We believe that it is important to be thoughtful when considering God's Word, the Bible. We hope you will check back from time to time for thoughts on God's Word and how it applies to us daily.
"And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have heard from the beginning: that we love one another." -2 John v. 5
Jesus delivered this commandment to His closest disciples during the upper room discourse on the eve of His betrayal. John was there, and this is the unceasing drum beat of his doctrine - that the saints ought to have a holy, unconditional love for one another. In this passage he pleads with the "lady" on this point - imparting this directive to love with special emphasis. This concept is hard to grasp outside of the Gospel. Truly our only example of this is Christ's love for humanity. John writes in his account, "...having loved his own who were in the world, He loved them to the end."* And He loves without boundary and without end as the Risen Christ.
"We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one." -1 John 5:19
Who is the wicked one? None other than the father of lies, the accuser of the brethren - Satan. The point here is that we ought not be caught off guard; just as he writes, "he who is born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him."* First and foremost, the saints must know that we have an enemy - we are opposed! Secondly, we must know who our enemy is and that "he is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour."** Guard yourself! Be watchful! But do not be terrified! Take courage in the assurance that "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world,"*** and fight on! By the Spirit of God wage the good warfare.
*1 John 5:18
**1 Peter 5:8
***1 John 4:4
"These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God." -1 John 5:13
The saints addressed in this letter had not seen the risen Lord in the flesh yet they believed it was so unto eternal life. John wanted to be sure to encourage them in their faith, to affirm their belief. He exhorts them to continue in their belief, implying an alternative course of ruinous disbelief. May our Lord grant us endurance and faithfulness as we desire to continue in our belief. May our roots grow deep and firmly anchored through studying God's word, prayer and being a witness to eternal life that comes through Christ's namesake. This is the fundamental purpose for this epistle - to encourage the saints to a personally dedicated endurance. All who run do not win the prize.
"Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves Him who is begotten of Him." -1 John 5:1
To know Christ is to know God. Since the earliest days of the Faith there has been an insidious deception that one can know God without Christ - that a relationship with Christ is not necessary for one to know God. The truth is that Christ himself declared, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me."* In the same breath even one of Christ's beloved disciples says, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us." Jesus responds, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not know Me?...He who has seen Me has seen the Father..."** Still, there are those who presume to question God's sovereign design for salvation while grasping vainly for the Father's hand. It cannot be. Is there any greater way to insult our creator? The evidence of our love for the Father is born out in our love for His Son - Jesus.
"Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world." -1 John 4:17
This confirms the finality of Christ's work on the cross. He is not saving us bit by bit but all at once and completely. This is not a metaphysical declaration of a work to come. The believer stands before the Father perfect in Christ. Certainly, the Holy Spirit continues to refine our obedience to the Father in the present but John's bold statement is, "as He is, so are we in THIS world." There is no greater proclamation of grace. We certainly do not desreve the holiness which we are draped in. And there is no greater calling to the saints than to walk worthy of this gift. Live out this truth - be "as He is."
Anthony is the Pastor of Living Water Christian Fellowship.