1 John – Chapter 5

Verse 1 – Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.

Verse 2 – By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.

Verse 3 – For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments! And His commandments are not burdensome.

Meaning: God’s laws are not unreasonable; what He requires of us is not beyond our ability. It’s actually quit easy to obey God when our hearts are right.

Verse 4 – For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.

Verse 5 – Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believers that Jesus is the Son of God?

Everyone that is a true Christian gains victory over the world. Christ overcame the darkness in the world, so now as believers in Christ, our faith in Him makes us victorious also. “As He is, so are we in this world.” 1 John 4:17.

Verse 6 – This is He who came by water and blood – Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.

If this verse is understood to be “water baptism,” there is no natural connection between water and the “blood.”

There remains one interpretation – “water and blood” which flowed from the side of the Savior when He was pierced by the spear of the Roman soldier. John had himself laid great stress on this occurrence, and on the fact that he himself had witnessed it. Together, they bore witness to the one fact that He actually died. There are three that bear witness; the Spirit, the water and the blood, and these three agree in one. John makes it clear in this verse it was not by water only, but water and blood.

Verse 7 – For there are three who bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.

Verse 8 – And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.

The Spirit of God has thus always borne witness to the fact that Jesus is the Christ, and He will continue to do it to the end of time, convincing countless millions that He was sent from God to redeem and save lost people.

Verse 9 – If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son.

Verse 10 – He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.

Verse 11 – And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.

Plain and simple: You cannot have eternal life without Jesus Christ. There is only one way and that way is Jesus!!

Verse 12 – He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

This verse says “has” as in possessing. This is not talking about just believing “in” Jesus in our minds. Do we have Him living in our lives? You’ll know them by their fruit.

Verse 13 – These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

Eternal life is not based on “feelings.” We know for sure based on God’s promise and God’s truth. Ask yourself this: Have you committed your life to the Son of God? If so, you know by faith that you have eternal life!

Verse 14 – Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

Verse 15 – And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

The sense is, that one of the effects of believing on the Lord Jesus is, having the assurance that our prayers will be answered – confidence.

It’s easy to know His will if we are listening to what the Spirit says and reading His word. For instance: forgiveness of sin; the sanctification of the soul; comfort in trials; supply of our needs; grace to do His good works; wisdom to direct and guide us; deliverance from evil; a broader influence of His Spirit; our salvation. There are many petitions we place before the Lord, but with confidence we know He hears us and answers.

Verse 16 – If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that.

Verse 17 – All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death.

It is not easy to define the unpardonable sin, even though we know it is against the Holy Spirit and it is impossible for us to determine, with absolute certainty that a person has committed it. But the one sin I know for sure that will have no forgiveness after death, is the rejection of Jesus Christ.

Verse 18 – We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.

Though a person may fall into sin, and grieve their fellow Christians, we are not to cease to pray for them. This “not sinning,” is not done in our own strength, but by the power of the Holy Spirit, divine assistance, we are able to not sin. We are to draw near to God, He draws near to us, and the evil one flees.

Verse 19 – We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.

We are either with God or under the control and influence of Satan. There is no middle ground!

Verse 20 – And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

Verse 21 – Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

John presents a clear picture of Christ. What we think about Jesus is central to our teaching, preaching, and living a holy life. Jesus is fully God and fully man and came to earth to die for our sins. Through faith in Him, we are given eternal life and the power to do His will. Choose life!!

 

1 John – Chapter 4

Testing the Spirits

Verse 1 – Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God’ because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Don’t believe everyone that says they are under the influence of the Holy Spirit. There are many ways to test teachers and preachers to see if their message is truly from the Lord: (1) Does their words match what God says int he Bible? (2) Are they truly committed to the body of believers? (3) Does their life-style show fruit?

Verse 2 – By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,

Verse 3 –  and every spirit  that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. and this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which now already is in the world.

John says the most important test of all is what they believe about Christ. Do they teach that Jesus is fully God and fully man? There are many that claim they are from God, but if you give them these tests, you will know for sure. If the person is truly form God, they will teach and believe what Jesus taught.

Verse 4 – You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

As Christians, we have embraced the truth and triumphed over the arts of temptations; efforts to draw us into error and sin.

He who abides in us by the Holy Spirit, whose strength and grace enables us to achieve this victory, is more mighty than Satan!

