Identifying False Teaching (1 John 4:1-6)

 

wolf

Matthew 7:15 , “”Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

1 John 4:1-6

Objective: Looking at 1 John 4:1-6 we will see what false teaching is, how to identify it, and how to avoid the deceptive trap of it only through Jesus Christ.

Awareness

The Christians that do not have their awareness set on God and testing the spirits will be the first to be  deceived.

1)Do not believe every Spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have come out into the world.

 Here we see a problem and a solution.

  1. Problem: Truth is not being taught. Many false prophets have come into the world.
  2. Solution: Do not believe every Spirit, but test the spirits To see if they are from God.

John tells us to test the spirits. We cannot test the spirits unless we are focused on God and his Word. If our guard is down, then we make it easy for Satan to deceive us.

Biblical Awareness needs to be instinctual. Like muscle memory, it needs to be a reflex. If we hear someone speak, we need to constantly examine what they say to the Word of God. It will help out you and it will help out them.

No one is intentionally deceived. I would even say that a lot of false teachers have good intentions. But good intentions without a Godly delivery or application results in sin. 

It takes someone deceived to deceive someone else. The first form of deception was found in Genesis 3. Eve was deceived, and then Adam was deceived. Both of their Guards were down, and through them sin entered the world.

Deception was the first tactic we have documented in scripture that Satan uses. I would imagine it is something he is good at. So please be aware.

Another reason people are deceived is because man has a  need to be accepted.

Acceptance

2)By this you know the Sprit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.

3)And every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God: this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.

John reveals how we are to test the spirits.

Beware of the subtle knocks. Giving a message that can be obeyed without relying on Christ is a false teaching. Deception is a slow and subtle mindset. We can not think that we are above deception. People will not come out and say, “Jesus is not from God.” People will not say, “Jesus is nothing in this life.” These are the obvious ones.

We have to be on guard. Test the motives, intentions, and end result of every message you hear. Then it will be clear.

Good motives are at the root of many false teaching, but man’s need to be accepted clouds the path and deception creeps in. Stand Guard!

Many false teachers avoid the teaching of God’s wrath and hell, because they don’t want to condemn people. That shows you the nature and depth of their deception. Condemning people to hell is never telling them the consequences of unrepentant sin. The irony is if you never teach anyone about hell, you are leading them their with your teaching. You can not teach the true nature of God with out revealing his feelings towards sin. How cruel is that! Now I ask, Who is the one condemning their neighbors? The one who never tells them of their eternal destination apart from God, or the one that strongly warns their neighbor of the realities of Hell, and God’s punishment for sin. 

Our hope in identifying and avoiding being deceived by false teaching is found in Jesus Christ. Verse 4.

4)You are from God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

Our acceptance should be found in Christ. If we teach, preach, and live in such a way as to only need the acceptance of Jesus Christ We will not be deceived, nor shall we deceive anyone else. This is awesome! 

If we live a life that is not abiding in Christ, being deceived is very easy.

If we are truly from God, we will know His voice. This was what John was saying in verse 5 and 6.

Attention

If our attention is not set on Christ and the things of Christ, we will become deceived.

5) They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them.

6) We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us.

What has your attention? Boys, girls, intelligence, finance,  sports, media…..

Who are you listening to?

What do you feel your mind with?

If you are a Christian you need to be very picky on what you expose yourself to. Music, Movies, friends, etc.. The things we expose ourselves to shape our worldview. Everything makes an impact. The question is who is getting your attention?

Things of the world attract those of the world, things of God attract those of God.

I’ve compiled 3 of the main false teachings I feel you will encounter. I listed the likely motive and the problem that occurred due to deception.

  1. Compromising Scripture

Motive: To teach people the bible.

Problem: When you compromise the bible you aren’t teaching them the Bible.

This is the most important thing to notice. You can’t notice it unless you actually know scripture and its meaning in its full context.

Compromising scripture can be avoided if you…

      A.Know the context of Scripture

If Context is not put into consideration, a verse can totally be used very deceptively.

 

Some one could easily lead some one astray by using this passage found in Luke 14:26.

“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.”
A pastor could easily use that passage and try to biblically justify hatred they have for their parents, or worst. Lead someone else astray by telling them it’s ok to hate your mother or father.

            B. Know the meaning of Scripture.

When you know the meaning of scripture it makes it eliminates the possibility of being lead astray through misinterpretation.

