Monday, August 17, 2009

1 John 2:3-11

V3-11 – 3We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands. 4The man who says, “I know Him,” but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5But if anyone obeys His word, God’s love [Or, word, love for God] is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in Him: 6Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did. 7Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. 8Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in Him and you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. 9Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. 10Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him [or, it] to make him stumble. 11But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.

Coming off his rebuttal of false teaching, John moves into how we ought to recognize true Christians, both in ourselves and in our teachers. He begins with a moral test; v3 is very brief and very clear. “We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands.” In v4, John gives a negative example. And in v5, John gives a positive example, along with a fruit of living this way. The phrase, “made complete” refers to God’s love being irrevocably established in those who live by it. Finally, in v6, John exhorts his audience to holy living, to prove that our claim of knowing God is true by walking as Jesus did. He assumes his audience is familiar with Jesus’ lifestyle, as recorded in his gospel.

We don’t come to know God by obeying His commands; notice John’s order – we know that we have come to know Him if we obey. We come to know Him by grace through faith. But once we know Him (not merely about Him), we must strive to live holy lives, which gives us assurance of our knowledge of God. Calvin’s comments are helpful: “The knowledge of God, derived from the gospel, is not ineffectual, but obedience proceeds from it… The knowledge of God leads us to fear Him and to love Him. For we cannot know Him as Lord and Father, as He shows Himself, without being dutiful children and obedient servants.”

John is teaching that salvation is evidenced by obedience, and, in turn, that obedience contributes to our assurance. And if we don’t progress in obedience, then our profession must be called into question. Actually it’s much harsher than that. Calvin says, “In short, no evil has been more common in all ages than vainly to profess God’s name.” The truth is not in the man who claims to know God but does not obey. God’s truth always turns a person to godly behavior; otherwise, it isn’t in the person. We must love God’s law in our striving to obey it (Deuteronomy 10:12, 30:19-20). Jesus loved God’s law; it was His passion; He lived to obey it. And His obedience revealed that God’s love was complete in Him. We strive to emulate Jesus (v6) to show that God’s love is truly made complete in us.

Having issued the moral test for authentic Christianity, John begins this passage in v7 with a relational test, by claiming to write an old command, a command that his audience has “had since the beginning” – the command to love one another. Since it is right to be suspect of “new” doctrine, John may mean that he has preached this command since his ministry began; or he may mean that this command is ancient, founded just after the Exodus at the giving of the law, in Leviticus 19:18. He may even be suggesting, rightly, that this is eternal truth, such as the gospel itself. And then in v8, John declares that he is writing a new command. In John 14, Jesus gives this same “new command.” It’s a call not just to obey the command, but also to be a daily and ever-renewing example of obedience to this command. In other words, this command does not grow old with time; as Calvin says, “It is perpetually in force… no less the highest perfection than the very beginning.” The old command has been there, even in times of darkness; but darkness is passing away in the lives of these believers. So the new command is given as “the true light is already shining.”

John is commanding believers to love one another not merely as an end in itself but also as an example to others, as a means to another end, that all would love one another as Jesus showed. Thinking of Jesus, it’s a call to a self-denying love. This is the relational test of true Christianity. And John wraps up his thoughts on this command by declaring in v10-11 that if you love this way, then you can’t stumble, because you’re in the light. But if you don’t love one another this way, as in 1 Corinthians 13, if you don’t progress toward this kind of selfless love, like Jesus’ love, if you hate your brother, even without using that word, then you’re in darkness, and you’re blind. So we’ve seen an introduction to the moral test and the relational test of authentic Christianity.

10 comments:

ElderChild said...

