., will all go to heaven. Or one the teaches that you can be a "good" Christian and not believe in the resurrection.

There are some people who do not find the style of Calvary Chapel Dickinson to their tastes (for the life of me I don't know why!), but I know that it is not the only true church around. Please, if not CC Dickinson, find a bible believeing/teaching church, that first and foremost believes that "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Tim 3:16,17.

 

God's grace and peace be poured upon you abundantly!

Continue reading
1676 Hits
0 Comments

Creeps in the Church

For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. Jude 4

I wish that every person that I met who called themselves a Christian was truly a Christian. In fact, I have read polls that state that 80 to 85 percent of Americans claim to be Christians. But if that were true, this nation, and in fact this world, would be radically different.

Why are not more "Christians" acting Christ-like? Why don't more "Christians" demonstrate a biblical world-view when it comes to issues of sin, rather than either turning the other cheek, or an out-right denial that sin is really sin? It certainly comes from the rejection of the authority of God's holy word. But why this outright rejection of the truth of the Bible?

We have allowed "certain men" to creep in unnoticed into our churches. Some of them are in positions of leadership. That, of course, is right where Satan wants them. I have heard pastors teach that hell is not a real place. That atheists can go to heaven if they are sincere/good. That we cannot know truth. That to believe in a literal six days of creation is foolishness. When men from the pulpit are undermining the authority of God's word, the sheep in the pews are going to do what sheep do, they are going to trust that the "shepherd" is there to protect them, that the pastor must know because he has and advanced degree of some kind, and has studied God's word. And of course, that sort of "pastor" will present himself as an authority in scripture. But how arrogant and prideful to claim authority over God's word! That was the same tactic used by Satan himself in the garden, when he convinced Eve that God's word was not true, which led to the expulsion of the first man and woman from the Garden of Eden, and worse, resulted in the end of fellowship between God and man!

Brothers and sisters, I encourage you to contend earnestly for the faith (Jude 3). Do not forget the words of Paul to the Roman church when he said faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rm 10:17). When we believe in the authority of God's word, and steadfastly seek to know it, then we will not be decieved by the creepers who enter into the church.

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into and angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. 2 Cor. 11:13-15

Continue reading
1772 Hits
0 Comments