1 John



by Ken Cayce



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1 John Explained





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Book of 1 John Explained

Title: The epistle's title has always been "1 John". It is the first and largest in a series of 3 epistles that bear the Apostle John's name. Since the letter identifies no specific church, location, or individual to whom it was sent, its classification is as a "general epistle". Although 1 John does not exhibit some of the general characteristics of an epistle common to that time (e.g., no introduction, greeting, or concluding salutation), its intimate tone and content indicate that the term "epistle" still applies to it.


Authorship: The epistle does not identify the author, but the strong, consistent and earliest testimony of the church ascribes it to John the disciple and apostle (compare Luke 6:13-14). This anonymity strongly affirms the early church's identification of the epistle with John the apostle, for only someone of John's well known and preeminent status as an apostle would be able to write with such unmistakable authority, expecting complete obedience from his readers, without clearly identifying himself (e.g., 4:6). He was well known to the readers so he didn't need to mention his name.


This letter could probably be classified as a general letter. It is as current for our church today, as it was for then. The apostle John, who wrote the Gospel of John and Revelation, is without doubt the author. He calls himself "the elder" (see 2 John 1), which seems to have been John's self designation in the final years of his ministry. The purpose of the letter was probably to help the church avoid error in its teaching.


John and James, his older brother (Acts 12:2), were known as "the sons of Zebedee" (Matt. 10:2-4), whom Jesus gave the name "Sons of Thunder" (Mark 3:17). John was one of the 3 most intimate associates of Jesus (along with Peter and James; compare Matt. 17:1; 26:37), being an eyewitness to and participant in Jesus' earthly ministry (1:1-4). In addition to the 3 epistles, John also authored the fourth gospel, in which he identified himself as the disciple "whom Jesus loved", and as the one who reclined on Jesus' breast at the Last Supper (John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20). He also wrote the book of Revelation (Rev. 1:1).


Date: The letter was probably written from Ephesus, but is uncertain. The exact date of the writing was uncertain, as well. It was probably written in the 90's A.D. This letter brings special teaching on Jesus as the Light, Life, and Love.


Church tradition consistently identifies John in his advanced age as living and actively writing during this time at Ephesus in Asia Minor. The tone of the epistle supports this evidence since the writer gives the strong impression that he is much older than his readers (e.g., "my little children"; 2:1, 18, 28). The epistle and John's gospel reflect similar vocabulary and manner of expression (see Historical and Theological Themes). Such similarity causes many to date the writing of John's epistles as occurring soon after he composed his gospel. Since many date the gospel during the latter part of the first century, they also prefer a similar date for the epistles. Furthermore, the heresy John combats most likely reflects the beginnings of Gnosticism (see Background and Setting), which was in its early stages during the latter third of the first century when John was actively writing. Since no mention is made of the persecution under Domitian, which began about A.D. 95, it may have been written before that began. Considering such factors, a reasonable date for 1 John (is ca. A.D. 90-95). It was likely written from Ephesus to the churches of Asia Minor over which John exercised apostolic leadership.


Background and Setting: Although he was greatly advanced in age when he penned this epistle, John was still actively ministering to churches. He was the sole remaining apostolic survivor who had intimate, eyewitness association with Jesus throughout His earthly ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension. The church Fathers (e.g., Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Eusebius), indicate that after that time, John lived at Ephesus in Asia Minor, carrying out an extensive evangelistic program, overseeing many of the churches that had arisen, and conducting an extensive writing ministry (e.g., epistles, The Gospel of John, and Revelation). One church Father (Papias), who had direct contact with John described him as a "living and abiding voice". As the last remaining apostle, John's testimony was highly authoritative among the churches. Many eagerly sought to hear the one who had first-hand experience with the Lord Jesus.


Ephesus (compare Acts 19:10), lay within the intellectual center of Asia Minor. As predicted years before by the Apostle Paul (Acts 20:28-31), false teachers arising from within the church's own ranks, saturated with the prevailing climate of philosophical trends, began infecting the church with false doctrine, perverting fundamental apostolic teaching. These false teachers advocated new ideas which eventually became known as "Gnosticism" (from the Greek word "knowledge"). After the Pauline battle for freedom from the law, Gnosticism was the most dangerous heresy that threatened the early church during the first 3 centuries. Most likely John was combating the beginning of this virulent heresy that threatened to destroy the fundamentals of the faith and the churches.


John writes "that ye may know that ye have eternal life" (5:13). In a sense he seeks therefore, merely to strengthen the faith of his readers. Yet he writes also to combat a specific threat to his readers' faith: Gnosticism. This was a deviant form of Christianity. Its adherents' views varied, but they tended to value knowledge as the means of salvation (rather than the Cross), to assert that physical matter was evil, and to teach that the Son of God could not, therefore, have come in the flesh. These and other aberrant teachings seem to be the target of many of John's avowals.


A lack of love for fellow believers characterizes false teachers, especially as they react against anyone rejecting their new way of thinking (3:10-18). They separated their deceived followers from the fellowship of those who remained faithful to apostolic teaching, leading John to reply that such separation outwardly manifested that those who followed false teachers, lacked genuine salvation (2:19). Their departure left the other believers, who remained faithful to apostolic doctrine, shaken. Responding to this crisis, the aged apostle wrote to reassure those remaining faithful and to combat this grave threat to the church. Since the heresy was so acutely dangerous and the time period was so critical for the church in danger of being overwhelmed by false teaching, John gently, lovingly, but with unquestionable apostolic authority, sent this letter to churches in his sphere of influence to stem this spreading plague of false doctrine.


Historical and Theological Themes: 1 John is distinctive in its emphasis on assurance of salvation. This stress is seen by the numerous references to what the believer knows (2:3, 5, 29; 3:14, 16, 19, 24; 4:13, 16; 5:15, 18-20). Further, John often speaks in terms of polarities or contrasting elements: light and darkness, love and hate, God's Spirit and the spirit of Antichrist, God's children and the children of the Devil.


As we go through these 3 letters of John, notice the closeness he had with Jesus that made him even more aware of the person of Jesus.


Considering the circumstances of the epistle, the overall theme of 1 John is "a recall to the fundamentals of the faith" or "back to the basics of Christianity". The apostle deals with certainties, not opinions or conjecture. He expresses the absolute character of Christianity in very simple terms; terms that are clear and unmistakable, leaving no doubt as to the fundamental nature of those truths. A warm, conversational, and above all, loving tone occurs, like a father having a tender, intimate conversation with his children.


1 John also is pastoral, written from the heart of a pastor who has concern for his people. As a shepherd, John communicated to his flock some very basic, but vitally essential, principles reassuring them regarding the basics of the faith. He desired them to have joy regarding the certainty of their faith rather than being upset by the false teaching and current defections of some (1:4).


The book's viewpoint, however, is not only pastoral but also polemical; not only positive but also negative. John refutes the defectors with sound doctrine, exhibiting no tolerance for those who pervert divine truth. He labels those departing from the truth as "false prophets" (4:1), "those who are trying to deceive" (2:26; 3:7), and "antichrists" (2:18). He pointedly identifies the ultimate source of all such defection from sound doctrine as demonic (4:1-7).


The constant repetition of 3 sub-themes reinforces the overall theme regarding faithfulness to the basics of Christianity: happiness (1:4), holiness (2:1), and security (5:13). By faithfulness to the basics, his readers will experience these 3 results continually in their lives. These 3 factors also reveal the key cycle of true spirituality in 1 John: a proper belief in Jesus produces obedience to His commands; obedience issues in love for God and fellow believers (e.g., 3:23-24). When these 3 (sound faith, obedience, love), operate in concert together, they result in happiness, holiness and assurance. They constitute the evidence, the litmus test, of a true Christian.


The letter was full of statements stressing what we know of the Lord and His teachings. It is specifically, or indirectly, mentioned over 30 times. I have said this before in the gospel of John, but John knew Jesus better than any of the other apostles. The love that John had for Jesus, and Jesus for John, was like a great relationship of two brothers.





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1 John 1
1 John 2
1 John 3
1 John 4
1 John 5

1 John 1



1 John Chapter 1

Verses 1-4: As an apostolic eyewitness to Jesus' ministry, including His death and resurrection, and as one of the three most intimate associates of the Lord (John, Peter, James), John affirms the physical reality of Jesus Christ's having come "in the flesh" (4:2-3). In this way, John accentuated the gravity of the false teaching by immediately focusing on a strongly positive affirmation of the historic reality of Jesus' humanity and the certainty of the gospel. Although the false teachers claimed to believe in Christ, their denial of the true nature of Christ (i.e. His humanity), demonstrated their lack of genuine salvation (2:22-23). The affirmation of a proper view of Christ constitutes the first test of genuine fellowship.


1 John 1:1 "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;"


John here and below alludes to his eyewitness status. That of which he speaks, he has witnessed personally. His witness pertains to "the Word of Life", which is the proclamation concerning the One in whom was life (John 1:4).


John was there from the beginning. His knowledge is first-hand. John is not writing from something someone else has told him, He is stating things he knows to be fact. John is aware that Jesus is the Word, which created all things.


John 1:1-4 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." "The same was in the beginning with God." "All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." "In him was life; and the life was the light of men."


"Which was". This phrase refers to the proclamation of the gospel that centers in Christ's person, words, and works as contained in apostolic testimony. "From the beginning". Although John's gospel uses a similar phrase meaning eternity past (John 1:1, "in the beginning"), the phrase here (in the context of verses 1-4), refers to the beginning of gospel preaching when the readers first heard about Jesus (2:7, 24).


The phrase also emphasizes the stability of the gospel message. Its contents do not change but remain stable from the very beginning; it is not subject to change due to current worldly fads or philosophical thinking.


"We have heard ... we have seen ... we have looked upon ... our hands have handled": The words used here point to the vivid recollection of the person of Jesus that John still had even in his old age. For John, even 60 years later, those memories were permanently etched on his mind as if the events had just happened.


John was there when Jesus spoke to evil spirits, and they came out of people. John saw the miracles of those being raised from the dead, and the sick healed. John was there when Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount. John was there when Jesus walked on the water.


He uses terms that strongly affirm the physical reality of Jesus, for a spirit cannot be heard, gazed at for long periods ("looked at"), or touched as Jesus was by John during His earthly ministry and even after His resurrection. "One in whom was life": This refers not only to Jesus Christ but the proclamation of His gospel.


It is a gross understatement to say that he touched Jesus. John lay with his head on the chest of Jesus. John was called the apostle of love, because of his great love for Jesus. John understood Jesus being the Lamb of God. John knew that Life itself was contained in Jesus.


John knew that Jesus was the source of all Light and Life, as we see in the following Scripture.


John 1:4 "In him was life; and the life was the light of men." The only life we have is in Jesus, all else brings death.


Verses 2-3: "Manifested ... seen ... bear witness ... heard ... declare" John dramatically reemphasizes through repetition of these terms (in verses 2-3), the authority of his own personal experience as an eyewitness of Jesus' life. Such repetition pointedly reminds his readers that John's personal testimony refutes the false teachers who boasted arrogantly and wrongly about the Christ they had never seen or known.


1 John 1:2 "(For the life was manifested, and we have seen [it], and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)"


"Manifested" means made real or appeared. The life John and others saw (John 14:6), is what 1 John seeks to convey to its readers. John says this life, which is summed up and was shown forth in Jesus Christ, "was with the Father;" this statement echoes (John 1:1), and points to Christ's preexistence, His eternal presence and oneness with God the Father.


Jesus is eternal Spirit (the Word), and yet He took on the body of mortal man to reveal Himself to mankind. He took on the form of flesh and dwelt among us for the purpose of experiencing our difficulties in the flesh. He also, took on the form of flesh that He might save us from our sin and death. With this phrase, John accentuates the eternality of Christ in His Pre-reincarnate glory.


The death of His body on the cross brought salvation to all mankind. He gave the opportunity of salvation to all who would believe. "To bear witness" means to tell of something you have seen with your own eyes. Jesus is the quickening Spirit that brings eternal life to us.


John 11:25-26 "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:" "And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?"


John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."


1 John 5:11 "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son."


1 John 1:3 "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."


John seeks to establish, or perhaps to broaden, the fellowship between himself and his readers. "Fellowship" here means "a close association or relationship". In Christian terms this means mutual acceptance of and submission to the verities of Christian faith. It means sharing in personal knowledge of and heartfelt obedience to God through Jesus Christ.


The reason God made man in the first place, was for fellowship with him.


John 14:20 "At that day ye shall know that I [am] in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you."


John 17:21 "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."


We read so much about man being made in the image of God. This is exactly what this Scripture is stating here. It is our spirit that becomes like the God Spirit. God is a Spirit. If we are to be like Him, it is in our spirit. To fellowship with the Father and Jesus Christ, we would have to become spirit man, not flesh man. Flesh fellowships with other flesh.


"Fellowship with us": Fellowship does not mean social relations, but that his readers were to be partakers (or, partners), with John in possessing eternal life. John writes not only to affirm the physical reality of Jesus (verses 1-2), but also to produce salvation in the readers. That genuine Christians are never "out of fellowship" is clear, since this verse equates fellowship with salvation.


To fellowship with God, we must crucify our flesh and live in the spirit. John was just such a man. On the Isle of Patmos, when no one else was looking, he was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day. Let your Spirit rule over your flesh, and you will be like John.


1 John 1:4 "And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full."


"That your joy may be full": A main goal for this epistle is to create joy in the readers. The proclamation of the reality of the gospel (verses 1-2), produces a fellowship in eternal life (verse 3), and in turn, fellowship in eternal life produces joy (verse 4).


To realize the relationship we can have with the Father and the Lord Jesus does bring joy unspeakable. Christians have hope of the resurrection that the world does not have.


Our fellowship with the Father and Jesus does not have to wait until we are in heaven with them. When we allow Jesus to dwell within us, we can have constant fellowship. This brings peace in the midst of the stormy world.


The major purpose of 1 John (is stated in 5:13), but another purpose is stated here. For the recipients, and no doubt John as well, to enjoy and share in the deep sense of satisfaction and purpose that knowing Christ and walking with Him brings.


