Let’s look into the last chapter of first John together.
1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.
John tells us in a very simple and straightforward way what it means to be born of God; believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. Now this is not just an intellectual belief, but a belief that we are willing to stake our lives on. Let me explain. James 2:19 says You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe — and tremble. The demons know the truth of who God is and who Jesus is. Look through Jesus ministry on earth and you will see that the demons knew who He was. The demons are not subject to the Lordship of Jesus. They know the truth and have chosen a different way. We need to believe that Jesus is the Messiah in such a way that we actually allow it to affect our lives. That should affect our lives in two main ways.First is we should love Him who begot. That means that we should love God. When we truly know who God is and what He has done we cannot help by have our hearts affected in Love towards Him. Secondly we should love those begotten of Him, fellow Christians. Again John drives home the love that we ought to have for one another.
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 burdensome.
We know that we love God when we keep His commandments. Before coming to Christ it can seem that Christianity is just a bunch of rules, of do’s and don’ts. This is not true. This is a lie that the enemy has spoon fed society to keep us from ever wanting to turn to Christ and see for ourselves if it is truth. Look at a child. They thrive in an environment where there are rules and they know what is expected of them. Same is true with us in adulthood and i our Spiritual walks. When there are rules and guidelines we thrive, we know what to expect. We know what is right and what is wrong. Guys the Lord’s commands are not burdensome. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30. This was Jesus speaking. This is a profound truth and one that you will have to jump into in order to see that it is truth. It goes so contrary to what we have been taught. We truly need to taste and see that the Lord is good. If you move ahead into that relationship with Him I promise He will not disappoint. You will not have your wish list complete and get everything you want. Truthfully living that way would make us god and God our servants. You will find that you have your needs met and in abundance.
4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
It is our faith in God that makes us born of God and it is that same faith that makes us able to overcome the world. This is not just the yeah I believe faith, but the daily walking it out with Him faith. Us overcoming has very little to do with us. It has everything to do with the One that we place our trust and faith in, namely Jesus Christ.
6 This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7 For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.
The meaning behind came by water and blood is a little unclear. Remembering that Gnosticism was popular around the time that John wrote this helps us know a little better why John wrote this. The Gnostic believed that Jesus was just some phantom, that He was to morally pure to ever set foot on the earth. By john saying that He was born of water and blood he denounces the Gnostic teaching of Jesus being a phantom. The important take away for me personally is not to get caught up in all the reasons why John might have said water and blood, but to know that point. The point being that we need to make sure the Jesus we believe in is the Christ who is betrayed in Scripture, and not the ideas of what Christ could have or should have been. In heaven and on earth there are three that can bear witness to who Christ is. We need to believe.
9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. 10 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.
This section makes me think back to Jesus’ resurrection. Remember how He came back and appeared to the disciples, but Thomas was missing on that occasion. Later when the disciples were telling Thomas about it he said that unless he could touch the scars and put his hand in the spear wound on His side that he could not believe. Remember how sweet Jesus was when He came in again and Thomas was there? Jesus invited him to touch His side, He was not mean or degrading to Thomas, but allowed him to have what he needed to believe. Then Jesus spoke to Thomas and said “ Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:24) We do have the testimony of men and women who are begun a walk with Christ. For 95% of us our walk with the Lord began with the testimony of someone else in our life. It is not common that we happened upon a Bible and started reading it and had our minds open to the truth therein, although that can happen. We receive that witness of men. That can only take us so far, it was only intended to take us so far. The witness of men is often where our faith journey starts, but it needs to continue into the witness of God. We need to read His word and take Him at what His word says.
11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
Our life here on earth needs to be wrapped up in the life of Christ. The truth is life is found in Christ alone. I can testify to the fact that when I was not walking with the Lord I did not real alive. But now I have life and I know what life really is. Life is walking with Christ. It is true that every day we live we are one day closer to our physical death. When we are not walking with the Lord it is one day closer to physical death and spiritual eternal death. But check this, when we are walking with the Lord it is one day closer to death, and one day closer to life of eternal praise of our Lord. so really in the perspective of Christianity everyday we live is one day closer to life in its fullest. I personally cannot wait till God calls me home. He is the one that gets to set that date and my prayer is that until that day comes I will be useful here on earth.
14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
Ask according to His will. I know I have said this a few times, but we really do have a good good Father. He looks for ways to bless us. Matthew 7: 7-11 we see Jesus talk about how us humans, evil that we are, know how to give good gifts, how much more does our Father in heaven know how to give good gifts. We should have the confidence to go before God and ask him for things. Things that line up with His will for our lives we will receive. You might be wondering what God’s will for your life is. The simplest answer is that you are set apart, living a sanctified life. From there God does have specific plans for our lives individually. He will lead us and guide us with His spirit on what is part of the plan for our lives. The only way you will know is by asking and listening for His voice to lead as you step out and do.
16 If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death.
In terms of us being a christian and still sinning there are sins that can lead to our physical death. These we do not want to participate in and we should step in a speak to our brothers on these. There are some sins that we do not need to go and speak to our brothers about because it then just becomes nitpicking. For those types of sins we need to just sit back and be in prayer for the person over and allow God to do the work on their hearts. All unrighteousness is sin, but not all sin leads to death.
18 We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
We are born of God and do not have to go the way of sin. We can make a different choice. We can go in the way of righteousness. We will continue to sin because we live in the world, but we will not continue to choose sin. The world is under the control of the wicked one and since we do still live in the world that will affect our lives. But we are of God. Let that truth wash over your mind. We belong to God. When things start to go crazy in your life remember that simple truth, you belong to God.
20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. 21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
We belong to God and therefore He has given us understanding. We therefore know the truth. Before coming to God we could not discern the truth. Now we belong to Him we know the truth and we have eternal life!! Now let’s keep ourselves from idols. Keep our minds stayed on Him and away from those things that would like to rise up and take the place of first in our lives. These can be good things that we allow to have the wrong place in our lives. They can also be just down right wrong things to have focus on in our lives. The Israelites turn the broken snake on the pole into an idol and would worship it. That bronze snake was what they needed to look to in order to be healed. They were suppose to keep it to remember the goodness of the Lord. Instead they turned and acted as if it was a God. Let’s purpose to set apart God as lord of our lives and to keep everything else in proper perspective.