1. The reality of god was not a matter of faith with John. He experience god with his senses. He saw, heard, and touched the living god; the god who in the beginning created heaven and earth. He lived with God in the flesh for 3 solid years; he looked into the eyes of God; he observed God and every time Jesus spoke John heard the word of God right out of the mouth of God.
1,2. Christians have eternal life; Jesus is eternal life.
There is no life of any kind for anyone without Jesus. Jesus is the fountain of life. Without a fountain of water you don't get water; without Jesus you don't get life. Without Jesus our bodies crumble and our souls burn in hell. Actually without Jesus there is no physical body to crumble and there is no spiritual life at all. He created the physical life that we have and he grants us the eternal life that we have.
3. Notice, "that what we have seen and heard declare we unto you". Those who never talk about Christ are not experiencing him. They do not know him; they only know about him.
I say that because if one truly keeps company with god then they will talk about him; he is real to them; he is important to them and people talk about things that are real and important to them. John said, that which we have seen and heard we declare. In other words, I'm gonna talk about the god that I know; and so will we.
3,4. Every Christian runs low on joy at times. When that happens we need to go to the filling station which is the bible; we need a refill from the word of god. The joy of the lord is our strength. John is saying I'm gonna tell you about Jesus so that your joy may be full.
When a real Christian thinks about Jesus or is taught about Jesus they become joyful and that's because he is real to them; he is their savior and he is their hope. Happy Christians are Christians who have a steady diet of god's word, and a steady diet of worship.
5. God is light with no darkness at all. Meaning: god is holy without any moral flaws. He is perfect in wisdom and knowledge without even the slightest sin.
Whenever anyone gets upset with God there is something wrong with their figuring because there is nothing wrong with God. God is light; He is our source of holiness, wisdom, joy, and anything else that is positive because all he is is positive.
6. Do not say, my relationship with God is fine and we enjoy each others fellowship if you are living in sin without confessing or repenting because it just isn't true and it reflects badly on Jesus.
6. God is perfect in holiness. Meaning: he never does anything wrong and he doesn't tolerate wrong in anyone else who he fellowships with. That's why anyone who sins without repenting and confessing and says that they are getting along with god is a liar. That message needs to be declared loud and clear; they are a liar. I say that because when an impenitent sinner says god and I enjoy fellowship together it suggests that god is OK with sin and he is not; it reflects badly on god to say such things. It's a lie and it is blasphemous.
7. If we had to confess every single sin we ever commit to be forgiven we wouldn't have time for anything else, and we would be in trouble because we aren't even aware of all the sins we commit. You say if I'm not aware of them then they are not sins. Oh yes they are. God speaks of willful sins and sins of ignorance.
Known sins must be confessed in order to restore our fellowship with God, but sins of ignorance are automatically taken care of by the blood of Christ if we are saved. The blood of Jesus is automatically cleansing us as we go along in life.
8. This is talking about the sin nature. Anyone who says I don't have a sin nature; nothing like that is a part of my life is deceiving them self. They are deceiving them self and I am betting that they are not deceiving anyone else at least no one who has to be around them. It's real easy to see sin in others and certainly God sees them so the one who says I don't sin is living in the land of make believe all by himself.
9. If we confess our sin. We are to confess our sins to God. Don't worry so much about other peoples faults worry about your own. The primary focus should be on our sins, and I'll tell you something; the more we focus on keeping our house in order the less we will notice the disorderliness in other peoples houses. We are to confess our sins to God.
9. When God forgives a Christian's sin he is being just. When we sin he doesn't just say, ah forget it; it's no big deal; I'll just overlook it again. God doesn't overlook anything He sure doesn't overlook our sin. He forgives because Jesus was punished on our behalf. The penalty has been paid and that's how God can forgive without violating His sense of justice.
9. Do you realize that confession wipes you clean. You are clean in Christ. When you confess a sin God doesn't see it anymore because it is gone; it is literally gone. You shouldn't think about it again because God doesn't think about it again. God never says I know you confessed your sin but I have to tell you that I am having a hard time forgetting that one. Its gone for good so don't bring it up to God again and don't think about it anymore. If you bring your confessed sin up to God He will look at you cockeyed and say what are you talking about.
