1 John

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“All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God.” (1 John 4:15 NLT).

December 4, 2018

The apostle John gave several “proofs” of new birth for the believer’s assurance. The first proof he gave is that we love each other. For love comes from God. If we don’t love, we don’t know God. The second proof is that God has given us His Holy Spirit “as proof that we live in him and he in us” (1 Jn. 4:13). And the third proof, is that “we declare that Jesus is the Son of God.”

John’s purpose for writing his first epistle was clearly given: “I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life” (1 Jn. 5:13). He wanted us to “know,” to be sure that we are saved.

Do you have this assurance of salvation today?

“Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God.” (1 John 3:9 NLT).

December 3, 2018

John here describes the fruit of being born again, namely, that those with God’s life in them, no longer make a practice of sin. Sin is no longer their habit. This is not the precondition of salvation. For salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Yet, the fruit of having received this salvation is that the child of God is putting off the old nature with its sinful desires and putting on the new nature, which loves God and neighbor.

There is a positional truth and an experiential truth in view here. First, the believer is already counted righteous before God positionally in Christ. But experientially, that same believer is still working out their salvation in this world, putting off the old man and putting on the new. So, perfection, complete sinlessness, will not be the believer’s experience until the glorified body is received. On that day, position and experience will be the same.

Until that day, let us work out what God is working in us (Phil. 2:12-13), knowing that Christ is our Advocate before the Father and depending on Him to complete that which He began in us.

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14 NKJV).

December 5, 2017

“In Him,” namely, “in Christ,” we have confidence before the Father. For this reason Hebrews teaches us to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16). And the apostle Paul writes that in Christ “we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him” (Eph. 3:12).

In Christ, we are God’s children. Everything that is Christ’s, is now ours. The currency of the kingdom is asking. As James taught, “You have not because you ask not” (James 4:2). And as Jesus taught, let us, “Ask, seek, knock” (Matt. 7:7-8). So, ask!

Yet, let us pray according to God’s will, for this is how Christ Himself prayed, saying, “Not my will, but Thine be done” (Luke 22:42).

“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” (1 John 4:10 NKJV).

December 4, 2017

If we have any claim to love, it originates with God, who first loved us. This love is most fully demonstrated in the sending of His Son as the “propitiation for our sins,” dying on the cross for us. For in the cross we see the intersection of God’s love demonstrated and God’s justice satisfied. Our sin called for death, but God’s love answered the call, sending Jesus to die in our place. That God sent Jesus shows His love. That He offered Jesus as the “propitiation for our sins” shows His righteousness. As the apostle Paul wrote of Christ, “whom God set forth as a propitiation… to demonstrate His righteousness” (Rom. 3:25).

Propitiation is about covering and satisfaction. Christ’s sacrifice both covers our sin and satisfies the proper demands of a righteous God for judgment on sin. God’s righteousness required that He judge sin. God’s love moved Him to send His Son to pay the price for our sin.

“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” (1 John 1:5 NKJV).

December 1, 2017

Light. It reveals that which darkness conceals. It heals that which shadows the soul. It gives life to those who live by it. It is glorious, causing every color in the spectrum to be uniquely reflected in those who walk in its radiance.

How can we know this “light?” Listen to these words of Jesus, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

“Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12 ESV)

December 5, 2016

Many search for the fountain of youth. Yet, eternal life is not found in a fountain, nor a serum or medical procedure. It is found in Christ alone. Eternal life is in the Son of God. He is the Son that was given “unto us” (Isa. 9:7). He is the “only begotten” that God has given (John 3:16). Do you wonder how to know whether you have eternal life? Do you have the Son? Have you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Got Jesus? Got life!

“And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming” (1 John 2:28 ESV)

December 2, 2016

Many start life’s race well, but finish poorly. But I want to finish this life well for Christ. Don’t you? What is the secret to finishing well? “Abide” in Christ. Stay close. If you wander, come back. If you stray, return. If you sin, repent. Keep short accounts. “Abide.” Which is to stay, to live and walk in constant fellowship with Jesus. This is not working or earning. It is remaining. It is clinging continuously to the One who saves and keeps us. It is depending on Him for all things and being satisfied in Him at all times. If we stay in constant fellowship with Him, we won’t be ashamed when He returns. He has done the heavy lifting, declaring, “It is finished!” There is no earning, nor striving for us to do. Yet, we must continually abide in Him to finish well.

“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?” (1 John 3:17 NKJV)

December 3, 2015

Love gives. That’s the proof of its authenticity. And those who claim to be children of God are to exhibit this proof. Do you see a brother in need? Don’t “shut up” your heart. Living in this world it’s easy to become hard hearted, but John tells us to live with open hearts and open hands towards those in need. Does the love of God “abide” in you?

“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” (1 John 3:2 NKJV)

December 2, 2015

Do you ever ask questions of God like, “Why is this happening to me?” The apostle John answers saying not everything has been “revealed” yet, but one thing we can be sure of is that “we are children of God” and we shall “be like” Jesus. That’s God’s goal for us as believers. He is making us like Jesus. “Beloved,” whatever suffering or difficulty you may be going through today may be endured by keeping this end in sight. God is at work in His children, conforming them to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29).