Romans 1: The Purpose of the Gospel

Welcome back, I am glad to see you here and want to thank you for joining me again today. Today we will be back in Romans 1 starting in verse 13, but before we do, let us pray. Here we will be reading about the Gospel and how its purpose has been revealed through Paul. Now, who knows what the definition of the word gospel is? The word simply means good news, or to have news worth celebration. So, when we read have that in mind. Romans 1:13-16

13 Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but I was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.14 I am debtor both to the Greeks and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. 15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of  God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (King James Version)

Paul reveals a few things here, and chiefly is that he is not ashamed of his belief in the gospel of Christ. This state of boldness in the gospel is something that needs to be developed in all who believe. It is not easy to stand up before all that around you and admit that you are a Christian. Now, for some this is not a challenge, but let’s put up a scenario and see then how your answer stands: you are out with your friends, some of which are known atheists, or other faiths, and they begin to discuss how unreal and outlandish sounding some aspects of Christianity are, and then they turn to you and ask your thoughts, what then is the reply? I would love to say that I would stand up and defend my faith, but to be honest, it is hard especially when they provide good logical arguments. So, what do you do? You go to church, attend Bible Studies with people more knowledgeable than you and you pray. Here is an example of Paul, that he is so confident that no matter whom he debates he has sufficient knowledge to rebuke them. This, this, is the reason you go to church and read studies, to have steadfast knowledge and this is one of the purposes of the gospel: to give knowledge and power to the believer.

Additionally, Paul reveals that the gospel is not just for the Jews, God’s chosen people. The purpose of the gospel of Christ is to provide redemption for all who believe (Romans 1:16, John 3:16). The message of Jesus Christ and his death, burial, resurrection, and transcendence into heaven are the way to bring salvation to those who have no hope. Jesus preached that anyone could be saved provided he walked in after the likeness of Christ and believed on him (John 14:5-17). For we all are slaves to sin and have fallen short of the glory of God and his laws, so we needed deliverance and a way to gain transcendence ourselves (Romans 8:1-11). And that, my friends, is the good news, the glorious gospel! That no matter who you are the lame, the wise, the slow, the agile, the freak, the saint, the rich, the poor, and any one who is on this earth! The gospel empowers believers, because it lets us know that what we do is not in vain and will forever be rewarded. Read with me; Romans 1: 17-20

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The     just shall live by faith. 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all   ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19    Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:   (KJV)

The drawback written here, is that the gospel makes all accountable for it is revealed throughout all creation, and all of nature. It is impossible to see all that God has made and claim that there is no higher power. One of my closest battle buddies in the Army who struggles with belief himself, cannot deny the presence of a higher power and a will throughout all nature. He even goes as far as to say that there is something that pushes everything to go, and what it is he believes it not. Due to the gospel of Christ, it has been revealed to all that this “will or force” that acts upon all of the world is God and his Holy Spirit that guide and move all things according to His will. God has made it so that ignorance is no longer an excuse for disbelief by the unveiling of His son Jesus Christ. And once the gospel has been preached unto all that are in the world, this ignorance of “I just don’t know” will cease to be valid for anyone. As with the American government, ignorance is no excuse, because the answer is there for as to what the law is, all you have to do is look or ask and it will be shown and revealed to you. In Acts 17:22-25, Paul is in Athens and finds the people worshiping a multitude of idols, images, and gods. He stumbles upon one that says “To the unknown God” and Paul gives them the gospel on who that is. Here in is proof that people are always aware through creation itself that there is a God and that no matter where you are you know God is real. The purpose of the gospel is to address who is God and reveal unto the world who and what God is.

No matter who you are, the Gospel unifies the body of believers. It sets down one way, one message, and one belief for us all. And this is the most important purpose of the Gospel, that we be unified under the Gospel of Christ for it is the one thing that makes us Christians as opposed to any heathenistic ways. For there are an infinite number of false reasoning provided by this world that attempt to answer this question of how the world is the way it is, and none can even come close to providing a stable answer to the question. Now that you are equipped with this knowledge and wisdom, go forth and do what you have been called to do. Go in peace and may God be with you until we meet again.

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Romans 1: A Lesson in Fellowship

Welcome, I am glad you are here. Today, I want to talk to you about, the fellowship of Christianity. What does it look like to be in a community of Christians, to be in a trove of believers?

