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.

1 John, Lesson 4

Lesson 4

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we come before You again to study Your word. We pray that You will speak to us through the pages of scripture. We pray for illumination and enlightenment by the Holy Spirit. We pray for eyes to see and ears to hear, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

1 John 2: 12-29, do not love the world

VV 12-14, 12 I write to you, little children, Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. 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. 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 wrote to three categories of people, little children in the faith, new believers, fathers in the faith, mature believers, and young men in the faith, those in between the two extremes. He commended them because their sins were forgiven, they knew Christ, they had overcome satan, they were strong in the faith, and they knew the word of God.

VV 15-17, 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. 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. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

Greek for love in all of 1 John is “agape”, which means the divine love of God for people. Greek for world is “kosmos”, which means the earth. We do not love or be too attached to the things of the world. Our real citizenship is heaven although we are living on earth. Greek for passing away is “parago”, which means disappear. This world will disappear soon as Jesus’ second coming is imminent. The lust of the flesh speaks of the desires of the flesh. The lust of the eyes speaks of covetousness. The pride of life speaks of arrogance. Satan tempted Jesus on these on the Mount of temptation but Jesus overcame them by the word of God. Satan tempted Jesus to satisfy his hunger by changing stones to bread, (the lust of the flesh), showed Him the Kingdom of the world and bow down to him, (lust of the eyes), and defy God by jumping off the pinnacle of the temple (pride of life).

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

John warned his audience and us about the imminent second coming of Christ and the coming of the Antichrist onto the world scene. The Antichrist is a ruthless dictator who will rule the earth during the last seven years of world history called the tribulation. He is also called the beast, the man of lawlessness, and the man of perdition.

VV 19-23, 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. 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. 22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is an antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

They who “went out from us, but we’re not of us”, speaks of the false heretic gnostic teachers. The anointing of the Holy Spirit should enable Christians to discern truth from lies. Anyone who denies Jesus as the Christ, and the Father as God is an antichrist. Whoever denies Christ, denies the Father. Whoever acknowledged Christ, acknowledged the Father.

V 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.

John encouraged his disciples and us to abide in Christ and in the Father.

VV 25-27, 25 And this is the promise that He has promised us, eternal life. 26 These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. 27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teaches 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.

We have the promise of eternal life from Christ. John warned his audience and us not to be deceived by the false teachings of the heretic gnostic teachers. If we abide in Christ His anointing on us reveals and teaches us all things.

VV 28-29, 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. 29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.

John encouraged his audience and us to abide in Christ and to have confidence in His second coming because. Christ is righteous and those who practice righteousness are His children.

Application:

We are not to hold too tightly to the things of the world because we do not belong to the world. We are not immortal and the world will not last forever. Our real citizenship is heaven. One day, we will be with Christ in heaven until eternity. Our years of earthly existence are insignificant compared to eternity. We are to invest in the things of the kingdom that will last into eternity.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we confessed that we are sinners. We pray for forgiveness of sins and obedience to Your calling. Help us not to cling on tightly to the things of the world but cling to the things of the kingdom. We pray for kingdom perspective, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

1 John, lesson 3

Lesson 3

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we acknowledged that You are Emanual, Lamb of God, Lion of Judah, city of refuge, shepherd of our souls, and captain of our souls. We pray for soft, faithful, obedient, teachable, and sensitive spirits to tap into Your goodness, grace, and love, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

1 John 2: 1- 11, The tests of Knowing Christ

VV 1-2, 1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

John, the last surviving apostle of Christ, addressed his audience tenderly as little children. As Christians, we are not to habitually sin but if we sin, we have Jesus Christ as our Advocate with the Father. Greek for advocate is “parakletos’, which means counselor or defense attorney. Greek for propitiation is “hilasterion” which means the mercy seat. The Mercy Seat was the golden cover on the Ark of the Covenant which was kept in the Holy of Holies. Before the destruction of the temple, the high priest enters the Holy of Holies once a year on Yom Kippur day, to sacrifice a lamb and splash the blood of the lamb onto the mercy seat as atonement for the sins of the Israelites for 1 year. On Good Friday, Jesus Christ died on the cross as a substitutionary atonement for our sins. He meets us on the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant to forgive our sins.

