1 John Overview - Part 2 - Our Christian Walk and Relationship with the Father
In Our Christian Walk – Our Relationship with the Father
1:6-7 – “If we walk in the light as He…”
1. 1:5 – “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”
a) You cannot have fellowship with God & walk in darkness.
(1) What does it mean to walk? The word "walk" refers to one's manner of life
(2) Some think that God will bend the rules for them.
(3) They think that God allows them to walk in darkness but they can still maintain their fellowship with God.
b) These people are being deceived (1 John 1:6).
(1) Many take the “kindness of God that leads to repentance” (Rom.2:4) as approval of their sin.
Paul warned about this in Galatians when he said “do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7).
Again, Paul speaks about deception: "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
How about the people we choose to hang out with, Paul says "Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals." (1 Corinthians 15:33)
(2) TURN WITH ME TO (2 Corinthians 11:1-3): Back in the Genesis account, with Adam, Eve broke her dedication to God by transgressing the command not to eat of the fruit of the tree of good and evil (Gen. 2:17; 3:11, 17; compare also I Tim. 2:14).
Paul said that "it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression." (1 Timothy 2:14)
(3) Similarly, the Corinthian church faced the danger of deserting Christ by listening to another gospel (v. 4). Paul’s warning them of this deception. Paul links the deception to (v.4-5, 12-14).
(4) Do not be deceived about sin (James 1:13-16 “sin brings forth death”; Heb.3:13 deceitful), riches can even be deceitful that choke out the Word of God (Matt.13:22).
(5) “What communion has light with darkness?” (2 Cor.6:14): you are either in darkness or light; no mixture; Darkness is the absence of light John 3:16-21—MUST READ
2. John 1:4 – “In Him was life and His life was the light of men.”
a) John 8 – Jesus said, “I am the light of the world, he who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.
(1) If you are following Jesus, you will not walk in darkness!
(2) Therefore, if you say have fellowship but walk in darkness, you are deceived.
b) John 12:46 – Jesus said, “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.”
(1) God has delivered us from the power of darkness (Col. 1:13).
(2) Satan has blinded the minds of people (2 Cor. 4:3-4).
(3) Acts 26:18—God opens our eyes & tells us to turn from darkness.
c) In a philosophical sense…
(1) Darkness represents ignorance.
(2) Light represents knowledge & understanding.
d) In a spiritual sense…
(1) Darkness represents sin & evil—the kingdom of Satan
(2) Light represents purity & righteousness—the Kingdom of God
(3) So, the knowledge in which Jesus walked was the knowledge of God.
(4) Paul cried, “That I may know Him.”
3. The Application: Living in the Light.
a) Come to the Light (John 1:9-12).
(1) There are those who receive the light (John 3:21)
(2) Believe in the light that you may become a child of the light (John 12:36)
b) Spend Time in the Light (Psalm 119:105) – Lamp to my feet, light to my path
(1) Spending Time in His Word.
(2) Spending Time in His Presence.
c) Reflect the Light (Ephesians 5:8-16)
(1) Do not allow an eclipse to happen in your life.
d) Proclaim the Light (Matthew 10:27)
(1) Matthew 5:14-16
Jesus said "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16, NASB95)
So if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have this fellowship with the Father,
even as Jesus did.
4. Fellowship – koinonia, oneness, communion, fellowship, a part of each other.
a) “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30)
(1) Jesus prayed, “Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are (John 17:11).
(2) Christ’s walk in purity and righteousness, & fellowship with the Father is our example.
2:6 – “Ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”
1. The Secret of victory is found in text. “He who says he abides in Him.”
a) If you are truly abiding in Christ, your life will be a reflection of the relationship that you have.
(1) The Bible often gives us a principle and then a pattern of someone we can follow. The apostle Paul told the Corinthians to follow him because he was following Christ (1 Cor. 11:1).
(2) Whether John says "abiding in him," "knowing him," "walking in the light," or "being in the fellowship," he is referring to salvation.