Verse 5 – They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them.

Spiritual deception is more attractive and plausible to non-Christians than the truth of the gospel message.

Verse 6 – We are of God. He who knows God hears us, he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

People don’t like to be confronted with their sin and they sure don’t want to be told if they don’t get born-again that they will spend eternity in hell. The world’s way of teaching is that God accepts all people and loves all people. They contradict what God says in Scripture in order to not offend those “hearers.”

When a believer has the Holy Spirit living on the inside, He will let you know what you hear is in error or truth.

Verse 7 – Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

Verse 8 – He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

God is love – all true love has its origin in God; real love shows that we have His Spirit, and that we belong to Him; love assimilates us to God, or makes us more like Him.

Hatred, envy, wrath, and malice, all have their source in something other than God. He neither originates them, commends them, nor approves them, so don’t be fooled when you hear someone spew hateful words against another and claim its’ from God. Not true! And that goes for anyone including pastors, leaders in the church, or a politician.

Verse 9 – 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.

Verse 10 – 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.

Verse 11 – Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

If we do not show love, kindness, and compassion to our fellow believers, than how are others to know we belong to Him?

Verse 12 – No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.

Jesus is the complete expression of God in human form and He has revealed God to us. When we love one another, the invisible God reveals Himself to others through us, and His love is made complete.

Verse 13 – By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.

Verse 14 – And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son a Savior of the world.

Verse 15 – Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

Confession of the truth about the Son is a condition for a relationship with God the Father.

Verse 16 – And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God and God in him.

Verse 17 – 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.

As Christians we have no fear when the day comes that we stand before God, because we are forgiven and made righteous through Jesus Chris.

Verse 18 – 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.

Verse 19 – We love Him because He first loved us.

Verse 20 – If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar, for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

Verse 21 – And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.

Followers of Christ love God and love others – or they are not true disciples of Christ. We show our love for God in how we treat others.

However, there are those who profess to be Christians that are bitter, hateful, envious of others, and are only concerned with what affects them. After reading this chapter we can decide whether we are disciple of Christ or disciples of the devil.

1 John – Chapter 3

Verse 1 – Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, we should be called of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

John marveled at the love that God has shown. However, the world doesn’t understand this. They regard us as fanatics or foolish for not pursuing the same things in this world as they do. They don’t understand God’s principles.

Verse 2 – Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, we shall see Him as He is.

Verse 3 – And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

The Christian life is a process of becoming more and more like Christ. The process will not be complete until we see Christ face to face. Knowing that this is our ultimate goal, we keep ourselves morally straight and avoid sin.

Verse 4 – Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

Those who are true Christians do not habitually sin. A true believer that sins, repents and receives forgiveness. A person who continues to sin is not sincere in their faith toward God.

Verse 5 – And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.

The whole purpose for Jesus coming to this earth, becoming a man, was to put an end to sin and take the punishment for it. He redeemed us from sin and if we receive that redemption and receive Him then we are His.

Verse 6 – Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.

Abide – to remain, to continue, to abide, in Him. Remaining with Him, heart, mind, and will. God’s will becomes our will.

Verse 7 – Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.

Verse 8 – He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

The believer imitates their righteous Father. The sinner imitates their father the devil, the master of lies and deceit. However, there is a remedy to sinning and changing fathers. His name is Jesus Christ.

Verse 9 – Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin because he has been born of God.

John is not talking about people whose “victories” over certain temptations are not complete. He is talking about people who make a practice of sinning and find ways to justify it!

No one who is born of God will continue to sin. They do not become indifferent to God’s laws and standards. All believers still sin once in a while, but they continue to work on overcoming that sin.

We are born of God when the Holy Spirit comes to live in us. Being born-again is much more than a fresh start. The Holy Spirit gives us a new heart and mind and begins helping us to change to be more Christ like. We renew our minds by reading God’s word and our perceptive changes.

Verse 10 – In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God nor is he who does not love his brother.

Plain and simple: If a person does not practice righteousness and does not love their Christian brother or sister, they cannot be a child of God. Did you notice, John did not say, “Love everyone?” he said, “Love your brother,” He’s taking about our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Verse 11 – For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one anther,

Verse 12 – not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.

