1 John 2:1-14
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
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.
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?
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 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!
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)
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.
1 Cor 13:1-3
(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.
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.
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.
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
walk around it,
step over 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.
John address 3 groups of people… twice
He is speaking spiritually
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.”