Topics in 1, 2, & 3 John
The predominant characteristic in John is His belief in Jesus Christ as the Word of God! His measure of belief is so strong, it is likely reinforced by his level of faith that he has been equipped with! God has a plan and purpose to restore that which was “in the Beginning” through Jesus Christ. The Word of Life is what was pictured from the beginning, and eternal life shall be manifest unto us, because His Life was manifested. Jesus Christ is the eternal God and he became a real man that even John had touched, for he wants his readers to share in the eternal life that comes through the Lord Jesus Christ!
Incarnation of Christ
In the opening words, John states certain facts about Christ that are good to know: He is the eternal God who became a real man through incarnation. John mentions that few have seen Him, heard Him, or touched Him. He explains what God is like, as it pertains to His incarnation as Jesus Christ, that He is light, which means He is holy, true, pure, and glorious. Darkness cannot co-exist with light, so there is no darkness in God. People can enjoy fellowship with God, who is perfectly holy in every way!
John mentions it, so people can know God’s majesty (for John experienced it firsthand and just cannot get enough of it – he’s in so much awe that he talks about it a lot), and that people will stop misunderstanding Jesus as a false one and stop misunderstanding God as a hateful, angry God. God is impressing upon people to live good lives, and loves people much. He gives assurance of forgiveness, and John wants them to know that. John is the best one to give us a great example of who God is, which repeats after Jesus – not because Jesus was unsuccessful, it’s just people didn’t accept Christ very well. However, Jesus was intentional on giving us a good picture of who the Father was, what He was like, etc. so people would quit misunderstanding Him. John continued this, and kept proclaiming God’s Love and Kingdom so that people would understand and know that His Holiness can be imputed upon us and give us a new hope and outlook on a life of love.
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.”
The anointing that we have received of Him abides in us! The indwelling Spirit confirms the truth of Christ to us – for we know that the Spirit bears witness of Christ (1 John 5:6). Believers will learn then to reject teaching of the deceivers, and know that they have been taught, therefore, they do not need any new (false) teachers to come and give them anymore teaching (albeit false). He teaches us all things and we don’t have a thing to worry about. John is telling us that all that we need to know is in the writings of the past, and that no further things are necessary to teach us. He believes it is sufficient that the Spirit leads us into all truth as it was said to be doing anyway!
The "ifs" of John - prerequisites?
John says "if" many times in his writings, which is quite odd, because it makes a Christian feel like it is a conditional election in GOD that we have. Let's take a closer look...
1. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth. (The hypocrite) a. Those that walk in darkness commonly don’t see much, if any, light. 2. 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. (The Christian) a. Walking in light causes us to have fellowship, and we also become cleansed of sin. 3. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (The self-deceived) a. Self-deceit does more harm than good to our own bodies, and will breed a number of lies that we tell ourselves in the future. This is called compulsive lying, and would make the person a compulsive liar (they tell themselves lies on top of lies on top of lies until they are completely deceived and far from the truth). 4. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. a. He will be faithful to us. b. He will be just with us. c. He will forgive us our sin(s). d. He will cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 5. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (Penitent sinner)
Do you see the key here? REPENTANCE - It must be done so that you humble yourself and exalt GOD (instead of the other way around). GOD is the highest and His Order is supreme.
The Mystery of GOD
The reality and mystery of deity robed in flesh is God incarnate as the person of Jesus Christ – to which, we have fellowship and relationship with the Father. We see in 1 John 1:2 this explained, “For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us.”
The beauty and wonder of Jesus' Love for us
• 1 John 2:10 – he that loves his brother abides in the light! • 3:1 – we see that His love for us allows us to be called Sons of God. • 3:2 – we are the sons of God and shall be like Him (being like Him would help us know our identity is in Him and assure us of His Love as well). • 3:19 – We know we are of the truth and shall assure our hearts before Him – for we love in deed and in truth (not in word or in tongue). • 4:7 – We love one another for love is born of God – and every one that loves is born of God and knows Him! • 4:9 – the love of God was manifested toward us, because of His Son sent into the Lord, that we might live in Him! • 4:12 – If we love one another, God dwells in us and His love is perfected in us. • 4:17 – Our love is made perfect so we have boldness in the day of judgment. • 4:18 – There is no fear in love for perfect love casts out fear. • 5:3 – Whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world.
We know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His commandments. The love of God is to keep His commandments.
Testing (evil) spirits
We see the answer for how to test the spirit in 1 John 4:1-6:
• Try the spirits whether they are of God. • Know the Spirit of God. Every spirit that confesses Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God. • Every spirit that doesn’t confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is NOT of God! • He that knows God hears us. He that doesn’t know Him doesn’t hear us.
It seems also that there are many evil spirits that attempt to influence us with lies about our faith, and telling us that we aren’t good enough for God. People teach wrongly about Christ, however, we don’t have to worry, because God’s Spirit is in us and will lead us into all truth. God’s People would rather listen to His Truth!
Admonitions about false teachers
The false teachers claim that knowledge is all-important, and that behavior doesn’t matter. John, however, contradicts this, point out that sinning breaks God’s Law. If people deliberately sin, they don’t know God, nor do they know Christ who takes away sin. John is not saying that Christians cannot sin; however, they should not sin as they like. There are many failures and mistakes, but sinning habitually should not occur. The behavior of people shows whether they belong to Christ or to the world/evil. You cannot belong to both, because they are opposed to each other. If you are a true Christian, you will have divine power that will fight evil so you don’t sin. Therefore, the admonition given it to stop the sin.
