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1 John: Part 3

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Assurance of fellowship

Doubt causing lack of assurance will steal joy
James 1:6 NKJV
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
Janes
Ephesians 4:
Ephesians 4:13–14 NKJV
till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
Confidence in one’s salvation will bring the joy of the Lord
2 Timothy 1:12 NKJV
For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
Nehemiah 8:10 NKJV
Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

I. Evident by the willingness to obey

Faithful obedience reveals we know Him
We need not doubt if we desire to obey God’s commands
John’s intention
“Now by this we know that we know Him”
to know (experientially) v. — to know or have knowledge about (someone or something); normally as acquired through observation or the senses.
We know what we know: “Now by this we know that we know Him”
What is the definition of know? to know (experientially) v. — to know or have knowledge about (someone or something); normally as acquired through observation or the senses.
Knowledge and understanding that what is known. It is gained intellectually and experientially. It is used 25x in this epistle
The view of gnosticism which wasn’t fully developed and organized until the 2nd century AD was that knowing God was to acquire this higher knowledge of God by some mystical experience. Intellectualism overruled faith. Once one gained this secret knowledge it gave them a superior spirituality and holiness in relation to other believers. They have arrived
What is John trying to teach in this section?
John is refuting the idea that intellectual knowledge alone is evidence one knows God, especially knowledge gained through some mystical experience. The view of gnosticism which wasn’t fully developed and organized until the 2nd century AD was that knowing God was to acquire this higher knowledge of God by some mystical experience. Intellectualism overruled faith. Once one gained this secret knowledge it gave them a superior spirituality and holiness in relation to other believers. They have arrived
Titus 1:16 NKJV
They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.
Know something about God
Know the facts of the Bible
“Now by this” John is stating some concrete evidence of being in a genuine relationship with the true God
The Letters of John: An Introduction and Commentary a. Obedience, or the Moral Test (2:3–6)

The claim to be a Christian may be variously stated, in terms of knowing God (4), or living in Christ (6) or being in the light (9), but invariably, if it is an authentic claim, it will show itself in a new life of obeying God (4), imitating Christ (6) and loving our brothers and sisters (9–10). Without such a moral authentication, the claim is seen to be bogus.

“if we keep His commandments”
“if we keep His commandments”: The evidence is obeying His commands
John 14:14 NKJV
If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
John 14:15 NKJV
“If you love Me, keep My commandments.
“If” indicating the possibility we might not obey
“we keep” Each one who claims to know God is accountable and responsible to obey
Obedience is more than outward conformity
“His commandments.” The commandments of God
The New American Commentary: 1, 2, 3 John (1) Know God and Keep His Commands (2:3–6)

Because one has come to know God (an event occurring in the past with continuing effects) through belief in Jesus Christ, whose death was the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world, he now must keep the commandments of God.

We can’t pick and choose the commandments we wish to obey
We cannot continue to disobey if we are genuine believers
“He who says I know Him, and does not keep His commandments,”
John strongly confronts the notion that words alone are enough evidence to prove one’s profession
John reverses to the other side when one does not obey
“is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
John states that contradictory behavior proves one’s profession false
Words are words
John states the word of God has not been truly received
Words must be backed up by behavior and actions
“and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”:
Actions speak louder than words
Not a gentle
“But whoever”: Obedience is a personal choice
“keeps His word”: The complete revealed and recorded will of God
“truly the love of God is perfected (made complete) in him.”: Our love for God, God’s love for us, or the love of God?
Constant abiding in Christ transforms us into His likeness
“By this we know that we are in Him.”: John wants to make it clear what it looks like to be in Christ
“He who says he abides in Him (Jesus)”: Professing to be in Christ
“ought himself to walk just as he walked.”: Our daily conduct ought to look like Jesus’

II. Evident by love for one another

Loving one another is an old commandment
These verses continue you the thought stated in verse 3 of knowing God
Love is an old commandment
Continuing John adds love to the evidences of knowing God
Old in the sense it was something they had already known and had been taught. It was not a new idea given to be added to the gospel.
It was taught in the OT law and maybe known before the law
Leviticus 19:18 NKJV
You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.
Leviticus 19
Genesis 4:
Genesis 4:9 NKJV
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”
It was taught and demonstrated by Jesus Christ
John 15:12 NKJV
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
John 15:12
John 15:17 NKJV
These things I command you, that you love one another.
It was taught by the other apostles
Ephesians 5:2 NKJV
And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
1 Thessalonians 4:9 NKJV
But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;
James 2:8 NKJV
If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well;
1 Peter 2:22 NKJV
“Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”;
2 Peter 2:22 NKJV
But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”
1 Peter 1:22 NKJV
Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,
It was taught and demonstrated by Jesus Christ
John 13:34–35 NKJV
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 13:
John 15:12 NKJV
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
John 15:12
John 15:17 NKJV
These things I command you, that you love one another.
Loving one another is a new commandment
John 13:34–35 NKJV
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
The New American Commentary: 1, 2, 3 John (2) Learn the New Command and Love Others (2:7–11)

In what seems on the surface like a contradictory statement, John goes on to assert in v. 8 that this command is also new. How? The law of love is new in the sense that it is seen in Jesus and established by him through his death and resurrection. This command is also new in that Jesus by his obedience fulfilled the whole of the law and gave it “a depth of meaning that it had never known before” (John 13:34b, 35). Finally, this command is new because for those who believe it makes possible a new and eternal life in which they are motivated by the grace of God to fulfill the law of self-sacrificing, Christlike love.