(3) If we say we are Christians, we ought to be patterning ourselves after Christ. Verse 6 doesn't say we will be exactly like Him, but it does say we ought to be. We owe that much to Him. The word "abide" is used repeatedly in John 15, where the apostle tells us that the true branch abides in the vine. In other words, true Christians remain in vital, living relationship to Christ.
(4) We ought to live like He lived. As a Christian who shares Christ's eternal life, you can live like Christ because the same Holy Spirit that empowered Him lives in you.
Jesus said, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing”… Paul said "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13). So we can do nothing or all things… it’s our choice.
2. Abiding in the vine (John 15).
a) Abiding in Jesus is a prerequisite for several things:
(1) Abiding in the word (Jn.5:38-39) & being His disciple (John 8:31).
(2) Bearing fruit (John 15:4) much fruit (John 15:5) & more fruit (John 15:8).
(3) Answered prayer (John 15:7)
b) If we say that we are abiding in Christ, then, we should “walk as He walked”
c) Jesus gave us an example how we ought to walk, & to live (John 13:15-17).
(1) In John 13, Jesus gave the example of serving one another-putting others first.
(a) No task is beneath you! Be willing to give yourself to serve another persons need. Don't put yourself on pedestals exalting yourself.
(b) Ask yourselves the question, “Is there someone’s feet I am unwilling to wash”? Remember, Jesus even washed Judas’ feet!
(c) We must not be a Diotraphes (3John9), “who loves to be first among people”, not serving anyone, but always wanting to be served.
!!! 3. How did Jesus walk?
a) He walked in purity & holiness.
He asked the Pharisees, “Which of you convicts Me of sin? (John 8:46)
The writer of Hebrews says that “it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens (Heb.7:26).
1 Peter 2:21-22 tells us that He “committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth"
(1) Jesus was sinless which in this life we will never be, however we can sin less.
(2) Again, don’t say that’s impossible because God does not command anything, but if I am willing to obey, He will give me all that is necessary in order to obey:
Peter said that God has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3)
The scriptures say that God “has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (Eph.1:3).
Think about this “Since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else?” (Romans 8:32).
He has given us His grace… The Lord said to Paul concerning his thorn in the flesh “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Paul then says Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
(3) We have everything we need; therefore, we are to walk as He walked!
b) He walked in humility (Philippians 2:2-8).
(1) Paul wanted the Philippians to quit arguing and have "the same love, being of one accord, of one mind" and we see this in (Phil.2:2).
(2) He told them they could do that by being humble and putting others first & we find this in (v.3-4). Now he could have stopped there with the principle, but he went a step further to give his readers an example.
(3) Look at the pattern of Jesus. Never did anyone of such high position stoop to such a low position. Jesus is the greatest illustration of humility there ever was and we find this in (v.5-8).
c) He walked in submission & obedience to the Father
(1) John says that if you claim to be a Christian, you ought to live like Jesus lived. Your manner of life ought to be Christlike. John's gospel emphasizes Christ's obedience to the Father's will:
Jesus said "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 6:38, NKJV)
He goes on to say "And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him." (John 8:29, NKJV)
Speaking about His life, He says that "No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father." (John 10:18, NKJV)
"But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do" (John 14:31, NKJV)
(2) Jesus' submissive obedience is the pattern we are to trace our lives upon. The kind of obedience that characterized Christ is to be true of us. Do you think it was burdensome for Jesus to obey the Father? Not at all!
d) He walked with gracious speech (Luke 4:22).
(1) To rejoice. Grace, particularly that which causes joy, pleasure, gratification, favor, acceptance, for a kindness granted or desired, a benefit, thanks, gratitude.
Paul said to "Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person." (Colossians 4:6, NASB95)
Also to "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear." (Eph.4:29)
e) He walked in dependence upon God (Matthew 1:35)
In the Gospels we read about Jesus: "Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.” (Mark 1:35, NKJV)
If we are to “walk as He walked” we ought to start our day in prayer, dependence upon God: "My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up. “ (Psalm 5:3, NKJV)
f) He walked in dependence upon the Spirit (Matthew 4:1).
