Saturday, September 29, 2012
4:4-6 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
John continues in this passage to contrast his spiritual children who are of God to the false teachers who do not have the Holy Spirit, as we have seen from verses one through three. He writes that these Christians have overcome them; that is, our faith in Christ triumphs over the false doctrines of men whose spirits are motivated by worldly ambitions. These are the false teachers John already mentioned earlier in his epistle, that went out from the church but were never truly part of them, 1st John 2:19. The reasoning is obvious: greater is the Holy Spirit who dwells in us through faith than the spirit of the antichrist that typifies the false teachers who spread malicious falsities regarding the purpose and person of Jesus Christ.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
I was discussing something with a co-worker the other day when she inquired about something jokingly. She asked about a policy at our work and whether or not I would be dishonest about it for the sake of the store’s convenience when I answered her (jokingly but honestly) that I wouldn’t lie. She asked if it was against my moral code. I answered before I considered and I simply told her yes. Shortly after this, perhaps fifteen minutes at best, I realized the answer I gave her was wrong and I offered a different answer, which took her a little by surprise, I think.
Monday, September 24, 2012
4:1-3 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world, cont.
What is the major determiner of whether we know a message is genuine or not? John’s focus was on Jesus Christ, because Jesus is the center and sum of the church, and the subject of Scripture.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
4:1-3 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
As we read in 1st John 3:24 the Spirit of God testifies that Christ abides in us. We have deduced through the Scriptures how a believer may receive the Holy Spirit, and what it means not to have Him. Those who have the Holy Spirit are God’s children through adoption; those who do not have Him are natural, unregenerate, unsaved men, 1st Corinthians 2:12-14.
Friday, September 21, 2012
3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
It is only those Christians who keep the Lord’s commandments that truly abide in Christ. Likewise, Jesus abides in such saints. Jesus said that if someone loved Him they would keep His word; this would be a visible sign to the saints and the world that the love of God abides in them, John 14:23.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
3:22-23 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. 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.
John stated that the heart that does not condemn us has confidence toward God, that we may approach in prayer and expect to receive those things we ask for. We read in verse 22 that whatsoever we ask we receive of God. Here I think we should touch upon the problem of unanswered prayer. First, however, I would like to commend the book The Kneeling Christian, by an unknown Christian for reading on this topic. I found it insightful and highly practical.
Monday, September 17, 2012
3:19-21 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
We come to verse 19 where John states that hereby we know we are of the truth. What is this “hereby” he refers to? Hereby can also mean “by means of this,” so we know John is referring to past statements made to his spiritual children. Verse 16 begins with a similar tone. John states “by this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.”
Saturday, September 15, 2012
3:17-18 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
We press on to a passage that mirrors a difficult passage just two verses prior. John wrote that a Christian who hates his brother is a murderer, and that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. In verse 17 John inquires as to how the love of God abides (NKJV) in the man who possesses material wealth but refuses to surrender it to needy brethren.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
3:14-15 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
The apostle writes that a Christian may know, be assured or affirmed in the fact that we actively love the brethren. I insert the word actively simply because John will shortly explain this for himself; the apostle never considers the love he describes as passive or benign. It is virulent and active. He writes: “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth,” 1st John 3:18. A visible love demonstrated by caring for the brethren with more than words can comfort a believer about the new life they have in Christ. Such love is inspired by the God who is love and flows (or should flow) naturally from the heart of His regenerated children.
Saturday, September 8, 2012
3:13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
This is perhaps one of the shortest verses in John’s epistle but one worth pausing at and reflecting over. Let’s slowly mull over what John is presently telling us and discover what the rest of Scripture has to say about the matter. First John offers some plain counsel: do not marvel. We find a descriptive usage of this term in Revelation when John beholds the woman riding the beast. When he saw this woman John “marveled with great amazement,” Revelation 17:6. John was shocked. He counsels Christians not to be shocked when the world hates us.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
I received this snippet of news via email from UTT (Understand the Times) founded by Mr. Roger Oakland. I find it almost humorous that so many tout the United States as a "Christian Nation," but a nation where the true Jesus is hardly welcomed in most places. Please read on and decide for yourself.
Monday, September 3, 2012
3:10-12 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.
Returning to verse 7 we find John revealing a pattern of contrasts that he is following through into our present passage. In verse 7 he states that the one who professes Christ is righteous only if he practices said righteousness. Those who live in a lifestyle of sin but profess godliness (verse 8) are actually of the Devil, the opponent of Christ that Jesus manifested to destroy the very works of.