Cain killed Able when God accepted Able’s offering and not Cain’s. Cain’s jealousy drove Cain to murder. Why? Because when people are morally upright, they expose and shame those who aren’t. That’s why there is so much hatred towards the Christian.

Verse 13 – Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.

Verse 14 – We know that we have passed from death to life because we love the brethren. He who does not love the brother abides in death.

If a person is not “born-again” their spirit is “dead.” When a person becomes a born-again Christian, they pass from “death” to “life.” This is just one of the simple tests to know if you are truly one of God’s children. Do you love your brother’s and sister’s in Christ?

Verse 15 – Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

The private malice, the secret grudge, the envy which is harbored in the heart against another Christian, is murderous in tendency. What is felt in the heart, will come out of the mouth and sometimes, with no restraint, be put into action to commit murder.

Verse 16 – By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Verse 17 – But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?

How do our actions say that we love another? Are we as generous with our money, time, and possessions? The Bible says, “Those that know to do good and don’t, is sin.”

Verse 18 – My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

Verse 19 – And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.

Verse 20 – For if our hearts condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.

God’s love is larger and stronger than any accusing conscience we might have of not doing enough. Don’t let your conscience accuse you of not being good enough at what you do for God – God is greater.

Verse 21 – Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.

Christians should be able to come before God with a clear conscience and free of guilt. We shouldn’t harbor old sins that have already been forgiven!

Verse 22 – And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight,

If we keep His commandments then we won’t ask what is outside His will.

Verse 23 –  And this is His commandment; that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.

Verse 24 – Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

Our conduct will reflect His presence in us!

1 John – Chapter 2

Verse 1 – My little children, these things I write to you, that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

John addresses the Christians, as an old man. All are liable to sin, but when we do, don’t despair. We have a Father that forgives , Jesus Christ who is eminently righteous Himself.

Verse 2 – And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

Christ has already suffered the penalty for our sin, so we can’t be tried for something that has already been paid for. United with Christ, we are safe from punishment.

Verse 3 – Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.

Believe int he Lord Jesus Christ and love one another. True Christian faith results in loving behavior.

Verse 4 – He who says, “I know Him, ” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

The true follower of Christ is a doer of the Word, not just a hearer.

Verse 5 – But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.

Do you know people who profess to be Christians, but yet you have a hard time seeing “in what area” they are? What they say and what they do does not line up. John say’s they are a liar. God sees the difference and we do too.

Verse 6 – He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

To walk as Christ today we must follow His teachings and let His life reflect in us which is obedience to the Father.

Verse 7 – Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning.

Verse 8 – Again, a new commandment I write to you, which things is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

The commandment to love one another is both Old Testament and New Testament teaching. Love should be the unifying force and identifying mark of the Christian. We cannot grow spiritually while hating others. Our growing relationship with God will result in a loving relationship with others.

Verse 9 – He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.

Verse 10 – He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.

Does this mean that if I don’t like “some” Christians, that I’m not a true Christian? No, it means we are to treat all Christians with respect and concern with their well-being whether we have that feeling of affection or not toward them. Sometimes we have to look beyond their faults, as others look beyond ours. However, I do realize that there are Christians we just don’t like being around.

Verse 11 – But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

This is not talking about the lost anywhere in these previous verses. It is talking about how we treat our fellow Christian brothers and sisters.

Verse 12 – I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.

Verse 13 – I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you little children, because you have known the Father.

Verse 14 – I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him, who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.

John was writing to believers of all ages who had experienced forgiveness through Jesus. As young adults move from victory to victory, they grow in their relationship with Christ. Older Christians, having known Christ for years, have developed the wisdom needed to teach the younger people and start the cycle all over again.

Verse 15 – Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Verse 16 – For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world.

Some think worldliness is just merely thinking like the world and placing a high value on material things. Worldliness is also internal because it begins with the heart characterized by our attitudes.

By contrast, God values is self-control, a spirit of generosity, and a commitment to humble service. Do our values and priorities in this life reflect the world’s values or God’s.

Verse 17 – And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

So many today live as though the things of this world will always be here. They take no thought of God and His word, that one day all this will be gone. A Christian is to live with eternity in mind.

Verse 18 – Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrist have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.

John is talking about the closing dispensation in which the affairs of the world are ultimately wound up. Can we not see this happening in our societies today where people call evil good and good evil. And it is getting worse. Any life-style that someone thinks is right, is pushed on others that follow God. A “phoebe” is used to name call those who don’t believe that way.

