Translations: Chinese GB Big5

I John 2:3-17 (LIT)

Evidence from Walking in Obedience

Overview

vs 3  Now by this we know that we have known Him,
if we are characteristically keeping His commandments.
vs 4  He who is sayng, "I have known Him,"
and does not characteristically keep His commandments,
is a liar, and the truth does not exist in him.
vs 5  But whoever characteristically keeps His word,
truly the love of God has been perfected in him.
By this we generally know that we exist in Him.
vs 6  He who is saying that he characteristically dwells in Him
ought himself also to be characteristically walking
just as He had walked. (note: "ought" is speaking of obligation)

The Command to Love

vs 7  Brethren, I am writing no new commandment to you,
but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning.
The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning.
vs 8  Again, a new commandment I am writing to you,
which thing is true in Him and in you,
because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

vs 9  He who is saying that he exists in the light,
but characteristically hates his "brother",
exists in darkness (from the beginning) until now.
vs 10  He who characteristically loves his "brother"
characteristically dwells in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.
vs 11  But he who characteristically hates his "brother"
exists in darkness and walks in darkness,
and has not perceived where he is going,
because the darkness had blinded his eyes at some point in time.

Interlude

vs 12 I am writing to you, little children, Because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake.
vs 13  I am writing to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
 I am writing to you, young men, Because you have overcome the wicked one.
I am writing to you, little children, Because you have known the Father.
vs 14  I had written to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
I had written to you, young men,
Because you are characteristically strong,
and the word of God characteristically dwells in you,
And you have overcome the wicked one.

The Command for Holiness

vs 15  Do not take up a lifestyle loving the world or the things in the world.
If anyone does so, the love of the Father does not exist in him.
(Counter example of Aorist love of the world - 2Tim 4:10)

vs 16  For all (of what I'm referring to) that exists in the world——
that is, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life——
is not of the Father but is of the world.
vs 17  And the world is in the process of passing away, and the lust of it;
but he who characteristically does the will of God continues on dwelling forever.


Discussion Questions

What evidences are given in this section of whether a person has eternal life or not?
Evaluating whether you have eternal life: vs 4 Is it possible to know God without doing what He says?
vs 5 Does the Christian obey out of fear of judgement or in order to obtain eternal life,
or is there another motive besides the "What do I get out of it" idea?
vs 5 What is the relationship between obedience, love and knowledge in our relationship with God?
And why is there such a relationship?
vs 7 What is different about the new commandment compare to say the 10 commandments?
vs 10 The person hating his "brother" apparently has a stumbling block in him.
In which case, how may it cause him or his bother to stumble?
How was Satan was a stumbling block to Jesus in Mat 16:23?
Wasn't Jesus himself a stumbling block to some people? (Rom 9:33; 1Cor 1:23)
vs 11 Blindness occurred at some point in time.
When do you suppose it occurred. Examples of blindness (Mat 15:14; 23:16-26)
What hope does the blind man have? (Lk 4:18)
Considering Matt 24:9, why do people hate Christians? (John 3:20; 7:7; 15:25)
What are examples today of those who are called Chistians hating others who are called Christians?
What affect does this have on the world's perspective of Christianity?
vs 15 What does it mean to not love the world?


Comments

Evidence from Obedience

1Jn 2:3,4 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

This is one of the external evidences that one has come to know Christ. Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." Mt 7:21 In fact referring to Jesus as Lord is not supposed to be simply an acknowledgement of his Diety, but rather it's supposed to  imply one's intention of doing what he says. Thus Jesus asks the rhetorical question, "Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?" Luke 6:46

A person has not come to know Christ, let alone believe in him, if they have simply prayed a prayer to be saved without any actual intention of obeying him. That is not the kind of faith the qualifies one for salvation.



Walking as Jesus did

1Jn 2:5,6  But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him:  Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

It is not that obedience indicates that our love is made complete, but rather that God's love for us drives us to obedience, so that the person who realizes God's love for the world will naturally obey God's commands. What kind of a lifestyle would be characteristic of such a person? A lifestyle which emulates Christ as he lived in the gospels. Not that we are called to wear robes and sandals, but rather there are allegorical links between Jesus's ministry and that which is the appropriate lifestyle for believers today.

For example in John 17 Jesus said of his followers, "they are not of the world any more than I am of the world." John 17:14 As Jesus was set apart for a mission in this world, we are also called to be on a mission, "to go and make disciples of all nations." Mt 28:19 We are called to serve. We are called to be holy. We can expect to be hated by the world as Jesus was.  For he said, "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." There are many aspects of Jesus' attitude, mission, the events in his life, etc., find application in the Christian life.



The Old New Commandment

1Jn 2:7-8  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. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.

The commandment he is alluding to is of course John 13:34 where Jesus said, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." Those who love fellow believers show themselves to be enlightened.

As for the "true light", John speaks of that elsewhere in John 1:9 saying, "The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world." He's referring to Jesus. And Paul writes, "God, who said, Let light shine out of darkness, made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." 2Cor 4:6



Loving/Hating your brother

1Jn 2:9-11  Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.