10. God says all have sinned. If someone says I'm not a sinner God says you are calling me a liar. Don't tell me you don't sin when I say you do, and don't try to get around it by redefining sin. The only way anyone can claim sinless perfection for themselves is to lower the standard, or deny reality. People can be sinless, all they have to do is rename sin a dysfunction or a behavior disorder or simply say I didn't mean it so it doesn't count. That works real well until judgement day when one can no longer play make believe.
1a. Notice that one of the reasons God gave us his word is to keep us from sinning. The more of the bible we put into us the less interested we will be in committing sin. That's because the closer we are to God the less we want to sin. The more we read the bible the better we will understand God and the closer we will be to God and the closer we are to God the more we enjoy his fellowship and the less attractive sin becomes.
1b. When a Christian sins Jesus defends them. Whenever you and I sin Jesus comes to our defense. We do not deserve his help but that doesn't matter; he still reminds the father that his perfect righteousness has been credited to our account. Jesus says, they are unrighteous father but I'm righteous for them and they are righteous in me.
2. The blood of Christ, meaning the death of Christ on the cross paid for the sins of the whole world. Meaning it was powerful enough to do the job. If someone doesn't enjoy the benefits of Christ's payment then it is their fault.
If I am late for something because I drove 10 mph in a 55 mph zone its my fault. I didn't take advantage of the resource at my disposal and that's why I failed. If people go to hell it's not because the death of Christ wasn't enough it's because they didn't take advantage of what God was offering them through Christ.
Anyone who says I can't believe a loving God would send anyone to hell doesn't understand that it's not His fault. If someone buys you a big mac and a coke and unwraps it for you and puts it in your hand don't blame him if you starve to death. God is offering Jesus to everyone so anyone who goes to hell has no one to blame but themselves.
3. Do not look for the assurance of your salvation in the fact that you were baptized or you prayed the sinners prayer, or you were confirmed, and please do not misunderstand me; I'm not saying I'm against those things because I'm not and they are not the issue. A hatred for sin; a desire to please God and confession when we fail are things that give us the assurance of our salvation. The bible teaches that holiness not ritual indicates salvation.
4. Someone says, Jesus is my savior but I haven't made him my lord. It's really not unusual to hear people say that today, but it is not a true statement. The modern day evangelical theologians who came up with that screwy doctrine will end up being responsible for the damnation of many souls. They have people believing that you can make Jesus Christ your savior and escape hell without making him the lord of your life. God says they are lying.
If Jesus isn't someone's lord and savior then he is not there lord or savior.
4,5. A person should never feel secure about their salvation unless obedience to God characterizes their life. I'm not talking about sinless perfection although that's the goal which we should have. I'm talking about the general direction of our life being holiness and I'm talking about feeling terrible when we fail God. Those are indications that we are saved.
6. In other words the faith that saves is a faith that also makes one holy. The faith that saves us is a faith that makes us like Jesus. The grace of God that bring salvation also teaches us to say no to unGodliness.
Jesus was devoted to God and he was compassionate towards people. If that is not the direction of a person's life then their claim to be in Christ rings hollow.
7. The command to be devoted to God and kind to our fellow man has been with us since the beginning of creation. It's built right into us from birth. We inherently understand that it is wrong to treat others in a way that we would not like to be treated ourselves. No one can say I didn't know I was supposed to treat others the way I want to be treated.
8. The basic command is old but Jesus shed new light on the extent of it. For example he said you know the commandment you shall not kill but I say to you do not hate anyone. If you hate someone you have murdered them in your heart as far as God is concerned. A Christian will want to obey the letter of the law but they will also want to obey the spirit of the law as Jesus did.
9. In other words, anyone who hates a Christian or wants to do evil to a Christian is out of touch with Jesus. If you say you're walking with Jesus but you hate a fellow Christian then you're not walking with Jesus. There may be things that you don't like about other people but it doesn't result in hatred; if anything we see it as an opportunity to exercise patience and grow in our walk with the lord. But clearly if someone hates a Christian then they obviously are not walking with the lord because he certainly wouldn't feel that way.
10. Living in the light means to be in fellowship with Christ. The person who is in fellowship with Jesus will have the love of God in them and that will keep them from wanting to hurt someone else. That love will also keep them from holding a grudge against anyone who has hurt them.
11. A professing Christian who hates others especially another Christian is a professing Christian only. They either never had a real relationship with God or they lost what they had. They are in darkness; they are not in sync with God. Their lack of wisdom and common decency gives them away and the darkness they walk in will result in all sorts of trouble.