 

Matthew 5:28, “but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Someone could use this verse to tell you that if you look at a woman lustfully, you’ve already committed adultery. It is ok to go ahead with that temptation. It’s the same thing.

            C. Know the placement of Scripture

Knowing where to find particular verses is key to effectively countering false teaching.

A friend comes to you and tells you of a new church he’s going to, and says that his gay lifestyle actually lines up with the bible. If you didn’t know exactly where 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 was or Romans 1, etc, you could be deceived as well.

 

2. Consumerism– the belief that the free choice should dictate the economic structure of reality.

Pastors will water down scripture and disregard many biblical principles to attract more people.

Motive- To attract more people to Jesus.

Problem-  The means at which a church targeted a particular group of people dilutes Jesus that the Bible teaches and people are drawn to an Idea rather than the Christ himself.

 

3. Potential Preaching (Potentialism-not a real word) God is there to actualize your potential. He is there for your happiness. Also known as name it and claim it, prosperity gospel. Most of Christian TV is like this.

I have a lot of exposure to this. I come from a charismatic Pentecostal church. This is a teaching that is soaked in that culture.

A popular praise and worship song in the charismatic church goes like this, “I’m going to another level. Don’t stop reaching; keep believing we’re going to another level!”

Motive: You want to see people to mature in their walk with Christ and become more and more like Jesus Christ.

Problem: Sometimes when we talk potential, potential, potential…we take the emphasis of Jesus and shift it on ourselves. In most cases Christ is removed all together and it’s all on you! Once you are Abiding in Christ there is no other level to get to. You can mature in your walk with Christ, but to think that outside of maturing there is another level in Christianity is sin.

Theology of Glory – How can I experience all the benefits of heaven right now, and avoid suffering. THIS IS UNBIBLICAL!

Ways you can tell you are probably hearing a false teaching:

1. Oprah could’ve given the same message

2. When you can obey the message without depending on God

3. The message can be obeyed regardless of the payment Christ paid on the cross.

All views have a faulty view of God,and a faulty view of God leads to a faulty view of sin.

Have a biblical worldview. View God as God, not as a training coach.

This weeks Challenge:

-Read John 4:7-21

-Identify why the following statements are false teaching:

  1. Baptism is a necessity for Salvation.
  2. Hell is not an eternal place.
  3. Homosexuality is not a sin if it is in a married and monogamous relationship.

 

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God’s Love and The Believer’s Response

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God’s Love and The Believer’s Response

1 John 3

 

The only way we have the ability to love is if God gives us the ability to do so.

As we look at His Love and Our love, it is really His love and His Grace.

Only by God’s graceful and merciful nature does he allow us to love.

Man brings nothing to the table except filth.

However, God loves us. In 1 John we see that through out, but in this lesson we will look at what our response should be to his love!

 

God’s love is seen by (v.1-8)

The gift and example of Christ (1)

We are in the Family (1,2)

We will have eternal life and Glorified bodies in perfect communion with Him (3)

He took away our sins (5)

He destroyed the Works of the Devil (8)

            The Gift of Christ:

1 John 3:1 (His love Bestowed)

How is this a sign of love?

John 3:16, 1 John 3:16, and 1 john 3:23

To pay for our sins- Rom. 6:23

To appease God’s Anger toward Sin- 1 John 2:2

So that we may have eternal life!

Through Christ we can become Children of God!

            We are in the Family

1 John 3:1-2

Through Christ we are children of God.

We have a Father in Heaven!

Because we are Children of God we have eternal life.

 

We will have eternal life

1 John 3:3

Only by confessing and believing that Christ is Lord do we have eternal life.

As Christians we need to get excited about the return of our Lord and eternal life.

 

This is the hope that if fixed on Jesus will purify us just as he is pure.

 

He took away our sins

1 John 3:5

By believing in Christ as Lord, our sins are removed. How?

Rom. 6:23 – The price of sin is death.

God paid the price with the life of His son Jesus.

 

He destroyed the works of the Devil

1 John 3:8

Why would the works of the devil need to be destroyed?

John 12:31

Because Christ is removing the king of this world- The devil.

It’s important to see that Christ came to remove sin, to renew the relationship man once had with God.