Verses 1:5 - 2:2: To conquer the false teachers who denied the existence or importance of sin, John affirms its reality. This affirmation of sin's reality constitutes the second test of true fellowship (verses 1-4 for test one and 2:3-6 for test three). Those who deny the reality of sin demonstrate their lack of genuine salvation. The "we" (in verses 6, 8 and 10), is not a reference to genuine Christians but a general reference to anyone claiming fellowship, but denying sin. The "we" and "ours" (in verses 7, 9 and 2:1-2), is a specific reference to genuine Christians.


1 John 1:5 "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."


"We have heard of Him". The message that John and the other apostles preached came from God not from men (Gal. 1:12). "God is light". In Scripture, light and darkness are very familiar symbols. Intellectually, "light" refers to biblical truth while "darkness" refers to error or falsehood. Morally, "light" refers to holiness or purity while "darkness" refers to sin or wrongdoing.


The heretics claimed to be the truly enlightened, walking in the real light, but John denied that because they do not recognize their sin. About that basic reality, they were unenlightened.


"No darkness at all": With this phrase John forcefully affirms that God is absolutely perfect and nothing exists in God's character that impinges upon His truth and holiness (James 1:17).


Again, John implies his eyewitness status, having heard of Him, that is, Jesus. John passes on to the church teaching he first received from Jesus. Light and darkness here have ethical overtones. John is saying that God is perfect and good; there is thus no sin or evil in Him. This will have implications for followers of the God in the following verses.


Notice in this, that God is not a Light. He is Light. He is the source of all Light. Light does away with darkness. There is no darkness at all where there is God. Light destroys darkness.


We hear some say that Christians can be possessed of devil spirits. This cannot be, because Christians have the Light of the world dwelling inside of them. They are possessed of the Light. This Light does away with darkness. Devil spirits are of darkness.


You cannot be possessed of darkness and Light at the same time. Light does away with darkness. A Christian can be oppressed from without, but not possessed from within. God does not give light, He is Light. We Christians give off His Light. Christ in me is the hope of glory.


Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. If He is in me, I am consumed with His Light. Christian, let His Light shine forth from you so brightly that the Father will be glorified in your works. To "declare" is more than just tell. It means it is so. He (John), is stating a fact.


"Simplicity of God". Simplicity means that God is not complex, compounded, or divisible in His nature. Simplicity does not deny the three distinct persons of the Trinity. The three distinct persons all share in the same "essence" of God. Neither does this mean that it is easy to understand all that is to be known of God because;


(1) sin has a limiting effect upon human understanding. And


(2) man's understanding is finite, whereas God is infinite.


1 John 1:6 "If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:"


Walk in darkness means walking in sin. John may have had in mind people who claimed to be enjoying a close relationship with God, but whose lives were clearly characterized by sin. Such a state of affairs, John says boldly, is impossible, such persons are lying.


Walk, in this instance, is speaking of the life that we live every day. To fellowship with darkness, means we are away from the Light. To be part of the dark side of life makes us a part of the devil.


Despite their claims to enlightenment and although the false teachers may have claimed fellowship with Christ, their walking in darkness refuted such claims, and consequently, demonstrated their lack of genuine salvation. The reference to "lie" (in verse 6b), refers to the claim of fellowship (in verse 6a). "Do not the truth", points to their habitual failure regarding the practice of the truth.


To say we are a Christian, and live in darkness, makes us a liar. The truth is, we have chosen the devil over God. Life in Christ leaves no room for fellowship with the devil.


1 John 1:7 "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."


"God is light" (verse 5). To walk in this light, which is to live free from bondage to sin (Romans 6:18), is to make true communion between believers possible. Jesus' violent death on the cross, which is what "blood" signifies, is the initial antidote for and ultimate defense against sin's presence and power.


A Christian walks habitually in the light (truth and holiness), not in darkness (falsehood and sin). Their walk also results in cleansing from sin as the Lord continually forgives His own.


Since those walking in the light share in the character of God, they will be habitually characterized by His holiness (3 John 11), indicating their true fellowship with Him (James 1:27). A genuine Christian does not walk in darkness but only in the light and cleansing from sin continually occurs (verse 9).


I see in this the need for Christians to have friends who are Christians too. We must remain in the Light of God. Walk daily with Jesus and other Christians, and the world will get dimmer and dimmer.


Notice the blood of Jesus Christ continuing to cleanse us from all sin, when we are in the Light. The more we walk the Christian walk, the easier it gets to stay in the narrow path of Light that leads to Him.


1 John 1:8 "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."


Others seem to have been claiming that they had no sin. Jesus had taught that those who owned up to their sin could find forgiveness, while those who were blind to their sin would be left mired in it (John 9:41).


Not only did the false teachers walk in darkness, i.e. meaning sin (in verse 6), but went so far as to deny totally the existence of a sin nature in their lives. If someone never admits to being a sinner, salvation cannot result (see Matthew 19:16-22), for the account of the young man who refused to recognize his sin.


Not only did the false teachers make false claims to fellowship and disregard sin (verse 6), they are also characterized by deceit regarding sinlessness (Eccl. 7:20; Romans 3:23).


We are not completely free of sin because we are saved, but the desire of our heart must be not to sin. The sin must be of an outward nature and not part of us. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We walk in His forgiveness.


1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."


This is a restatement of (verse 7). We ought not to deny our sins (verse 8), but rather to confess them before God. This opens the door for His forgiving and cleansing light to purify our hearts.


"Unrighteousness" is another way of saying "sin"


"Confess" here means this is the first step to forgiveness. Christians are not righteous in their own right. We have taken on the righteousness of Christ. We are washed in the blood of the Lamb and robed in His white robe.


Continual confession of sin is an indication of genuine salvation. While the false teachers would not admit their sin, the genuine Christian admitted and forsook it. The term "confess" means to say the same thing about sin as God does; to acknowledge His perspective about sin.


While (verse 7), is from God's perspective (verse 9), is from the Christian's perspective. Confession of sin characterizes genuine Christians, and God continually cleanses those who are confessing (verse 7).


Rather than focusing on confession for every single sin as necessary, John has especially in mind here a settled recognition and acknowledgment that one is a sinner in need of cleansing and forgiveness (Ephesians 4:32; Col 2:13).


1 John 1:10 "If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."


All have sinned. When we become a Christian, we must not live in sin. It must not be our way of life. We must not desire to sin in our heart.


To deny one's sinfulness (verse 8), or sins is not just to deceive oneself; it is to make God a liar by denying His Word. Both Old and New Testaments stress the universality of man's sin (Job 4:17; Psalm 14:3; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:10-18, 23).


"Make Him a liar". Since God has said that all people are sinners (Psalm 14:3; 51:5; Isaiah 53:6; Jeremiah 17:5-6; Romans 3:10-19, 23 6:23), to deny that fact is to blaspheme God with slander that defames His name.


1 John Chapter 1 Questions


  1. How could this letter be classified?
  2. Who wrote it?
  3. Approximately when was it written?
  4. What statement was stressed over and over in this letter?
  5. What was the love of Jesus and John like?
  6. The closeness of Jesus and John made John more aware of the ________ of Jesus.
  7. What is Jesus called in verse 1?
  8. Who created all things?
  9. Name some of the things that John had first-hand knowledge of about Jesus' ministry.
  10. In Him was _______.
  11. What does verse 2 say was manifested?
  12. What does the word "manifested" mean?
  13. Jesus is ___________ Spirit (the Word).
  14. Why did Jesus take on the form of flesh?
  15. Who did Jesus provide salvation for?
  16. The life He has given us is in whom?
  17. What brings unspeakable joy to the Christian?
  18. What did John declare in verse 5?
  19. Why can a Christian not be possessed of a devil spirit?
  20. If we say we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we _____.
  21. When does the blood of Jesus Christ cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
  22. Who have sinned?
  23. What does "confess" mean?
  24. We must not desire to sin in our __________.



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1 John 2



1 John Chapter 2

1 John 2:1 "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:"


"My little children" indicates John's deep concern for his readers. In preceding verses, he had been concerned with erroneous notions that some may have held and advocated; now he turns directly to his addressees.


John calls the Christians; (my little children). That is what we really are; (sons of God). In this, John is expressing the Christians relationship with the Father. The desire of the heart of the Christian must be to sin not. If we commit a sin and confess it, Jesus will represent us to the Father.


This does not, however, mean that we continually sin, which would be a sinful way of life. If we live continually in sin, we have chosen darkness over Light.


"Advocate" means intercessor, or comforter. This is the only mention of this word.


Although a Christian must continually acknowledge and confess sin (1:9), he is not powerless against it. Fulfilling the duty of confession does not give license to sin. Sin can and should be conquered through the power of the Holy Spirit.


John 16:7 translates "advocate" as "Helper", literally "one called alongside". Perhaps a modern concept of the term would be a defense attorney. Although Satan prosecutes believers' night and day before the Father due to sin (Rev. 12:10), Christ's High-Priestly ministry guarantees not only sympathy but also acquittal (Heb. 4:14-16).


1 John 2:2 "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world."


"Propitiation", in this verse means appeasement or satisfaction. An atoning sacrifice that Jesus bore in His body for the punishment due us for our sin. In so doing He propitiated God, satisfied God's just demand that sin be punished. Thus, Jesus is both the advocate for sinners (verse 1), and the sacrifice for their sins.


"For the sins of the whole world": This is a generic term, referring not to every single individual, but to mankind in general. Christ actually paid the penalty only for those who would repent and believe. A number of Scriptures indicate that Christ died for the world (John 1:29; 3:16; 6:51; 1 Thess. 2:6; Heb. 2:9).


Most of the world will be eternally condemned to hell to pay for their own sins, so they could not have been paid for by Christ. The passages which speak of Christ's dying for the whole world must be understood to refer to mankind in general (as in Titus 2:3-4). World indicates the sphere, the beings toward whom God seeks reconciliation and has provided propitiation.


God has mitigated His wrath on sinners temporarily; by letting them live and enjoy earthly life. In that sense, Christ has provided a brief, temporal propitiation for the whole world. But He satisfied fully the wrath of God eternally only for the elect who believe.


Christ's death had unlimited and infinite value because He is Holy God. Thus, His sacrifice was sufficient to pay the penalty for all the sins of all whom God brings to faith. But the actual satisfaction and atonement was made only for those who believe.


The pardon for sin is offered to the whole world, but received only by those who believes. There is no other way to be reconciled to God.



Verses 3-6: Tells us that obedience to God's commands constitutes a third test of genuine fellowship. First John presents two external tests that demonstrate salvation: doctrinal and moral. The doctrinal test consists of confessing a proper view of Christ and of sin (see 1:1-4 and 1:5-2:2), while the moral test consists of obedience and love (see verses 7-11).


While subjective assurance of salvation comes through the internal witness of the Holy Spirit (5:10; Romans 8:14-16; 2 Cor. 1:12), the test of obedience constitutes objective assurance that one is genuinely saved.


Obedience is the external, visible proof of salvation. The false teachers' failure to obey God's commands objectively demonstrated that they were not saved (Luke 6:46). Those who are truly enlightened and know God are obedient to His Word.


1 John 2:3 "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments."


John writes so that his readers may not sin (verse 1). Now he sets forth a characteristic of genuine knowledge of God: obedience to His commandments. This is a major teaching of Jesus.


A Christian is a follower of, and a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. If we desire in our heart to please Him, because we love Him, we will keep His commandments. It must be the desire of our heart not to sin.


John 14:15 Jesus said: "If you love me, keep my commandments."


In this verse and the next, the repetition of the words "know ... keep" emphasizes that those genuinely born again display the habit of obedience. Obedience results in assurance of salvation, (Eph. 2:2; 1 Peter 1:14).


That these two words are among John's favorites is clear since he uses "know" approximately 40 times and "keep" approximately 10 times in this epistle.


1 John 2:4 "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him."


There are many who profess to be a Christian who are not living their day to day lives for Christ. This is what this Scripture is about. There will be some who will stand before Jesus on judgment day who will say:


Matthew 7:21-23 "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."


God looks on the heart of man. The face we show the world is not always what we really are.


1 John 2:5 "But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him."


"Perfected" is in the perfect tense. John refers to the decisive and enduring effect of the indwelling love of God. But the test of knowing God's love is keeping His Word.


Is the Word of God the most important thing you have? When you really love, it is the desire of your heart to please the one you love. To perfect the Love of God within yourself is to be completely sold out to Him.


We are in Him and He in us, if His love is perfected in us. All through the Bible, there are blessings, if we are obedient to God, and curses, if we are not. This is no exception to that.


1 John 2:6 "He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked."


"Abides or Abideth" is one of John's favorite terms for salvation. "Even as he walked": Jesus' life of obedience is the Christian's pattern. Those who claim to be Christians ought to live as He did (John 6:38), since they possess His Spirit's presence and power.


This is referring to Jesus' earthly days. While no one can or need duplicate Jesus' atoning ministry, His disciples are called on to imitate His devotion to God and compassion for others (see John 13:15 and 1 Peter 2:21).


Jesus placed His footprints for us. If we are following Him as we should, we will step in those footprints. Walk, in this instance, is speaking of making it a habit to walk in the footprints of Jesus. This is not an occasional encounter with God, but a way of life.



Verses 7-8" John's commandment is both old and new. This commandment, as is clear below, is to love one another. Jesus called it "new" (in John 13:34), thought it appears in similar form (in Leviticus 19:18). By late in John's life it is no longer so new; yet in the sense that it continually transforms and renews the lives of Christians, it is and ever shall be new indeed.


Verses 7-17: Love of the brethren constitutes the fourth test of genuine fellowship. The primary focus of the moral test is obedience to the command of love because love is the fulfillment of the law (Matthew 22:34-40; Romans 13:8-10; James 2:8), and is also Christ's new command (John 13:34; 15:12, 17). True enlightenment is to love. God's light is the light of love, so to walk in light is to walk in love.


1 John 2:7 "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."


Not referring to new in the sense of time but something that is fresh in quality, kind or form; something that replaces something else that has been worn out.