VV 3-6. 3 Now by this, we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

The tests of knowing Christ are obedience to His commands, love God, and love people. We cannot claim to know Christ if we do not obey His commands. Christ is truth. The test of knowing Christ is to walk in truth. Christ is love. Another test of knowing Christ is to walk in love, vertical love for God, and horizontal love for people. Greek for abide is “meno”, which means remain or endure. If we remain in Him, we are to obey Him and conduct our lives according to His commands.

VV 7- 8, 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. 8 Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

The old commandment is from the Old Testament, love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength, Duet 6:4. The new commandment is from the New Testament, to love another as Christ loved us, John 13:34. The true light of Christ’s righteousness had come to remove the darkness of evil in the world, John 1:5.

Deut 6:5, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength”.

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”.

John 1:5, “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it”.

VV 9- 11, 9 He who says he is in the light and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 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.

Christ is light. Another test to know Christ is to walk in the light of Christ. We are to walk in the light of Christ and love our brother. If we hate our brother we are in darkness and deception and the light of Christ is not in us. Light is symbolic of Christ, truth, righteousness, and goodness. Darkness is symbolic of satan, deception, sin, and evil.

Application:

We are not to sin habitually, but if we sin, we are to come before Jesus Christ in confession and repentance. If we confess our sins, Christ is faithful and just and will forgive and cleanse us of all our unrighteousness. We are to walk in obedience, in truth, in love, in light, in the Holy Spirit, and in Christ. These are the tests of knowing Christ.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we confess that we are sinners saved by grace. We pray for forgiveness of sin, justification, salvation, sanctification, and eternal life. We pray for divine guidance and enablement to walk in obedience, in Christ, in the Holy Spirit, in truth, in light, and in faith, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

1 John, Lesson 2

Lesson 2

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we acknowledged that You are the bright morning star, lily of the valley, rose of Sharon, ancient of days, kinsmen redeemer, Holy One of God, Holy One of Israel, and Holy One of Jacob. We pray for open, receptive, soft, obedient, and teachable spirits, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

1 John 1: 5-10, Walk in the light of Christ

V 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.

Jesus is the word of God. Greek for word is “logos”, which means message. John declared to his readers and us, that he and the apostles had heard from Jesus, the message of God. Jesus is the light of life who shines His light into the dark world. Jesus is light of the world and whoever walks with Him will not stumble in darkness, 1 John 1:1, John 1:4, John 8:12, John 9:5.

1 John 1:1, “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”.

John 1:4, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men”.

John 8: 12, Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

John 9:5.  “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world”.

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

We cannot have fellowship with Jesus if we continue to live in sin, continue to walk in darkness, deception, and falsehood. The light of Jesus removes darkness, exposes deceptions, lies, and falsehood. We cannot hide anything before Jesus because He is an all knowing omniscient God, Hebrews 4:13.

Hebrews 4:13, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account”.

V 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.

If we walk in the light of Christ and are cleansed of sins, we can have fellowship with Him and with our fellow Christians.

VV 8-10, 8, If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

No one can claim to be sinless, for all had sinned and fallen short of God’s perfect standard, Romans 3:23. If we sin, we should come before Jesus, confessed and repent of our sin. Jesus is faithful and will forgive our sins and purifies us, 1 John 1:9. If we insist that we are sinless, we are not living in the truth of God’s words.

Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.

1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.

Application:

We are to walk in the truth of Holy Spirit. We are to be transparent before Him and not habitually sin. But if we sin, we are to confess our sin before Him and repent. We are to claim the promise of 1 John 1: 9 for the forgiveness of sin and cleansing.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we praise You and thank You because You are worthy to be praised. You are the name above all names, You are light and there is no darkness in You. We pray that You will help us to walk in the light of Christ, in Jesus’ name, Amen.