 

The believers Response to God’s love is love. This Love is seen by…(v.4-24)

What we practice. (4-10)

Love for others (11-16)

The condition of our hearts.(19-23)

Obeying His commandments.(22-23)

Abiding in Him.(24)

 

What we practice

1 John 3:4-10

sin or righteousness?

If we are children of God we do not practice sin.

If we are children of Satan we practice sin.

What we practice shows the children of God and the Children of the devil.

 

Love for others

1 John 3:11-18

Cain and Abel

Genesis 4:1-8

Why did Cain kill Abel?

Because His deeds were evil and His brothers were righteous.

When you do the right thing, it angers those that do wrong.

We are still to love, as He loved

 

The condition of our heart

1 John 3:19-21

 

The heart reveals the nature of our actions for the believer.

If our heart condemns us, how much more will we be condemned in front of the perfect God?

Obeying his Commandment

1 John 3:22-23

If we don’t obey His commandments we are not believers.

What does verse 23 say?

Believe in Christ Jesus

Love on another

Abide in Him

 

Abiding in Him

1 John 3:24

The one that keeps His commandments abides in Him.

And His Spirit is in him.

 

What verse can we look at to help us understand what it means to abide in him?

1 John 15:1-11

 

Challenge:

Look up the definition “Practice” and see how many times in the New Testament it is used using a concordance.

Read 1 John 4.

Pray for God to reveal His love to you and through you.

The World, The Deceived, The Liar, and a Promise (1 John 2:15-29)

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1 John 2:15-29

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, butbecause you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth.22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. 24 As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

25 This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life.

26 These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. 27 As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you,you abide in Him.

28 Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. 29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.

The World: 15-17

  1. The World (v. 15-17)
    1. John commands not to love the world.
    2. Reasons the Christian shouldn’t love the world?

i.       Love of father is not in him (15)

ii.      The Lust in the world – Flesh, eyes, and pride of life (16)

iii.      The world is passing away. (17)

    1. The Believer in the world.
  1. 1 John 3:13- Don’t be surprised if the world hates you.
  2. John 17:14-16- Jesus’ prayer for His disciples- The believer is not of the World
  3. Romans 12:2- Don’t try to be like the world

 

    1. As believers, we are going to be in the world. The word of God will sanctify us, but we must commit to reading it, meditating on it, and obeying it. This is our defense. But many are deceived….

 

  1. The Deceived (v.18-21)
    1. The antichrists deny anything of Christ in hopes of deceiving God’s children. (2 John 7)
    2. There are two forms of deceptions:

1)      The believer that is deceived and get’s involved with the things of the world.

2)      The nonbelievers that think they are believers.

    1. The hope we have lies in the Word of Truth. God’s Word. This will not make sense to the one deceived. John 8:43-44

 

Story: There is a miniseries on TV called: Rosemary’s Baby. It’s a remake from an old movie. It is basically the story of this woman that is picked to have the child of Satan. Though the details aren’t the same, that’s exactly what happens when we disregard God’s Word.

 

  1. The Liar (v. 22-24)

a.Who is the liar John is referring?

-The one who denies Jesus as Christ.

b. How can we deny Jesus as Christ?

-the atheist perspective. Just flat out saying it.

-The Liar perspective. 1 John 2:3-4

c. To Confess in Jesus as Christ is to have the Father. The commandments of Jesus must be obeyed. If we disregard even the smallest detail of the word we are liars and deny Christ.

  1. The Promise (v.25-29)
    1. What is the promise? Eternal Life.
    2. From the text how can we tell we will inherit eternal life? If we abide in Him.
    3. Abiding in him is a topic we have talked about each week since we started 1 John. I’ve asked it 3 weeks in a row. What is a verse we can tell that we are abiding in Him? John 15:1-11
    4. From John 15:1-11 what are some ways we can identify as characteristics for those that abide in Christ?

1.We bear fruit – v.2

2. We are pruned v.3

3. We give God the glory for our fruit, and realize it is not on our efforts or merit. V.5

4. Our prayers are answered. V.7

5. We love one another v.9

6. We keep His commandments. V.10

7. We are joyful. V. 11

The Church and The View of God

churchonfire

A problem we see in our church culture is having a low view of God and His authority on Scripture, countering the claim with a very high view on man. For the secular culture to place all of the emphasis on man and his glory is to be expected. However, when this sinful thought infects the church it is a much more serious problem. To fully understand the correct view on God and His authority on the Bible; it is imperative that the reader understands the importance of scripture and the supreme authority it holds over everything and how it affects the church. It is only through properly viewing scripture that the church can have a correct view on the supreme and sovereign God. The depth of the view a church places on God and His authority on scripture can be seen by a thorough examination of the heart in the church leadership, the congregation, and the focus of the church as a whole.