"New commandment ... old commandment": John makes a significant word play here. Though he doesn't state here what the command is, he does (in 2 John 5-6), it is to love. Both phrases refer to the same commandment of love.


The commandment of love was "new" because Jesus personified love in a fresh, new way and it was shed abroad in believer's hearts (Romans 5:5), and energized by the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22; 1 Thess. 4-9). He raised love to a higher standard for the church and commanded His disciples to imitate His love ("as I have loved you").


The command was also "old" because the Old Testament commanded love (Lev. 19:18; Deut. 6:5), and the readers of John's epistle had heard about Jesus' command to love when they first heard the gospel.


"From the beginning": This phrase refers not to the beginning of time but the beginning of their Christian lives, as indicated (by verse 24; 3:11; and 2 John 6). This was part of the ethical instruction they received from the day of their salvation and not some innovation invented by John, as the heretics may have said.


"Brethren" here, is speaking of those who are of a common faith. Jesus did not come to do away with the law, but to fulfill it. The commandment spoken of here, has to do with love. We are taught from the beginning to love one another. When we love Him, we walk as He walked.


The Word is the commandment of God. Jesus said all the law and the commandments were caught up in loving God first, and then loving your fellowman as yourself. The "commandment", then, is righteous love.


1 John 2:8 "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."


This is just expressing how much easier it is for us to understand the law of God, since the Light of Jesus has shown on it. This "new commandment" is let Jesus, (the Light of the world), live in you and through you. We do not have to question about God anymore.


His perfect Light has shined in our heart and made us aware of His perfect Love. The Light of Jesus brightens our path that we are to walk. It is not a dark and fearful walk anymore.


1 John 2:9 "He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now."


This is just saying, those who hate others are not walking in the Light. The perfect Light provided for believers leads us into His perfect love. It does not allow hate of any kind. Hate is of the devil and is surrounded by darkness.


Doctrinal truth about spiritual matters means nothing without compassion for others. For John, hateth seems to mean simply "fails to love."


In the original language, hate coveys the idea of someone who habitually hates or is marked by a lifestyle of hate.


"Is in the darkness even until now": Those who profess to be Christians, yet are characterized by hate, demonstrate by such action that they have never been born again. The false teachers made claims to enlightenment, transcendent knowledge of God, and salvation, but their actions, especially the lack of love, proved all such claims false (see also verse 11).


1 John 2:10 "He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him."


"Abideth" means to continue to live. Love is a product of Light. There is no temptation to steal from your brother, if you love him. There is no desire for things that your brother owns, if you love him.


These are just two examples, but you can see that loving your brother causes you to have no desire to do him harm in any way. The lust of the flesh causes sin. The Light of God helps us see things more clearly, and causes us not to lust.


He who truly loves (not "he that saith," verse 9), abideth in the light, that is, the presence of God. He does not stumble, nor does he cause others to stumble. John stresses actions, not mere words.


1 John 2:11 "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."


"Walketh" means "lives". He habitually spends his life in darkness, or sin (see 2 Corinthians 4:4), for the blinding effect of Satan and sin. Hate is a product of the devil. The devil is in darkness.


John 12:35 "Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth."


In the darkness, we cannot see clearly and do not see things that cause us to stumble.



Verses 12-14: John addresses different groups and assures them of their steadfastness in the true faith, contrary to many of those with whom his letter must deal. Little children, fathers, young men, and may have reference to spiritual maturity or level of responsibility in the fellowship, for example, to new Christians being "children."


Only two families exist from God's perspective: children of God and children of Satan (see John 8:39-44). John reminds his readers in these verses that as Christians they have been forgiven and have come to know God as their heavenly Father. As a result, they are a part of God's family. They must not love Satan's family or give their allegiance to the world controlled by him (see verse 15).


The word "little children" (in verse 12), is general for offspring of any age. In contrast to a different Greek word for "children" (in verse 13), which refers to young children.


"I write you ... I have written"" John repeats the message in these verses to emphasize the certainly of their belonging to God's family. "I write" is from John's perspective, while "I have written" anticipates his reader's perspective when they received the letter.


1 John 2:12 "I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake."


This is John stating his reason for writing the letter to them. Their sins are forgiven, so they are Christians. They are sons of God. They are not full grown, because he calls them little children. God forgave us our sins, because Jesus paid our debt. It is in the name of Jesus that we are forgiven.



Verses 13-14: "fathers ... young men ... children": These very clear distinctions identify 3 stages of spiritual growth in God's family. "Fathers," the most mature, have a deep knowledge of the Eternal God. The pinnacle of spiritual maturity is to know God in His fullness (Phil. 3:10).


Young men" are those who, while not yet having the mature experience of knowing God in the Word and through life, do know sound doctrine. They are strong against sin and error because they have His Word in them. Thus, they overcome the wiles of the devil, who makes havoc of children (Eph. 4:14).


Since Satan's efforts are in falsehood and deception, they have overcome him. "Children" are those who have only the basic awareness of God and need to grow. All are in God's family and manifest Christ's character at different levels.


I John 2:13 "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."


When we look at the three this is spoken to, it is the progression of growth in our belief. We come to Christ as little children. We grow to young men as we learn more about God, and are better equipped to resist the devil. Then lastly, we rest as old men in the knowledge of God.


1 John 2:14 "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."


This is very much the same as the verse above. The difference being that the little children are omitted. Those remaining have learned to overcome the devil. They have matured by the study of the Word of God.


They are not overcome of the devil, because they are grounded in the Word of God. Again, speaking of fathers is just a further knowing of God.


We see in this, the growth of the Christian and the knowledge acquired to help live in the Light.


1 John Chapter 2 Questions


1. In verse 1, what were the believers in Christ called?


2. If any man sin, we have an _________ with the Father.


3. Who is the advocate?


4. What does the word "advocate" mean?


5. Does this mean it is alright to continue in sin?


6. What does the word "propitiation" mean?


7. Who did He provide forgiveness for?


8. We do know that we know Him, if we do what?


9. What is a Christian?


10. He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a ________.


11. Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my ______________.


12. How can you perfect God's love in you?


13. "Walk", in verse 6, is speaking of what?


14. What is the "commandment" in verse 7?


15. What is the "new commandment"?


16. When you hate your brother, you are walking in ___________.


17. What does "abideth" mean?


18. Love is a product of _______.


19. What causes sin?


20. Hate is a product of the _______.


21. Your sins are forgiven you for His _________ ______.


22. Why are father, young men, and children mentioned in verse 13?


23. Why are little children omitted in verse 14?


1 John Chapter 2 Continued

1 John 2:15 "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."


"Love not the world" is a command implying that action now in progress must cease: "Stop loving the world!" There is of course, one sense in which Christians should love the world, since God Himself did and does (John 3:16). But in the sense of pledging personal loyalty and devotion of one's whole being and means, Christians are to "love" God first and foremost (Deut. 6:5; Mark 12:30).


Christians are in the world, but not of the world. Our home is in heaven. We need to keep our thoughts and desires set on things above. "World" in this example here, is speaking of the sin of the world. It is speaking of worldliness and fleshly lives.


Loving the world, in this sense, would be trying to please the desires of our flesh. To love the world, would make us a flesh man. Christians should be spirit men. The world and the things of the world are carnal.


This does not mean that we cannot enjoy the families God has given us, or the blessings we have received from Him. It does mean that we should not be caught up in worldly living. God must be first in our lives. We should not be hanging on to the world, but should eagerly await our home in heaven with Him.


Although John often repeats the importance of love and that God is love (4:7-8), he also reveals that God hates a certain type of love: love of the world (John 15:18-20). In this text, John expresses a particular form of the fourth test (i.e. the test of love).


Positively, the Christian loves God and fellow Christians. Negatively, an absence of love for the world must habitually characterize the love life of those to be considered genuinely born again. "Love here signifies affection and devotion. God, not the world, must have the first place in the Christian's life (Matt. 10:37-39; Phil. 3:20).


"The world" is not a reference to the physical, material world but the invisible spiritual system of evil dominated by Satan and all that it offers in opposition to God, His Word, and His people. "The love of the Father is not in him": Either one is a genuine Christian marked by love and obedience to God, or one is a non-Christian in rebellion against God.


Meaning in love with and enslaved by the satanically controlled world system (Ephesians 2:1-3); Col. 1:13; James 4:4). No middle ground between these two alternatives exists for someone claiming to be born again. The false teachers had no such singular love, but were devoted to the world's philosophy and wisdom, thereby revealing their love for the world and their unsaved state. (Matt. 6:24; Luke 16:13; 1 Tim. 6:20; 2 Peter 2: 12-22).


1 John 2:16 "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."


"World" for John signifies the evil desire and sin so much a part of human existence.


"For all that is in the world" (James 4:4). While the world's philosophies and ideologies and much that it offers may appear attractive and appealing, that is deception. Its true and pervasive nature is evil, harmful, ruinous, and satanic. Its deadly theories are raised up against the knowledge of God and hold the souls of men captive. (2 Cor. 10:3-5).


"Lust": John uses the term negatively here for a strong desire for evil things.


"Flesh": The term refers to the sin nature of man; the rebellious self dominated by sin and in opposition to God (Romans 7:15-25; 8:2-8; Gal. 5:19-21). Satan uses the evil world system to incite the flesh.


"Eyes": Satan uses the eyes as a strategic avenue to incite wrong desires (Joshua 7:20-21; 2 Sam. 11:2; Matt. 5:27-29).


"Pride of life": The phrase has the idea of arrogance over one's circumstances, which produced haughtiness or exaggeration, parading what one possessed to impress other people (James 4:16).


"Not of the Father": The world is the enemy of the Christian because it is in rebellion and opposition against God and controlled by Satan (5:19; Eph. 2:2; 2 Cor. 4:4; 10:35). The three openings presented, if allowing access to sin, result in tragedy. Not only must the Christian reject the world for what it is but also for what it does.


The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life are what got Eve in trouble in the garden. She looked, desired, and wanted to be as God. Lust of all kinds fall into the category of flesh and worldliness.


1 John 2:17 "And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."


John predicts that the temporal world (Greek "Kosmos"), will pass away but that believers who do the will of God will live forever in the age to come. This prophecy foresees the coming destruction of the earth. (2 Peter 3:7-13; Rev. 20:7-10).


We have learned in a previous lesson that this world will pass away. In fact, we read that it will melt with fervent heat. Even if that were not the case, the world for each person will pass away in approximately 100 years. We are born dying. Death is the sentence of all who do not receive eternal life in Jesus.


God is eternal. He shares that eternity with all who believe. To do the will of God means that we have received Jesus as our Savior, and are living in the salvation He gave us. Jesus is the Quickening Spirit who gives us eternal life. In fact, He is Life. To receive Him means that we receive Life.


"The world passeth away": The Christian also must not love the satanic world system because of its temporary nature. It is in the continual process of disintegration, headed for destruction (Romans 8:18-22).


"He that doeth the will of God abideth for ever": In contrast to the temporary world, God's will is permanent and unchangeable. Those who follow God's will abide as His people forever. While God offers eternal life to His children, the present age is doomed (1 Cor. 7:31; 2 Cor. 4:18).


1 John 2:18 "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."


In (verse 17), John has stated that the present evil order of things is passing away. This leads to his affirmation that it is the last time. Antichrist appears in the whole New Testament only here (and in verse 22, 4:3, and 2 John 2:7). He is the ultimate opponent of God, God's plans and God's people (see also 2 Thess. 2:1-12; Mark 13:14).


"Many antichrists": While the term's first occurrence refers to a particular person prophesied in Scripture, this one is plural and refers to many individuals. John uses the plural to identify and characterize the false teachers who were troubling John's congregations because their false doctrine distorted the truth and opposed Christ (Matt. 24:24; Mark 13:22; Acts 20:28-30).


The term therefore, refers to a principle of evil, incarnated in men, who are hostile and opposed to God (2 Cor. 10:4-5). John writes to expose the false teachers, the wolves in sheep's clothing who purvey damning lies (Eph. 5:11). "The last time" is a phrase referring to the "latter times" or "last days", i.e., the time period between the first and second comings of Christ (1 Tim. 4:1; James 5:3; 1 Peter 4:7; 2 Peter 3:3; Jude 18).


This again, is speaking of Christians, when it says little children. The last time indicates the nearness of the coming of Christ. Jesus warned of this very thing (in Matthew 24).


Matthew 24:24 "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect."


The appearance of these antichrists is another sign that the coming of Christ is near. The word "antichrist" just means those who are opposed to Christ.


1 John 2:19 "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."


"They went out from us ... they were not of us": The first characteristic mentioned of antichrists, i.e. false teachers and deceivers (verses 22-26), is that they depart from the faithful (see verses 22-23), for the second characteristic and (verse 26), for the third. They arise from within the church and depart from true fellowship and lead people out with them.


The verse also places emphasis on the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. Those genuinely born again endure in faith and fellowship and the truth (1 Cor. 11:19; 2 Timothy 2:12). The ultimate test of true Christianity is endurance (Mark 13:13; Hebrews 3:14). The departure of people from the truth and the church is their unmasking.


Some in the church, but now departed, were never really part of it. Here is a clear distinction between those who merely appear to be Christians, based on outward affiliation, and those who really are, whom the Lord knows and claims as His own (1 Cor. 8:3; Gal. 4:9; 2 Tim. 2:19).


Many times, these false teachers and prophets, who are really opposed to Christ, pretend to be Christians. These people many times come to church and stir up the people. After a time, it is apparent that they are not Christians.


It is best, if you discover them, before they do any damage to the other believers. Usually they do not boldly come out against Christ. They just plant doubt in the other believers. One of Satan's favorite statements is, "Did God say". If he can get you questioning, he has won that battle. Be steadfast, unmovable in your belief.



Verses 20-21: Two characteristics mark genuine Christians in contrast to the antichrists. First, the Holy Spirit (the anointing, verse 27), guards them from error (Acts 10:38; 2 Cor. 1:21). Christ as the Holy One (Luke 4:34; Acts 3:14), imparts the Holy Spirit as their illuminating guardian from deception. Second, the Holy Spirit guides the believer into knowing "all things" (John 14:26; 16:13).