2 John 7... He warns that many deceivers have come into the world who confess that Jesus has not come in the flesh – so they are considered a deceiver and an antichrist. They tend to talk about things that destroy hope of Salvation and refuse to accept Jesus as the Son of God who became a man. They call Jesus a “deceiver.” However, the false teachers are the real deceivers.
Information on the Trinity
As for the personage of the Trinity, it seems that each member of the Godhead has a particular personality. The Father is the creator and Law Giver, Jesus the Son of God is the Savior, Baptizer, Healer, and Soon Coming King, and the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Truth, the Convictor, the Comforter, and the Illuminator. However, each possesses all these things. They are always working together no matter what, for Jesus was Baptized by John, a Spirit like a dove descended upon Him – and then a voice came from Heaven (from God) that said “Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Jesus, as we see in John 17, wants the same unity for the believers that exists between the Father and the Son, so that through them, others would believe as well. He hopes that they share in the love that the Father has for the Son. He desires that they give themselves to God for the task of spreading the Gospel. Overall, He is telling them to have unity just as the Father and the Son have unity. (reference: Matthew 3:16-17; Mark 1:10-11; Luke 3:21-22; and John 17)
How Christ is pictured
The Picture of Christ we see is “Truth” to which, we see it in this book as:
1. The Body of Christ must teach truth. 2. Christ Himself is the Truth. 3. A Homily on the preservation of the Truth. 4. It represents Jesus supremely, presenting Him as the Truth around us, the Truth within us and always with us.
When we embrace the Truth, we walk in the Truth. Our Joy will be full as a result of this!
Being in unity in the Body of Christ is highly important, and it tells us to love one another, walk in truth, and follow His commands – for He is looking after us and hopes that we keep our joy and peace. Practicing love and unity on a normal basis is the key to living more successfully with others.
What he appears to mention the most is that we love one another (we see in 2 John 5, John 13:34, John 15:12, 1 John 2:7, 1 John 3:23, and 1 John 4:21). He speaks of the Great Commandment in many verses, because Jesus had spoken of it, and then John repeats Jesus and keeps reassuring the people that if they love one another, they are doing the Will of the Father.
He does wish everyone well in love, but the similar traits involve identifying false teachers, speaking against them, and helping people get away from false teaching. He also reassures everyone on the teaching of Jesus Christ, and that He is looking after all of us!
• John 8:12 – Jesus spoke that He is the light of the world, and those that follow Him shall not walk in darkness, but have the light. • Romans 6:4 – We are buried with Him (Christ) by Baptism into death, and just as He was raised up from the dead by the Father, we should also be raised and walk in the newness of life. • Romans 8:4 – We shall have the righteousness of the law fulfilled in us, for we do not walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit. • 2 Corinthians 5:7 – We walk by faith, not by sight. • Galatians 5:16 – We shall walk by the Spirit and not fulfill the lust of the flesh. • Ephesians 5:8 – We were sometimes darkness, but now we are the light in the world and walk as the children of light! • Colossians 4:5 – We are commanded to walk in wisdom toward them that are without (be careful of our own conduct) and make sure we are patient to listen to people. • 1 Thessalonians 2:12 – We should walk worthy of God who has called us into His Kingdom and glory. • 1 Thessalonians 4:1 – As we have received great things, we should walk to please God (continue to strive), so we abound more and more (in love/truth). • 1 Thessalonians 4:12 – We shall walk honestly to them that are without, so that they have no lack. • 1 John 1:7 – If we walk in the light as he is in the light, we will have fellowship with teach other – and the blood of Christ will cleanse us from all sin.
Info on the defiled road
In the defiled road, there are many pitfalls:
• We see in Romans 13:13 ◦ Rioting ◦ Drunkenness ◦ Chambering ◦ Wantonness ◦ Strife ◦ Envying • We see in 2 Peter 2:10 ◦ Walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness ◦ Despising of government ◦ Presumptious are they ◦ Self-willed are they ◦ They speak evil of dignities • We see in 1 John 1:6 ◦ If we say we have fellowship with Him, but walk in darkness, we lie and don’t know the truth.
Info on the Prosperous Road
Requirements of the Prosperous Road:
• We should walk in good works (Ephesians 2:10) • Walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:10) • Walk in Christ Jesus, be rooted and grounded in Him and stablished in the faith – abounding with thanksgiving (Colossians 2:6-7) • If we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with each other (1 John 1:7)
Bonus: Information from Jude
Teaching us about false teachers
People who have slipped in unaware can show obvious signs (verses 8-11):
• They don’t control their passions nor their words. • They commit immoral sexual acts. • They insult both God and Angels. • They have no understanding of spiritual things. ◦ They act according to their physical instincts as animals do. • They have Cain’s jealousy. • They have Balaam’s greed. • They have Korah’s spirit of rebellion against authority. • They behavior at a Christian fellowship meal is a disgrace.
According to verses 14-16 of Jude, they will have God’s punishment, and we should not worry about directly dealing with them. Jude prays that they will be kept from falling and hopes for the best against these false teachers.
What was important to me in this study was that Jude gives us the ability to discover who belongs to the Christian community and who doesn’t. He helps us by depicting examples of how false teachers (and false Christians) operate by outlining their characteristics, which was very helpful. We don’t have to walk around with a sharp eye out for who might be deceiving us, but we do need to be at least a bit good of a judge of character, so we can know that we are doing our jobs effectively encouraging each other, teaching each other, and sharing in our experiences so we can mend love and unity.