Before examining the heart of church leadership, the members of the church, and the focus of the church, it is important to understand why the heart is the foundation for our view of God and His authority on Scripture. “The word ‘heart’ is used 830 times in the Scriptures. It includes such non-material things as your thoughts, motives, and choices”(Peace 60). When I mention the heart I am not talking about the organ in the chest, but merely pointing to the center of a person’s emotional, intellectual, and moral being. It is through this study of the heart that the church’s view on God and scripture will become clear.

The most influential responsibility for how our Lord is viewed is found in the heart of church leadership. The term church leadership is used a lot, but the true leader of the church is God. “The Lord is the head of the church. Not the pastor and not the people; and he leads us by His word. If you don’t follow the authority of scripture everything else is off” (Touchet). When referring to church leadership it is important to make the disclaimer that I am referring to pastor, elders, deacons, teachers, or church staff. If the leaders of the church do not place a supreme view of God and His authority and do not repent, it would be better for them to leave the church altogether.

It is impossible to have a high view of God and not place a high view on His Word. They are one in the same. Looking at what the church leadership is investing time in teaching from the pulpit and their obedience to the Bible will play a vital role in determining the view they place on God and His word. In his book, Every Thought Captive, Richard Pratt writes, “As followers of Christ, we must remember always to build our faith on sure foundation of the Bible. If we do so, there will be no weight too great to be supported; no wind too strong to be resisted”(Pratt 4). If leaders do not place a high view on building their faith on the sure foundation of the Bible, they are building their house on a bad foundation. Jesus was very adamant when he was illustrating the destruction of a bad foundation. “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and slammed against that house; and it fell- and great was its fall” (New American Standard Bible, Matt. 7.26-27). For leaders to have a high view of God and His word it must start with a disciplined life committed to obeying the Bible at all costs.

The leader’s view of God and the authority of His word is found in the content that the leaders teach or allow from the pulpit. As a Church of the living God, the sermons taught should only point to Him. The world is perishing for lack of the knowledge of God, and the Church is famishing (Tozer 51). When the shift of content leads from the Bible, to popular music, or celebrities views on topics; a great blasphemy has taken place. The “Christian preacher must proclaim only the Word of God, and he must declare the whole Word of God” (Stonehouse 217). Neglecting the harsh reality of God’s wrath is becoming a popular trend in our church sanctuaries and pulpits. As awesome and pure as the blessings of God or the rewards of God are, only teaching on the “feel good” subjects in the bible is not the Lord’s will for the church. Francis Chan wrote this view in Erasing Hell, “Don’t believe something just because you want to, and don’t embrace an idea just because you’ve always believed it. Believe what is biblical. Test all your assumptions against the precious words God gave us in the Bible” (Chan 15). You will find that teaching on things that is comfortable is an eternal error, with eternal consequences. Ignoring the teachings on God’s wrath will lead people to directly encounter punishment they were never taught. It is important to have a high view on Scripture so the leadership can teach the full non-biased Word of God.

When church leadership fails to obey God and His Word, it is obvious they have a low view of both. That in itself is a heart breaking tragedy; an even bigger tragedy is the people they lead astray by not teaching sound doctrine. Take note of the perception the general public has on the Christian church, it’s embarrassing and it starts with the church leaders. Our churches in America are littered with leaders bored with Jesus and their attitudes infect and directly influence the congregation.

The basic task of the people of the church is to be filled with Spirit and as they learn the sound doctrine preached from the pulpit, they apply it to their lives (MacArthur 97). Bored leaders breed bored followers. If the church leadership holds a disrespectful view on God, for the most part the congregation will too. The leadership of the church determines the direction of the church, so it is very possible that a member of a church could be deceived by the leaders. This is why it is important to know your leaders on a personal level, not just on a pulpit level. A leader could be very energetic at the pulpit and preach a Biblical sermon and still have low view on God. A pastor shouting to the top of their lungs, “God is Awesome!” is just words. Although, it’s a true statement, it does not indicate the position of the church. This is why so much emphasis will be upon the church leadership fixing their view on God.