True Christians have a built-in lie detector and persevere in the truth. Those who remain in heresy and apostasy manifest the fact that they were never genuinely born again (verse 19).


1 John 2:20 "But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things."


"Unction", in the verse above, means anointing. This would mean an anointing from the Holy Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit is our teacher and guide.


John refers to the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16). Yet Scripture does not suggest that God's Spirit works in hearts apart from God's Word (James 1:18, 21).


This unction then, predisposes John's readers to recognize and respond to God's truth, but not to arrive at it independently of the biblical and apostolic Word. Had the readers been capable of knowing all things apart from written and spoken instruction (1 John), would not need to have been written.


1 John 2:21 "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."


This is a further statement of (verse 20). "All things" (in verse 20), is spoken of here as Truth. John is writing to the church, and not to the world. Notice the word "know", which is so evident in John's writings. He reminds them that no compromise of the Truth will do.



Verses 22-23: "Denieth the Father and the Son": A second characteristic of antichrists is that they deny the faith (i.e. sound doctrine). Anyone denying the true nature of Christ as presented in the Scripture is an antichrist (4:3; 2 Tim. 2:11). The denial of Christ also constitutes a denial of God Himself, who testified to His Son.


John defines the anti-Christian spirit of false prophets and false teachers by explaining that they deny that Jesus is the Christ. Their blatant rejection of Him as the Messiah is also a rejection of His incarnate deity.


1 John 2:22 "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son."


Anti means against. To deny Jesus brings death to the one who denies. Jesus is Life and Truth. Christ interchanges with Messiah. These that John is speaking to, then are possibly those looking for Messiah, and did not recognize Him in Jesus. To deny the Son, is to deny the Father who sent Him.


Literally, the liar: He is the epitome of a lying deceiver who claims to represent Christianity, as John's opponents (probably Gnostics, were doing), but who accords Jesus Christ less than His full due as Savior and coequal partner with the Father.


These should be sobering words for modern understandings of religion and Christianity which deny Christ His scriptural status by making Him less than fully divine.


1 John 2:23 "Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [but] he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also."


Because God has chosen to reveal Himself definitively in Christ, it is not possible to know God personally and truly without fully acknowledging Christ in the fullness of His power and being.


Jesus said, "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father". For there to be a Father there had to be a Son. To deny the Son, would be to deny there was a Father. The Father and the Son are inseparable.



Verses 24-25: "Heard from the beginning": The gospel that cannot change. Let it remain; do not follow false teachers (2 Tim. 3:1, 7, 13; 4:3). Christian truth is fixed and unalterable (Jude 3). If we stay faithful to the truth, we continue to experience intimate communion with God and Christ and persevere to the full eternal life (5:11-12).


1 John 2:24 "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."


John exhorts his readers to persevere in the face of false teaching and belief. The Greek text emphasizes the readers, in contrast to those who have gone out (verse 19): "You, therefore, let what you have heard from the beginning abide in you."


The pure gospel message that had been brought to them was to be kept at all cost. Let this gospel message live continually (abide), in you. This is simply saying; reject the false message of the antichrist. To hang on to the teachings of Christ, brings the Father and the Son into your life.


1 John 2:25 "And this is the promise that he hath promised us, [even] eternal life."


Look with me, at the promise in the words of Jesus.


John 6:47 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life."


John 10:28 "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand."


We see from this that eternal life is in Jesus. To have Him is to possess eternal life.


1 John 2:26 "These [things] have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you."


A third characteristic of antichrists is that they try to deceive the faithful (1 Tim. 4:1).


John makes it clear that much of his treatise has been called forth by opponents of orthodox teaching.


"Them that seduce you" is speaking of those who are opposed to Christ who with flattering words is trying to draw them away from the Truth. John is writing to them and to us to be aware of these false teachers.


1 John 2:27 "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."


(Ephesians 4:11-16), indicates that the Spirit often uses human instruments to fulfill His role of enabling believers to distinguish between truth and error. In any case, it is the Word of God that furnishes the believer with knowledge, and which the Spirit then makes relevant and applicable in the believer's life (see Romans 10:17).


"Anointing": John is not denying the importance of gifted teachers in the church (1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11), but indicates that neither those teachers nor those believers are dependent on human wisdom or the opinions of men for the truth.


The Holy Spirit guards and guides the true believer into the truth (verses 20-21). If God is true (2 Cor. 15:3; Jer. 10:10; John 17:3; 1 Thess. 1:9), and Christ is the truth (John 14:6), so is the Holy Spirit (5:6; John 15:26; 16:13).


"Abide in Him": In response to such deceivers, the task of the genuine believer is to "walk in truth," i.e., persevere in faithfulness and sound doctrine (see verses 20-21, 2 John 4; 3 John 4).


The "anointing" here, is speaking of the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us which teaches us all Truth. It brings to remembrance the wonderful teachings we have had.


John 14:26 "But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."


It is the Holy Ghost that reveals to us all Truth.


John 16:13 "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come."



Verses 2:28 - 3:3: This section deals with the "purifying hope" of every Christian, which is the return of Christ. John uses this purifying hope to reiterate and elaborate on the moral test (love and obedience), of a true Christian. The hope of Christ's return has a sanctifying effect on moral behavior.


In anticipation of Christ's return and reward (1 Cor. 3:10-17; 4:1-5; 2 Cor. 5:9-10; Rev. 22:12), a genuine Christian walks in holiness of life. Those who do not evidence such behavior manifest an unsaved life. In these (five verses, 2:28 - 3:3), John has given five features of the believer's hope.


1 John 2:28 "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."


John Repeats his emphasis on abiding (verse 27), to introduce it as the first feature of the believer's hope (in 2:28-3:3). Whenever John refers to abiding he's referring to persevering in the faith of salvation, which is evidence of being a true believer (John 15:1-6).


The hope of Christ's return produces the effect of continual abiding in every true believer as they long for the glorious future prepared for them. Paul called it "loving His appearing" (2 Tim. 4:8), and said those who do that are the ones who will be crowned with eternal righteousness in heaven. Abiding signifies a permanent remaining in Christ and guarantees the believer's hope. Those who truly abide continue in the faith and in fellowship with the saints (verse 19).


In contrast to (verse 27; "you abide"), however, he commands (imperative), believers to abide. The command signals that abiding is not passive; continual, active abiding must be pursued by every genuine believer (Phil. 2:12). Salvation is eternal because of the Lord's side, He holds us (John 6:37-44), and because of our side, we persevere in faith and obedience (John 8:31-32).


It is not unlike salvation in which God sovereignly saves, but not apart from personal faith from the one He saves. Or in the case of sanctification, God conforms us to His Son but not apart from obedience. The New Testament is rich with statements about God's work and the work of the believer. Paul said it well (in Col. 1:29).


"When He shall appear" refers especially to the Rapture and gathering of the church (John 14:1-6; 1 Cor. 15:51-54; 1 Thess. 4:13-18), and the judgment Seat of Christ to follow (1 Cor. 4:5; 2 Col. 5:9-10).


"Confidence ... not be ashamed before him at his coming". The word "confidence" means "outspokenness" or "freedom of speech". Those who are saved will have confidence at Christ's coming because they will be blameless in holiness based on abiding in Christ (Eph. 5:27; Col. 1:22; 1 Thess. 3:13, 5:23).


In contrast, there will be many, like the soils (in Matt. 13), who are temporary look-alike believers (see 13:20-22). Who did not believe, who did not persevere in abiding and consequently, face only shame at His appearance.


Wishing to please the Lord, and not be ashamed before him at his coming, ought to motivate believers to stand firm, to abide in him.


Stay with God, and let Christ in you live through you, and there will be no fear of error. The Holy Ghost takes up habitation in those who will receive Him. We will not be ashamed, when we follow the leading of the Spirit of God, and get our flesh under subjection to that Spirit.


1 John 2:29 "If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him."


"Every one ... that doeth righteousness is born of Him". This is the second feature of the believer's hope (in 2:28-3:3). The hope of Christ's return not only sustains faith (verse 28), but makes righteousness a habit. The term for "born" is the same verb used (in John 3:7), where Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be "born" again.


Those truly born again as God's children have their heavenly Father's righteous nature (1 Peter 1:3, 13-16). As a result, they will display characteristics of God's righteousness. John looks from effect (righteous behavior), to cause (being truly born again), to affirm that righteous living is the proof of being born again (James 2:20, 26; 2 Peter 3:11).


The idea seems to be that he who practices what is right, being born of God (3:9), need not fear Christ's coming (verse 28). Spiritual rebirth is stressed in John (see 4:7; 5:1, 4, 18; also John 1:13; 3:3-8).


A Christian is born again of the Spirit. Our flesh is buried in water baptism, and we rise to new life in Him. This is speaking of Jesus Christ the Righteous. We take on His righteousness.


1 John Chapter 2 Continued Questions


1. Love not the _________.


2. Christians are __ the world, but not __ the world.


3. What is "world" in verse 15 speaking of?


4. Christians should be __________ men.


5. What are the three things that got Eve in trouble?


6. He that doeth the will of God __________ __________.


7. Verse 18 says it is what time?


8. What does the last time indicate?


9. What does the word "antichrist" mean?


10. These false teachers pretended to be whom?


11. How do they bring the false message?


12. What is their favorite statement?


13. What does "unction" mean?


14. "All things" in verse 20, are spoken of as what in verse 21?


15. Who is a liar in verse 22?


16. What is another word for Christ?


17. To deny the Son, is to deny the ________ who sent Him.


18. What had been taught them from the beginning?


19. What promise did Jesus make to the believers?


20. Eternal life is in __________.


21. What is the "anointing" in verse 27 speaking of?


22. Who guides us into all truth?


23. How do we know we have His righteousness?





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1 John 3



1 John Chapter 3

1 John 3:1 "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."


"Bestowed" is in the perfect tense, suggesting the enduring effect of the love God has given. Believers are children of God by virtue of being born of Him (2:29). Jesus stressed a connection between how the world related to God and how it would in turn relate to Christ's true followers (John 15:18). After God the phrase "And we are" should be added, according to many ancient manuscripts.


"What manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us". This out-burst of wonder introduces the third feature of the believer's hope (in 2:28-3:3). The believer's hope is strengthened by the fact that God's love initiated his salvation (Eph. 1:3-6).


Christ's return will unite the believer with the heavenly Father who loves His child with an immeasurable love. John expresses utter astonishment at God's love for believers in making them His children (Romans 8:17).


The Love of God for the people of the world is hard to understand. Behold, means stop and notice. The love the Father "bestowed", tells us that we did not earn that love; it was a free gift from God. God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that we might be saved.


"The world knoweth us not": The real aliens in the world are not extra terrestrials, but Christians. Having been born again, given a new nature of heavenly origin, Christians display a nature and lifestyle like their Savior and heavenly Father. A nature totally foreign (or worldly), to the unsaved (1 Col. 2:15, 16; 1 Peter 4:3-4).


No wonder Scripture describes Christians as "aliens," "exiles," and "strangers" (Heb. 11:13; 1 Peter 1:1; 2:11). The Lord Jesus was unearthly in origin, and so are those born again. Our true transformed lives have not yet been manifested.


Jesus paid the price of adoption for us to be adopted children of the Father. Jesus is the only begotten Son. We are sons by adoption. We have been bought and paid for by the precious blood of Jesus. We have been presented to the Father by the Son.


The world does not know God. It did not know the Son. It does not recognize us as adopted sons, either.


1 John 3:2 "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."


"Now are we the sons of God": everyone who exercises genuine saving faith becomes a child of God at the moment of belief (John 1:12; Romans 8:16; 2 Peter 1:4). Though the truly heavenly, divine life in that person (Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10), will not be revealed until Jesus appears. In the meantime, the Holy Spirit is working into us the image of Christ.


"We shall be like Him": This phrase introduces the fourth feature of the believer's hope (in 2:28-3:3). When Christ returns He shall conform every believer to His image, i.e., His nature. A tension exists between the first part of the verse ("now we are the sons"), and the latter part ("we shall be like Him").


Such tension finds resolution in the solid hope that at Christ's return the believer will experience ultimate conformity to His likeness. The glorious nature of that conformity defies description, but as much as glorified humanity can be like incarnate deity believers will be, without becoming deity.


At Jesus' coming (2:28), we shall be somehow transformed into His likeness. This process has already begun in the believer's life (2 Cor. 3:18).


This is speaking of the beloved of God. In the 15th chapter (of 1 Corinthians), it speaks of our spiritual body that comes forth from this physical body. We know that God is a Spirit. We also, know that Jesus is the Quickening Spirit. We will be like Him, in the fact that we will no longer be flesh and blood, but will have a spiritual body.


This also, speaks of a great knowledge of God that will come upon us when we leave this physical body and go to heaven in our spiritual body. Jesus is the Son of God, and we will be sons of God. These are things of God that we do know. There are many things that will not be revealed unto us, until we are in heaven with Him.


The eyes of our understanding will no longer be darkened. We shall have our eyes of understanding opened, and know, and understand Him.


1 Corinthians 2:9 "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."


1 John 3:3 "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."


At Christ's coming His followers will be transformed, but in the meantime, they need to be diligent in growth in holiness. He is pure, and it is the "pure in heart" who shall see God (Matt. 5:8).


"Purifieth himself, even as He is pure": This is the key verse to (2:28 - 3:3), and introduces the fifth feature of the believer's hope in this section. Living in the reality of Christ's return makes a difference in a Christians' behavior.


Since Christians someday will be like Him, a desire should grow within the Christian to become like Him now. This was Paul's passion expressed (in Phil. 3:12-14). That calls for a purifying of sin, in which we play a part.


The hope, spoken of here, is the hope of the resurrection. The Christian should not put too much value on this world, but on the world to come. Christians should endeavor to be more Christ-like every day. Notice, it is in the will of man to purify himself. If our Leader (Jesus), is pure, then we must attempt to be pure also.