11. One time I was driving on a highway in Texas during a terrible storm; it was the worst storm I ever drove in. I couldn't see a thing out of the side windows or the rear window or the windshield. You can't pull over in a situation like that because you don't know where the ditch is; for that matter you don't know where straight ahead is, and you can't slow down too much either because you don't know if someone is going to slam you from behind.
It is dangerous to be blind and consequently not know where you're going . There is only one thing worse then not knowing where you are going and that's to not know where you are going but to think you do. Many hell bound sinners think they are heaven bound saints because they have established a criteria of their own which just adds to their self deception. God gives us a test right here in verse 11; if you hate Christians you're in darkness.
12-14. Jesus and his teachings; Jesus and his salvation; Jesus and his holy word the bible is for everyone of all ages. Jesus makes children obedient to their parents. Jesus makes father's good fathers and good husbands. Jesus makes young men productive and keeps them from making terrible mistakes in their youth that will affect them the rest of their life. Jesus has something for every one of every age. He makes us the best that we can possibly be given the circumstances that we find ourselves in due to our age and the hand that we have been dealt.
All Christians know their heavenly father; all Christians are completely forgiven; all Christians have the power to overcome the evil one.
14. Notice God's people are strong because the word of God abides in them.
There is no quick fix to becoming a mature Christian. There is no technique or gimmick to becoming a holy Christian. You can take the books with titles like 3 easy steps to spiritual maturity and toss them in the garbage, unless the 3 steps are: read your bible, study your bible, and meditate on the bible. A steady diet of God's word will help us grow stronger. Jesus prayed sanctify them by your truth your word is truth. Don't listen to those who complicate their advice with worldly nonsense that is often clearly contrary to the Bible. God has kept it simple. Get filled with the word of God get filled with the spirit of God and you won't live an ungodly self-destructive life. It's really very simple; "the word of God abides in you consequently you have overcome the wicked one".
15. We have to live in the world but we should not love the world. We live in the midst of ungodliness but we should not become comfortable in it or join in with it.
There isn't enough separation from the things of this world by some who call themselves Christians. They may not even be involved in sinful things it's just that the things of this world have become more important to them than God; they love this world and the things that this world offers more than they love God. It should not be that way for Christians; in fact God is commanding it to not be that way right here.
15. The bible says that God's love is poured into the soul of a Christian. Therefore if someone does not love what God loves and hate what God hates; if someone's priorities are diametrically opposed to God then where's the evidence that they belong to Jesus Christ? The character and priority tests are very telling.
16. The lust of the flesh refers to the cravings of sinful man which include wanting what God says is wrong. The lust of the eyes refers to looking at the wrong things which then leads to wanting the wrong things. The book of psalms says, I will place no evil thing before my eyes. And then there's sinful pride. Pride that is sinful has a self focus. Look at me I have this; look at me I can do this; boy I'm really something! Prideful people forget that they are nothing without God and that everything they have is a gift from God.
16,17. The things of this world are a flash in the pan. They have no lasting value at all; no eternal value at all. They start, flourish, and end, in this world. At death there is no difference between the rich and the poor, there is no difference between the pilot for air force one and a cabdriver. It doesn't matter if one wore a 1000 dollar suite or a Good will special after they die. The things in this world start flourish and end in this world. But if you do the will of God; if that's your priority you are investing in something that makes sense because God will make it worth your while in eternity.
18. An antichrist is any person or system that opposes Christ or corrupts the gospel of salvation in some way. The big antichrist is coming right before the return of Jesus but in the meantime the world is filled with antichrists.
Many cults and isms have created a Jesus in their own image in their likeness; one that has no resemblance to the Jesus of the Holy Bible. Their christs are antichrists and they are a well packaged ticket to hell for those who follow them.
19. Don't remove this verse from its context; remember the subject is false teachers. False teachers had tried to influence the church but the people were too grounded in the word of God to be deceived so the teachers left.
False teachers and cult members do not waste time on Christians who know their bible. They walk away because they know they cannot influence them. Several years ago when I owned my home I was black listed from the cults who go door to door. After getting an earful from the Bible they began to skip my house and hit on the neighbors; I wore their snub as a badge of honor. "They went out from us because they were not of us;" fine with me.