The readings today will be in Romans chapter 1. As we read, I would ask that you look how Paul speaks to the people of the church of Rome. Romans 1:1-6:

1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) 3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the    spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: 5 By whom we have received grace  and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: 6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ. (King James Version)

Firstly, we notice Paul introduces himself as a servant of Christ, first and foremost. He humbles himself before those of Rome who are new in faith. And if you are a Christian in Rome at this time, there is no way in which you do not know who Paul is. Everyone knew Paul, the famous Roman Jew who took to the East and the Holy Land to persecute the Christians and then came unto faith on the road to Damascus. By this point Paul had been well known for both his persecutions and missionary works, being in the midst of his 3rd missionary trip through Corinth. So, the true lesson in that is that despite his fame and infamy, he does not think he is any greater than anyone else who also believes as he proceeds to outline in the next few verses. He then proceeds to outline by what authority he has been given to preach unto them and by what accord he means to tell them about. What becomes clear is that he does all of this to establish a common ground with the believers in Rome.

Next Paul begins to notate who he is talking to. Romans 1:7-9:

7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. 8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers. (KJV)

Paul now tells us who he is talking to, he says it is to those who are “beloved of God,” so he is not talking to those who are faithless. Then he begins to make mention of several blessings he wishes to bestow upon them. He says “Grace to you and peace from God our Father”, and this is really what we should do when we say God bless you. Sure, it is well meaning, however when you are trying to bless someone you should make specific utterance as to what you are requesting God to do for them. Here, Paul’s generic blessing is still specific, he asks for God’s grace to be felt upon them and he wants them also to receive peace that they might not fear the unknown future. Then he proceeds to thank God for them, establishing that he does know and recognize them and their faithfulness. This is where I want to bog down a little. How many times do you look or think upon a fellow believer and just be thankful for who and what they are? I challenge you over the next week to think of someone who helped you in your walk and then come back and let them know that you were grateful to know them and that their memory means something to you. In this manner you can make someone’s day, and be the blessing for them in return. It truly means a lot to some people to just be remembered for something that may seem insignificant, but when it is brought up to them as a cherished memory, it will fill them with joy. This is a part of fellowship, bonding together through memory and uplifting. Sharing fond memories with another believer is key to growth as a member of the body of Christ. We cannot lose sight of the past, it was once told to me before I left for basic training, by my father, that God gives us these good memories to reflect on for when hardships of this life seem to be endless. And also when someone of old reaches out to you and you hear that fond memory they will bless your day by bring joy to your heart during hardship or will further enhance your present moments.

Next, Paul also says in verse 9 that he never ceases to make mention of them in his prayers. This my friends should most certainly be the case when we are of one family, one accord, and one likeness in Christ. We should never cease to fail in our prayers and supplications for one another. If you want to see the body of Christ at work see how much will begin to happen when you make earnest and honest prayers daily and nightly for those around you in common faith, and even those not of common faith. Truly, I have seen it already at work when I made the dedication to present the Word of God daily and make my supplications every morn and eve. Now these cannot be empty, give unto them action and meaning that when you pray you act. You cannot always simply pray when you have the chance to make a difference, because you are what you have prayed for that person. God answers prayers sometimes by allowing you to be His agent and will allow you to make intercessions with those around you. Keep this in mind as you go about your week and let me know the differences you begin to notice.

And for our last bit that I will cover in this sermon, I turn to Romans 1:10-12,

10 Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by   the will of God to come unto you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; 12 That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. (KJV)

This last bit here of his introduction, he makes mention that he long desires to see those believers that he has never met. Who here walks into a church full of people you have never met, excited to meet them, purely for the fact that they are believers? Now, I will be honest, I never have and this will be a challenge for me. I love meeting Chaplains, sure, however just meeting a “run of the mill” believer tends to unnerve me for some reason. Meeting new people is not my forte, I generally come off as stuck up or completely antisocial. Truly, I work on this and make prayers that I will become better at social graces as time wanes on me. But we all must learn to have jovial outlook at meeting new believers, for we share a common struggle with them in that we share this common faith and burden to preach unto the ends of the world. So, let us learn to rejoice in meeting those who are of a common faith. Thank you and may God be with you and guide you until we meet again.