Verses 4 - 10: Deal with the Christian's incompatibility with sin. The false teachers that John combated, because of their Gnostic-like concepts, discounted the significance of sin and the need for obedience. Because of their philosophical dualism, they viewed matter as inherently bad, and as a result, any sins committed in the physical realm as inconsequential.


In this section, John gives four reasons why true Christians cannot habitually practice sin (John 8:31, 34-36; Romans 6:11; 2 John 9).


1 John 3:4 "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."


This verse begins speaking of "committeth sin" which the verb in the Greek conveys the idea of making sin a habitual practice. Although genuine Christians have a sin disposition (1:8), and do commit and need to confess sin (1:9; 2:1), that is not the unbroken pattern of their lives. A genuinely born again believer has a built-in check or guard against habitual sinning due to a new nature ("born of God"; verse 9; Rom. 6:12).


"Sin is the transgression": The first reason why Christians cannot practice sin is because sin is incompatible with the law of God which they love (Psalms 119:34, 77, 97; Romans 7:12, 22). The term "transgresseth" or lawlessness, conveys more that transgressing God's law. It conveys the ultimate sense of rebellion, i.e., living as if there was no law or ignoring what laws exist (James 4:17).


John turns from stress on Christ's and Christian purity to the need for believers to abstain from sin. The verse means: "Everyone who sins is indulging in unlawful behavior; sin is in fact lawlessness."


This does not specifically mean the old Mosaic Law. This is that law that God has placed in the heart of the believer. Anything we do in disobedience to God is sin. The law of God for the Christian is to love God with everything within us, and to love our neighbor as our self. If we do that, we will be pleasing God. To live in sin, is to turn away from God.


1 John 3:5 "And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin."


"He was manifested (made visible, appeared), to take away our sins": A second reason why Christians cannot practice sin is because it is incompatible with the work of Christ. Christ died to sanctify (make holy), the believer (2 Corinthians 5:21; Eph. 5:25-27). To sin is contrary to Christ's work of breaking the dominion of sin in the believer's life (Romans 6:1-15).


Jesus was completely without sin. He had never sinned. His body had no broken bones. He was the Lamb without blemish. He took our sin upon His sinless body. Our sin died on the cross. Our sins are not covered; (as they were with the sacrifices of animals in the Old Testament), they are done away with by the blood of Jesus. Then He gave us His righteousness.


1 John 3:6 "Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him."


"Whosoever abideth ... sinneth not": Like the phrase "practices sins" (of verse 4), the sense conveyed here is the idea of habitual, constant sinning.


"Whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him": If no check against habitual sin exists in someone who professes to be a Christian, John's pronouncement is absolutely clear, salvation never took place.


To abide in Christ is to be dead to sin (Romans 6). The one who habitually lives in sin has never been transformed by Christ's life-changing power and purity.


"Abideth" means to continually live. If we are hidden in Christ, we do not sin. The desire to sin is taken away from us, if we are in Him and Him in us. The following Scripture shows us how it is possible for us to live this life.


Galatians 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."


Christ would no longer live in me, if I walk back into a sinful way of life. We are not in Him and Him in us, if we desire to live in sin.



Verses 7-8: There could well be a temptation to water down God's Word at this point. John resists such a move. Sin is of the Devil. Christ came to destroy the Devil's deeds. To do the Devil's deeds is to declare allegiance to him, not to Christ. Thus, sin and being a Christian are mutually exclusive.


1 John 3:7 "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous."


"Let no man deceive you": The word "deceives" means "to lead astray." Since false teachers were attempting to pervert the fundamentals of the faith, the possibility existed that some Christians might be fooled into accepting what they were advocating.


To prevent this deception from occurring, John repeatedly emphasized the basics of Christianity, e.g., the need for obedience, the need for love, and the need for a proper view of Christ.


"Doeth righteousness": The genuine believer's habitual lifestyle of righteousness stands in sharp contrast to those false teachers who practiced sin (verses 4 and 6). Since Christ died on the cross to transform sinners, those truly born again have replaced the habit of sin with the habit of righteous living (Romans 6:13-14).


"Even as He is righteous": Those who are truly born again reflect the divine nature of the Son. They behave like Him, manifesting the power of His life in them (Gal. 2:20).


This verse is just saying to walk in the righteousness He has provided for us daily.


1 John 3:8 "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."


Committeth means continues to commit. Jesus defeated sin, and the devil, on the cross. Christians, who have put their faith in Jesus, are no longer to serve sin. Sin is not our master; neither is the devil controlling us.


The one who "committeth" or practices sin (meaning habitually practice sin).


"Of the devil": The phrase gives the source of the false teachers' actions. The term "devil", means "accuser" or "slanderer." Not only does Satan ("adversary"), oppose God and His plan, but he is the originator and instigator of sin and rebellion against God and His law (verse 4).


Therefore, all the unsaved are under the diabolic influence of Satan. Their sinful lifestyle reflects their satanic origin. John contrasts the children of God with the children of Satan in terms of their actions. While those who are truly born again reflect the habit of righteousness, Satan's children practice sin.


"From the beginning": Since Satan was originally created as perfect and only later rebelled against God (Isa. 14:12-14; Ezek. 28:12-17), John probably means the moment of his rebellion against God, the beginning of his rebellious career.


Since sin characterizes him completely, so everyone characterized by sin must derive from him (John 8:44).


"For this purpose ... might destroy": A third reason why Christians cannot practice sin is because Christ came to destroy the works of the arch-sinner, Satan. The devil is still operating, but he has been defeated, and in Christ we escape his tyranny. The day will come when all of Satan's activity will cease in the universe and he will be sent to hell forever (Rev. 20:10).


"Works of the devil": This summarizes a variety of the devil's activities: sin, rebellion, temptation, ruling the world, persecution and accusation of saints, instigation of false teachers, and the power of death.


We have been bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus. We are servant of the Lord Jesus and His righteousness. Those who desire to continue in sin, do not belong to God, they belong to the devil.


1 John 3:9 "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."


The 4th reason why Christians cannot practice sin is because it is incompatible with the ministry of the Holy Spirit, who has imparted a new nature to the believer (John 3:5-8).


"Born of God": John wrote here of the new birth (John 3:7). When people become Christians, God makes them new creatures with new natures (2 Cor. 5:17). Believers have God's characteristics because they have been born into God's family.


This new nature exhibits the habitual character of righteousness produced by the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-24). John repeats this phrase twice for emphasis.


"His seed": The new birth involves the acquisition of a seed, which refers to the principle of life of God imparted to the believer at salvation's new birth. John uses this image of a planted seed to picture the divine element involved in being born again.


"Remaineth": The word conveys the idea of the permanence of the new birth which cannot be reversed, for those who are truly born again are permanently transformed into a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15; Eph. 2:10).


"He cannot sin": This phrase once again conveys the idea of habitual sinning (see verses 4 and 6).


John is not teaching sinless perfection (see 1:8, 10; 2:2). He speaks here of habitual practice of known sinful acts. The true believer's actions will conform to the character of his true father, either God or Satan. The person born of God will reflect this in his behavior.


This does not mean that it is impossible for you to commit a sin. It means it is not your nature to sin, when you have been born again in the spirit. When Christ takes up His dwelling place within you, the desire to sin is gone.


This is speaking of the new birth, when we bury the flesh man and raise the spirit man in Christ.


1 John 3:10 " 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."


This summary verse is the key to (verses 4-10). Only two kinds of children exist in the world: children of God and children of Satan. No one can belong to both families simultaneously. Either one belongs to God's family and exhibits His righteous character or one belongs to Satan's family and exhibits his sinful nature.


"He that loveth not his brother": This phrase introduces the readers to the second aspect of the moral test, i.e., the test of love (as in 2:7-11). John develops this thought through (verses 11-24). The false teachers not only had an erroneous view of Christ's nature and displayed disobedience to God's commands, but they also displayed a distinct lack of love for true believers, who rejected their heretical teaching.


For John, a mere "profession of faith" in Christ was insufficient if not accompanied by the outward marks of divine parentage. Further, he links love for other Christians closely with righteous living (see John 13:35).


The walk we take through life reveals to the world whether we belong to the devil, or to God. God created every one of us, and His desire was that we would all be His. He gave us a free will, however, and some chose to follow the devil, instead of God.


The fruit we bear reveals who we are. People who habitually sin are of the devil. Those who choose not to sin are of God. This does not mean that a Christian might not commit a single sin; it means that is not their way of life.



Verses 11-24: John elaborates on the love life of genuine believers. For those who are truly born again, love is an indispensable characteristic. The new nature of "seed" (verse 9), that God imparts not only exhibits holiness but also love as a habitual characteristic (John 13:35; Romans 5:5; 1 Thess. 4:9). Those who practice love give proof of the new birth and those who do not, have never been born again.


1 John 3:11 "For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another."


"From the beginning": Since the beginning of gospel proclamation, love has been a central theme of Christianity. John emphasizes what they heard "from the beginning" to emphasize that the false teachers were preventing that which God, through the apostles, proclaimed.


"We should love one another": This phrase highlights the habit of love displayed by those possessing the new nature.


Love is not merely an optional duty for someone claiming to be a Christian, but proof positive that one truly has been born again (John 15:12; 1 Peter 1:22-23).


It is one of the 2 things Jesus said covered all the law and prophets, to love others. Love of God and love of neighbors covers it all. We may not like what they are doing, but we must love them.



Verses 12-24: As noted throughout this epistle, John often repeated the same truth, expanding on them to allow his readers to hear them in new and fresh ways. Each time he presents the same truths in "new" packages, which expand on a particular aspect of their significance or approach the subject from a slightly different angle.


Verses 12-17: Address the characteristic lack of love displayed by the children of the devil, while (in verses 18-24), he talks about the characteristics of love displayed by the children of God.


1 John 3:12 "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."


"Cain": Scripture presents Cain outwardly as a God-worshiper who even offered sacrifice (Gen. 4:3-5). Cain's murderous actions, however, revealed that inwardly he was a child of the Devil (John 8:44).


"Who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother" (in verses 12-17), John presents the first of three behaviors of the devil's children manifesting their lack of love, murder, the ultimate expression of hate.


"His own works were evil": Cain's offering was not acceptable because he was sinful (Gen. 4:5). Jealousy was behind his hate and murder, as in the case of the religious leaders who had Christ executed.


See (Genesis 4:8). "Of that wicked one" refers to a child of the Devil (verse 10). Cain killed Abel because their conflicting allegiances (Cain to Satan, Abel's to God), were plain to see by their respective actions. John seems to be saying: "If even wicked Cain could see that a man's character is revealed ultimately, not in what he says he believes, but in what he does, should not Christians be able to see this as well?"


The two brothers, Cain and Abel, typify the two conditions of man. Abel pleased God, and Cain did not. We see the good and evil in the first two sons of Adam and Eve. One followed God, and the other lived for the flesh.


1 John Chapter 3 Questions


1. What are the Christians called in verse 1?


2. Why does the world know us not?


3. What does the word "bestowed" show us?


4. Jesus is the only begotten Son, we are sons by ____________.


5. When He shall appear, we shall be ________ _______.


6. We shall see Him as __ __.


7. What does the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians say about our body?


8. What are some of the things we do know about death?


9. What is the hope of the Christian?


10. Because we have this hope, what should we do?


11. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth the ______.


12. What law is this speaking of?


13. What is the law for the Christian?


14. Who was the Lamb without blemish?


15. What happened to our sin, if we are Christians?


16. What does "abideth" mean?


17. What name are the Christians called by in verse 7?


18. He that committeth sin is of the _______.


19. Whosoever is born of God doth not _________ ____.


20. How can the general public tell who is of God?


21. What is the message that we heard from the beginning?


22. Which of Adam's sons was evil?


23. What do the two sons of Adam typify?




1 John Chapter 3 Continued

1 John 3:13 "Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you."


"If the world hate you": History is filled with stories of the persecution of the saints by the world (Heb. 11:36-40). This does not surprise believers because hateful Satan is their father (verse 10).


Jesus warned His followers that they would be despised (John 15:18-25).


It is not a thing to be concerned about, if the world hates you, Christian. They hated Jesus (our Leader), and they will hate us also. The real reason they hate us, is because we remind them of the life they are living.


Their guilt comes before them more, when they are around those who are trying to live right. We are not of the world. We are a separated people. Christians are even spoken of as peculiar. This means peculiar to the world.



Verses 14-15: Death and life here symbolize unbelief and saving faith, respectively. A murderer (one whose heart is full of hate or even destructive apathy), can of course, be forgiven of such sin. But one who is truly forgiven will no longer abide in his murderous nature.


1 John 3:14 "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not [his] brother abideth in death."


"Pass from death unto life, because we love": Becoming a Christian is a resurrection from death to life, and a turning of hate to love (Gal. 5:6, 22). A lack of love indicates that one is spiritually dead. Love is the sure test of whether someone has experienced the new birth or is still in the darkness of spiritual death (2:9, 11).


"Abideth in death": Someone who is characterized by hate has never experienced the new birth.


One of the evident signs of being a Christian is the fact that we love other Christians. Hate and greed rule the worldly people. Love and sharing is of the Christian. Hate brings death. Love brings life.


1 John 3:15 "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him."


"Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer": John presents the second of three characteristics of the devil's children with respect to their lack of love. Hatred is spiritually the same as murder in the eyes of God, i.e., the attitude is equal to the act.


Hate is the seed that leads to murder, as seen in the example of the hatred of Cain for Abel that resulted in murder. Hate leads to murder, so if you do not carry the murder out in reality, you have already committed it in your heart.



Verses 16-17: The standard for our love is God's love in Christ, who died for us. Love that observes need, and does not act to minister to it, is no love at all. Bowels of compassion in modern English would be "heart," proceeding from our inward core of awareness and action.


1 John 3:16 "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."


"Hereby perceive we the love of God": With this phrase, John introduces the standard of love that is reflected in genuine Christianity. It becomes the measuring stick for every expression of love (see verse 18).


John presents the third characteristic of Satan's children in terms of their lack of love. Satan's children are marked by indifference toward others' needs (see also verses 12, 15).