20. The anointing that the Christian has is the holy spirit who lives inside of them. Christians can be misled for a time but God is the good shepherd and he leads. Jesus said my sheep hear my voice and they follow me; the voice of a stranger they will not follow. When God's children go astray Jesus brings them back to the knowledge of the truth, what they do with the truth is up to them but they will know it.
21. When someone teaches something contrary to scripture it is a lie. I don't care how well packaged it is and I don't care how plausible it seems; it is wrong, it is false and it should be rejected flat out. The bible is truth and since no lie comes from the truth anything that is contrary to scripture isn't truth and should be rejected immediately.
22,23. Anyone who rejects Jesus as lord, savior, creator God is rejecting God the father as well. The next time you hear someone say that the Muslims worship the same God as we do don't you believe it! The monotheistic religions of the world do not have the one true God if they reject the fact that Jesus is the lord and God the only son. Jesus is the mediator between God and man so if one rejects the mediator they reject God's way of bringing them to himself.
23,24. In other words, keep believing the core truths about Jesus. Keep believing that he is God, lord, and the only savior. We are saved by faith but if one does not have faith in those truths they are not saved. Someone says I have nothing to worry about because I have believed and I have prayed the sinners prayer which means I will never stop believing. Well then God wasted his breath by telling us to make sure that what we have believed remains in us. This is a command to persevere which means it is something that we have to obey not take for granted.
25. Eternal life is the prize for hanging on to the truth about Jesus Christ.
26,27. A Christian does not need an overbearing pastor to direct their steps or micromanage their lives. The holy spirit who lives in Christians is the one who guides them to do what he wants them to do. Christians need pastors and bible teachers to give Biblical truth but the holy spirit is the one who guides each Christian to apply that truth to their own life situation.
28. If we live for Jesus; if he is number one with us then his return or our going to be with him will be the most natural thing the most joyful thing we could ever imagine. On the other hand those who mess around with sin and never really get serious about Christ will be ashamed when they see him. You say, will they be saved? Don't ask me but from what we learn in this book of 1st John I wouldn't bet on it.
29. If someone is a partaker of God's nature through Jesus Christ then they will have a natural bent in the direction of holiness.
1. The world doesn't know Christians because the world didn't know Jesus. In other words, the world doesn't appreciate Christians and their loyalty to Jesus and to holiness because it didn't understand Jesus and his loyalty to the father. There isn't any appreciation for those things among the unsaved of the world because they're spiritually dead.
1. The world doesn't follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. The world doesn't believe in or appreciate what Christ did for sinners on the cross. The world is at best apathetic and at worst hostile towards Jesus, and they feel the same way about holy Christians. That's why if any Christian is trying to be cool in the eyes of the world so that the world will like them they ought to give it up. The only way for a Christian to be cool in the eyes of the world is for them to become uncool in the eyes of God and if they do that then they are like Demus who went away having loved this world.
2. In other words we don't know all the great things that will be ours in eternity as Christians. God has not given us all the details but we do know that we will be like Jesus. That means we will be holy and we will never die and we will live in our physical bodies which will be raised because Jesus was raised in his physical body. We may not know all that God has for us but that's a pretty good start.
3. If the hope of having great times in Jesus Christ, great times that will last forever as opposed to burning in hell forever; if that doesn't motivate someone to be pure then they are not really interested in God, Jesus, or eternity and if they're not interested in those things then they are not saved.
Notice also that we must purify "ourselves". God gives us the power but we must choose to exercise it. I believe in the sovereignty of God but I also believe in free will and the responsibility of man to choose to do the right thing because there are many commands in the word of God for us to do that.
4. Every sin that is committed is against the will of God. People wonder: what's Gods will for me? I have the answer, obey Him; don't break His law. Every time we break his law we jump out of his will. As we keep his moral law the rest of his will for us will fall into place.
5. Jesus didn't become a man for kicks. Jesus never would have humbled himself and became a man unless by doing it he could pay for our sins. It was a big deal for the son to set aside the privilages of deity and confine himself to that body so it had to be worth his while and it was because it led to the salvation of souls.
6. Anyone who lives in sin isn't saved. Sin is willful rebellion against God. No saved person continues to willfully rebel without repentance and confession. If they do then they either never had salvation or they lost what they had but they don't have it now.
7. We can't earn heaven with good works. However the one who is righteous before God; the one who is righteous in Christ, lives righteous as well. The direction of their life is holiness.