“Again, a new commandment I write to you,”
Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 2537 καινός

recently made, fresh, recent, unused, unworn. 1B as respects substance. 1B1 of a new kind, unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of

New in Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon
Recently made
fresh,
unused
unworn
of a new kind
unprecedented
uncommon
unheard of
New in DBL Greek -
New in the sense unknown before,
new, recent in time,
New in the sense unknown before, new, recent in time, new, pertaining to that which is new or recent. As an adverb it implies something different
new, pertaining to that which is new or recent.
As an adverb it implies something different
Matthew 5:43–46 NKJV
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
Matthew 5:43
Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon 2537 καινός

recently made, fresh, recent, unused, unworn. 1B as respects substance. 1B1 of a new kind, unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of

“which thing is true in Him”: He is love revealed
John 13:1 NKJV
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
John 13:34–35 NKJV
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 13:
Genesis 4:9 NKJV
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”
The Letters of John: An Introduction and Commentary b. Love, or the Social Test (2:7–11)

First, it was new in the emphasis he gave it, bringing the love commands of Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18 together and declaring that the whole teaching of the Law and the Prophets hung upon them. Secondly, it was new in the quality he gave it. A disciple was to love others not just as he loved himself but in the same measure as Christ had loved him, with selfless self-sacrifice even unto death. Thirdly, it was new in the extent he gave it, showing in the parable of the Good Samaritan that the ‘neighbour’ we must love is anyone who needs our compassion and help, irrespective of race and rank, and includes our ‘enemy’ (cf. Matt. 5:44). It was also, fourthly, to continue new by our fresh apprehension of it, ‘for though doctrinal Christianity is always old, experimental Christianity is always new’ (Candlish). In these ways it was ‘a new command’, and will always remain new

“and in you”: We are in His love and His love is in us
John 15:9–10 NKJV
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
John 15:9
See
“because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.”: This love permeates the kingdom of God
The darkness of this present age will come to an end
The true light has come, Jesus Christ
John 8:12 NKJV
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
The true is shining now and will come in it’s fullness when Christ rules on the throne of David
The Letters of John: An Introduction and Commentary b. Love, or the Social Test (2:7–11)

All Jews were familiar with the division of history into ‘the present age’ and ‘the age to come’ (cf. e.g. Matt. 12:32). But the New Testament teaches that ‘the age to come’ came with Jesus. He inaugurated it, so that the two ages now overlap one another. Christians have been delivered out of this present evil age (Gal. 1:4) and have already begun to taste the powers of the age to come (Heb. 6:5; cf. 1 Cor. 10:11). The darkness is the present age or the ‘world’ which in verse 17 is also said to be passing away (paragetai again). The true light, which is already shining, is Jesus Christ, with whom light came ‘into the world’ (John 3:19; cf. Isa. 9:2; Matt. 4:16 and Luke 1:79). He is true (alēthinos) not in the sense in which a statement is true as opposed to false (alēthēs, the word used at the beginning of this verse), but in the sense in which the real differs from the unreal, the substance from the shadow and the prototype from the type. The adjective is a favourite of John’s. Christ is the true, or real, light, of which physical light is but a reflection, just as he is the true bread and the true vine (John 1:9; 6:32; 15:1). The true idea of light, vine, bread, etc., is the heavenly reality; the earthly material things which we call ‘light’, ‘vine’, ‘bread’ are copies of the true (cf. Heb. 8:5; 9:23–24; 10:1). So the new command remains new because it belongs to the new age which has been ushered in by the shining of the true light.

The absence of love for each other is revealing a false profession
No room for hate
The Letters of John: An Introduction and Commentary b. Love, or the Social Test (2:7–11)

The true Christian, who knows God and walks in the light, both obeys God and loves his brother. The genuineness of his faith is seen in his right relation to both God and his fellow human beings.

“He who says he is in the light”: False and empty words
“and hates his brother”: light and hate are incompatible
“is in darkness until now”: if hate is present for the brother our present state is darkness
Love and light go together
“He who loves his brother abides in the light,”: Love and light are inseparable. A definite truth
“and there is no cause for stumbling in him”: walking in the light keeps him from stumbling and being a offense in the community of believers
Hate blinds the eyes
“But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness”: A hateful attitude will eventually reveal it self in conduct
The New American Commentary: 1, 2, 3 John (2) Learn the New Command and Love Others (2:7–11)

Those who hate their brothers live in a state of darkness where there is not just an absence of love, but an absence of God.

Because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”:
2 Corinthians 4:4 NKJV
whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
2 Coritnhians 4:4

III. Encouragement

IV. Evident by a Biblical lifestyle

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