"The"Test"of Knowing Christ"
"My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world"
"The"Only Way"To Know We are in HIM"
"Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning" "Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes".
" Their Spiritual State":
" I write to you, little children,Because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake. I write to you, fathers,Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.I write to you, young men,Because you have overcome the wicked one.I write to you, little children, Because you have known the Father. I have written to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.I have written to you, young men, Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you,And you have overcome the wicked one".
"Do Not Love the World"
"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever".
"Deceptions of the Last Hour"
"Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also".
Children of God: " Let Truth Abide in You"
" Therefore 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. And this is the promise that He has promised us — eternal life. These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him".
"And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him". (NKJV)
“The Key to Knowing Christ” and Guidance from Living in Sin"
I. John’s Purpose of Writing This Epistle: (verses 1-2)
A. John wrote to prevent the people from Sin (violating God’s Law) (vs. 1)
This is the real purpose of all of scripture. John wrote this letter as a guidance out of sin. John didn’t want the people to ruin their lives because of sin, and live their lives in a miserable and unholy state. John desired to lead them towards a “holy” life in Jesus Christ because that is what God desires of everybody. God said that it is His wish that nobody perishes because of sin, but everybody would live a life of repentance To Sin is to miss the mark set by God’s precepts, principles and promises. He reminded them of what he wrote in John Chapter 1.
B. And if any sin, we have an advocate- (paraclete) with God (Jehovah) the Father-(Jesus Christ)
1. If a believer falls into sin, after salvation because of ignorance, yielding to temptation, weakness or failing to watch, there’s still hope for you and you can still be restored in the good graces of God by acknowledging that act of sin and discontinue that sinful act. This does not give a frère reign to sin anytime we want but actually acts as a deterent to living a sinful life
2. Remember: We still have Jesus sitting in heaven on the right hand of the Father interceding in our behalf. Jesus died for our offences, and rose again for our “justification”; and there he makes intercession for us. He is the righteous; he who suffered, the JUST for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. Do not, therefore, despair, but have immediate recourse to God through him.
C. Concerning Jesus: “Ultimate Sacrifice” (vs. 2)
1. He’s our “propitiation” which means our “atoning sacrifice” the ultimately sacrifice that God made for the redemption of man’s reconciliation to a Holy and Righteous God. (Jehovah or Yahweh)
2. He died for everybody. (John 3:16-17)
II. How to know if We are “HIS” “The Only Way” (verses 3-6)
A. We must keep HIS Commandments- (vs. 3)
1. Love the Lord with “all” that’s within us (mind, heart, might etc…)
2. Love our neighbor as ourselves.
3. We are “liars” and the truth is not in us if we claim to love God but don’t keep HIS commandments.
4. God’s love is “perfected” in us if we keep HIS commandments. That is, we mature in the faith continually by the presence of God’s love within us.
5. If we claim to have an “intimate” (ongoing- and on-growing) relationship with God, we must live the same way Jesus lived when he was on earth.