“Love Not The World”

”For the WHOLE world(not just a portion) is under the control of the evil one”.......(I John 5:19)

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world will pass away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of The Only True GOD will abide for ever.” (I John 2:15-17)

“If you were of the world, the world would love it’s own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his Master. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also.” (John 15:19-20)

“Where do wars and fighting among you come from? Do they not come of your lusts that war in your members? You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war yet you have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts. You adulterers and adulteresses, don’t you know that friendship with the world is to be at enmity with The Only True GOD? Therefore whoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of The Only True GOD.” (James 4:1-4)

“The world cannot hate you; but the world hates Me, because I testify that the works of this world are evil.” (John 7:7)” and “The Messiah gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of The Only True God, Our Father.”(Gal 1:4)

The Messiah testified: “If the world hates you know that it hated Me before it hated you.”(John 5:18) Truly, Truly, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die it brings forth much fruit. He that loves his life in this world shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall have it unto life eternal.” (John 12:24-25)

John testified: “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hates you.” (I John 3:13) “ James testified, “Whoever would be a friend of this world is the enemy of GOD”(James 4:4)

The “earth and it's life forms” are The Creation of The Only True GOD, Father of ALL! The “worldly” systems are the creation of, and under the dominion of “the god of this world”, he who is “the father of lies”, he who “has blinded the minds of those who believe not The Messiah”! All the nations of this world are under the dominion of, and serve, the evil one for he provides the fuel that feeds mankind’s “imag”ination, and mankind’s “imagination is destroying and perverting Creation(land, air, water, vegetation, creatures, Light, Truth, Life, Love, Peace, Faith, Simplicity, .etc.) ;-(

Once again, the “earth and it's life forms” are The Creation of The Only True GOD, Father of ALL! The current “worldly” systems are the creation of, and under the dominion of “the god of this world”.

(Continued in next comment)

ElderChild said...

Those who “love this world” all serve “the god of this world”, and play their part in the processes that seek to destroy The Creation of The Only True GOD. “And The Only True GOD will destroy them who destroy the earth.” (Rev 11:18c)

Global warming, polluted air, land and waters, toxic wastes, sexual perversion, evil inventions of destruction, greed, hate, carnal warfare, dis-ease ,,,etc,,, are all destructive processes that have their root in “the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life”.

The Truth Is Alive in those who have been born of The Spirit for “they no longer love this wicked, evil world and it’s things, nor do they love their own lives in this world”.

They but seek and desire The Will of GOD, their Father and Creator, as they await their final transformation. “Corruptible to Incorruptible" ndeed and Truth!

Now “the ground was cursed for Adam’s sake” because he “hearkened unto the woman”.

Adam listened to a woman rather than obeying The Only True GOD. Yet because of Faithful Noah, The Only True GOD “no longer would curse the ground for man’s sake” because Noah obeyed The Only True GOD! (Genesis 8:21-22)

And the Faithful today are exhorted to “love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.”

Be not of those who deny and defy “The One GOD, Father of All”. Be not of those who are destroying and perverting the earth(land, air, water, vegetation, creatures) and perverting that which is Spirit(Light, Truth, Life, Love, Peace, Hope, Mercy, Faith, .etc.)!

“Set your affections on things above”. Desire heavenly, eternal things. Quit serving ‘time’ in the prison that is this world and take heed unto The Call of "The Only True GOD" to ”Come Out of her, MY people!”

“Come out” from among those who are destroying and perverting Creation and be of those who follow The Messiah on “The Way to The Truth of The Life”.

“Come out” of the worldly systems, which are the product of mankind’s “imag”ination, especially the systems of religion. "Pure religion and undefiled before GOD The Father is this, to visit the fatherless(those who know not their Father[Creator]) and widows(those who have not experienced The Messiah and The Power that raised Him from among the dead") in their affliction and to keep oneself uncontaminated by the world." (James 1:27)

Simply, all other religions are impure, defiled and of this wicked, evil world.......

"religion" is personal(oneself), not corporate.......

Faith will not create a system of religion!

Faith is Family, not "religion", and The Brethren of The Messiah seek and desire that which The Messiah sought and desired above all else:

"Father, not My will, But THY Will Be Done".......

Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(no-peace) that is of this world and it's systems of religion, for "the WHOLE world(not just a portion) is under the control of the evil one" indeed and Truth......

Truth is never ending.......

Chip Crush said...

Thank you for the lengthy comments, though I'm not sure what your point is. Are you simply adding to the commentary from 1 John? Are you disagreeing? Agreeing and encouraging?

ElderChild said...

"The Messiah answered and said unto him that asked Him, "Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
And He stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, "Behold My mother and My brethren"! For whoever does The Will of My Father WHO is in Heaven, such a one is My brother, and sister, and mother."(Mat12:48-50)

And The Will of The Messiah's "GOD and Father", HE WHO IS also The "GOD and Father" of The Messiah's brethren; The Will of The ONE and Only True GOD, Father(Creator) of ALL is that the brethren of The Messiah "Love Not The World".......

