1 John, Lesson 8

Lesson 8

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, You are Jehovah Rapha, Rohi, Jireh, Nissi, Tsidkenu, Shamma, Seboath, and Shalom. Thank You that You are all these and much more. There are no words to describe all of Your attributes and characteristics. We pray for the spirit of wisdom, understanding, insight, knowledge, and obedience to reside in us, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

1 John 5: 1-21, the tests for loving God.

VV 1-2, 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. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.

The tests for loving God and spiritual regeneration are to believe that Jesus is the Christ and to keep His commandments.

VV 3-5, 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

We show our love for God by keeping His commandments. His commandments are not difficult to keep if we love Him. Spiritually regenerated people overcome the world by believing that Jesus is the Son of God.

VV 6-8, 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. 7 For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.

Jesus’ incarnation through natural birth, by water and blood, was witnessed by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth. There are three witnesses of Christ’s incarnation in heaven, Father God, Jesus, the Word, and the Holy Spirit. There are three witnesses on earth, the Holy Spirit, the water, and the blood. Water could be a reference to Christ’s birth or Christ’s baptism, and blood could be a reference to Christ’s crucifixion.

VV 9-10, 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. 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.

God’s witness is greater than man’s witness. God’s witness testified to the authenticity of Jesus Christ. Those who believe in Jesus Christ believe in God’s witness. Those who did not believe in Jesus Christ did not believe in God’s witness.

VV 11-12, 11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life, he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

God gave us eternal life in Christ. Whoever has Christ had life, whoever does not have Christ does not have life. 1 John 5:12, is a promise to claim and a memory verse to memorize. “He who has the Son has life, he who does not have the Son does not have life.”

V 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.

John reassured his audience and us to believe and continue believing in the name of Christ so that we will have eternal life.

VV 14-15, 14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 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.

If we ask Christ anything according to His will, He will hear us. Since we know that He hears us, we have a basis to ask with confidence and boldness.

VV 16-17, 16 If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin that does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death.

John encouraged his audience and us to pray for our brother who committed a pardonable sin. However, if someone blasphemed against the Holy Spirit, this is an unpardonable sin, and should not be prayed for, Mark 3: 28-29.

Mark 3:28-29, “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter, but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”.

VV 18-10,18 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. 19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.

John reminds his audience and us that spiritually regenerated Christians should not sin habitually because they belonged to God.

VV 20-21, 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. 21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

We belonged to Jesus Christ, the only true God, and source of eternal life. John warned his audience and us to keep away from idolatry.

Application:

The tests of loving God and spiritual regeneration is faith and obedience. We are to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God who came to earth through His incarnation to save sinners. We are to keep His commandments to love God vertically and to love one another horizontally. Love is the greatest commandment and the greatest virtue.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we pray that You will give us the grace to love You and to love one another. We pray that You will keep us away from idolatry and keep us in the faith. Thank You for the gift of eternal life and the promise of heaven, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

1 John, Lesson 7

Lesson 7

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, You are Wonderful, Counsellor, Prince of Peace, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Trinitarian God of the Bible, and the Only True God. We pray for Your presence, anointing, revelation, and guidance. We pray for divine wisdom in understanding and applying scripture, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

1 John 4:12-21, The perfection of love.

VV 12-13, 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. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.

No one has ever seen God because He is invisible but God manifested Himself to us by becoming fully human and fully divine in Christ, Colossians 1:15, John 1:14. God’s love will be made perfect in us if we love one another. Christ’s love abiding in us through the Holy Spirit will enable us to love one another.

Colossians 1:15, “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation”.

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”.

VV 14-16, 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 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.

John and the apostles saw and testified that God sent Jesus into the world as Savior of the world. The test of a Christian is confessing Jesus as Son of God. Whoever confessed Jesus as Son of God abides in God, and God abides in him. The test of a Christian is knowing and believing that God is love. Those who remained in love remained in God, and God remained in them.

VV 17-19, 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. 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. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.

Love is made perfect in us by the God of love. Love is the opposite of fear. Love speaks of rewards, but fear speaks of punishments. Those who love God will not fear God’s judgment. Those who love God can approach Him in boldness and confidence. We love God because He loved us first, 1 John 4:19.

VV 20-21, 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? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.

The test of a Christian is love. Failure to love our brother and sister proved that we do not love God. We are to love God vertically and love our brother and sister horizontally.

Application:

The three tests of a Christian are confessing Christ as Son of God, believe in God, and loving God. God is a God of love. John was an apostle of love. Greek for love in 1 John is “agape”, the highest form of love. Perfect love casts out fear of God’s judgments. Love is the greatest commandment and the greatest virtue. Therefore, love God and love one another just as Christ loves us.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we are forever grateful to You for loving us and for sending Jesus as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. We pray for grace and divine enablement to love You vertically and to love one another horizontally. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

1 John, Lesson 6

Lesson 6:

 

Prayer:

 

Heavenly Father, thank You for allowing us to meet You again in daily devotion. We pray for a relationship, fellowship, communion, and communication with You. We pray that You speak to us as only You can, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

 

1 John 4:1-11, God is love

 

VV 1-3, 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. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 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 you have heard was coming and is now already in the world.

 

John warned his audience and us to test and discern every spirit because not all spirits are from God. Some spirits are from false prophets who belonged to satan. Every spirit that acknowledged the incarnation of Christ is from God. Every spirit that denied the incarnation of Christ is the spirit of the Antichrist. John refuted the heretic gnostic teachers who denied the incarnation of Christ. 

 

VV 4-6, 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. 5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. 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.

