TODAY’S READING: I JOHN 1-5

 

OVERVIEW:

True Sonship confesses sin (chapter 1); true Sonship hates the world’s system (chapter 2); true Sonship purifies (chapter 3); true Sonship loves God and His children (chapter 4); true Sonship believes the Bible (chapter 5).

                     

HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:

There are three things every person on this planet wants: Peace with God, fullness of joy, and security for the future.  Interestingly enough, it is precisely those three things for which God said the Book of I John was written and included into the canon of Scripture. 

 

First of all, chapter 1 and verse 3 says, “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, THAT (or in other words, “FOR THIS PURPOSE”) ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.”  Peace with God is the result of our fellowship, or relationship with Him through the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Secondly, chapter 1 and verse 4 says, “And these things write we unto you, THAT (again, “FOR THIS PURPOSE”) your joy may be full,” which is actually the result of the first purpose (peace with God) and the third purpose (security for the future).

 

Thirdly, chapter 5 and verse 13 says, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; THAT (and there it is again, “FOR THIS PURPOSE”) ye may know that ye have eternal life.”  And this third reason is really the key to the other two, because you will never really experience the peace of God or peace with God, nor the fullness of joy, until you know that you know beyond any shadow of a doubt that you genuinely have been born again.  The Book of I John is in the Bible for that specific purpose!

 

Be it known, the Bible is very clear that every person that is genuinely born again is eternally secure.  The Book of Ephesians was written to teach us that as members of the body of Christ, upon our salvation, we were actually placed “IN CHRIST,” and then “SEALED with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest (i.e. downpayment, literally, “engagement ring”) of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1:13-14).  If you have genuinely been born again, there is no question about it, you are eternally secure.  The only question is, “Have you genuinely been born again?”

 

For the biblical proof of that, God never refers to “praying the prayer,” “walking the aisle,” “signing the card,” or anything even close.  If it were that easy, II Cor. 13:5 would not exhort us to “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.” God clearly tells us that we are to “examine ourselves” concerning whether or not we are genuinely saved.  God tells us in I John 5:13, that the criteria we are to use for that “examination” is the Book of I John.  The “THESE THINGS” that John said were “WRITTEN” to let us “KNOW” that we have “ETERNAL LIFE,” are specifically chapters 1,2,3,4 and 5 of the Book God was using him to write.  In fact, the word “know,” or some form of it, is found 27 times in this Book.

 

What the Book of I John actually does is present two simple tests to let us know that we (or anybody else for that matter) are genuinely saved.  There is a DOCTRINAL test, and a MORAL test. Basically, all John does throughout this entire Book is present and expound upon these two tests.

 

Let’s talk first of all, about the DOCTRINAL TEST.  The Doctrinal Test has two parts, or asks two questions:

1)What do you say about SIN?

Chapter 1 is clear that those who are truly born again are those who have confessed that they are sinners.  John adds, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and HIS WORD IS NOT IN US” (1:10)! In other words, we are not saved.

 

2)What do you say about CHRIST?

To be saved, God says that you must believe that “Jesus is the Christ” (2:22).  “The Christ” means “anointed.” The Hebrew word “anointed” is the word “Messiah.”  The Jews understood that Messiah (“the Christ”) would be God in a human body (Isa. 9:6 – “THE MIGHTY GOD”).  Believing Jesus Christ is God (not “A” God, or emanated from God, but “THE” God!) is a necessity in order to be saved (2:22-23).

 

In short, the DOCTRINAL TEST says that those who are saved are those who believe that God became a man in the Person of Jesus Christ because mankind was hopelessly separated from Him by their sin.  If you (or any other person, regardless of their “profession”) do not believe those two things, you cannot genuinely be saved.

 

So first of all, there is the DOCTRINAL TEST, which asks, “WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE?” And then there is the second test, the MORAL TEST, which asks, “HOW DO YOU BEHAVE? The Moral Test, likewise, has two parts:

 

1)The OBEDIENCE test.

This entire Book is screaming out that you can “KNOW” that you are genuinely saved by your OBEDIENCE.  John says that in chapter 2, verses 4-6, “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.  He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” Certainly, Christians do sin (2:1), but the predominant characteristic of their life is obedience.

 

2)The LOVE test.

And the Love Test has three parts.  John says that first of all, those who are genuinely saved will LOVE GOD.  Again, this is repeated in various ways throughout the Book, but is put very succinctly in 4:19, “We love him, because he first loved us.”  Secondly, John says that those who are genuinely saved will LOVE THEIR BROTHERS (AND SISTERS).  As with each of these tests, it is repeated throughout the Book. A clear example of just how black and white the issue is, is found in 2:9-11: “He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. 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.” And then thirdly, John lets us know that those who are genuinely born again will NOT LOVE THE WORLD.  Chapter 2, verses 15-17 say, “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. 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. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”

 

As you can see, the Book of I John is a very important Book for which every person who professes to know Christ should be fully acquainted. Do you pass the tests God presents in this Book to let you know that you know Him?