Psalm 13 A Lesson in Trust

Trials will, undoubtedly come, for some sooner than others, but they will come. At times, you will look to heaven as David does here and wonder whether or not God is there. Let us dive into the Word.

Psalm 13:

“1 How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? 2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? 3 Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; 4 Lest mine enemy say, I have  prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. 5 But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. 6 I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.” (King James Version)

David’s Psalm here is clearly written in one of his many low points in life. Even though many people know David as King of Israel and one “after God’s own heart,” he knew many more struggles and perils than most of us will ever know. Let’s break the short Psalm up into 3 parts; the first shall be verses 1 and 2, we will call it the question or the need, then verses 3 and 4 will be the second and we will call it the plea, or the prayer, and the last two verses we shall call song of faith.

So firstly, we have David wondering how long God is going to abandon him. Now this is the same David that faced down Goliath by having faith that God would protect him, so needless to say we can assume that whatever plight he might be going through is a mighty one. It is assumed here that this Psalm was written about his feelings of isolation in the world, in that no matter what he did or where he was, he felt alone, separated from everyone and everything and so it added to his separation anxiety from God. He felt almost as if being alone in the world meant God was not there for him. And at this point in life David was a captive of Babylon, the Persian King Cyrus. For all intents, and purposes, David was alone, he had no one to turn to and suffered greatly day by day as a captive of war from 598 through 586 BC. He would have felt isolation to no end until his deliverance year’s later. This also explains why the Psalm is so short, as a prisoner, he would have had little time and ability to write, it is truly a wonder the psalm  exists for us to read today. David asks how long will he have his enemy exalted over him, and how long will he be sorrowful, how long will God not speak to him, and how long God will forget him. Here, David presents his need to hear from God in all this isolation, that despite being captive and alone, that God is still there for him.

In David’s 3rd and 4th verses we see David’s plea, he asks God for 2 things. First, he says “lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death.” Which, to be fair sounds pretty melodramatic, but when you look into the meaning of what he asks, you see the reality of the need. Here David is asking for rest, He pleads with God to lighten his eyes, for his eyes are heavy with sleeplessness. How many of us have had those weeks or months, where you just come home tired and restless, and you just cannot fall asleep? This is what David went through for years as a prisoner, he is worked hard and ruthlessly for long periods of time and very little sleep is there to be found. The second request David makes a little less sense, at least it made less sense to me, “Lest my enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.” Now, we have to put ourselves in David’s shoes a little here, he is a slave and servant to Persians. How many of us have seen Man of Steel? There is a scene in there where Clark Kent is working at a bar and this man is harassing one of the waitresses, Clark being the hero he is, stands up for her and the man gets a little high and mighty. After pouring his drink on Kent, Clark looks up at him fuming, and the man is further empowered and especially when the waitress tells Clark that it isn’t worth it. Seeing Superman’s resignation, he takes one last shot at him throwing a can at his back to mock him. Of course, we all know the trucker gets his comeuppance later. However, this sadistic satisfaction is the same kind of thing David has grown to loathe during his captivity. Anytime he might try to resist they had gotten a rise out of it, so David actually asks here to be humbled lest he gives rise once more to their satisfaction.

In the last part of this Psalm, we see David give praise, despite not receiving an immediate response. He even says that his heart shall rejoice in his current situation because he knows that God will deliver him. Now we all know that David would later become King of Israel and heir to the lineage of Christ. It was his faithfulness during trying times like this that he became chosen for the incomparable blessing as that! God rewarded his faithfulness in the small and large trials of life, and no matter how bleak things looked, David honoured God in the best and worst of times. It is impossible to find a psalm written by David that does not give God glory or praise in spite of, or because of his current situations. And this is a lesson that we should keep with us as we begin this journey, that in all things we can trust God for He has promised: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, KJV). Now, keep in mind that as with David, we will not always see the things that God has chosen to bless us with for sometimes it is in our lineage that we will be blessed. Others, it is the simple reward that we be called home to heaven with Christ, others it is the joy that we will see on others faces as they are blessed. The road is long, but God is greater than anything that can come our way. ourouraway.ways

1 John 5

1 John 5:1-21 is the focus of this week’s study. Below is a copy from the KJV from which I use. Study guide and notes begin after the scripture.

Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

King James Version (KJV)

Study into the Word

  • What 3 things keep record in heaven? On Earth?
    1. The Father, the Word, and Holy Ghost (1 John 5:7)
      1. Obviously, the ones who take account of everything in heaven is the Holy Trinity. God, the Father, keeps record for He created the law (Joshua 1:8, Exo. 20:1-17). Jesus, the Son and the Word, who lived to fulfill the law and become the sacrifice for us (Matt. 5:17, John 1:1-5). Lastly, the Holy Spirit for He is the guide that lives in us and resides with, and is, God (Acts 1:8, 2:1-13). Now why do all three keep a record on us? Was one part of God not enough? No, God in any one of His forms is capable enough to record all that occurs in time and beyond, it is a way of creating a 3-fold witness so that there is no denying all that we do, both good and bad, come the day of Judgement (Rev. 20:12-15).
    2. The Spirit, the water, and the blood (1 John 5:8)
      1. The Spirit here is actually of a different context, not of the Holy Spirit, but rather one’s own testimony in the gospel (1 John 5:10). So, as we are witnesses for Christ unto others, we are witnesses of our own deeds and actions to God. The water is meant the believer’s baptism for it is a public testimony and record of one’s faith and acceptance of Christ as LORD, and savior (1 Pet. 3:21, Luke 3:21-22, and Acts 2:38-40 to name a few). Lastly, the blood while it is seemingly to be the blood of Jesus, is actually your own, the blood of the martyrs and believers who gave and still give all to carry on the ministry of God (Matt. 16:24-25, Acts 7:54-58). Of which these things all agree and testify the Gospel, while those in heaven testify of the things we have done (1 John 5:9,13). For more info, or deeper readings see this article (http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/1-john-5-8.html ).

 

  • What are we to do when we see a brother sin?
    1. Reproach them, in love (1 John 5:16)
      1. John tells us that when we witness a brother sin, we are to correct him, that they may be kept safe in their walk with God. Now, we mustn’t forget about our own sins, lest we come across as hypocrites and soil our own testimony (Matt. 7:1-5). The process in which we go about correcting each other is spelled out in Matthew chapter 18, verses 15-17. We are to first approach them in private, after setting straight yourself (Matt. 5:24), and tell them what you have seen them do and why it is a sin. If they confess not, then bring another witness in and continue this until it is brought before the entire church. And if he denies his sin still, then they are to be cast out of the church for they ruin the testimony and fellowship of the church. Again, each step is to be done while trying to love them, you cannot help someone if they feel ostracized.
  • What is John’s final commandment?
    1. Beware of Idols (1 John 5:21)
      1. Now, what exactly is an idol? In Colossians chapter 3 verse 5, Paul writes that idolatry is to be covetous. Covetousness is the desire and want for things that others have and own. And, in addition to covetousness, the worship of false deities and graven idols (objects with images of persons) is idolatry. So, John is warning us to avoid these things, 1 the want of that which belongs to someone else, and 2 the worship of false gods. Both ruin a testimony, and idolatry is also what John warns about in 1 John 2:16, that we may be able to maintain our testimony without ruining others or leading others astray.

Study into 1 John 4

1 John 4:1-21 is the focus of this week’s study. Below is a copy from the KJV from which I use. Study guide and notes begin after the scripture.

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.10 Herein 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 ought also to love one another.12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.17 Herein is our love made perfect, 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 casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.19 We love him, because he first loved us.20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

King James Version (KJV)

 

 

Study into the Word

  • Why should we not believe every person that we hear speak on God?
    1. False Prophets (1 John 4:1-6)
      1. In verse 1, John talks about how we should not believe every man that we hear. The reason stated, and explained, is that there are false prophets (those that speak false doctrine) for they are of the spirit of the antichrist (1 John 4:1, 3). Furthermore, he adds that because they and we are of two different worlds that we should not heed their words at all (1 John 4: 5-6). The claim is made that they are of the world ad hear us not, and because we are of God, we should not heed or hear them in the interest of preserving the sanctity of the body of Christ (Romans 12:2).