 

1 John 4:4 is a beautiful memory verse, “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world”. Jesus Christ who is in us is greater than satan who is in the world. The world listened to non-Christians who belonged to it. God listened to Christians who belonged to Him but will not listen to non-Christians who do not belong to Him. 

 

VV 7-9, 7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 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. 

John encouraged his audience and us to love one another because God is love. To know God is to love God. We are to love God vertically and love one another horizontally. God sent His Son into the world because of love, John 3:16. 

 

John 3:16, “for God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life”. 

 

VV 10-11, 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. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Greek for propitiation is “hilasterion”, which means Mercy Seat. Mercy Seat is the golden cover on the ark of the covenant. In the Old Testament, the high priest enters the Holy of Holies to sprinkle the blood of the lamb upon the Mercy Seat as an atonement of sins for the Israelites for one year. The NIV translates propitiation as the atoning sacrifice. The Mercy Seat was a foreshadow of Christ. Christ’s death on the cross is the atoning sacrifice for our sins. We are to love one another to reciprocate Christ’s love for us. 

 

Application:

 

God is love. God demonstrated His amazing love for us by sending Jesus to the cross as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. We are justified by grace through faith in Christ. God considered us just as if we had not sinned if we believe in Christ. Having been justified by grace we have peace with God and we can come with boldness and confidence before Him in prayer.

 

Prayer:

 

Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us even though we do not deserve it. Thank You for Your mercy and grace. We acknowledged that we are sinners saved by Your grace. Thank You for all that You have done for us in our lives, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

 

1 John, lesson 5

Lesson 5

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we pray for mercy, grace, wisdom, insight, and understanding into the reading of Your word. We pray for unlocking the meaning and interpretation of difficult and controversial verses, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

1 John 3: 1-24, behold, what manner of love

VV 1-3, 1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 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, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

Greek for behold is ‘’horao”, which means consider. John encouraged his audience and us to consider the magnitude of God’s for us when He adopted into His family as children when we accepted Christ as our Lord and Saviour. The word love appeared repeatedly in 1 John and the Greek word for love is always “agape”. Agape is the highest form of love, the divine sacrificial love of God for people. The world rejected us because it rejected God. When Christ comes back during the rapture, He will resurrect us into a glorified body to meet Him in the heaven, 1 Thess 4:17.

1 Thess 4:17, “After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever”.

VV 4-6, 4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. 5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. 6 Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.

Greek for sin is “hamartia”, which means missing the mark. Greek for lawlessness is “anomos”, which means transgression. Whoever missed the mark of God’s perfect standard had transgressed against God. The problem of sin had been dealt with on the cross. Christ paid the penalty of our sins on the cross of Calvary on Good Friday. Whoever walked in obedience to Christ will not walk in sin because Christ is sinless.

VV 7-9, 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 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. 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 warned his audience and us not to be deceived by the heretic gnostic teachers. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous just as Christ is righteous. Whoever practices wickedness is from satan. Christ came to earth to destroy the works of satan. Those who are born again will not sin because they are born of God.

VV 10-12, 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. 11 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, 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.

John compared the children of God, Christians, with the children of satan, non-Christians. The children of God practiced righteousness, whereas the children of satan practiced wickedness. The children of God practiced love, whereas the children of satan practiced wickedness. We are to love one another just as Christ loves us. John compared Cain, a son of satan, with Abel, a son of God. God rejected Cain’s unrighteous sacrifice but accepted Abel’s righteous sacrifice. Cain murdered his brother because he was wicked and his brother was righteous.

VV 13-15, 13 Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. 15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

John warned his audience and us not to be surprised if the world hates us because the world hates God. We are to love our brother and not to hate him. To hate our brother is to murder him in the heart. Jesus said in the beatitude, that murder begins in the heart, Matthew 5: 21-22.

Matthew 5: 21-22, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council”.

VV 16-17, 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. 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?

Christ demonstrated His love for us when He died on the cross for us while we were still sinners, Romans 5:8. We are to love our brothers in the same way that Christ loved us. We are to help our brother if he needs our help and if we are in a position to meet that need.

Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.

VV 18- 20, 18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. 20 For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.

John warned his audience and us not to love in words alone but in action and truth because we are of the truth. Greek for condemn is ‘’kataginosko”, which means accuse. If our heart accused us of sin, God is greater than our heart and He will not accuse us of sin.

Romans 8:1. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit”.

VV 21-23, 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. 22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. 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.

Greek for confidence is “parresia”, which means boldness to speak. If our heart did not accuse us, we can come before God with boldness and confidence in prayer and He will answer us, Hebrews 4:16, Ephesians 3:12. We are to believe in the name of Christ and love one another as Christ loved us, John 13:34.

Hebrews 4:16, “Let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need”.

Ephesians 3:12, “in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him”.

John 13:34, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another”.

V 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.

John encouraged his audience and us to keep Christ’s commandments and remain in Him. Christ will abide in us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

John 15:4, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me”.

Application:

God loved you with an everlasting love, Jer 31:3. Christ’s death on the cross showed the extent of His love. Love is one of the tests of knowing Christ. We are to love God vertically and love our brothers and sisters in Christ horizontally. Love is the greatest of the ten commandments and is the greatest virtue of all, 1 Cor 13:13.

1 Cor 13:13, And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Jer 31:3, The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness, I have drawn you.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Saviour. Thank You for Your love, mercy, and grace. We pray for the grace to love You, to love our brothers and sisters in Christ and our neighbors. We pray for divine enablement to keep Your commandments and to abide in Your love, in Jesus’ name, Amen.