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.

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.

1 John, lesson one

1 John

Lesson 1

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we pray for wisdom to tap into Your knowledge through daily devotion, daily reading of Your Word, and daily Bible study. We pray for wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of scripture, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Introduction:

Authorship:

Scholars agreed that apostle John, who wrote the gospel of John and Revelation, was the author of 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John. It was believed to have been written around 90 AD in Ephesus. John was the last remaining apostle of Christ and he was a very old man when he wrote 1, 2, and 3 John.

Audience:

1 John was not written to any specific Church or individual. It was a cyclical letter written to a group of churches in the region around the city of Ephesus.

Occasion, setting, purpose :

John wrote 1 John to address the false teachers who came to deceive the Christians with the heretic teachings called Gnosticism. Gnosis in Greek means knowledge. These heretic gnostic teachers claimed that they had special knowledge on salvation that others did not have. The Gnostics believed that the soul is intrinsically good and the body is intrinsically evil. The Gnostics accept the Deity of Christ but reject the humanity of Christ. They believed that Jesus was hundred percent divine and zero percent human. They believed that when Jesus walked on the earth, He will not leave any footprint behind Him. There are two extreme forms of Gnosticism. One extreme is asceticism and denial of all physical pleasures of life. The other extreme is licentiousness and freedom to sin since the body is intrinsically evil and headed for destruction. John’s purpose was to refute the heretic teachings of the Gnostics and to bring the people back to correct theology.

1 John 1:1-4, John declared what he saw, heard, and handled

V 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,

The beginning alludes to Genesis 1:1, “in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” and John 1:1, “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. John used the Word of life as a title for Jesus Christ, who pre-existed and self-existed from the beginning before creation, before time, before space, and before matter. John proclaimed that Christ is fully God and fully human. He could be seen, heard, touch, and handled. In the gospel of John, Christ could feel thirsty, hungry, tired, sad, and even wept.

VV 2-4, 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, 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.

Greek for life is “zoe” which means the God-given divine or eternal life. Greek for manifest is “phaneroo”, which means to make visible. Jesus, the word of eternal life, was made visible through the His incarnation. John and the other apostles witnessed, declared, seen, handled, heard, and fellowshipped with the incarnate word of life. God invites us into a fellowship with Him and His Son Jesus Christ so that our joy may be complete.

Application:

Jesus Christ is the pre-existing, self-existing, eternal Son of God. He is co-equal, co-divine, and co-eternal with the Father sharing the same Godhead. John testified that Jesus Christ is fully divine and fully man who could be seen, heard, and handled. John refuted the Gnostic’s claim that Jesus is one hundred percent divine and zero percent human.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we claim the promise of Isaiah 55:11, that Your word will not return to You empty but will accomplish what You desire and achieve the purpose for which You sent it. We pray for wisdom to understand, apply, and obey Your teachings, in Jesus’ name, Amen.