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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: The First Letter of John

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Frameworks: 1 John 2 & 3

 

(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each verse we have also added in italic a simple comment of what is happening)

     

(To go to Chapter 3)

    

    

FRAMEWORKS: 1 John 2: Combatting Sin

 

v.1,2 Dealing with our Sins
v.3-8 Obeying God
v.9-11 Light = Love, Hatred = Darkness
v.12-14 Writing to Reassure
v.15-17 On Not Loving the World
v.18-29 Combatting ‘the world'

 

[Chapter Synopsis: Straight out of the box John says we shouldn't be sinning but recognises there may the occasional time when we stumble. Next, and following on, obedience to God's leading, directions, commands etc. is an essential for the Christian and that obedience should be very practical and seen in the attitudes we have towards one another, so when we are supposed to be people of love, tolerating intense dislike (hatred) means being out of relationship with God. We are all at different stages of spiritual growth, some just beginning on the path and learning the wonder of a relationship with God, others who have walked it a long time who can testify to His faithfulness in keeping them, and still others a small way along the path, who are still realizing the ability they have to overcome the enemy. Linked to this perhaps is the awareness of the unbelieving and rebellious ‘world' who live by different standards, a world from which the believer needs to remain distinct, as we hold fast to what we have been taught and what the Spirit leads us to understand. A very full chapter of significant teaching.]

 

 

v.1,2 Dealing with our Sins

 

v.1 (John, as a pastor, doesn't want us to sin but if on occasion we do, then the way back to God is via Jesus) My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.

v.2 (in Old Testament language, Jesus was a sacrifice who stood in for us and took our sins so we could be forgiven and reconciled to God) He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

[Passage Synopsis: These two verses need to be engraved on the memory of the believer. Sin should not have a place in our life but if we stumble and give way and sin, Jesus speaks up for us to reconcile us to the Father, as the one who died in our place.]

 

 

v.3-8 Obeying God

 

v.3 (The proof of the pudding is in obedience!) We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands .

v.4 (if you think you know God but ignore His instructions you deceive yourself) Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.

v.5 (obedience opens the way for love for God to be revealed) But if anyone obeys his word , love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him:

v.6 (living with God means living in the same way as Jesus, full of goodness and obedience to God [implied]) Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did .

v.7 (this is the same message as found in the Gospels) Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard.

v.8 (yet it comes afresh and more powerfully as it is being worked out after he returned to heaven and the Spirit came) Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.

 

[Passage Synopsis: There is often a difference between saying and doing, but if you say you love God you will prove it as you submit to being led by Jesus and by obeying the things found in his word, the Bible.]

 

 

v.9-11 Light = Love, Hatred = Darkness

 

v.9 (hatred of another for a supposed believer, is a denial of who they say they are) Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness.

v.10 (loving our fellow believers shows we are living in God's light) Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.

v.11 (..but if you hate others you are still living in darkness, blinded by evil) But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.

 

[Passage Synopsis: It's very simple: light is equated with goodness, dark with evil. Hatred for others is evil and if you hate them you cannot be in God's light, close to Him.]

 

 

v.12-14 Writing to Reassure

 

v.12 (at the heart of the life of a new disciple is the fact of having been forgiven by God) I am writing to you, dear children,  because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.

v.13 (at the heart of the mature believer is the experience of communing with the Eternal God. At the heart of the growing believer is the awareness that we stand as overcomers of the enemy) I am writing to you, fathers,  because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one.

v.14 (young disciples, you now know God [rejoice in it!]. Mature believers, you still stand with the one you knew from the beginning. Growing disciples, you are learning to recognise the strength God has given you to overcome the temptations of the enemy ) I write to you, dear children,  because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

 

[Passage Synopsis: As the verse at the beginning of the chapter reminds us, we ARE freed from the power of sin and have an advocate if we blow it. But we're all at different stages in our Christian walk. Some are new believers only just realising the wonder of a relationship with God. Others have walked many years with Him and He has remained faithful and kept them. Others are some way down the path, still learning who they are and what God has provided for them and how they stand against the enemy.]

 

 

v.15-17 On Not Loving the World

 

v.15 (John introduces the concept of the ‘world' that is hostile to us and lives opposed to God. If you think as they do, you can't say you love God) Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.

v.16 (physical desires, covetousness and greed, and pride are characteristics of this ‘world'.) For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.

v.17 (This unbelieving and self-centred world will pass away but the obedient believer has a life that goes on for ever.)  The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

 

[Passage Synopsis: Discipleship distinctiveness' could be a subtitle for this section. John points out how the rest of the world live - on the basis of human desires, human wants and demands and egotistical living – and that is absolutely alien to our lives that are full of love for God.]