As He was going out into the Wilderness, notice what the Word says about the Spirit: "Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” (Matthew 4:1, NKJV)
(1) We to must be led by the Spirit,
Writing to the Romans, Paul says "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God." (Romans 8:11-14, NASB95)
And to the Galatians Paul says that "the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law." (Galatians 5:17-18, NASB95)
g) He walked in dependence upon the Word (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10) – “It is written”
(1) Jesus demonstrated the power of God’s Word against Satan’s attacks.
He used as Paul put it “the Sword of the Spirit” (Eph.6:17).
Even more than David, He could say, “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You” (Ps. 119:11).
In Righteousness – Our Relationship To Our Own Spiritual Life.
3:3 – Purifies himself, just as He is pure.
1. Purifying is associated with hope.
a) The hope of the appearance or coming of Christ. Referred to also as blessed hope.
(1) When you live with the goal of meeting Jesus Christ face to face, that will have a purifying effect on your life. When you meet Him, He will evaluate your work and then reward you (1 Cor. 3:10–15).
(2) I know our Lord could return at any time, so my goal has been to live in such a way that when I face Him I can offer Him my pure life.
(3) I don’t want to have any reason to be ashamed at Christ’s coming. I want to be doing that which honors and pleases Him. I want to be living a pure life.
2. Purifying is associated with the desire to be pure.
a) This should be our prayer – Lord, make me pure
(1) My heart, my mind, my life, everything about me I want to be pure
(2) Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8).
(3) We need to have a self–examination:
(a) Confess our sin (Psalm 51:2) Wash me thoroughly and cleanse me from my sin.
(b) Repent of our sin (Matt.5:27-30) Pluck out the lustful eye, cut off the wandering hand.
(c) Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean (Isaiah 1:16). Wash me is our prayer to God, wash yourselves is His commandment to us (2Cor.7:1).
(i) Filthiness of the flesh – some pet sin that feeds the old nature.
(ii) Filthiness of the spirit – an attitude that is sinful.
(4) A man becomes what he is determined to be:
(a) If you are determined to be evil, you will be.
(b) If you are determined to be pure, God will honor that determination.
b) How pure do you think Jesus was?
(1) Do you ever believe that Jesus told a dirty joke? Do you believe that He ever laughed at a dirty joke? This is out of character for Him.
c) If I am to be pure as Jesus, I believe it begins with our language.
(1) That is the very first thing God dealt with in my life, was my language.
Jesus said, "But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” (Matthew 15:18-19, NKJV)
(2) Notice it starts in the heart… then the mind… then out of the mouth: garbage in… garbage out.
(3) Now for our language to change, our hearts must first be changed:
The Word says "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9).
Speaking to the Pharisees, John said "Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." (Matthew 12:34, NKJV)
(4) Our cry to God should be as David’s “create in me a clean heart, O God” (Ps.51:10)
d) Once our hearts are purified we need to keep watch over them (Prov.4:20-27: Jn.6:63).
(1) Note the progression: God’s Word… in our heart… produces life… (v.20-23).
(2) Then the practical steps: keeping watch… putting away… looking ahead… (v.24-27)
(3) Jesus said “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”
3:7 – “Is righteous, just as He is righteous.”
Righteousness is doing the right thing; doing what God would have me to do; responding in a right way.
1. Jesus responded in the right way with the right attitude.
a) Examples of Jesus responding the right way:
(1) Remember, the Lord will not tell us to do something that He has not done himself as well as the power to do what He tells us to do:
Remember when Jesus said in the Sermon On the Mount, "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," (Matthew 5:44, NKJV)
Jesus loved His enemies enough to die for them, Paul wrote saying “scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die… "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us… "For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Romans 5:7, 8)
Jesus taught over and over about prayer and forgiveness, He said "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14-15)
He demonstrated this when He was on the cross, He said "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots." (Luke 23:34, NKJV)
(2) The bottom line is this: He practiced what He taught – He was a doer of the Word.
b) Sometimes we do the right thing with the wrong attitude or motive.