8. Children resemble their parents; they look like them and have some of the same charector traits.
There are two spiritual families in this world, the family of God and the family of the devil. One can tell which people are in which family by how they behave. God says if you act like the devil; if you live in sin then you are of the devil. If you act like God, if that is the direction of your life then you are of God.
The bible says that Jesus died to destroy the devils work which means that Christians who have Jesus in them will be more interested in thwarting Satan's plans then going along with them.
9. There is no salvation without righteousness. There is no salvation without the sanctifying work of the holy spirit. A saved person does not live in sin. God says he cannot live in sin, and be saved at the same time. You don't care about Jesus? You are not saved by Jesus! That's what it boils down to.
10. Jesus is God's eternal Son and you know what he is like. Jesus is holy; he wouldn't even think of doing anything wrong and in fact since he is God he cannot do anything wrong. How do we know if we are a child of God? We act like Jesus and when we fail we confess and get back at it.
11. The very first christian attribute that should reveal itself in a new christian is the attribute of love. A new christian should begin to love the things that God loves.
12. Abel loved and obeyed God. Cain did not care about God. God blessed Abel because of his devotion. Cain was miserable because he lived in sin. Cain was jealous of his brother so he killed him.
Cain was a fool. He blamed his brother for his own unhappiness. He should have accepted personal responsibility and repented. His misery was his own fault. He was unhappy because he did things his way not God's way.
13. Do not expect better treatment from the world then Abel received from Cain and don't worry about it. Worry if the ungodly like you; then you have something to worry about because you're doing something wrong somewhere.
Be content being holy and accept the fact that you won't be applauded by hell bound sinners who couldn't care less about God. We shouldn't expect better treatment then Jesus received from the world.
13. Sometimes Christians get upset when they do the right thing and no one pats them on the back. But what do they expect from the world? Congratulations your holy; congratulations you did what was right in the eyes of the creator.
They spit on Jesus and hammered him to the cross because he did what was right; who are we to expect better treatment than our lord received? God says don't marvel my brother if the world hates you. Of course the world will not hate a compromising Christian( a compromising christian is the world) but they will not like a dedicated christian who speaks truth.
14. If you can't stand Christians who talk about Jesus as if he is real, and because they live the way they should live, then God says you abide in death. Abiding in death means one doesn't have eternal life. If you don't like decent God-fearing Christians then you don't like Jesus, and if you don't like Jesus then you don't know Jesus because everyone who knows him likes him.
15. A person can be forgiven of the sins of hatred and murder. But there must be repentance first. If one continues to murder they are hell bound, and remember hatred is spiritual murder to God. God says if someone hates christians then they do not have eternal life.
16. People say, I love you, but sometimes what they mean is I like how you look or you please me. There isn't anything wrong with liking how someone looks or enjoying them however that's not God's definition of love. The Biblical definition of love is sacrificing our desires and our self to meet the needs of others.
Jesus died for us; if we want to love like him, like God wants us to, then we must sacrifice for God and for others. Jesus showed us what love is; he showed us how to do it when he hung on the cross suffering so we wouldn't have to suffer.
17. If a professing christian has money; I mean money to spare; plenty of money left over after their needs are met and they do not help another christian who is in desperate need of help just to get by then I wouldn't bet a nickle on their salvation. People like that are sinful, selfish, worldly, and give no evidence that the Holy Spirit is in them because He wouldn't tolerate that attitude, at least not long term.
18. God is not impressed with a "feelings" type of love. He is not impressed with those who only talk about their love. Love becomes a reality when it does something for the benefit of God or another person.
19. God wants us to be sure that we are saved. He wants us to have the peace and the joy and the confidence that comes from knowing that we are right with him through Jesus Christ. He wants us to be confident that if we died today we would go to be with him. The only way to have that confidence is by living a holy life which includes loving others.
Loving others doesn't necessarily mean liking others or having fond feelings towards others; it means being kind to others; even sacrificially kind to others. Loving others means doing what is in the best interest of others. Living like that helps us to have the assurance of our salvation.
19,20. No matter how bad we are; no matter how bad we think we are; no matter how shocked we are to discover how bad we are, God still loves us. Our hearts condemn us when we think about our sinfulness, but God is greater then our heart. Let our heart tell us that we are no good if it wants to; that won't stop God from wanting us.