"Perceive" goes beyond just seeing. It has with it an understanding. Greater love hath no man, than He lay down His life for His friends. Jesus gave it all, because of His great love for us. His love is God love, which none of us can quite live up to.


"He laid down his life for us": This expression is unique to John (John 10-11, 15, 17, 18; 13:37-38; 15:13), and speaks of divesting oneself of something. Christian love is self-sacrificing and giving. Christ's giving up His life for believers epitomized the true nature of Christian love (John 15:12-13; Phil. 2:5-8; 1 Peter 2:19-23).


"We ought to lay down our lives for the brethren": God calls Christians to that same standard of love for one another as He had for us (see verse 16a).


We can pattern our love after the example He left us. We must learn to love, not because of what we can get out of something, but despite what it might cost us. Unselfish love should be the character of all Christians.


1 John 3:17 "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?"


This is just saying, we should show our love by being compassionate to those who have a need. If someone is hungry, we should feed them. If someone is cold, we should clothe them. If they have no place to sleep, we should furnish them a bed. If we have the love of God within us, we will share with those who have need.


"But whoso hath this world's good ... have need": True love is not limited to supreme sacrifices (verse 16), but shows up in lesser ones. Genuine Christian love expresses itself in sacrificial giving to other Christians' needs (i.e., his brother"). It is a practical love that finds motivation in helping others (1 Tim. 6:17-19; Heb. 13:16; James 2:14-17).


Where it does not exist, it is questionable that God's love is present. If that is so, it is also questionable whether the person is the Lord's child (verse 14).


1 John 3:18 "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth."


"In word ... in tongue": In tongue refers to mere talk. Claiming to love is not enough. Love is not sentiment, but deeds.


Just talking about helping someone will not help them. We must reach in our pocket and help them, if we can. We must act out what we believe about helping others.


1 John 3:19 "And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him."


"Hereby we know that we are of the truth": A lifestyle of love in action is the demonstrable proof of salvation (see verse 16). John gives three benefits of love for the true Christian. The first benefit is assurance of salvation since love in action is the test of Christian profession (4:7; John 13:34-35).


Cain (in verse 12), was "of that wicked one"; believers are "of the truth. And hereby": John seems to be saying that assurance of salvation comes in part as one reaches out actively in caring for others (proceeding verses).


Truth and God are interchangeable here. We know we will have no regrets, if when we stand before God, we have acted out the faith that we say we have. Our heart will not condemn us, if we know we have done the best we can by everyone.


Verses 20-21: "For if our heart condemn us not": We have confidence toward God if our lives are in line with the standard of Christian living set forth above. John is not saying that whether a person is right or wrong is simply a matter of how he subjectively feels about himself.


That is why John has given so many indicators and commands for Christians to take, not of and assess themselves by. And one of the great results of a life lived in purity before God is a life where there is effective prayer. Right living is an important part of successful praying.


1 John 3:20 "For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things."


"For if our heart condemn us ... God is greater": God knows those who are truly His (2 Timothy 2:19) and wants to assure His own of their salvation. Although Christians may have insecurities and doubts about their salvation, God does not condemn them (Romans 8:1). Displaying love as a pattern of life is the proof that believers stand un-condemned before God.


In light of John's strict teaching above, he may have felt that some readers might begin to despair. He assures them that, although our feeble attempts to honor God may leave us feeling defeated inside, God is greater than our self-awareness (1 Cor. 4:4), and can justify us even when we would condemn ourselves. He sees not only our actions, which at times are thwarted or misguided, but also the motives and intentions behind them.


Sometimes we feel guilty about not helping someone when we really could not, and should not do it. Sometimes we blame ourselves when there should be no blame placed. We cannot, and should not, help everyone that asks. We should pray and ask God what to do. God knows much better than we do what was right.


1 John 3:21 "Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, [then] have we confidence toward God."


"Confidence toward God": Love vanishes self condemnation. When a Christian recognizes in his life the manifestation of love in deeds and actions, it results in confidence about his relationship with God.


This is just saying, we have a clear conscience. The very thing that was never settled, when a person sacrificed for sin in the Old Testament, was that their conscience was never clear. The sin was covered, not done away with.


Jesus abolished our sin, and gave us a clear conscience. If we know in our heart that we have done the right thing, then we can stand before Jesus on judgment day with a clear conscience.


1 John 3:22 "And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight."


The second benefit of love is answered prayer (see verse 19). Since love is the heart of obedience to the law (Matt. 22:37-40; Romans 13:8-10), its presence in a life evidences submission to God which He blesses by answered prayers.


The Scripture above and the following Scripture, lets us know, if we are right with God. He is listening for our prayer and will answer it.


James 5:16 "Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."


We are His children, and He will grant us the desires of our heart.


Psalms 37:4 "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."


Here is just one more promise to those who belong to Jesus.


John 15:7 "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."


To be in right standing with God brings answers to our prayers.



Verses 23-24: These verses again repeat the three features of this epistle, believing, loving, and obeying, which are the major evidences of true salvation. The third benefit of love is the abiding presence and empowering of the Holy Spirit.


1 John 3:23 "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."


John has already set forth the importance of true faith in Christ and true love for others. Now he combines the two.


Look with me, in the following Scriptures, and see what believing will get you.


Romans 10:9-10 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."


Everyone who is a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ has been given permission to use His name to pray to the Father. Notice this type of praying in the following verses.


John 14:12-13 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."


John 14:14 "If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do [it]."


1 John 3:24 "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."


"Dwelleth in him": See Christ's words about "abiding" (in John 15:7) below. "He in him" refers to Christ in the believer. The Spirit gives internal assurance to corroborate the external testimony of true faith, active love, and consistent obedience.


Look with me, at the grouping of Scriptures which says this so well.


John 14:23 "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him."


John 15:7 "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."


John 14:16-17 "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;" "[Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."


1 John Chapter 3 Continued Questions


1. Marvel not, if the world ________ _____.


2. Why do they hate us?


3. Why do we know we have turned from death to life?


4. He that loveth not his brother, abideth in ________.


5. Hate and greed rule the _____________ people.


6. Love brings _______.


7. Whosoever hateth his brother is a ___________.


8. What does "perceive" mean?


9. Greater love hath no man, than that He lay down His life for ______ ___________.


10. ____________ love should be the character of all Christians.


11. If someone is hungry, we should _________ _______.


12. Let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in _______ and in _________.


13. What do you think it means?


14. Verse 21 is just saying, we have a clear _____________.


15. Why do we receive whatever we ask of Him?


16. What is His commandment to us?


17. What name must we use to pray and get results?


18. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will ______ __.


19. Who is the Comforter?





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1 John 4



1 John Chapter 4

1 John 4:1 "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."


"Believe not every spirit": The mention of the Holy Spirit (in 3:24), prompts John to inform his readers that other spirits exist, i.e., demonic spirits. Who produce false prophets and false teachers to propagate their false doctrines.


Christians are to have a healthy skepticism regarding any teaching, unlike some among Johns congregations who were too open minded to anyone claiming a new teaching regarding the faith. Christians are to be like the Bereans who, as students of the Word, examined the Scriptures to determine truth and error (Acts 17:10-12).


"Try" or test is a metallurgist's term used for assaying metals to determine their purity and value. Christians must test any teaching with a view to approving or disapproving it rigorously comparing any teaching to the Scripture.


"The spirits ... false prophets": By juxtaposing "spirits" with "false prophets" John reminds his readers that behind human teachers who propagate false doctrine and error are demons inspired by Satan. Human false prophets and teachers are the physical expressions of demonic, spiritual sources (Matt. 7:15; Mark 13:22).


"Beloved" of course, is speaking to Christians then and now. There has never been a time in history when there were more strange doctrines being taught than right now. It is the obligation of believers to determine for themselves, whether the message being taught is of God or not.


The only way for us to be qualified to judge the message is to know the Bible. We must search the Scriptures diligently to know the truth. The devil is a counterfeit. The false messages being brought forth are very close to truth. They just change a word here and there, and change the meaning.


One of the most recent tricks being brought forth by the devil in the church, is a watering down of Jesus to where He is not God. Another terrible teaching that is making the rounds is that Jesus did not become God, until He rose from the grave. This is blasphemy.


Jesus was the Word of God in heaven. He was there from the beginning. He is the Eternal One. He is Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. He is Eternal God the Word. To teach that the devil, or his demons, ever had any control over Jesus is also a lie. Jesus was not forced to die on the cross. He gave His life willingly.


His flesh was the only thing that died on the cross. From the cross, He (Jesus), dismissed His Spirit from His body, and commanded it to go to the Father. Jesus was Eternal Spirit in the body of flesh. Anyone who believes Jesus to be less than God is teaching a false doctrine.


1 John 4:2 "Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:"


"Hereby know ye the Spirit of God": John gives a measuring stick to determine whether the propagator of the message is a demon spirit or the Holy Spirit.


"Jesus Christ is come in the flesh": This is the first test of a true teacher: they acknowledge and proclaim that Jesus is God incarnate in human flesh. The Greek construction does not mean that they confess Christ as having come to earth, but that they confess that He came in the flesh to the earth, i.e., His human body was physically real.


Both the full humanity and full deity of Jesus must be equally maintained by the teacher who is to be considered genuinely of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit testifies to the true nature of the Son, while Satan and his forces distort and deny that true nature. John accentuates the crucial importance of sound doctrine expressed in God's Word as the only absolute and trustworthy standard (Isaiah 8:20).


To confess Jesus as the Christ (Messiah), the Anointed One, is to have Him as your Savior. This, to me, is saying, we must believe that the Word of God took on the form of flesh and dwelt among us. He was not a man; He was just housed in the body of a man here on the earth.


Inside that flesh, dwelt the Spirit of God. He was Immanuel (God with us). Notice also, that people like you and me are spirits, as well. The part of us that contains life is our spirit. God had made a clay doll in the beginning from the dust of the earth. We were mere vacant houses of flesh. God breathed the breath of life in us, and we were alive.


He then gave us the ability to choose good and evil when He made us living souls. We must know who Jesus is, before we can have faith in Him for salvation. Man's blood (or an animal's blood), cannot cleanse you from all unrighteousness. The blood of God cleanses us from our sins.


The blood of a child comes from the Father. God the Holy Spirit hovered over Mary, and she conceived of God. Mary furnished the body. It was not Mary's blood that flowed through that body, but God's. We must believe Jesus to be God manifest in the flesh to be saved.


1 John 4:3 "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."


"That spirit of antichrist": These false teachers who denied the true nature of the Son are to be identified among the antichrists (in 2:28-29; 2 John 7). The same demonic deception that will work to produce the final world ruler who rules as the false Christ is always actively seeking to distort Jesus Christ's true nature, perverting the gospel.


The final Antichrist will not be something new, but will be the ultimate embodiment of all the antichrist spirits that have perverted truth and propagated satanic lies since the beginning. This is similar to (2 Thess. 2:3-8), where the man of lawlessness (Antichrist), is still to be revealed, but the mystery of lawlessness is already at work.


The terrible thing is that many churches teach that Jesus was nothing more than a man when He walked on the earth. You can easily see this is a dangerous message to bring. We cannot think of Jesus as just another man. He is divine in nature.


The divinity of Christ has been a question for years. That is what separates the true believers from those who would be against Christ. The true believers believe Jesus was God manifest in the flesh. Even to believe He became God at resurrection, would be classified as those opposed to God.


Philippians 2:10 "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;"


This alone, makes you know He is deity.


1 John 4:4 "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."


"Greater is he that is in you": Believers need to be aware and alert to false teaching, but not afraid, since those who have experienced the new birth with its indwelling of the Holy Spirit have a built-in check against false teaching (2:20, 27). The Holy Spirit leads into sound doctrine for genuine Christians, evidencing that salvation has actually occurred (Romans 8:17).


True believers have nothing to fear, for even Satan hosts with their perversions can't take them out of the Lord's hand. Here (as in 2:18-27), protection against error or victory over it are guaranteed by sound doctrine and the indwelling Holy Spirit who illumines the mind.


John is writing this to true Christians (children of God). The He that is in us is Christ.


Galatians 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."


With Christ in me, I can do all things. It is Christ in me that overcomes the enemy.


Verses 5-6: "Therefore speak they of the world ... the world heareth them: John gives the second test of a true teacher; they speak God's word, following apostolic doctrine.


1 John 4:5 "They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them."


The "they" spoken of here, are those who follow after the flesh. They are caught up in the world. They have no hope, because they base everything they believe on what they can see with their eyes. They have eyes to see, and they do not see, and ears to hear, and they hear not. They place their faith in this world and its trappings.


1 John 4:6 "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."


"Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error": The Old Testament and New Testament are the sole standards by which all teaching is to be tested. In contrast, demonically inspired teachers either reject the teaching of God's word or all elements to it (2 Cor. 4:2; Rev. 22:18-19).


Christians will receive this message that John and the other true apostles are bringing. Christians have ears to hear, and they hear.


Verses 7-21: True to his pattern to develop the same subjects, each time broadening, expanding, and enhancing their significance, John returns once again to the moral test of love. These verses constitute one long unit describing what perfect love is and that it is available to men. In John's third and last discussion of love in this letter (see also 2:7-11; 3:10-14), he gives 5 reasons why Christians love.


1 John 4:7 "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God."


"Let us love one another": This phrase (in verse 7), is the key to the entire section (see verse 21). The original conveys the idea of making sure that love is a habitual practice. He has already written that those who are truly born again do exhibit the characteristic habit of love (2:10-11; 3:14).


"Every one that loveth is born of God": Those who are born again receive God's nature (2 Peter 1:4). Since God's nature exhibits love as a chief characteristic (see also verse 8), God's children will also reflect that love.


Since the importance of love is the subject here, He says beloved. We Christians are the beloved of God. One of the main things that separate the Christians from the world is the great love that we have for our brothers and sisters in Christ. God not only loves, but is love itself. When we are born of God, we are born of His love.


To explain the love of God for us would be like trying to explain life itself. The word "loveth" means continues to love. One of the great things I believe about the United States is the fact that we are concerned about the problems of people of every race. When there is famine, we try to help. When there is a devastating earthquake, we try to help.