 

 

v.18-29 Combatting ‘the world'

 

v.18 (this ‘world' throws up people who are clearly anti-God and anti-Jesus, suggesting we are moving towards an end time when this sort of thing will become more and more obvious) Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.

v.19 (some of those people appeared to start in the church but left, never really having committed themselves to Jesus) They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.

v.20 (but we who have the power and revelation of the Spirit know the truth about such things and that holds us firm) But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.

v.21 (John writes because we know these things and need reminding of them) I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth.

v.22 (the liar is the one who denies Jesus and the Father) Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son.

v.23 (no one denying either of them, knows the other) No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

v.24 (but you hold on to the truth you received at the beginning when you came to Christ and remain strong in Him) As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.

v.25 (for He has promised us eternal life) And this is what he promised us—eternal life.

v.26 (I am warning you against deceivers) I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray.

v.27 (but remember, you have the Spirit and He will teach you, and He is real and He will keep you) As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.

v.28 (so keep on ‘in Christ' so when he returns or calls you home you will not be ashamed) And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.

v.29 (when you know the truth about him you'll know the truth about all believers) If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.

 

[Passage Synopsis: Having referred to ‘the world', unbelieving, self-centred mankind, John reminds his readers that there are people out there who are anti-God and anti-Jesus and who try to lead us astray, but he reminds us again that we have the indwelling Holy Spirit who leads us to the truth. Thus we need to hold on to what He teaches and what we have learned since we came to Christ, ready for when Christ returns, ready to receive our eternity with God. As we do that we'll know the truth about Jesus and what it means to be a disciple.]

 

 

 

FRAMEWORKS: 1 John 3: Children who are sinless & love

 

v.1,2 Children of God
v.3-10 The Battle against Sin
v.11-16 Loving One Another
v.16-24 Expressions of Love

 

[Chapter Synopsis: This is a chapter all about being children of God who combat sin and Satan and reveal the love of God flowing through them to one another in very practical ways.]

 

 

v.1,2 Children of God

 

v.1 (a clear reminder that we ARE children of God) See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

v.2 (there's still a lot to be revealed but when Jesus returns we will be like him) Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

 

[ Passage Synopsis: A powerful reminder of key truths: we have been made children of God with a destiny that will be fulfilled when Jesus returns.]

 

 

v.3-10 The Battle against Sin

 

v.3 (with that clear start comes the reminder that we are called to be holy and pure) All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

v.4 (that means we steer clear of sin, of law-breaking) Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.

v.5 (because our present state is that our sins have been removed and dealt with) But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.

v.6 (and being ‘in Christ' the power of sin is broken so it is no longer an ongoing part of our lives) No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

v.7 (beware temptations that seek to lead you from doing what is right) Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.

v.(followers of the enemy continue to sin, followers of Jesus have had his power over them broken) The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work.

v.9 (once born again, sin is no longer a habit) No one who is born of God will continue to sin , because God's seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.

v.10 (God's children are obvious because they do what is right which involves loving others) This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God's child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.

 

[Passage Synopsis: This starting place of understanding you are a child of God impacts the whole of your life. The power of sin and Satan over you has been broken and so you no longer have to give way to temptations which seek to lead you off track.]

 

 

v.11-16 Loving One Another

 

v.11 (love for one another is a primary characteristic of a child of God ) For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

v.12 (Cain is an example to learn from – don't let unrighteousness have a place in you) Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous.

v.13 (your distinctiveness will mean others hate you) Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.

v.14 (we have entered a new life in which love prevails) We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death.

v.15 (no one tolerating hatred in them has God's Spirit ruling them) Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.

 

[Passage Synopsis: The practicalities of being a child of God are reiterated: love must reign in you, things like hatred must be banished.]

 

 

v.16-24 Expressions of Love

 

v.16 (Jesus laying down his life for us was the ultimate expression of love and should act as an example for us to follow) This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

v.17 (so if we see needy brothers and sisters we will reach out to bless them) If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?

v.18 (but let it be in action not just words) Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

v.19 (this will reveal that we are truly followers of Jesus) This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence:

v.20 (if we feel guilty about falling short in this, realise that God knows the truth about us) If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

v.21,22 (if our conscience isn't speaking up, we can have faith to pray and ask and expect answers, because we are being obedient) Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.

v.23  (the basics are to believe Jesus [and follow his leading] and love one another) And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ , and to love one another as he commanded us.

v.24 (being obedient means we will be one with God, obeying His Spirit within us) The one who keeps God's commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us .

[Passage Synopsis: Loving isn't just about uttering words, it means living out caring and compassionate lives that express Jesus, meeting the needs of God's family as the Spirit leads.]

  

     

Continue to Chapter 4