(1) Be careful how you do your righteousness (Acts 5:1-10).
(a) Giving (Matt. 6:1-4).
(b) Praying (Matt. 6:5-15).
(c) Fasting (Matt. 6:16-18)
(d) It is all a matter of the heart.
(e) What is going on in my heart, is the question we need to ask ourselves?
(f) Tonight… we want to test your motive, so when you leave, would you please give and we will see what will happen.
c) So then what does John mean when He says, “He who practices righteousness is righteous?
(1) If I my faith in Jesus Christ is genuine, it is going to be visible in my life. How I live, my lifestyle will be a manifestation of the fact that I have a genuine faith in Jesus Christ.
(2) So then, doing righteousness is really the fruit of being righteous. And if you are truly righteous through faith in Christ then it will be evident by the things that you do, by the way that you live!
In Love – Our Relationship With Others.
3:23 – “Love one another as He gave us commandment.”
1. How did he command that we should love?
a) “As He loved us” (John 13:34; 15:12) – “Love one another as I have loved you.”
(1) How much did Jesus love you?
Jesus said "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. (John 15:13 NKJV)
(2) Then He laid down His life for us.
Paul said that "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8, NKJV)
(3) This is how much I’m to love you
John put it this way "By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth." (1 John 3:16-18, NKJV)
(4) Love is the mark of true discipleship (John 13:35) by this all men will know
(5) This is the Greatest need in the Christian body today.
b) As ourself. “Love your neighbor as yourself”
(1) Does not mean, “love yourself first, so then you can love you neighbor.”
(2) People often times say, “Oh I hate myself,” Not true: “for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church” (Eph.5:29).
(a) A person is trying to get attention for themselves.
(b) “Oh, when I look in the mirror I am so ugly, I hate myself,” if you hated yourself you would be happy you were ugly.
(c) You would not brush you teeth, hair or take care of yourself.
c) Philippians 2:3-4
4:17 – “As He is so are we in this world.”
1. Christ left us an example.
a) We should follow in His steps.
(1) Peter said that Christ left us an example that we should follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21).
(2) Again, “As He is so are we in this world.”
2. We are His witnesses in this world today.
a) The word “Christian” – means “a follower of Christ”
(1) The title “Christian” was given to the believers in the early years of the church; by the world, the world of unbelievers.
(a) The title “Christians” was given because they were like Christ.
(b) However, by the world this was not meant to be a compliment.
(2) Now, today it’s a name that we have taken!
(a) But is it a name that would be given to us by the world today?
(b) Are we really Christ like? Am I a reflection of Him?
b) Jesus told His disciples that they were to be witnesses unto Him (Acts 1:8).
(1) Their lives were to be a reflection of His, even as His life was a reflection of the Father.
(2) Revelation 3:14 says that Jesus was the Faithful and True Witness. True & Faithful of what the Father is.
(3) Do you want to know God is really like? Then study the life of Jesus!
To His disciples He said…"If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” (John 14:7 NKJV)
Philip asked…"Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father (John 14:8-9).
(4) Why? Because He was a Faithful and True Witness of what the Father is
3. He want’s you to be a true and faithful witness of what He is!
a) “As He is so are we in this world.”
(1) He want’s us to reflect Him to the extent and to the degree that, we would be able to say,
(2) If you have seen me you’ve seen my Lord!
(3) That man might know that we are His disciples, How?
(4) By our love for each other.
Homework for next week:
Find all of the false professions in 1 John
The key phrases are “If we say” and “If a man say” which are found six times in this epistle.
The first one is found in (1:6)
In Our Christian Walk
A. 1:6-7 – “If we walk in the light as He…”
B. 2:6 – “Ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”
A. 3:3 – Purifies himself, just as He is pure.
B. 3:7 – “Is righteous, just as He is righteous.”
A. 3:23 – “Love one another as He gave us commandment.”
B. 4:17 – “As He is so are we in this world.”