We are a loving caring nation. That makes me believe there is still hope for our nation to come back to God, and be the Christian nation we started out to be.


In (verses 7-8), we are told that love is from God and that God is love. John introduces the reader to the first of 5 reasons why Christians love: because God is the essence of love. The Gnostics believed that God was immaterial spirit and light, but never defined the source of love as coming from His in-most being. As He is spirit (John 4:24), light (1:5), and a consuming fire (Heb. 12:29), so He is love. Love is inherent in all He is and does. Even His judgment and wrath are perfectly harmonized with His love.


1 John 4:8 "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."


"He that loveth not knoweth not God": Someone may profess to be a Christian but only those who display love like their heavenly Father actually possess His divine nature and are truly born again.


When you find a person filled with hate, you know that he, or she, has never experienced that great unselfish love that God has for each of us. There is a need in every person to be loved. Some have never realized that anyone loves them. When you find a person in this condition, if you can make them understand that God loves them, they will change.


1 John 4:9 "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."


John introduces the reader to the second of 5 reasons why Christians love to follow the supreme example of God's sacrificial love in sending His Son for us. The judgment of sin on the cross was the supreme example of God's love, for He poured out His wrath on His beloved Son in place of sinners (John 3:14-16; Romans 5:8; 2 Cor. 5:21; Eph. 5:1-2).


"Only begotten": Over half of the New Testament's uses of this term are by John (e.g. John 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18). John always uses it of Christ to picture His unique relationship to the Father, His pre-existence, and His distinctness from creation.


The term emphasizes the uniqueness of Christ, as the only one of His kind. It was He whom the Father sent into the world as the greatest gift ever given (John 17:3; 2 Cor. 8:9), so that we might have life eternal (John 3:14-15; 12:24).


God loved all of mankind, one at a time from the very beginning. If He did not, why would He have bothered to create us in the first place? The greatest love ever shown was the love of God for us, when He sent His only begotten Son to save us from our sin and from ourselves. Truly our life is hidden in Jesus. Jesus is eternal Life.


If we have Jesus, we have eternal Life.


1 John 4:10 "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins."


"Propitiation", in this verse means appeasement or satisfaction. An atoning sacrifice that Jesus bore in His body for the punishment due us for our sin; in so doing He propitiated God, satisfied God's just demand that sin be punished."


"Propitiation for our sins": Hebrews 9:5 translates a form of this word as "the mercy seat." Christ literally became our mercy seat like the one in the Holy of Holies, where the High Priest splattered the blood of the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:5). Christ did this when His blood, spilled on behalf of others, satisfied the demands of God's holy justice and wrath against sin.


The strangest and most wonderful part of this is that, He loved us when we were totally unlovable. We were yet in sin, when God sent His Son to save us. He did not wait until we had cleaned up our lives to save us. He saved us, and then helped us clean up our lives. We not only did not love God, we did not know that He loved us.


Propitiation, in this verse, means atonement. In other words, He paid the penalty for our sins in full. We have no debt to pay. Our bill is marked paid in full. The great love of God for man is made real to us in this.


1 John 4:11 "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."


God's sending His Son gives Christians not only salvation privilege, but obligation to follow this pattern of sacrificial love. Christians love must be self-sacrificing like God's love.


God taught us by example the unselfish love that we need to have for each other. If the world today needs one thing, it is love. Take the time to hug someone and say you love them today. Let the love that God has showed you shine through you and make someone else's life a little brighter.


Do not confuse love with lust. When you hug someone, make sure it is love, and not lust, you are feeling.


1 John 4:12 "No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us."


John introduces the reader to the third of 5 reasons why Christians love: because love is the heart of Christian witness. Nobody can see God loving since His love is invisible. Jesus no longer is in the world to manifest the love of God.


The only demonstration of God's love in the age is the church. That testimony is critical (John 13:35; 2 Col 5:18-20). Johns argument (in verses 7-12), can be summed up as: love originated in God, was manifested in His Son and demonstrated in His people.


We know that no one can look upon the face of God and live. Moses came the closest, when he saw the back side of God as He passed by. We see God by looking at Jesus, who is the image of the Father.


Jesus told the disciples, if they had seen Him, they had seen the Father. This just meant that the Spirit of God dwelled within Him. Jesus was the manifestation of the Godhead on the earth. When we are full of God's love, we are full of Jesus. The more "full" of Jesus we are, the more love we have for others.


Verses 13-16: John introduces the reader to the fourth of 5 reasons why Christians love: because love is the Christian's assurance.


1 John 4:13 "Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit."


When Jesus went to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father, He promised to send the Holy Spirit to dwell within each of us. The fact that we have the Spirit within us, tells us that He has never left us.


Romans 8:9 "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."


1 John 4:14 "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son [to be] the Savior of the world."


The purpose of the presence of God in the form of flesh on the earth was for the salvation of all mankind. Jesus, who was the Word of God in heaven, took on the form of flesh as the Son of God to save us. He took on the name Jesus, because it means Savior. He is our Savior and our Lord.


1 John 4:15 "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God."


This refers to the doctrinal test (verses 1-6; 1:1-4; 2:23).


I have used them so much that I will not quote them here, but the greatest verification of this Scripture (is in Romans 10:9-10). Another wonderful Scripture on this is:


Matthew 10:32 "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven."


This is in the very words of Jesus Himself. There is no question, when we confess. Confess is to tell a truth. We know in our heart, and confess with our mouth as verification that we are full of Jesus.


1 John 4:16 "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."


Our families and friends may turn against us, but we know that God loves us. We need never be lonely or blue; we have the love of God filling us. This is not just an occasional love, but a love that is forever.


If we are filled with God's love to this extent, it should spring forth from us to others we are in contact with. There is such a peace and comfort that comes, knowing that God's love is always there.


Verses 17-20: John introduces the reader to the fifth reason why Christians love: Because love is the Christian's confidence in judgment.


1 John 4:17 "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."


"Our love made perfect": He is not suggesting sinless perfection, but rather mature love marked by confidence in the face of judgment. Confidence is a sign that love is mature.


"As he is, so are we": Jesus was God's Son in whom He was well pleased on earth; we also are God's children (3:11), and the objects of His gracious goodness. If Jesus called God Father, so may we, since we are accepted in the Beloved (Eph. 1:6).


In (verse 18), the same truth is stated negatively. The love that builds confidence also banishes fears. We love God and reverence Him, but we do not love God and come to Him in love, and at the same time, hide from Him in terror (Rom. 8:14-15; 2 Tim. 1:7). Fear involves torment or punishment, a reality the sons of God will never experience, because they are forgiven.


To know this love gives us perfect confidence to stand before the Judge of the world on judgment day. Perfect love knows no fear. Fear is the opposite of faith. When this love and faith becomes more and more, we become more like Jesus every day. The world will be able to see Jesus in us, when this happens.


1 John 4:18 "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."


It is impossible to please God, if we fear. Fear is of the devil. Faith is of God. When we are overwhelmed by the love of God for us and our love for God, there is no place for fear. If God loves us, He will take care of us. We have nothing to fear.


Those who are overcome with fear, have not experienced that perfect peace that comes from the perfection of our love for God and His love for us.


1 John 4:19 "We love him, because he first loved us."


He taught us how to love when He showed us by example. He loved us, and showed us how to love Him.


1 John 4:20 "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?"


When I see this Scripture, I remember what Jesus said "Inasmuch as ye have done it for the least of these, ye have done it unto me". We cannot express our love for God directly, except in praise. We cannot buy dinner for Jesus. We can, however, buy dinner for someone who is hungry in the name of Jesus.


To express our love for God, we must express it through His children. When we love our brothers on the earth, we are in turn loving Jesus who made them.


1 John 4:21 "And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also."


This verse summarizes (chapter 4). One cannot love God without first loving his fellow believer. A claim to love God is a delusion if not accompanied by unselfish love for other Christian's.


When we are filled with the love of God, it proceeds from us. Whoever we are near gets the blessings of that overflowing love. Love and hate are opposites and cannot dwell in the same place. It is impossible to hate, when we are consumed with God's love. We love all of God's creation, and that includes the brothers.


1 John Chapter 4 Questions


1. Beloved, believe not every _________.


2. Try the spirits whether they are of _________.


3. Why should we do this?


4. Who are the "beloved" in verse 1?


5. Who is the obligation on to determine whether the message is of God, or not?


6. What makes us qualified to judge the message?


7. What are some of the names that let us know the eternity of Jesus?


8. What about Jesus, died on the cross?


9. Jesus was Eternal __________ in the _______ of flesh.


10. What are some other names for Christ?


11. What name makes us know He was God with us?


12. Whose blood flowed through Jesus' body?


13. What is the spirit that denies Christ called?


14. What is the nature of Jesus?


15. What are the Christians called in verse 4?


16. What do the people of the world believe?


17. Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of ______.


18. God is ______.


19. How was God's love manifested to mankind?


20. Do not confuse love with ________.


21. ___ _____ hath seen God at any time.


22. The Father sent the Son to be the ___________ of the world.


23. What does the name Jesus mean?


24. What gives us perfect confidence on judgment day?


25. There is no _________ in love.


26. What is the opposite of fear?


27. Why do we love Him?


28. If a man says that he loves God and hates his brother, he is a _______.


29. It is impossible to hate, when we are consumed with God's _______.





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1 John 5



1 John Chapter 5

Verses 1-5: John introduces the subject of the victorious life. While the bible uses many terms to describe what Christians are (e.g., believers, friends, brothers, sheep, saints, soldiers, witnesses, etc.), John highlights one particular term in this chapter: the overcomer. Of the 24 times the word occurs in the New Testament, John uses it 21 times. Several different forms of this term appear in these verses to emphasize the victorious nature of the believer.


1 John 5:1 "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."


Whosoever believeth": Saving faith is the first characteristic of an overcomer. The term "believes", conveys the idea of continuing faith, making the point that the mark of genuine believers is that they continue in faith throughout their life. Saving belief is not simply intellectual acceptance, but whole hearted dedication to Jesus Christ that is permanent.


"Jesus is the Christ": The object of the believer's faith is Jesus, particularly that He is the promised Messiah or "Anointed One", whom God sent to be the Savior from sin. Whoever places faith in Jesus Christ as the only Savior has been born again and thus, is an overcomer (verse 5).


"Born of God": This is a reference to the new birth and is the same word that Jesus used (in John 3:7). The tense of the Greek verb indicates that ongoing faith is the result of the new birth and therefore, the evidence of the new birth. The sons of God will manifest the reality that they have been born again by continuing to believe in God's Son, the Savior. The new birth brings us into a permanent faith relationship with God and Christ.


"Every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him": Love is the second characteristic of the overcomer. The overcomer not only believes in God, but loves both God and fellow believers. The moral test is again in view.


To truly believe in Jesus, brings new birth in Him. To be filled with Jesus is also, to be filled with His love. To have this special kind of God love dwelling within you would cause you to love all of God's creation. If we truly love God in our hearts and are filled with Him, then we love all of our brothers in Christ.


Verses 2-3: "Keep his commandments": John repeats this phrase twice in these two verses. Obedience is the third characteristic of an overcomer. In these 5 verses, John weaves faith, love and obedience all together inextricably. They exist mutually in a dynamic relationship i.e., as the genuine proof of love is obedience, so the genuine proof of faith is love. The word "keep" conveys the idea of constant obedience (John 8:31-32; 14:15, 21; 15:10).


1 John 5:2 "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments."


Look with me, at some Scriptures that Jesus spoke Himself about this very thing.


John 13:34-35 "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." "By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."


The completeness of the commandments that Jesus gave to all of us was caught up in the one word, love. He said love God first, and then love your neighbor as yourself. His commandment is love.


1 John 5:3 "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous."


"His commandments are not grievous": For example, in contrast to the burdensome man-made religious traditions of the Jewish leaders (Matt. 23:4), the yoke of Jesus is easy and the burden light (Matt. 11:30).


There is perfect peace and rest in the Lord, when we keep His commandments. There is no fear, when there is perfect faith.


Matthew 11:28-30 "Come unto me, all [ye] that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." "For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light."


2 John 1:6 "And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it."


Verses 4-5: "The world": Satan's worldwide system of deception and wickedness. Through Christ and His provision of salvation, the believer is a victor (verse 5), over the invisible system of demonic and human evil that Satan operates to capture men's souls for hell. John repeats the reference to overcoming the world 3 times, to press it home.


"Our faith ... he that believeth": Faith in Jesus Christ and dedication of one's life to Him make one an overcomer. John repeats the truth for emphasis.


1 John 5:4 "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, [even] our faith."


"Overcometh": John clearly defines who these overcomers are; they are all who believe that Jesus is God's Son, and all that means. The overcomers are believers, all of them (2:13). The word for "overcomes" or overcomer" comes from a Greek word meaning "to conquer," or "to have victory,"or "to have superiority" or "conquering power." The word reflects a genuine superiority that leads to over-whelming success.


The victory is demonstrable; it involves over throwing an enemy so that the victory is seen by all. Jesus also used this word to describe Himself (John 16:33). Because of believers' union with Christ, they too partake in His victory (Rom. 8:37; 2 Cor. 2:14). The word "overcomes" in the original language conveys the idea that the believer has continual victory over the world.


We know that without faith, it is impossible to please God. Look with me, at the definition of what faith is.


Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."


We live in a "show me" generation. To please God, we must believe in our heart in the love of God, which we cannot see with our physical eye. The love of God, even though we cannot see it with our physical eye, is more real than anything else.


Our very life is determined by believing in salvation through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When we bury our flesh in water baptism, and rise to new life in Jesus, we have been born of the Spirit. We are no longer flesh, but spirit.


The victory over this world is when the world becomes unimportant in our life, and we are living to the day when we can go home to heaven and be with Jesus. Christians are in this world, but not of this world. We are dead to fleshly desires of this world, and are putting our faith and trust in Jesus.


