1 John Lessons


1John 4:19-5:5 Literalize

1John 4:
vs 19  We characteristically love Him because He first loved us at a point in time.
vs 20  If someone says at some point in time, "I characteristically love God," and characteristically hates his "brother", he characteristically is a liar; for he who does not characteristically love his "brother" whom he has seen, how can he characteristically love God whom he has not seen?
vs 21  And this commandment we have from Him: that he who characteristically loves God must characteristically love his "brother" also.

1John 5:
vs 1  Whoever characteristically believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who characteristically loves Him who begot also characteristically loves him who has been begotten of Him.
vs 2  By this we generally know that we characteristically love the children of God, when we characteristically love God and characteristically keep His commandments.
vs 3  For this is the love of God, that we characteristically keep His commandments. And His commandments are not generally burdensome.
vs 4  For whatever has been born of God characteristically overcomes the world. And this is the victory that overcame the world at a point in time——our faith.
vs 5 
Who is he who characteristically overcomes the world, but he who characteristically believes that Jesus is the Son of God?



"I Love God"

1John 4:19-21
vs 19
  We characteristically love Him because He first loved us at a point in time.
vs 20  If someone says at some point in time, "I characteristically love God," and characteristically hates his "brother", he characteristically is a liar; for he who does not characteristically love his "brother" whom he has seen, how can he characteristically love God whom he has not seen?
vs 21  And this commandment we have from Him: that he who characteristically loves God must characteristically love his "brother" also.

Again John reiterates these points concerning love. The reason why we love is because God loved. (1John 4:11) There are those who only give lip service saying that they "love God" but demonstrate hatred towards fellow Christians. When it comes to love, don't go simply by what people say. (And just as an aside, this is one reason why husbands are often reluctant to say "I love you", because it is such a vain and shallow way of expressing love.)  But concerning the love of the brethren, once again I point out what Jesus said, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."John 13:34,35



Every Believer a Child of God

1John 5:1 Whoever characteristically believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who characteristically loves Him who begot also characteristically loves him who has been begotten of Him.

This is another way of stating 1John 4:13 "If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God."  When a person puts his faith in Christ he receives the right to be born of God. "To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." John 1:12 Having believed, the process of being born of God is purely passive, requiring no effort on the part of the believer. "children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God." John 1:13 Therefore if a person professes faith in Christ it should be assume that person is born of God unless there is evidence to the contrary, evidence of which this epistle has been pointing to all throughout.

Once again John reiterates the point that one evidence that one has been born of God is by their love for fellow Christians. In this case he points out the motivation that family members have an inherent love for one another. Christians are in a common family and share a common destiny. "Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God." Eph 2:19 Therefore Paul writes, "as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." Gal 6:10

Consequently false believers don't tend to have a sense of the Christian coummunity as being their family. Do you treat fellow Christians like you do members of your family.



Love and Obedience

1John 5:2  By this we generally know that we characteristically love the children of God, when we characteristically love God and characteristically keep His commandments.

Jesus said, "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me." John 14:21a Christian love for God is applied through submission to God and obedience to his commands. And what is his primary command but to love one another. Loving the brethren and loving God go hand in hand.

Don't misread this as aorist. He is not saying that we know we love God's children at the particular instance in which we love God and at the instance we keep His commandments. Rather this is simply a truism correlating all three things. Loving God, loving God's children, and obeying God's commands go hand in hand, and not as a requirement, but rather as a description of those born of God. And thus such attributes taken together can be used to diagnose one's salvation status.



Overcoming

1John 5:3-5
vs 3  For this is the love of God, that we characteristically keep His commandments. And His commandments are not generally burdensome.
vs 4  For whatever has been born of God characteristically overcomes the world. And this is the victory that overcame the world at a point in time——our faith.
vs 5 
Who is he who characteristically overcomes the world, but he who characteristically believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Jesus said, "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Mt 11:29,30 It's easy for those born of God to obey his commands because it comes natural to them. Both submission to God itself is part of the regenerate nature, and the very commands we are given are all in line with the Spirit which lives in us.

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them." Eze 36:26,27
This is the sense in which those born of God overcome the world. It is not simply a positional fact, rather to "overcome" is referring to the natural behavior of those born of God. The book of Revelation associates "overcoming" with one's speech and actions. (Rev 2-3;12:11;21:7) It is not that salvation is contingent upon one overcoming, but rather overcoming is a natural indicator that one has been born of God, and thus saved. For some Christians have been mislead by false teachers on this matter. But John has set the record straight. For according to John there simply doesn't exist a person who has been born of God who does not overcome the world. Teachers are found to be false when they propose such a category of people does exist - itheir straw man argument does not hold up under scrutiny.

These go hand in hand in hand:
Thus if a person alleges to "believe in Jesus", but doesn't overcome the world, they have not been born of God. Consider those Peter speaks of in 2Peter chapter 2. Of such false Christians he notes:
"While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 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.'" 2Peter 2:19-22
The false promise of "liberity" is the false promise that having been saved, one has a license to sin, which is the same as Jude wrote, "For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord." Jude 1:4 And here in 1John these people are also being spoken of. Such people still exist to this day among the Christian community.

But notice that Peter goes on to indicate that such people are overcome due to the fact that their nature has not changed. For while "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature" 2Cor 5:17, these have not changed from their natural state of being dogs and pigs.


The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources

Jul 29,2015