 

  • What is fear?
    1. Doubt in God (1 John 4: 17-18)
      1. In this context, John refers to doubt or disbelief in God and His abilities. He specifically juxtaposes fear and love as polar opposites, “There is no fear in love” (1 John 4:18). For fear, like sin, comes from Satan and did not enter the world until Satan tempted Eve and Adam (Gen. 3:8-10). The source of fear, in this context, is the fear from sin that separates us from God. Most commonly found as anxiety and guilt, the anxiety of being caught and the guilt the lays heavily upon your heart for what you have done. For more on fear, and the types mentioned in the Bible see this article (https://hatchcreek.com/2009/02/04/where-did-fear-originate/ ).
  • What does love eliminate?
    1. Fear (1 John 4:18)
      1. Alright, so I touched on this in the previous question. But now we are going to focus on the why love eliminates fear. The answer is simply this: God is love (1 John 4:8). Time and time again God calls on us to love, have you ever wondered why? It is simply because He is the epitome, literally, of love! Also, it is evidence that you do believe and have a right spirit in Him (1 John 4: 20-21). The number of times God is equated to love is numerous and it is probably the most important part about our faith as a Christian (1 Cor. 13:13, 1 Pet. 4:8, and John 13:34-35). As spoken by Christ, our love, not only to one another, to those of this world will be the greatest testament that we are of Christ and spread His word and will faster and stronger than any theological, or academic debate will (Luke 6:35, Rom. 13:9-10, 1 Tim. 1:7, Proverbs 3:3-4). A final note, it is a common thread throughout the entire Bible, that love is important and central to the message that God has given to His people. When you take up the mantle of a Christian, you are taking on His very namesake and dedicating your life to live as He, to humble yourself to serve and love others. As stereotypical the verse is, it is the truest verse that sums up the gospel, John 3:16-17, “for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” So, when people ask what makes you different as a Christian, it’s not that I am better or more righteous than anyone else, it’s that I have answered God’s calling and accepted the gift of Love that he freely gave, and because I accepted his love, I accepted his commandments to love others and share his Gospel that others might feel the love of the Saviour (Romans 8:37-39, Joshua 22:5, Isaiah 54:10, 1 Pet. 1:22, Gal 2:20, Eph. 5:2, Gal. 5:13-14, 2 Cor. 5:14, Micah 6:8, and 1 Cor. 16:14).

1 John 3

1 John 3:1-24 is the focus of this week’s study. Below is a copy from the KJV from which I use. Study guide and notes begins after the scripture.

1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of 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.

24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

King James Version (KJV)

 

 

Study into the Word

  • What is sin, and where does it come from?
    1. A Transgression of the Law (1 John 3:4)
      1. Well now the question is what law? The US Government, UN, or whoever’s law? No, it is the laws and commandments set forth by God through Moses, known as the Mosaic Laws, and the commandments given by Jesus (Exodus 20:1-17, Matt. 22:37-40). One set of laws is given as a way to show us the perfection and righteousness of God (Rom. 3:23, Rom. 7:7-14). The list of sins is numerous and requires some reading here are some places to list sins: Exo 20: 1-17, Gal 5:19-21, James 4:16-17, and Mark 7:20-23, are just a few places where to identify sin by.
    2. It is from the devil (1 John 3:8)
      1. As John clearly states in verse 8, that sin is of the devil, “for the devil sinneth from the beginning.” For those unfamiliar with original sin, in Genesis chapter 3, satan convinces Eve to take of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and eat. When she does, she commits the first sin by disobeying God’s only law (Gen. 2: 17). She then shares with Adam and gets them banished from the Garden of Eden amongst the many things we know today to make us mortal.

 