One of the most fundamental evidences distinguishing children of God from children of the devil which John speaks of throughout his letter is the evidence as to how one treats fellow Christians. There are false brethren in the Christian community who distinguish themselves by their unjustified hatred for legitimate Christians. Though they claim to be enlightened, and though they even claim to love fellow Christians, such people are lying if their lifestyle is inconsistent with their claims.

The reasons why they hate legitimate Christians is much the same as to why the world hated Christ. For example Jesus said to his unblieving brothers, "The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil." John 7:7 The most fundamental reason why false brethren hate legitimate Christians is because of sin. "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed." John 3:19,20

Therefore, "Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. ...  But everything exposed by the light becomes visible" Eph 5:11,13 And by doing so you might just be able to distinguish genuine brethren from false brethen in your midst.



To Whom I'm  Writing

1Jn 2:12-14 I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name. I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, dear children, because you have known the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you have known 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.

John is about to speak to them about their relationship with the world. But before doing so he clarifies here to whom he will be addressing his instructions. These are those of whom God is their Father, and who have known the true God, and whose sins have been forgiven and thus are in a right relationship with God, and who live by the Word of God and overcome the influences of the devil. May such be characteristic of all of us!



Do Not Love the World

1John 2:15,16  Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For everything in the world— the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does— comes not from the Father but from the world.

We are not to love worldliness. We are not to conform our desires and goals to the sinful society in which we live, though the society rewards those who do so. The passions of the flesh and the praise of men, these are not what are to control the children of God. "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is— his good, pleasing and perfect will." Rom 12:2



Passing Away

1John 2:17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

"The day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness." 2Pet 3:10-13

In view of these facts, how then shall we live? What should be our priorities in life?

"The time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away." 1Cor 7:29-31

Everything else is secondary to seeking His Kingdom and His righteousness.


Literalized Translation

1John 2:

vs 3  Now by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we are characteristically keeping His commandments.
vs 4  He who is sayng, "I have known Him," and does not characteristically keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth does not exist in him.
vs 5  But whoever characteristically keeps His word, truly the love of God has been perfected in him. By this we generally know that we exist in Him.
vs 6  He who is saying that he characteristically dwells in Him ought himself also to be characteristically walking just as He had walked.
vs 7  Brethren, I am writing no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning.
vs 8  Again, a new commandment I am writing to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.
vs 9  He who is saying that he exists in the light, but characteristically hates his brother, exists in darkness (from the beginning) until now.
vs 10  He who characteristically loves his brother characteristically dwells in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.
vs 11  But he who characteristically hates his brother exists in darkness and walks in darkness, and has not perceived where he is going, because the darkness had blinded his eyes at some point in time.
vs 12 I am writing to you, little children, Because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake.
vs 13  I am writing to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, Because you have overcome the wicked one. I am writing to you, little children, Because you have known the Father.
vs 14  I had written to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I had written to you, young men, Because you are characteristically strong, and the word of God characteristically dwells in you, And you have overcome the wicked one.
vs 15  Do not take up a lifesytle loving the world or the things in the world. If anyone does so, the love of the Father does not exist in him. (Counter example of Aorist love of the world - 2Tim 4:10)
vs 16  For all (of what I'm referring to) that exists in the world——that is, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life——is not of the Father but is of the world.
vs 17  And the world is in the process of passing away, and the lust of it; but he who characteristically does the will of God continues on dwelling forever.


Rap

2:3 We know we've come to know him, if we do what he says
4 The man who says "I know him", does not Christ possess
Unless to his commands, he also does comply
Else his claim of knowing him, is nothing but a lie.
5 But if one obeys his word, (such faith is really concrete)
in him God's love shows its affect, and is thus made complete.
This how we know our faith, is not merely talk,
6 Whoever claims to live in him, must just as Jesus walk.
7 The command of which I write, is not new but old,
Even from the beginning, of this you were told.
8 Yet the truth of this command, seems really new
As the darkness is passing away, and light shining through you.
9 Those who claim, to be in the light
But hates his brother, is walking at night
10 Whoever loves his brother, dwells in the light humble, 
And there is nothing is him, which would make him stumble
11 Whoever hates his brother, is walking in the dark;
He knows not where he's going, not seeing Christ's footmark
12 I write to you my children, cause your sins have been forgiven
13 You fathers also know him, who was from the beginnen.
I write to you young men, cause you've overcome
The evil one the devil, and have come to know the Son.
You children also I must say, have come to know the Father
14 And I say this once again, if it's not a bother
He who from the start, you fathers have come to know.
Young men God's word dwells in you, you're above the status quo
You are also strong in Christ, that is what you've become
Not hurt by the devil, but rather him you've overcome
15 Love not the world, nor the things that are therein
If any love the world, God's love is not in him.
16 For all that's in the world, the lust of the eyes
The passions of the flesh, and the pride some do prize
Are not from the Father, but from the world come.
And if you disagree, then you're just being dumb.
17 The world and its desires, will pass away some day
But those who do the will of God, will forever stay.


The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources


Jul 29,2015