People say, I can't come to Jesus because I have such a bad self image. Those people need to stop thinking about what they think about themselves and realize that God doesn't care what they think of themselves.
21. If we do not have any unconfessed sin in our life then we can have confidence before God. That means we will have confidence to trust him with our future and with whatever we may be facing today. When we're close to Jesus we know that everything will be ok. Nothing in this world can beat that feeling.
21,22. We cannot earn a yes answer to our prayers by being good. I say that because everything we receive from God is a product of his grace, however when we are right with God; when we choose to please him he answers our prayers because he wants to. He does not answer them because we deserve it; he answers them because it makes him happy, to make us happy if we like to make Him happy. It's about me and God and it's about you and God; it's a relationship thing.
23a. The big commandment that no one can afford to break is "believe on the Lord jesus Christ". To beleive in Christ means to believe that he died for your sins, and if you do you will make him the Lord of your life. That is the big command. You get that one wrong you're going to hell for sure. Jesus said if you do not believe in me you will die in your sin. Every other command is secondary to that one because beleiving in Christ saves us and not believing damns us.
23. Loving others will not save anyone, but it is a sign that you are saved. Anyone who is full of hatred and bitterness is walking around with a spiritual placard which reads, follow me to the lake of fire because that's where I'm headed unless I repent.
24. If we are Christians then God spirit lives inside of us. The holy spirit causes us to believe in Christ. He causes us to care about Christ and to want to obey Christ.
1. God tells us not to believe every spirit. In back of every teaching there is a spirit. If the teaching is true; if it lines up with the bible then the spirit involved is the holy spirit. If the teaching is false then the spirits involved in that teaching are evil spirits. Here's the tricky part: demonic spirits are very good at disguising lies as truth. But always remember Deuteronomy 13:1-5 teaches that truth never contradicts the bible so that is how you determine which spirit you are dealing with.
2. If people are teaching the wrong thing about the person of Christ then the spirit at work in them is an evil spirit. One of the earliest heresies concerning Jesus was not a denial of his deity; the earliest heresy concerning Christ denied his humanity. Someone says, that's not too bad. It is very bad because if Jesus is not 100% real human then he doesn't qualify to be the substitute sacrifice for the rest of us sinful humans.
Satan was trying to undercut the work of Christ on the cross so John writes, every spirit that confesses Jesus has come in the flesh is of god.
3. It is impossible to list all the ways that Jesus has been misrepresented over the years and today as well. Some say he is just an angel, or some other kind of created being, others say that he is Lucifer's brother, again a created being, others say he's just a prophet and on and on the distortions go.
Any group, any church, any individual who teaches that Jesus is any of those things or misrepresents him in any other way is under the influence of demons or as scripture says here the spirit of anti Christ. If any one says anything other than Jesus is 100% eternal God and 100% man and the only savior for mankind is distorting who he is.
4. True Christians have the holy spirit in them. Consequently, although they may be led astray for a time the holy spirit will draw them back to the truth. Christians do not stay in false systems of religion; they are brought out by the good shepherd.
5. The "they" and the "them" refer to the antichrists or false teachers who misrepresent Jesus.
5. The masses of the world do not love truth. The majority of people love sin and love what is false. They want to be told that they are fine with god, that they don't need to be holy, that they don't need to repent, that they do not need to make Jesus Christ there lord. That is what most people want to believe and that is what most people believe.
Jesus had been popular because of his miracles but he was hated because of his message. Consequently,The preacher whose messages are popular with the unsaved world is not saying what God wants him to say. One who preaches the word of God as it is will be popular with a remnant of faithful people who want to follow Jesus and sincerely want truth but he will not be popular with the masses.
5,6. The "we" and the "us" refer to the apostles. A true Christian will listen to the apostles teaching and that teaching is found in the new testament of the bible.
True Christians want the truth. They want truth that makes them comfortable and they also want truth that makes them uncomfortable; they don't care as long as it's truth. Those who only want to hear Christian pep talks from motivational speakers disguised as pastors better double check their salvation. Those who become stiff as a ramrod when they get something from scripture that doesn't set well with them have a big spiritual problem.
7. A true Christian will have a heart for God and anything else that is godlike.
How do you know if you have been born of god? Everyone who loves is born of God and knows god. That's not to say that our love will be as perfect and as consistent as God's because it won't be, but we'll want to be like him, and we will be like him, at least to some degree.