To see the overall view of God in a congregation is to become a candid observer and examine them in the church, work, and the home life. Asking how many people in the congregation attend regularly is a great place to start. The author of Hebrews instructs Christians not to deny fellowship with other believers (New American Standard Bible. Heb. 10.25). It is an obvious statement to make that a congregation that is inconsistent in attendance does not place a high view on God by directly disobeying His Word.

Two other realms of observation in the church when looking at the congregation would be examining their level of service and giving. It would be hard to be found guilty in a courtroom of having a high view of God if you had a five hundred member church and only fifteen to twenty volunteered out of the two hundred that actually attended on a regular basis. Having a high view of God is holding on to His Word. Serving is a fruit of salvation. If the congregation is not in a relationship with Christ, they will not see the importance of serving or giving their money to help further the Kingdom of God.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (New American Standard. Luke 12.34). A congregation that is not giving their money to the Lord is a congregation that does not treasure the Lord. A congregation that has a high view of God will be a giving church and place more emphasis on it. Churches that overlook this area of Scripture are missing out on so many blessings from the Lord. This is not prosperity preaching. It is Biblical preaching. If the church does not give its treasure to the Lord, it can not receive His treasures. The Apostle Paul writes in his second letter to the church in Corinth, “God loves a cheerful giver” (New American Standard, 2 Corinthians 9.7b). The people of a church should give from a cheerful heart. If every member of a church in America gave in accordance to God’s Word, a nationwide revival would to take place. But when a congregation holds to a low view of God and His Word it makes it difficult for a church to raise the funds to do anything of temporal or eternal value.

The congregation consists of mostly working class people. In a secular work environment it is even more crucial for the believer to hold to a Godly lifestyle. The life believers live in the workplace is the only Bible most people will read. If the congregation does not place the correct view on scripture their coworkers will see they have a low view of God and the Bible.

Observing the individual members of the congregation in their home life would be the most revealing of the heart of that person. In the book of Joshua the sad story of Achan describes the effects one person’s sin can have on a large group of people. Because of one man’s sin an entire nation lost a battle. The story ends with Achan being caught in his transgression and the execution of him and his entire family (New American Standard. Josh.7.1-26). Few stories illustrate the importance and responsibility each believer has in accordance with obeying the Lord than the story of Achan’s sin.

It would be easy to tell a churches view of God and His Word by examining the church leadership and the congregation. It is still a slim possibility, only because of our human nature, to have Godly leaders and the congregation that gives God the credit He deserve, and still have a church with a low view of God. This leads us to our final examination of the heart of the church: the focus. There are many areas that make up the focus of a church but I will look at how its view of God effects evangelism and discipleship.

In the southeast I have personally seen the church lead hundreds of people to the Lord. Unfortunately, there is no follow up and intentional discipleship many fall away from church remaining an immature believer. A good illustration can be found through my kids. I have twins that are six months in age. I spent months preparing for them to arrive, I prayed countless hours for a safe delivery, and I made sure that when they arrived all of their needs would be met. That was the easy stuff. When they arrived I had to enter survival mode. It was sleepless nights of feeding them, changing them, and making sure they were growing healthy. I’m not a special parent that had to do anything different than anyone else. It is the start of parenthood. I am responsible for a two lives. That is a big deal. Somewhere along the way either through ignorance or sheer irresponsibility many churches have lost that urgency that you only feel when a new life has entered this world. If someone receives Christ as Lord of their lives, that person does well if they get a bible and a pat on the back. A focus of the church should be on evangelism and discipleship; not just evangelism.

A Healthy biblical church should have leaders that preach sound doctrine and obey scripture. The congregation should be able to follow the leader’s example and sound teaching and be applying it their lives. The church should be focused on evangelism and ensuring that the believers are growing in the Lord. The common ingredient in all these areas of the healthy church is a high view of God and the authority of scripture.

Unfortunately, the church in America as it is now is not healthy. In fact, it is very sick because it has such a low view of God and that is being nice. There needs to be a change. The church in America is sick. A call to action must take place starting with the leadership of the church and then the people of the church. For the American church to become healthy, change must take place. “Tragically, in most churches, the pain of change is greater than the pain of ineffectiveness” (Rainer 229). There is no special secret to being an effective church. The remedy is repenting and clinging to a high view of God and His authority on Scripture. I have listed the apostasy that indicates when a church lacks a high view of God and His Word, but the most important reason why the church should have a High view of God is because it pleases the Lord and brings Him glory!

