Studies in 1 John

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by Glad4Mercy, Oct 7, 2015.

  1. About once a week I will post a short study on a portion of First John. I welcome any comments, critiques or discussions on what I post. It is my hope that some healthy discussions will follow from YOUR comments. How often I post a new section depends on how the discussions go. Pray and participate, and pray for and one another as we post.
  2. #2 Glad4Mercy, Oct 7, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
    First John 1:1-That which was from the beginning...

    Introduction- The focus of John’s first epistle is “that which was from the beginning”, which is the Word of Life. It is interesting to note that John uses the phrase " from the begining" several times in his epistles. The phrase can be used to refer to the overall message, a message in the form of a command, or Jesus Christ Himself (depending on the context). This first portion will deal with the message which was from the beginning. Later we will deal with the person and the command which were from the beginning.
    1. A message.
    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.

    So we see that there is a message that was from the beginning that we need to abide in. Throughout His epistles, John is charging His readers to abide and remain in what they had heard from the beginning, (ie the Gospel). This brings us to one of the main purposes of John’s epistles. Many Christians had heard the Gospel proclaimed and had placed their faith in Jesus Christ and believed the Gospel, but seducers were going out into the world preaching another gospel and leading many astray (2 John 1:7). They were claiming to have “secret knowledge” that was not available to all Christians, but was only granted and revealed to some. This secret knowledge denied all the fundamental truths of the Gospel, even denying that Jesus came in the flesh (the real incarnation). This was dangerous, because a denial of Christ’s true humanity is in essence denying a real crucifiction and a genuine resurrection. If Christ did not come in the flesh, He could not have shed literal blood for our sins, and He could not have arisen bodily from the dead. This destructive teaching was posing as Christianity, but was actually a denial of everything Christ and the apostles taught.

    Just as there were those who would pervert the Gospel in those days, there are those who would pervert the Gospel today. It is very important for us as Christians to abide and remain in the message that was preached from the beginning and resist the temptation to be drawn to novelties that beguile us away from the simplicity of the Gospel of Christ.

    2 John 9- Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

    The message of the Bible has always been the same, the preaching of the Apostles applies to every age and the Gospel never changes, Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.

    Next portion- Jesus, our life.
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  3. addendum to first post...a clearer description of the false teaching John was refuting.

    The form of false teaching that John was addressing in his epistles appears to be an early form of or budding Gnosticism, more specifically it was probably early "Docetism", the view that Christ was not truly human but only seemed or appeared to be human. This false view was and is highly destructive because it goes AGAINST every aspect of the atonement (blood shed, bodlily resurrection of Christ, Christ as our Kinsman Redeemer, etc. )

    Some people downplay the importance of what one believes, but as we will see as our studies continue, what we believe directly impacts our lifestyle and practices.
  4. "We speak the Wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden Wisdom which God ordained for our Glory...." (1 Cor 2:7) Isn't that just like the devil to "copy cat" what God does, but corrupts the truth with lies, which lead men astray from which the Apostle tells us.

    1Co 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
    1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
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  5. #5 Glad4Mercy, Oct 7, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
    Good points. The hidden mystery is only hidden in the sense that it is hidden from those who cannot (OR more properly will not) receive it. The Gospel is fully proclaimed to all (or should be), but many cannot or will not understand because these things can only be revealed by the Spirit (as Paul said).

    There is no hidden wisdom given to some believers and withheld from others. John in his first epistle spoke to his readers as if they all knew. (1 John 2:20-21) If we receive the Spirit, He will guide us into ALL truth. (John 16:13)

    Jesus is the foundation, amen!!! Anything that displaces Him or becomes emphasized above Him is being used falsely (even when the teaching itself is true, if it becomes the focus instead of Christ being the focus, it is being misappropriated.)

    Thanks for your great imput and Blessings.
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  6. #6 Glad4Mercy, Oct 10, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2015
    From the beginning part 2-

    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. 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.

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

    The commandment which we had from the beginning is to love one another. Throughout these studies we will be talking a lot about love, because that is the main topic of the book. John says that the commandment to love is an "old" commandment. It's been around as long as God has been talking to man, from the beginning. Love is what the entire Law was hinged upon. Love is the primary teaching of Jesus. Love is an essential attribute of God.

    But John also speaks of a new commandment. What is the new commandment? I think it is also the command to love, but taken to a whole new level. The old commandment said "love your neighbor as yourself". The New command given by Jesus is "love one another as I loved you". Now I don't know about you, but judging from my actions sometimes, I don't think I love myself nearly as much as Jesus loves me. In fact there is no love that can even compare to the love of Christ. So the command to love one another has been taken to a whole new level. This command is to love selflessly and sacrificially, even putting the other person ahead of myself, even willing to lay down my life for the brethren.

    How is it possible to keep such a command? John gives the answer when He says that the New Command is true IN HIM AND IN YOU FOR THE DARKNESS IS PAST AND THE TRUE LIGHT IS SHINING". The command is true in us because it is true in Him (Jesus) and because HE is in US. This is how it is true in both Hin and in us, because He is in us. The darkness (our old sinful lives) is past and the True Light is already shining (see John 1:1-5). The True Light shines in our hearts, yes, even in every part of us if we allow it.

    We are called to love one another with the love of Jesus shed abroad in our hearts. So it was an old command, but now it has been made new, because if any man is in Christ, ALL things are made new.

    So the next time you have trouble loving someone, ask Jesus to fill your heart with His love. Be filled with the Holy Spirit, for the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE

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