  • What is righteousness, and where does it come from?
    1. That which is righteous (1 John 3:7)
      1. John pulls a politician’s move here and simply says, “he that doeth righteousness is righteous”. Now as frustrating as that may be, he does clarify in verse 10 what is not and where it comes from, to be addressed in the second part of the answer. Righteousness means to be honest, legal, and obeying, as in obeying God’s law; see this article for in-depth defining of righteousness (http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/righteousness/ ).
    2. It is from God (1 John 3:10)
      1. Let me, if you will, use some geometric and grammatical thought to reveal where it is from. John says, “whoever doeth not righteousness is not of God,” so by this we can work backwards and eliminate negatives (1 John 3:10). If we remove the double negative we get whoever does righteousness is of God, and now for geometric postulation, if righteousness is defined as obeying God’s law, and that to be righteous is to be of God, then righteousness is also of God! Now you know how to analyze politicians and their speeches.
  • How, and who, should we love?
    1. One another, and our brethren (1 John 3: 10-11)
      1. Once again John hits at Jesus’ commandment to love one another as ourselves (Matt. 22:37-40). This is one of the most important parts of being a Christian, that we should love each other as brothers and sisters in Christ, but love all of the people of the world! As Christians, we are called to be the light and salt of the world, the light is love, and the salt is being set apart (sanctified), (Matt. 5:13-16).
    2. And through action! (1 John 3: 16, 18)
      1. Love is not just an emotion. Love is much, much more. It is not mere words, or poems! Love is action (1 John 3:18)! Here, similar to the famous 1 Corinthians passage on love, love is not something that is just felt, it is what you do. John says we must love in deed, not in words. It is what and how you do it, as in verse 16, he says, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” This alludes to John 15:13, where Jesus himself says, “For I know no greater love than this, that a man should lay down his life for his friends.” There are multiple ways to sacrifice one’s life. Now that may sound scary, but the main way is through servitude and constant sharing of God’s word with one another (Hebrews 6:10, Galatians 5:13, 1 Peter 1:12, John 12:26, Mark 10:45, 1 Peter 4:10, and Romans 12:9-13).

Study into 1 John Chapter 2

1 John 2:1-29 is the focus of this week’s study. Below is a copy from the KJV from which I use. Study guide and notes begins after.

1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.7 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.12 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

King James Version (KJV)

 

 

 

Study into the Word

  • What commandment does John give to the community?
    1. To Love one another (I John 2: 6-11)
      1. John refers to the commandments given by Jesus in Matthew 22:37-40. John says he writes “no new commandment… but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.” As John makes the drawing of Jesus as the Word of God (John 1:1), his statement is true. That we should love one another as Jesus professed that we should love one another as ourselves.
      2. And those who would hate their brothers in Christ, violate the commandment (1 John 2:9,11). Because God is light and when we hate, we are in darkness and where there is darkness God is not (1 John 1:5).
  • What 3 worldly things should we avoid, and why?
    1. Lust of the Flesh
      1. The lust of flesh is carnal and sensual. This sin can be committed by pure thought alone (Matt. 5:28). And is often one of the hardest sins to avoid. As fornication and adultery are rampant parts of today’s society.
      2. As for why we should avoid it, the answer is written in James 1: 14-15, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” Now, this sin is also very strong and easily destroys testimonies of the easily tempted Christian. And has proven to do such in countless cases and times including the Wise King Solomon.
    2. Lust of the Eyes
      1. This is envy. Here we need to edify the meanings of some words. Jealousy and envy are often confused and mixed up. Jealousy is defined as concern of losing something you have, where envy is the opposite, the desire for that which is not yours. For more see these two sites (https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/jealous-vs-envious , https://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/wc/covetous-the-difference-between-jealousy-and-envy/ ).
      2. Now that we are aware of the appropriate definition, envy is warned against because it rots at you and destroys who you are at your core (Proverbs 14:30). Again, this is another sin that often destroys ministries. A lot of missions fail due to greedy ministers that take too large a cut of the funds apportioned for that mission, I use the term mission in referring to any standing organization that is designed to assist those in need or lost in spirit. That is to include churches (local and abroad), and charities run by Christians.
    3. Pride of Life
      1. This concern is not quite as forward as the other 2. Pride of life is a fine line to walk between confidence in one’s standing and overconfidence, boasting, and showboating. The main concerns here are foremost it is a distraction from the ministry and God himself (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
      2. Second, it can cause others to fall victim to the first two sins listed. And this is sin also is one that is listed a plethora of times to lead straight to a fall in grace (Isaiah 2:12, Isaiah 23:9, James 4:6, Proverbs 11:2, Proverbs 13:10…)
  • What makes an antichrist?
    1. There are 3 things John lists that makes an antichrist(false prophet, not The Antichrist).
      1. The first is one who denies God himself. John says “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and Son” (1 John 2:22).
      2. The second is one who denies that Jesus is the Son of God. For to deny him as the Son is to deny the complete Trinity, you cannot accept one and not the other because they are one (1 John 2:23,28-29). This is what draws the lines between Christians, Jews, and Muslims, and has been the focus of the Christian ministry and the entire saving grace of our faith. For if Jesus was not God, then we are still doomed to die for our sins and go to eternal damnation.
  • The third is anyone who speaks/teaches false doctrine as truth and misleads believers in the faith (1 John 2:27).