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First John: 1 John 4:7c-The Child of God Knows God Experientially By Obedience to the Command to Love One Another Lesson # 160

First John   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  1:03:22
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First John: 1 John 4:7c-The Child of God Knows God Experientially By Obedience to the Command to Love One Another

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Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. (ESV)
Pastor-Teacher Bill Wenstrom
Thursday April 19, 2018
www.wenstrom.org
-The Child of God Knows God Experientially By Obedience to the Command to Love One Another
Lesson # 160
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. (ESV)
And knows God” is composed of the following: (1) conjunction kai (καί), “and” (2) third person singular present active indicative form of the verb ginōskō (γινώσκω), “knows” (3) articular accusative masculine singular form of the noun theos (θεός), “God.”
The conjunction kai is once again functioning as a marker of result, which means that is introducing a declarative statement which presents the result of the previous result clause which asserts that the person who does at any time divinely love has been fathered by God the Father.
The verb ginōskō is used in the present tense and means, “to know experientially.”
To experience means, “to personally encounter, observe or undergo something through a process, to have knowledge or practical wisdom gained from what one has observed, encountered or undergone,” and implies being affected by what one meets.
The noun theos refers to the Father which is indicated by the word’s articular construction which is anaphoric which means that the word is retaining the same meaning and referent as it did the second the word appeared in this verse, and we noted that it was used of the Father.
Therefore, this verb ginōskō means “to know experientially” God the Father in the sense of personally encountering Him through the process of learning and obeying His will as this will is revealed in the pages of Scripture and in prayer by God the Holy Spirit.
It also involves being affected by this encounter with the Father resulting in the gaining of practical spiritual wisdom and more of the character of Christ.
The present tense of the verb ginōskō is a gnomic present which is used for a general, timeless fact or specifically, a spiritual axiom or an eternal spiritual truth.
Here it is used to express an absolute statement that is true all the time.
Here it is expressing the idea that the person who at any time does divinely love does “as an eternal spiritual truth” know God the Father experientially.
The present tense of this verb is also a customary present tense or stative present, which is used to signal an ongoing state expressing the idea that the person who at any time does divinely love does as an eternal spiritual truth “exist in the state of” knowing God the Father experientially.
Beloved, let each one of us continue to divinely love one another because this love is a characteristic originating from God (the Father). Consequently, the one who at any time does divinely love has been fathered by God (the Father) and as a result they know God (the Father) experientially. (Author’s translation)
ends with a result clause which presents the result of the child of God practicing the love of God in relation to their fellow child of God and asserts that they know God the Father experientially.
Therefore, John is teaching the recipients of First John that knowing God the Father experientially is the direct result of the child of God practicing the love of God in their life.
In other words, he is teaching that obedience to the command to love one another is the means by which the child of God experiences fellowship with the Trinity.
When John speaks of knowing the Father experientially, he is referring to the child of God experiencing fellowship with God from the perspective that they are personally encountering the Father by obedience to His will as this will is revealed in the pages of Scripture and in prayer by God the Holy Spirit.
This also involves being affected by this encounter with the Father resulting in the gaining of practical spiritual wisdom and more of the character of Christ.
Therefore, in , under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the apostle John is teaching the recipients of First John that they are obligated to continue to obey the command love one another because this love originates with the character and nature of their heavenly Father.
In other words, they must be characterized by this love because this love characterizes their heavenly Father.
Thus, they will be characterized by this love by their continued obedience to this command to love one another.
John is also teaching that obedience to this command demonstrates that they are children of God.
Lastly, he is teaching that obedience to this command results in personally encountering God the Father which results in practical spiritual wisdom and more of the character of His one and only Son, Jesus Christ.
This personal encounter with the Father is referring to experiencing fellowship with God.
This is not the first time in First John that the apostle John speaks of knowing the Father experientially since he mentions it in .
I am presently writing to each one of you children that each of you know the Father experientially. I am presently writing to each one of you fathers that each of you know experientially the One from eternity past. I am presently writing to each one of you young men that each of you are strong. Specifically, the Word originating from God is resident in each one of you. Consequently, each of you are victorious over the evil one. (Author’s translation)
John’s overriding concern in this epistle is to ensure that the recipients of this letter who were believers continued to regularly experience fellowship with God or in other words, that they personal encounter Him through obedience to his apostolic teaching.
This he makes clear in the prologue of the epistle and specifically in .
We are now proclaiming to each of you what has always existed from eternity past, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we observed for ourselves, even what we touched with our hands concerning the Word which is truly life. 2 In other words, this life was revealed. As noted previously, we have seen so therefore we are now proclaiming by testifying to each of you this life, which is eternal, which because of its eternal nature has always existed face to face with the Father. Indeed, it was revealed to each one of us. 3 What we have seen as well as heard, we are now proclaiming to each of you in order that each of you would also continue to regularly experience fellowship with each of us. Also, our fellowship is in fact, as an eternal spiritual truth existing in the state of being with the Father as well as with His Son, who is Jesus, who is the Christ. (Author’s translation)
The Scriptures teach that Christian fellowship which is biblical has two directions: (1) Vertical: God (2) Horizontal: Body of Christ.
Christian fellowship is a relationship and partnership with God and Christ’s body and involves sharing His objective of advancing His kingdom on earth by caring for and working together with the body of Christ in this endeavor.
The church age believer can experience fellowship with God because of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross and His resurrection and session at the right hand of the Father.
Fellowship with God and their fellow believer is based upon their union and identification with Jesus Christ in His crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection and session at the right hand of the Father.
There are many synonyms in Scripture which describe the church age believer experiencing fellowship with God.
First of all synonymous with experiencing eternal life.
When a Christian is experiencing fellowship with God they are experiencing eternal life.
They are also experiencing their salvation or in other words, their deliverance from eternal condemnation, condemnation from the Law, spiritual and physical death, personal sin, enslavement from the sin nature and Satan and his cosmic system.
To experience fellowship with God is also to experience sanctification or in other words, fellowship is experiencing being set apart to serve God exclusively in doing His will.
The believer must be filled with the Spirit or more accurately influenced by the Spirit in order to experience fellowship with God which is accomplished by obeying the Spirit’s voice as He speaks to the believer through the communication of the Word of God regarding the will of the Father.
They must also be operating in the love of God in order to experience fellowship with God.
When a believer is experiencing fellowship with God, they will experience undeserved suffering which advances them to spiritual maturity.
The believer will pray when they are in fellowship with God.
Lastly, the believer who experiences fellowship with God and grows to spiritual maturity will experience intimacy with God.
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