B. Writing “nothing” New “An Old Commandment” (verses 7-11)
1. You knew this commandment from day 1.
2. Love is always implied in every message you heard. (vs. 7)
3. On the ‘other hand, it’s new, perhaps because “darkness is out of the way” and “True” Light is blazing its way through. (vs. 8)
4. Anyone who claims to live in the light of God and hates their brother or sister is “still” in the dark. (vs. 9)
5. Anyone who claims to live in the light of God and loves his brother and sister “dwells” in God’s light and does not block the light from others.(not a hindrance) (vs.10)
6. Those who hate- are still in the dark, they stumble in the dark, don’t even know which way is up, and are blinded by the darkness. (vs. 11)
III. Concerning: Loving The World (verses 12-17)
A. Reminder: To the “children: Your sins (past sins) are forgiven in Jesus name and because you confessed His name.[ Christ is now your advocate in heaven.] They were disciples of Christ, not of very long standing in the church, nor of much experience, but who had known the Father; i.e. persons who had been made sons: God had sent the Spirit of his Son into their hearts, whereby they cried Abba, Father! (vs. 12)
B. Reminder: To the “Fathers: John wrote to them because they “knew” the way! ” You have come to know Christ. . You now recognize Him, understand about Him, and are aware of Him.[ Some of the older members had seen Jesus in the flesh ( physically on earth) and well established in the faith and in the truth of the gospel]. They saw Jesus, the Savior who was made flesh and dwell among them. (verses.13-14)
C. Reminder: To the Young men: John wrote to them because he said they were strong. You have become “victorious” over the “wicked one” (Satan) These ‘youth” were confirmed disciples of Christ; persons who were well-grounded in the truth, had been thoroughly exercised in the Christian warfare. God’s WORD truly abided in them. They were no longer agitated by doubts and fears. John is saying: “You have triumphed over the passions which prevail in early life; you have combated the allurements of vice, ambition, covetousness, and sensuality; and you have shown a strength of character and of piety that promotes “good” religion.
D. Reminder: to the younger children: The most recent converts, and particularly those among young men and women who, from their youth, simplicity, open-heartedness and affectionate attachment to God and his cause, were peculiarly dear to this aged apostle of Jesus Christ. These are represented as having their sins forgiven them on account of his name, that is, for the sake of Jesus, or on account of his merit or worthiness. You have come to know Christ.
Message: Don’t fall in love with the World: The “Lust” and “Pride” that constitutes how this world operates. (verses 15-17)
John’s talking about the “lust” of the flesh, the “lust’ of the eyes and the “pride” of this life. We are not to love the things which are sought “merely” to pamper the appetite, to please the eye, or to promote pride in living. These are the objects sought by the people of the world; these are not the objects to be sought by the Christian.
The Message Bible puts it in plain perspective: “Don't love the world's ways. Don't love the world's goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world is based on: wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important …and none of these things has anything to do with the Father”. King Solomon summed this world’s way up this way: All is vanity and vexation of the spirit.
Possessing a strong desire for the “things” of this world is “fleshy”(Carnal )in thinking and in concept, and sensual in nature, having an obsession over them can actually isolate you from God.
Remember: This world and all its “possessions” and “obsessions” one day will be gone. (This world and the things people lust after will pass away!) But whoever does what God wants done by us is “set” (abides) for all eternity. (Abides forever)
IV. The Last Days “End Times Approaching” (verses 18- 26)
A. Evidence: (How do we know?) The “Antichrist” is coming! (vs. 18)
1. There are many “antichrist already in this world and showing up everywhere.
2. In our lifetime, we have had several people who made the claim that they were the Messiah the world has been waiting on.
3. Conversely, there are many world religious leaders that claim that Jesus Christ was not the Messiah, or that the Messiah has not come yet.
Note: John understood by the word all those that denied that Jesus is the Messiah, or that the Messiah has come in the flesh. If they held that Jesus was a deceiver, and that he was not the Christ, or if they maintained that, though Christ had come, he had not come in the flesh, that is, with a proper human nature. This showed that such persons had the “spirit of antichrist”. They arrayed themselves against him, and held doctrines which were in fact in entire opposition to the Son of God. This is the spirit of Gnosticism.
What Did Jesus say what we should be aware of and look for as the Rapture of the Church and the 2nd Coming of Christ nears? (Matthew 25:5, 24)
1. Many will come forth and openly declare that they are the “true” Christ (Messiah)
2. An “apostate” spirit will infiltrate the church early (read 2 Thessalonians 2:17) through a leader or a series of leaders that will attempt to lead the “Institution” church toward error. ( We can see this already) This leader or leaders will have the spirit of Antichrist, but for an appointed time will be hindered or restrained by God. (We see an shift in how church operate and in the “message” that’s being preached in many pulpits already: Having a form of godliness but denying the power of Christ as well as his “Messiahship”)
3. Ultimately, there will come that day when the ”Man of Sin” will be revealed after a great falling away from the true faith in the Gospel (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, and 8-10) he will embody and promote an apostate message teaching against Jesus and all he stands for.
