A STUDY OF 1 JOHN
Fix Your Hope on Christ’s Appearing
1 John 2:28-3:5 SCC 7/17/11
What do we mean if we say that we want to ‘abide in good health’? It means we commit to the things consistent with and necessary for good health. We do this so we can have the outcome, the fruit, the reward, of proper health and wellness. So we stay committed to the correct and appropriate things to ensure the outcome. We abide and remain consistently in these things. We watch what and how we eat. What kind of exercise regimen we must adopt. We are in it for the long haul and the fruit comes—loss of excess weight; development of stamina; increased energy and so on. John wants us to adopt an abiding lifestyle of fellowship with God all of our days. He begins by telling us that happens as we walk in the light; as we keep Christ’s commandments; by not loving the world; by avoiding the antichrists false teaching; and by focusing our attention on the coming of Christ. This commitment will guarantee we stay in fellowship with the Father and the Son. Is that what you want?
BELIEVERS ABIDE IN CHRIST BY FOCUSING ON CHRIST’S COMING 28
Here is an aspect of maintaining fellowship with God and His Son. It is living a temporal life with an eternal perspective. That is certainly different than the world lives life. You cannot maintain fellowship with God by living with this world’s (its pleasures, its persuasion, or its perspective) at the end of your nose.
And now little children abide in Him
Once again John brings our attention back to the abiding life, fellowship with God. This time he adds an additional thought.
In order that when He appears we may have confidence
To ‘have confidence’ means to have a bold freedom of speech. This word is used in 3:21 before God; 4:17 in the day of judgment; and 5:14 in prayer. The purpose for maintaining fellowship with God is to have a boldness of speech when meeting the Lord. There will be no stammering associated with fear or shame.
And not be put to shame from Him in His presence
Believers are not to fear condemnation as unbelievers, but we are to fear being ashamed as we face the character of Christ in judgment. Should we fail to abide in Him there is the very real possibility of shame, divine disapproval at the judgment seat of Christ (1 Cor 3), spoken of in 1 John 4:17-19!
THOSE BORN OF GOD EXHIBIT RIGHTEOUSNESS IN THE MEANTIME 29
So at the outset we know that it is never better to have sinned. Sin has nothing to do with righteousness. We know that the world will always make a case for sin. But believers march to a different tune.
If you know that He is righteous
This has nothing to do with humanistic kindness or morality. It is God’s righteousness. If one really knows who God is, they know he is utterly set apart from any evil and God’s character cannot allow for sin within himself—the Father, the Son, the HS.
You know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him
When we see righteousness like this exhibited we know he/she is a child of God. That is, righteousness consistent with the Father’s or the Son’s. So the way we can see the new birth is in the righteous actions of others. This capacity for a righteous life is attached to being born of God. This is an indication that you belong to God and not to Satan or the world. Practicing righteousness is walking in the light; obeying Christ’s commands; not loving the world; avoiding antichrists false teaching.
WE ARE GOD’S CHILDREN BECAUSE OF HIS LOVE FOR US 3:1
See how great is the love that Father has lavished on us
What are we to see? John invites us to contemplate the greatness of God’s love, which has made us His children—that we are born of Him. That we can actually live lives now that compare to the righteousness of God Himself. This would be unimaginable unless it was a work of God that brought us into his family. Our old nature will not—cannot do this.
That we should be called the children of God and such we are
We are children of God because we are born ones of God. You have been born again into the family of God. You are His child. You belong to Him along with all of its blessing.
For this reason the world does not know us because it did not know Him
This entire reality is lost on the world. They cannot make sense of it. If Christ’s as God’s Son could not register with the world we can hardly expect that our being God’s children will register either. Our righteous life—the one we bring into the office—our extended families—our neighborhoods and communities will not be recognized or understood by them. It may be tolerated but not to be exemplified. There is too much self-denial in it; too much humility in it; to much absoluteness in it; too much forgiveness in it; too much peace in it. It is not the way the world works. This is one reason why it is silly to try and change the world. It is the collision of two cultures; two worldviews; two different destinies; two contradictory philosophies; two incoherent ambitions.
AS HIS CHILDREN WE HAVE THE HOPE OF NO SHAME WHEN HE APPEARS 2-3
Beloved now we are the children of God
Beloved heightens the special status we have been granted as Gods children. Right now we are his children. There is a present aspect to this reality. We enjoy a father child relationship with our God every day we live our lives.
And it has not appeared as yet what we shall be
There is also a future aspect to this reality. Today, there is no physical evidence of one’s Christianity that the eye can see. But there will be at our resurrection, when we see Christ face to face.
We know that when He appears we shall be like Him
Then we will be changed. These physical changes await the coming of Christ.
Because we shall see Him just as He is
So our transformation will result from seeing Him as He is. This includes a brand new body without the influence of death or deterioration and a completely eradicated sinful nature.
And everyone who has this hope in Him
Pending this event—seeing Christ when He returns—we have our hope in Him. He is the object of our hope. This implies that Jesus is alive. This means that he is resurrected and is the Savior. This means He will reign again! Our hope is in Him—a person not an ideal or a wish or a possibility.
Purifies himself just as He is pure
This hope does something to us. A believer purifies himself with this hope. The purified hope is more than just the hope of heaven in Christ but the hope of not being ashamed at His appearing. It is important that believers focus ion the judgment seat of Christ for rewards since that is what the scripture says awaits us next in this age. Many we know will suffer loss then. We need to love his appearing and we do that by living a righteous life that anticipates reward at Christ’s coming. You purify yourself by delaying your rewards in light of His appearing. Jesus said lay your treasure in heaven not on earth. The longer you delay your reward the more virtuous your life will be. If we buy into the worlds entrapments of pleasure now; reward now; and ignore the fact of Jesus appearing then impurities-those things inconsistent with a righteous life-will bring shame upon us at Christ’s appearing.
THE NEW BIRTH MAKES IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO BE SINLESS 4-6
Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness, sin is lawlessness
In opposition to the purity just mentioned is sin. It is characterized as lawlessness. God’s character is the standard for righteousness. As the standard it is the law. When that standard is violated—contrary to the character of God—then it is lawlessness. As lawlessness it must be judged and punished. Thats what all sin is-a violation of God’s character—the standard. We are not the standard so we do not sin against each other—we sin against God.
And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins
Sin must not be taken lightly. Its seriousness is underscored by Jesus incarnation. The objective of the incarnation was the removal of sin. Jesus incarnation was not to show us a better way to live or to fix the worlds problems or to solve poverty or to protect the environment or to solve or social problems or to give us life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It was to resolve only issue necessary—the payment for sin and removal of its consequences.
And in Him there is no sin
I am so glad to know that. Jesus has nothing to do with sin accept pay for it. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. Therefore, we must conclude, that being born again means we are a new man, or have a new nature, which is the only one we will have after death or the rapture. Sin can never come out of seeing and knowing God. If we abide in Christ sin cannot be the experience of that realm. The regenerate life is essentially and fundamentally a sinless life.
No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen him or knows him
On the one hand we cannot sin when we abide in Christ. While an unbeliever can display his true nature through sin, a child of God cannot. When a Christian sins, he conceals who he really is rather than making it manifest. When we live by our new nature we will not sin. This is what Jesus has given to us as a down payment for what we will become when we see him—completely and totally new natured with no ability or desire or willingness to sin forever! We will only want the righteousness we have been given in Christ and this is the hope we have when Christ appears and that purifies our live sin the meantime.