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of The Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of The Father, but is of the world. And the world will pass away, and the lust thereof: but he that does The Will of The Only True GOD will abide for ever”.......(I John 2:15-17)

”For the WHOLE world(not just a portion) is under the control of the evil one”.......period.......(I John 5:19)

Chip Crush said...

Okay. So your point, made it many different ways using Scripture, is that the whole world - not just part of it - is under the control of the evil one. I agree. We'll cover more of that as we move on through 1 John.

ElderChild said...

The "major point" was, "who is my brother"?

Most certainly those who are not The Brethren(Brothers) of The Messiah are not my brothers.......

Chip Crush said...

Amen, brother. That's the relational test of Christianity - Love one another. John moves around between three tests of authentic Christianity: the doctrinal test, the relational test, and the moral test. Do we profess the Biblical Christ? Do we love one another? Do we strive to obey God's commands?

ElderChild said...

The "biblical christ"?

What of The Messiah today, for He Is Alive.......

Please tell me of The Miracles on which your Faith is grounded, those things you have "seen(experienced) and heard(received) so that we might have fellowship with one another".......

"Fellowship(brotherhood)" can not be grounded in mere "colored marks written on a dead tree", the "dead letters" of the pharisee's.......

Sadly few, very few of those "who profess The Messiah with their mouth" have "experienced The Messiah and The Power that raised Him from among the dead" ;-(

Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(no-peace) that is of this world....... francis

Chip Crush said...

Yes! Jesus is alive, in more ways than one. First, He sits at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2), interceding for His people (Hebrews 7:25), preparing a place for them (John 14:2), and patiently bearing with sinners (James 5:9; Revelation 3:20) until the full number of the elect come to faith in Him by the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:48). Second, He lives and is at work in this dis-eased world by His Holy Spirit in each of His children. We are lights in the darkness (Ephesians 5:8), reflecting His great light.

You ask for miracles I have seen, experienced, heard, and received, evidence on which my faith is grounded, such that we can have fellowship. I appeal first to the miracle of regeneration by the Holy Spirit (John 1:12-13; 3:5-8,21). I was dead in my sins, like the pagans in every way, by nature a child of wrath, but God made me alive (2 Corinthians 4:6; Ephesians 2:1-5; Colossians 2:13). I was born from above, born again, and I no longer live but Christ lives through me (Galatians 2:20). That's a miracle. I also thank God for the miracle He works in me daily, which brings me to see His word as it truly is, the word of God, not merely "dead letters" written by men (1 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 4:12). Apart from these two miracles, I would be lost and wouldn't even know it.

You are right that there are - sadly - many who profess the name of Jesus without really knowing Him, without having experienced His resurrection power, the indwelling Holy Spirit. But Jesus, in Matthew 7:21-23, tells us the truth about such people: "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!"

If you are counted among the elect, then I can be sure this won't describe you, because God is faithful. Amen.

ElderChild said...

Your response is appreciated.

At the very least you recognize that Life itself is a Miracle, not of you, so why seek to order that which you had nothing to do with?

Thankfully Miracles do happen!

And Our Father(Creator), HE knows what is best for HIS children.......

Father Help! and HE does.......

For, Our Father(Creator), HE yet communes with HIS children.

May you grow in grace, seeking Mercy, and earnestly desiring to be cleansed from all the braindirtying processes you were unknowingly exposed to in both the secular and religious educational institutions of this wicked world.

Such cleansing will no longer allow me to fellowship in the "imag"ined name of 'jesus', for why should i be associated with an "imag"ined name that was transliterated from the pagan latin catholic language into modern day english less than six hundred years ago?

i say "modern" english because prior to that time there was no letter 'j' or 'j' sound in the english language.

Multitudes, especially those who "love this world and their own life in it" cry, "the name doesn't matter"!

Sad for them because Truth does matter! For those who have received "the love of The Truth".......

Appreciate your apparent zeal, and hope is you would continue along the path of separation from this world and it's systems of religion.

Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(no-peace) that is of this world....... francis