4. In the mean time, many “isms” and “skisms” will creep boldly in the modern Church and many will oppose the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Bible in general, preferring to promote doctrines of devils and man-made godless philosophies.
B. Apostasy: Falling Away From The Faith (vs. 19)
1. They went out from us- they left the church because they were never really fully committed to the cause of Christ.
2. They were not of us- They were never really Christians (converted) (Matthew 7:23)
3. If they were truly with us- they never would have left. If they are true Christians, they will continue in the church, or will never fall away. The statement is so made also as to teach that if any "do" fall away from the church, the fact is full proof that they never had any religion, for if they had had they would have remained steadfast in the church. (steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord)
4. But they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. God in His providence allowed this to happen:
(a) "In order" that it might be both seen and known that they were imposters and not “true Christians”, that their real character might be developed.
(b) To purify the church from their evil influence-compare the notes at John 15:2;
(c) To exonerate the church from being responsible for their conduct, or the ‘evil fallout on account of it; Remember what we bind as the church, God binds from heaven… what we lose as the church, God will lose from heaven.
(d) To allow their real character to develop, so they might see for themselves that they were not “true Christians.
(e) So they will not only be seen and known as apostates, but that their opinions and conduct might have less influence than in would have if they were still connected with the church;
(f) So they might understand their own” true” character, and no longer live a lie and under the “delusive opinion” that they were Christians and were safe, but by seeing themselves in their “true light”, they might be brought to repentance and be reconciled unto God.
5. But You Do Belong. You are “annointed” by the “Holy One’ and you know it. (vs. 20)
This verse did not mean they knew all things pertaining to history, to science, to literature, and to the arts, but in meant that, under the influences of the Holy Spirit, they had been made so thoroughly acquainted with the truths and duties of the Christian religion, that they might be regarded as “safe” from the danger or “fatal error”. The same may be said of all true Christians now, that they are so taught by the Spirit of God, that they have a practical acquaintance with what religion is, and with what it requires, and are secure from falling into fatal error.
6. I wrote to confirm the truth you already know and to remind you that the truth doesn’t lie. (vs. 21)
V. Question: Who’s Lying Here? (verses 22- 23)
1. The person who denies that Jesus is the “Divine Christ”
2. This is what makes an “antichrist”: Denying God the Father (Jehovah) and denying God the Son (Jesus).
3. Nobody who denies Jesus- the Son has any part with the God the Father (Jehovah). (vs. 23)
4. Affirming Jesus means you embrace Jehovah God as well. (vs.23)
VI. The Original Gospel Message (verses 24-27)
1. Stay with the True Gospel You Heard (vs. 24)
2. Let the Gospel sink in your life.
3. If what you heard in the beginning (the Gospel) lives deeply within you, you will live your life deeply (fully committed) in both the Son and the Father.
4. Jesus Christ promised eternal life. (vs.25)
VII. Warning Letter: “About The Deceivers” (verses 26-27)
1. They are no match for the “WORD” (Gospel)(The “Anointing”) you will be able to stand firm in the faith and their false teachings will not shake your faith.
2. You don’t need any of their “so-called teachings!” The truth abides within you because the Holy Spirit is your guide into all things concerning yourself and Jesus Christ.
3. Christ’s “Anointing” teaches you everything you need to know about yourself and Christ (John 14:13-14) uncontaminated by a single lie.
4. Live deeply in what you have been taught by living a consecrated life in Jesus Christ.
Live Deeply in Christ
And now, children, stay with Christ. Live deeply in Christ. Then we'll be ready for him when he appears, ready to receive him with open arms, with no cause for red-faced guilt or lame excuses when he arrives.
Once you're convinced that he is right and righteous, you'll recognize that all who practice righteousness are God's true children.
Rev. Dr. William Edward Boddie