8. God is love. That means real love is like God. Real love is kind, unselfish, patient, holy and righteous like God. True love only exists within the boundaries of God's character. It is not loving to break the commandments in order to make someone feel good.
9. Those who say that God doesn't love them because something bad happened or because he doesn't give them something that they prayed for, fail to appreciate how much love it took for God the father to allow his eternal son to die for us. We should never question god's love for us; look to the cross; think about the cross and Jesus on it and it will remind you just how much God loves you.
10a. God wasn't responding to our love for him when he allowed his son to be crucified for our sins. God did not say, the people love me so much I just have to love them back. They have been so good to me I just have to repay their kindness. No, Jesus died for us; he loved us even though our sin was offensive to him.
10. Propitiation means the death of Christ satisfied the demands of the broken law of god. Jesus' blood, his death, was the payment, the punishment for our sins. His death satisfied the holy justice of God.
11. Since god, who is holy, so graciously loved us, who are unholy, we sure should show love to our fellow man.
God loves us even though we do not deserve it so we should love others even if they don't deserve it. Deserving has nothing to do with it.
12. No one can see God with physical eyes today. However, when Christians love, they manifest the presence of God through their actions. People see God in Christians to the degree that those Christians allow God to love through them.
As we live like Jesus people catch a glimpse of Jesus in us and then they will either be drawn to him or repelled from him depending on their attitude.
13. The Holy Spirit in Christians is their connection to God. He is a connection which causes us to want to know him better. The Holy Spirit gives us a hunger for God and a hunger for the word of God.
14. John and the other apostles lived with Jesus for over three years. They observed Jesus during good times and bad. They heard him teach; they saw him love the unlovable; they saw him do more miracles than could be counted. They saw him dying for our sins and they saw him after he was raised from the dead. No wonder that entire group of apostles was willing to die for the truth that Jesus is the only savior.
15. If someone doesn't believe that Jesus is god, and the savior, then they do not belong to god. You cannot reject those basic facts about Christ and still be right with god.
16. The bible says that God is love. It is god's nature to love; it is god's nature to act in love. It is his nature which is why he loves even the unlovable. God does not love us because we are irresistible; he loves us because that's what he does.
17. The closer we draw to Christ the more like Christ we become and the more perfect our love becomes. As a result we will not be ashamed on judgement day because we will understand how much he loves us and how much we love him. That will result in confidence not fear.
18. When we understand that God loves us with a perfect love because we belong to his son Jesus Christ there's no reason to fear judgment day or have an unhealthy fear of God today. His perfect love for us in Christ should drive out all fear.
The bible says that we are accepted in the beloved which means that the father loves us as much as he loves his son if you can believe that. If you can't believe that it doesn't matter it's still true because it's what God says. That's why perfect love casts out fear. The perfect love that God has for us is the same love that he has for his son Jesus Christ; there's no reason to fear if you are a Christian.
19. One way God loves us is by giving us a free will. He doesn't force us to do right; he doesn't force us to love him. He loves us unconditionally and then allows us to choose to love him back or not.
Real Christians think about all that God has done for them in Christ and they want to please him in return. In other words, a Christian's love for God is the grateful response of what he has done for us through his son Jesus Christ.
20,21. The big test concerning our love for God isn't just how often we go to church; it's how much we love the people we are around. How we treat people who are created in God's image reveals how much we love God; at least that's how the lord measures it.
1,2. Jesus said if you love me then keep my commandments. Every time we obey God it is a love gift from us to Him. Obeying God is like sending him a card that conveys how we really feel about him.
3. Obedience to God is not like carrying a heavy weight on your back if you are a Christian. To a Christian obedience is not a pain it is in honor. It's not something we have to do; it is something that we get to do.
4,5. A true Christian does not live in constant, continual spiritual defeat. Christians overcome the world. Yes they still sin but they don't like it and they repent and confess and get back on track. A Christian can fall into the spiritual mud of sin but they will not lay in it and wallow around like a hog enjoying the filth. They will want to get out of it just as fast as they possibly can and go take a shower.
6. In other words Jesus was confirmed to be the son of God both by water and blood. He was confirmed by water at his baptism when the father spoke out loud from heaven in front of the crowd and proclaimed that Jesus was his son. He was confirmed to be the son of God when he died on the cross to pay for our sins and then was raised by the father three days later to prove that he did pay for our sins.
