I John 1-4
We are in the Church Stream reading from the New American Standard Bible.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
Dear Lord Jesus: We are so blessed to be your children, to be so dearly loved and to be able to love one another and to be free to love the lost and unlovely. Thank you Lord. Amen.
In the Christ stream, we are reading John’s account of our Savior; Jesus. In the Church Stream, we are reading also from John the Apostle. In his Gospel, he sounds like an endeared historian. In his letters he John sounds like a heart warming elder or favorite uncle who just wants to know that you are well, getting along in a fine manner and that your soul is healthy. In Revelation, he is the impassioned narrator giving a responsible account of a war-zone and a world-class theater production simultaneously. John is quite old come these writings -it is about 90 A.D.- and he is simply doing his dutiful best to make sure that we all seek to understand Jesus too…like he knows Jesus.
1 – He gets right to it that Jesus is God’s Son (stated 21 times in this book), God is our Father (stated 12 times). God sent Him to us and all this is real. I saw Him, I touched Him, He loves us, it’s all the joy that you need to know. And God IS the realm of light and truth; reality, confession, forgiveness, and rich fellowship.
2 – John wants all of us to not fall short of what God has for us by remaining in sin. Come to God now and know that Christ Jesus pleads our case for forgiveness. There’s forgiveness provided we confess, the Commandments are followed, God’s Word is kept, and we love one another. John lays down the dividing line: we either love the world OR do the will of God. Those who preach that we are to do something instead of follow Christ alone are anti-Christ. [There were many trolling the Empire and teaching Jesus was to be mixed in with the religions of the day.] Shun all these people! And know that only those who abide in Christ shall live eternally.
3 – John describes the wonder of simply knowing that we are God’s children; in simply looking to Christ therein is purification. And John also delineates the difference here between the sins of error and weakness (prior chapter) and the habitual, deliberately deceptive, willful sins here in ch. 3. This includes teachers of heresy. These are the marks of one occupied by evil: refusal to live in God’s righteousness, and love ‘your brother’. Signs we have God’s love are: sacrifice for each other, love with deeds, we please God, our requests are heard for we believe in Jesus.
4 – Do not be gullible but test the spirits; make sure they confess Jesus, so you don’t follow strange creeds. Our great test in life is loving God, loving others, testifying to Jesus – this is what perfects us. Living by love eliminates fear in our lives.