 

 

Works Cited

 

 

Chan, Francis, and Preston M. Sprinkle. Erasing Hell: What God Said about Eternity and the Things We Made up. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2011. Print.

 

MacArthur, John. The Master’s Plan for the Church. Chicago: Moody, 1991. Print

 

New American Standard Bible. Ed.Lockman Foundation. Anaheim, CA: Foundation Publications, Inc. 1997. Print.

 

Peace, Martha. The Excellent Wife: A Biblical Perspective. Bemidji, MN: Focus Publishing Incorporated, 1999. Print

 

Pratt, Richard L. Every Thought Captive: A Study Manual for the Defense of Christian Truth. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Pub., 1979. Print.

 

Rainer, Thom S. Simple Church. Nashville, TN.:B&H Group, 2006. Print.

 

Stonehouse, Ned Bernard, and Paul Woolley. The Infallible Word: A Symposium. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1980. Print.

 

Tozer, A.W. The Pursuit of God: A 31-day Experience. Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1995. Print

 

All you need is Love (1 John 2:7-11)

allyouneedislove

 

1 John 2:7-11(NASB)

Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard. [a]On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining. The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now. 10 The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

What is the commandment? To love our brother.

It is important to remember you can not love your brother unless you are abiding in Christ!

  1. The Man who hates his brother (9,11)
    1. John introduces the brother that says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother by saying he is in Darkness.
    2. By looking earlier in John’s letter what can we say is true of this man?
  1. Walk in Darkness (1:5,2:9,11)
  2. Blind (2:11)
  3. Liar (1:6, 2:4)
  4. He does not practice the Truth (1:6)
  5. The truth is not in him (2:4)
  6. Deceived (1:8,2:9)
  7. Not walking in the Manner of Christ (2:6)
    1. In terms of eternal security, it’s not looking good for this guy. Now let’s look at the other man mentioned.
  1. The Man who loves his brother (10)
    1. John wrote, “The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause of stumbling for him.”

NOTE: Although John wouldn’t disagree with the statement we should love everyone. It’s important to note that he is talking about fellow believers.

    1. Do we love our brother because we abide in the Light or are we able to abide in the Light because we love our brother? Obviously, the love is a fruit of a lasting relationship of Abiding in Christ. We can’t have true love for our brother unless we are truly abiding in Christ.
    2. Popular Icons like the Beatles, Bob Marley, and many more celebrity cling to the saying, “All you need is Love” or “Love is the Answer.” Well this isn’t the conditional self loathing love John is referring to, He is referring to a Holy and pure love.
    3. Matthew 22:39, Jesus commands, “Love your Neighbor as yourself.”
    4. There is no way you can love someone as yourself, unless God is giving you the power to, and the only way to receive that power is to experience a life abiding in Him.
    5. From last weeks lesson, where do we need to turn to see how to abide in Christ? John 15:1-11.
    6. Let’s look at what a man’s life looks like that abides in Christ and is firmly rooted in Him.
  1. The Man who loves the Lord (Psalm 1)
    1. What are some characteristics of this man’s life?
  1. Blessed when he avoids sin and sinful situation. (1-3)
    1. If we are to abide in Christ we can not live a life of sin. We have to live a life separated for God’s Glory. Look at Romans 12:2.

STORY: I share this story with much shame and regret, only with the intention of showing the consequences and damages of carnal decision making as a Christian. But it is a story that brought me to true repentance over an issue I’ve been lazy with my entire Christian life. Recently I was talking to an atheist friend. We have great talks about the Lord and the Bible. Well we got on the topic of movies. Going back and forth naming popular movies we had seen in the past and enjoying a laugh from a few quotes. The movie called, “The Campaign” came up, and I shared with him I actually had to walk out of the movie theater because it was so blasphemous. He then named another movie and it came up, “The wolf of wallsteet.” I had been warned about this movie from a Christian brother but I watched it anyway. He then asked, “Wait! How does that work? You can watch some bad movies but not others?” I just hung my head in shame. I want you to know it still saddens me because a bad choice I made to look like the world completely ruined months of building a Godly reputation.