1 John 5:5 "Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?"


Jesus defeated Satan on the cross. He defeated sin, as well. If I have received Jesus, then Jesus in me has overcome the world and Satan. I am no longer in a battle against Satan. I am living in the victory of Jesus.


Verses 6-12: The terms "testified" and testimony" are the themes of this section. The passage concerns the witness or testimony of God and the Spirit to the world regarding the great truth of the deity of Jesus Christ.


The previous passage (5:1-5), described overcomers as those who believed in Jesus as Lord and Savior. And here John presents God's own testimony to confirm that Jesus is the Christ (John 5:31-37; 8:13-18). He gives two kinds of testimony: external (verses 6-9), and internal (verses 10-12).


1 John 5:6 "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."


"Water and blood": water and the blood constitute external, objective witnesses to who Jesus Christ is. They refer to Jesus' baptism (water), and death (blood). John combats the dualism of false teachers who asserted that the "Christ-spirit" departed from the man Jesus just prior to His death on the cross. John writes to show that God has given testimony to the deity of Jesus through both His baptism and death.


"Beareth witness" or testifies. Both the verb "testifies" and the noun "testimony", come from the same Greek word and are used a total of 9 times in this section. The basic meaning is "someone who has personal and immediate knowledge of something."


This water and blood include all that is necessary to our salvation. By the water, our souls are washed and purified for heaven and the habitation of saints in light. By the blood, we are justified, reconciled, and presented righteous to God. By the blood, the curse of the law being satisfied, the purifying Spirit is obtained for the internal cleansing of our natures. The water, as well as the blood, came out of the side of the sacrificed Redeemer. He loved the church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word; that he might present it to himself a glorious church (Eph. 5:25-27).


John 19:34 "But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water."


Water also, symbolizes the Word of God. The blood seals the covenant. The Spirit bearing witness is the Holy Spirit. We could also look at the Way, Truth, and Life. These are symbolized also by the water, Spirit, and blood.


1 John 5:7 "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."


"Three that bear record": The Old Testament Law required "the evidence of two or three witnesses:" to establish the truth of a matter (Deut. 17:6; 19:15; John 8:17-18; 1 Timothy 5:19).


The fact that they are One is in the Spirit. They are of one mind and accord. The manifestations of that One Spirit are Father, Word, and Holy Ghost. The name of Jesus, in heaven was the Word of God. The Father is like the great Architect. The Word is creator God. The Holy Ghost functions as Teacher and Guide.


Each has a purpose. All are God. Each is co-equal with the other. When you see Elohim, or El, for the name of God, it is speaking of the plurality of God. Jesus means Jehovah Savior. Many times, when you see Lord, it means Jehovah.


When you see LORD, it means El, or Elohim. This Scripture above has puzzled people through the ages, but I believe that we should look more from the spiritual standpoint to understand what it is saying. Jesus said He and the Father were One, but at His baptism all three were present. Jesus was being baptized, the Father was the voice that came from heaven and said this is my beloved Son. The Holy Ghost was symbolized by the dove that lit on Jesus. I would not get into an argument over their oneness except to say, I believe they are one in the Spirit, as we are one with Jesus in the Spirit when we believe. We look at an egg and we say, behold an egg. Really that egg consists of shell, white and yellow, but they all three are an egg. It is difficult to separate the Father, Word and Holy Ghost, other than their purpose. Believe completely in your heart, and you will not go too far wrong.


1 John 5:8 "And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one."


"The Spirit, and the water and the blood": At the baptism of Jesus, the Father and the Spirit testified to the Son (see Matthew 3:16-17). The death of Jesus Christ also witnessed to who He was (Matthew 27:54; Heb. 9:14). The Holy Spirit testified throughout Jesus' life as to His identity (Mark 1:2; Luke 1:35; Acts 10:38).


We see three totally different things which are of the same purpose. Notice, the unity is in their agreement. All three are necessary to be Christians. Each has its separate function, however. Jesus did not just come by water, but by blood, as well. The Spirit, here, is speaking of the Holy Spirit, or the Spirit of the risen Christ.


1 John 5:9 "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."


Man's witness is in part, because of the limited knowledge he has. The witness of God is in power and operating with full knowledge. The witness of God was when the voice came from heaven and called Jesus His Son. This happened at the baptism of Jesus, and again, at the transfiguration.


Men can speak all kind of glowing reports of things Jesus has done, but when the voice comes from heaven and calls Jesus Son, it leaves no doubt who He is. Jesus is actually man's only contact with the reality of God. He represents God to mankind and mankind to God the Father.


1 John 5:10 "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."


"Hath the witness in himself": John writes of the internal subjective witness to the Son within the believer's heart (Rom. 8:15-16; Gal. 4:6).


"Hath made him a liar": If someone refuses the testimony of God regarding His Son, such rejection is the ultimate form of blasphemy for it is tantamount to calling God a liar (Titus 1:2; Heb. 6:18).


God said that Jesus was His Son when the voice came from heaven. To deny this witness, would be to deny God altogether. It would be as if we were calling Him a liar. When we believe in Jesus, the witness becomes alive within us. The witness within us is a knowing that Jesus is the Son of God, as the Father said from heaven.


Verses 11-12: This summarizes the blessing of the believer's subjective witness, the very life that we possess in Christ expressed in the grace and power He provides all the time. It is the very experience of knowing Christ in one's life. Life is only in Him, so it is impossible to have it without Him.


1 John 5:11 "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son."


This does not mean that we will inherit eternal life sometime in the future, but that it is ours now. Jesus is Eternal Life. To have Jesus, means you possess eternal life. This Life, spoken of here, is in Jesus.


John 1:4 "In him was life; and the life was the light of men."


Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."


Colossians 3:4 "When Christ, [who is] our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory."


1 John 5:12 "He that hath the Son hath life; [and] he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."


Jesus is Life, as we read earlier in this series of lessons. To have Jesus means we have life everlasting.


Hebrews 3:14 "For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;"


Colossians 3:3 "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God."


To deny Jesus brings death.


Verses 13-21: John concludes his letter with a discussion regarding 5 Christian certainties that constitute a powerful climax to the entire epistle. He accentuates their certainly by using the word "know" seven times in this section.


1 John 5:13 "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."


"These things": This has reference to all that John has written in his letter.


"That ye may know that ye have eternal life": Assurance of eternal life constitutes the first Christian certainty. While John wrote his gospel to bring unbelievers to faith (John 20:31), he wrote the epistle to give believers confidence that they possessed eternal life. The false brethren's departure left John's congregation shaken (2:19).


He assured those who remained that since they adhered to the fundamentals of the faith (a proper view of Christ, obedience, love), their salvation was sure.


"Eternal life": This does not refer primarily to a period of time, but a person (verse 20; John 17:3). Eternal life is a relationship with the person of Jesus Christ and possessing His nature (as in verses 11-12).


The name of the Son of God, of course, is Jesus. There is power in that name.


John 1:12 "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:"


John 20:31 "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name."


The name Jesus means Savior. To believe on the name Jesus means you believe there is salvation in the name.


Verses 14-17: Answered prayer is the second Christian certainly.


1 John 5:14 "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:"


"Confidence": Christians can know with absolute confidence that God answers prayer when they approach the throne of grace (Heb. 4:16).


"According to his will": This phrase constitutes a strategic key to answered prayer. To pray according to God's will is to pray in accord with what He would want, not what we would desire or insist that He do for us (John 14:13-14).


John already specified that answered prayer also depends on obedience to God's commandments and avoidance of sin (3:21; Psalm 66:18; John 15:7; 1 Peter 3:7). Since genuine believers know God's Word (i.e., His will), and practice those things that are pleasing to Him, they never insist on their own will, but supremely seek God's desires (Matthew 26:39-42).


"He heareth us": The word "heareth" signifies that God always hears the prayers of His children (Psalm 34:15-17), but not always in the manner they were presented.


When we have confidence in Him, it means that we know He will do what He has promised. My favorite Scriptures pertaining to this are (John 14 beginning with the 12th verse). We need to look at the following Scripture to see that everything we pray for may not happen, and the reason it won't happen.


James 4:3 "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume [it] upon your lusts."


When we pray, we must pray for the things that are beneficial. Be careful what you pray for, you might get it. Prayer has great power when coupled with faith. The power of prayer is in the name of Jesus.


1 John 5:15 "And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."


To know means that we have faith in it happening. It is very important to believe that you receive the thing you are praying for. It is your faith that is the key to getting prayers answered.


Mark 11:24 "Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive [them], and ye shall have [them]."


When Jesus healed the sick, He said; your faith has made you whole.


Verses 16-17: John illustrates praying according to God's will with the specific example of the "sin leading to death." Such a sin could be any premeditated and unconfessed sin that causes the Lord to determine to end a believer's life. It is not one particular sin like homosexuality or lying, but whatever sin is the final one in the tolerance of God.


Failure to repent of and forsake sin may eventually lead to physical death as a judgment of God (Acts 5:1-11; 1 Cor. 5:5; 11:30). No intercessory prayer will be effective for those who have committed such deliberate high handed sin, i.e., God's discipline with physical death is inevitable in such cases as He seeks to preserve the purity of His church.


The contrast to the phrase "sin leading to death" with "sin not leading to death", signifies that the writer distinguishes between sins that may lead to physical death and those that do not. That is not to identify a certain kind of mortal or non-mortal sin, but to say not all sins are so judged by God.


1 John 5:16 "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."


The sin here, I believe is when a man totally rejects the salvation in the Lord Jesus. God will not overrule the will of the person being prayed for. The prayer of intercession is a powerful prayer. It is an unselfish prayer for others.


It is in the will of God to save all of mankind. The unselfish prayer, prayed by someone who firmly believes, will be answered, if the person being prayed for has not totally turned against God.


In the book of James, we read:


James 5:14-15 "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:" "And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him."


We see from this, that it is correct to pray for the sins of others to be forgiven. The only time this would not be answered, would be if the person had totally rejected salvation in Jesus Christ. You cannot give a person something that they will not take.


1 John 5:17 "All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death."


We see in the following Scripture in Jesus' own words that sins will be forgiven. The only one that will not, is the sin against the Holy Ghost, which I believe is dying not believing in Jesus Christ.


Matthew 12:31 "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy [against] the [Holy] Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men."


1 John 5:18 "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."


The "we" in the verse above is John and all believers in Christ. To be born of God means that we are a new creature in Christ. Christ is sinless. If we are allowing Christ to live in us and through us, we will be free of sin, as well.


Victory over sin and Satan is the third Christian certainty (3:9; Rom. 6:15-22).


"Keepeth himself": This refers to the fact that God protects the believer. Notice, there is an effort that we must make not to sin. When we are living with Christ in us, the blood of Jesus Christ keeps the enemy from us.


"Wicked one": This is a reference to Satan.


"Toucheth him not": John uses this word only here and (in John 20:17). The word suggests "to lay hold of" or "to grasp" in order to harm. Because the believer belongs to God, Satan must operate within God's sovereignty and cannot function beyond what God allows, as in the example of Job (Job 2:5; Romans 16:20).


While Satan may persecute, tempt, test and accuse the believer, God protects His children and places definite limits on Satan's influence or power (2:13; John 10:28; 17:12-15).


1 John 5:19 "[And] we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness."


"We are of God": That Christians belong to God is the fourth Christian certainty. Only two types of people exist in the world according to John: children of God and children of Satan. One belongs either to God or to the evil world system that is Satan's domain. Because the whole world belongs to Satan, Christians should avoid its contamination.


The Christian is to live a separated life away from the sin of the world. The world around us is more wicked today than it has ever been before in history. We must not get caught up in this sin that surrounds us.


1 John 5:20 "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."


"True": The word means "genuine" as opposed to what is false (verse 21).


"God, and eternal life": That Jesus Christ is the true God is the fifth Christian certainty. This verse constitutes the summation of John's whole letter. The greatest certainty of all, the incarnation, guarantees the certainty of the rest. This is the doctrinal foundation, out of which comes love and obedience.


Here again, we see the statement "we know". This leaves no doubt. We know Jesus is the Son of God. We have accepted that as fact. We know also, that eyes of understanding have been opened to the knowledge of the Son of God. The world has eyes to see, but they do not see.


We know the Word of God to be True. We know that eternal Life is in Jesus. We Christians, know what we believe and are eager to tell others who will believe. Jesus is speaking to believers in the next verse.


Matthew 13:11 "He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given."


2 Corinthians 4:6 "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."


I John 5:21 "Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen."


"Keep yourselves from idols": John contrasts the term "idols" with "the true God" (of verse 20). He has reference here to the false teachers who withdrew from the brotherhood with which they had been formerly associated (2:19). Their false beliefs and practices are the idols from which the readers are commanded to protect themselves.


The false teachers upheld the world's philosophy as superior to God's revelation as demonstrated in their perversion of basic Christian teaching (faith, love and obedience). In closing, John once again highlights the importance of adherence to the fundamentals of the faith.


We have mentioned before, that idols mean nothings. They are of no value at all.


2 Corinthians 6:16 "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."


1 John Chapter 5 Questions


1. Who is born of God in verse 1?


2. To be filled with Jesus is to be filled with His _______.


3. What was the new commandment Jesus gave in John 13:34-35?


4. My yoke is _______, and my burden is _________.


5. Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the ___________.


6. What is faith?


7. When do we know we have victory over this world?


8. Who is he that overcometh the world?


9. This is He that came by ________ and ________, even Jesus Christ.


10. What bears witness?


11. Water symbolizes the _______ of ______.


12. Who are the three that bear record in heaven?


13. How are they One?


14. What was the name of Jesus in heaven?


15. How does the name Elohim differ from the name Jehovah?


16. What did the dove at the baptism of Jesus symbolize?


17. What are the three that bear witness in the earth?


18. What is their unity in?


19. What is the greater witness?


20. Jesus is actually man's only contact with the __________ of God.


21. Life is in whom?


22. How do you know you have eternal life?


23. Is it right to pray for others sins to be forgiven? Explain.


24. All unrighteousness is ____.


25. What does the author believe to be the sin against the Holy Ghost?


26. To be born of God means what?


27. Little children, keep yourselves from ________.


28. What is the temple of God?





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