7,8. The bible says that there must be two or three witnesses for any matter to be upheld legally. The water and the blood testify to who Jesus is and so does the holy spirit. When Jesus was baptized John the baptist saw the holy spirit land on Jesus in the form of a dove. The father had told John in advance that the holy spirit would land on his son when he was baptized; the holy spirit was testifying to the fact that Jesus is God and savior and there you have your three witnesses.
9. In court a man's testimony is received and influences the jury's verdict. If man's testimony has influence and it does even though man sometimes makes mistakes how much more should we believe what God says in his word and what he says about his son.
10. The bible is the word of God. God refers to it as his word many times and He has said that he exalts his word above his name. That's why it is a very serious thing to not believe what he says in scripture. If we don't believe the simple straight forward truths of God's word then God says you don't believe me and if you do not believe someone then you're either calling them a liar or you're saying that they don't know what they're talking about. I can't imagine saying either of those things about God.
11. God's testimony, his word to us is this: If you receive my son Jesus as your lord and savior then I will give you eternal life. People either believe that or they do not, but there is no plan B. which he drives home in the next verse.
12. There is no salvation without Jesus Christ. A person's sincerity; a person's good deeds; a person's charitable acts will not influence God into letting them into heaven if they have not received Jesus Christ as there lord and savior. God will not save a sincere Hindu or a sincere Muslim or a sincere atheist or a sincere anything else simply because they are sincere.
People say, you can believe anything as long as you are sincere. I can't tell you how stupid that is. I can't tell you how foolish that is. People don't talk that way about anything except the most important thing which is their immortal soul. No one says it doesn't matter what you put in a cake flour or cement as long as you are sincere, or it doesn't matter what direction you drive from here you will end up in Milwaukee as long as you are sincere. But they talk that way about life after death in spite of how clearly God has made the truth concerning that issue.
One must believe God's testimony about his son who died for our sins; one must repent and ask Christ to be their lord and then they will receive eternal life. Those who reject Christ do not have eternal life.
13. God does not want us to leave this life wondering if our next stop is going to be heaven or hell. I've had people tell me; you can't know for sure if you're saved or not. Well God says you can know so you will excuse me if I choose to believe Him.
God has described what a saved person looks like so we can measure ourselves by what God has said and know whether we are saved are not. If we don't line up with God's description of a Christian then we can correct that problem. If we line up with God's description of a Christian then we can have joy and peace knowing that we are right with him.
14,15. If we pray for something that is according to God's will then he promises to hear us. Someone says, I don't like the catch; I knew there would be a catch; If we ask according to his will he hears us, that's the catch. Catch nothing; that's a blessing! God's will is always the best thing for his children. If he gave us everything we asked for we'd really be in trouble.
16,17. First of all please notice that God is not saying you can't pray for someone no matter who they are or what sin they are committing. The implication is that in some cases it won't do any good. There comes a point when a person steps over the line with God and judgement is inevitable.
In the prophet Jeremiah's day the people kept sinning without repenting; they got worse and worse and they persecuted Jeremiah who was pleading with them to repent before it was too late. Well they scoffed at the word of God and they refused to repent so God said, Jeremiah don't bother praying for these people any longer. God said, I tell you that even if Moses prayed for them I wouldn't spare them: it's too late. Jeremiah wrote: the harvest is past the summer is ended and we are not saved.
Like my older brother used to tell me when he was about to run the table: its all over but the shouting, or you just sold the farm. That was his way of saying, you just took your last shot; game over, and he was usually right. That's the way it is for some who have pushed God too far. You keep sinning without repentance and eventually God says, you just sold the farm; tonight your soul is required of you.
18,19. The thoughts ways and methods of people who are not saved are directed by the devil. Satan pulls their strings and gets them to act the way he wants them to act. They may not know it and if you tell them they may not believe it; they may not believe that they are influenced by anyone but they are.
20. The lost world doesn't have a clue when it comes to spiritual and eternal matters; they really don't. They grope around in spiritual darkness and the devil has them trusting in nonsense like wee gee boards and tarot cards and horoscopes, and psychics and all sorts of superstitions. The world believes the most ridiculous lies that one can imagine. It's such a blessing to know the truth which is the word of God.
21. An idol is anyone or anything that is more important to us than God. People can deny that anything is more important to them then God but if they think about it more than they think about God or talk about it more than God what does that say? It's not what we say that matters it's what we do.