  1. He delights in God’s Wordon a regular basis.(2)
    1. Emhasis: DAY AND NIGHT. Now Certainly this isn’t a commandment that we must read our Bible every night. But it is a characteristic of someone FIRMLY ROOTED in the LORD!
  2. Like a tree firmly planted by streams of water. (3)
  3. Leaves do not wither (3)
  4. He prospers (3)
    1. Only when he is planted by the streams of water is the main fruitful and strong. A lot of times we do things our of our own efforts and our rivers eventually run dry.

 

John introduces us to two men. Ask yourself which man are you? Repent if you are the first man and jump in God’s Word.

 

Remember, we can’t love our brother genuinely like Christ has called us to, unless we are abiding in Him. If we try to love our brother out of our own efforts that love will soon fade with the next passing emotion.

 

I want to close with this verse:

Colossians 3:17

Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Knowing CHRIST: Our Advocate! 1 John 2:1-6

gavel and book close up, shallow dof

Knowing Christ as the Advocate

1 John 2:1-6

  1. Christ our Advocate (v.1-2)
    1. Who is our Advocate? JESUS CHRIST! (1)
    2. Why do we need an Advocate? Because we sin, and sin angers God. (1)
    3. How do we know that Christ is our Advocate? He is the Propitiation for our sins and the whole worlds with the Father. (2)

i.      Propitiation.

  1. It is a key element to know what this means or we will not know Christ as our Advocate.
  2. Propitiation is defined  to make (someone) pleased or less angry by giving or saying something desired (MW)
  3. Josh Mcdowell video on propitiation: http://powertochange.com/experience/spiritual-growth/why-jesus-died-10/
  4. Understanding and believing in what Christ did on the cross is the foundation for knowing him as our Advocate.
  1. Denying or Knowing our Advocate (v.3-4
    1. How does John say we have come to know him? By keeping his commandments.
    2. Who does John call liars in this passage? People who claim they know Christ, but does not keep His commandments.
    3. One popular fear you will encounter as you witness to people is people who claim to know Christ and they will say, “I know I’m saved, but sometimes I still wonder. It’s probably Just Satan trying to discourage me.” You can now say, “You’re right, Satan does attack us, and we have a mighty Advocate, Jesus Christ. But in 1 John 2 it says that if someone doesn’t keep Christ commandments and calls himself a Christian is a liar. It is true, you may be a Christian and Satan is attacking you. However, it could also be true that you aren’t a Christian and the Holy Spirit is giving you that unsettling feeling so you can repent.”
    4. Examine your life. Are you keeping His commandments? Are you denying or knowing Jesus Christ.
  2. Abiding in our Advocate (v.5-6)
    1. We have discussed who the advocate is and how we can tell if we know him or deny him. Now let’s look at what it means to abide in the Advocate for those that know Him.
    2. There are two characteristics of knowing that we are Abiding in the Advocate:

                                                              i.      Whoever keeps His Word –v. 5

  1. You can’t keep his word unless you know His word. You can’t know His word unless you read His word.
  2. Morality isn’t the same thing as biblical Godliness. There is a preconceived notion that a lot of people have that I’m a moral. And only turn to God’s word unless something bad happens or on Sunday.

ILLUSTRATION: A lot of Christians treat their Bibles like men treat instruction when they put things together. They throw the little white book to the side and at the end of the build there are missing pieces and the stability is far from stable. Then comes the funny part: We blame the company that manufactured the thing. All of it could have been avoided if we would have just read the instructions.

When we don’t read our Bibles, we don’t know how to respond biblical to situations. When we mess things up, we can’t blame God, only ourselves.

  1. We need to cherish His word, read His Word, and live His word.
  2. Bring your Bibles to church.

                                                            ii.      Walking in the same manner as He walked –v.6

  1. Emphasize on knowing His word!
    1. How can we know we are abiding in Him?

                                                              i.      John 15:1-11

  1. We bear fruit –v.2
  2. We are pruned –v.3
  3. We give God the glory for our fruit, and realize it is not on our efforts or merit  –v.5
  4. Our prayers are answered –v.7
  5. We love one another –v.9
  6. We keep His commandments –v.10
  7. We are joyful -11

 

Time and time again, we see reoccurring elements about knowing we follow Christ. Keeping His commandments, Love for one another, and bearing fruit. Christ is our advocate. He paid a high price for that title, and He paints a beautiful picture with His life. Let’s not call ourselves Christians and live like the world. Let’s call ourselves Christians and live like the Lord!