Thursday, July 19, 2012

Love By God’s Definition (1 John 3:11-24)


1. Introduction:
In our previous article we studied 1 John 2:28-3:10. There we saw the first line of demarcation that John gives for the protection of the Church from Satanic counterfeits through being able to determine who is and who was is not a child of God. We identified the first line as the line of righteousness vs. sinfulness.

We saw in our previous discussion that, in verse 10 John drew a backward-looking conclusion and a forward-looking conclusion from his arguments and teaching. The backward-looking conclusion, which had to do with his previous teaching, was that the first test is: sinful conduct. Those who practice sin are not God’s children. Period!

John then gave a forward-looking conclusion, which becomes his premise for what he is about to teach us in 3:11-4:21. This teaching on the second line of demarcation is divided into two sections (3:11-24 and 4:7-21) with a parenthetical teaching on discerning of spirits between them (4:1-6). Today we will examine only the first of these sections on the second line of demarcation. According to John this line is – The visible presence of divine love in our lives – love by God’s definition.

John introduces this truth in verse 11 with the great message that Jesus gave on His final night- “This is the message you heard from the beginning. We should love one another.” What kind of love is in view here? John is going to tell us.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Righteousness vs. Sinfulness (1 John 2:28-3:10)

  1.  Introduction:
It seems that we have become afraid to draw certain lines of distinction between those who are saved and those who are not saved. The scriptures, however, do draw such lines. These distinctions could not be made by us. Only God and we obligated to submit to them.

God has established these distinctions between those who are His children and those who are not His children, not only for our personal knowledge and assurance, but also for protection both individually and collectively (as a Body) from Satanic counterfeiting. John, in his first letter, devoted much time in making these lines of demarcation visible for us. The whole of 1 John could be studied, without any violence to John’s intent, from the point of view that he is answering the question “Who is and who is not a child of God?”

In this short series, we are going to limit ourselves to John’s treatment of this question from 2:28 through 3:24. This first message deals with only 2:28-3:10. (This passage all belongs together; don’t let the chapter division fool you).

 The line of demarcation that John sets before us in these verses could be called: The line of righteousness vs. sinfulness. John introduces this line by pointing to an important truth (v. 28).

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