There have been and will continue to be many antichrist, thinking they are taking the place of Christ in this world. But when the time comes there will be the Antichrist that will rule the world for a time.

This passage proves that these persons, whatever their pretensions and professions may have been, were never sincere Christians. The same may be said of all who apostatize from the faith, and become teachers of error. They never truly converted; never belonged really to the spiritual church of Christ.

Verse 20 – But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.

Verse 21 – I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

Verse 22 – Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.

John calls all those who do not believe Jesus is the Christ an antichrist and a liar.

There are several religions today that do not believe that God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are One! Make sure the church you go to and support believe that Christ is the One  true Son of God.

Verse 23 – Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either, he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

Verse 24 – Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

The gospel that you heard when you were first saved, don’t let a false teacher come in and sway you. There will always be people that will try to alter the basic foundations of the truth, then and today. Jesus Christ is God’s Son and is God and His sacrifice saved us from our sins and it is permanent. No teaching should ever contradict that!

Verse 25 – And this is the promise that He has promised us – eternal life.

Verse 26 – These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you.

Verse 27 – But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.

In other words: Those who are true Christians will not fall away because there is an anointing on them from God. Stay in God’s word and you will know as soon as you hear something contrary to Scripture, you can reject it.

Verse 28 – And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.

Verse 29 – If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.

Bottom line; The visible proof of being a Christian is right behavior. Many people do good deeds but don’t have faith in Jesus Christ. Others claim to have faith but rarely produce good deeds. A defect in either faith or right behavior will be cause for shame when Christ returns. Because true faith always results in good deeds, those who claim to have faith and consistently do what is right are true believers. Good deeds do not produce salvation, but they are necessary proof that true faith is actually present! So the question is, “Do I produce what I believe?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 John – Chapter 1

Introduction: This epistle was written by the apostle “John,” the same John which wrote the Gospel of John. We don’t know exactly when it was written though. Was it before or after the destruction of Jerusalem? John just makes note of the last hour, so that could mean any number of times.

This Epistle seems to not have been written to a particular church, but rather a certain character in the churches with dangerous opinions.

John’s first letter seems to address some in the local church, that had departed fellowship, apparently because their doctrine, ethics, devotion, or some combination of these were in conflict with the church. He emphasized that belief should match action.

A personal relationship with Christ is the foundation of the Christian life and out from this grows obedience to divine commands.

Chapter 1

Verse 1 – That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life –

Verse 2 – the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us –

John was one of the 12 disciples who had a personal relationship with Jesus. He was eye-witness to all these things. His qualification for being able to write this letter are from the Master Himself.

Verse 3 – that which we have seen you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.

John wanted all his readers to have the same views of the Savior which he had, and partake of the same hope and joy – fellowship.

Verse 4 – And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.

Verse 5 – This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.

Darkness had crept in among some of John’s readers. “Light” in Scripture, is the emblem of purity, truth, knowledge, prosperity, and happiness – as darkness is the opposite. In God there is no darkness.

Verse 6 – If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

We can’t claim to walk with God while living a life of sin – darkness. It’s a life of lies.

Verse 7 – But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Meaning – born-again; walking according to God’s word; standards set by God’s truth; and living that transformed life of obedience and self-control, not fulfilling the lusts of the flesh.

Verse 8 – If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Here John was attacking the claim of the false teachers that people had no natural tendency toward sin. These false teachers, as some do today, saw no need to repent. I can’t remember the last time I heard a message on repenting and then having an opportunity for the congregation to do so. That’s one reason why it’s hard to tell the Christians from the lost. People think confessing their sin is old fashion.

Verse 9 – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The forgiveness of sins is mercy on God’s part. If we can’t admit to being a sinner, then one cannot be born-again. After being a Christian, we know when we have sinned and know good and well when we have wronged another person. A humble spirit will cause us to repent and, “Make it right!” Everyone sins and everyone messes up, own up to it.

Verse 10 – If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

Do you know who cannot be saved? Those who refuse to admit they are a sinner! Too many compare themselves to others instead of comparing themselves to God’s standards. They think, “Well, at least I’m not as bad as so and so.” Everyone will answer for themselves one day.