Main point summary
My beloved, I'm writing to you as a means of your sanctification and holiness, BUT we will sin! And when we do, we are to KNOW and HAVE FAITH that we have the ultimate defense attorney and wrath appeaser! And He is not only for a small nation of people, but is for every nation on the earth.
1 John 2:1-2
a My little children, I am b writing these things to you
My beloved brothers and sister, my spiritual children who I dearly love, I writing this letter to you
so that you may not sin.
so that you are armed with truth to help you fight sin and become holy through Sanctification.
And if anyone sins,
But, WHEN we sin,
c we have an 1 d Advocate with the Father,
we have an intercessor, and a defense attorney, and brother and friend who pleads His powerful, infinitely valuable blood over us to His Father on our behalf!!!! Praise God!!! He is the perfect and perpetual high priest of Hebrews!
Jesus Christ the righteous;
His name is Jesus the Messiah, the perfectly righteous champion for us;
and He Himself is a the 1 propitiation for our sins;
and not only is He our advocate, but Jesus Himself is the wrath absorber who drank the tank of wrath that we deserved! He satisfied and perpetually satisfies the NEED for God to pour out wrath on sin. He did this FOR US!!! He is the perfect and perpetual sacrifice of Hebrews, the eternal lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!
and not for ours only,
And not only is Jesus the advocate and wrath bearer for us Jews,
but also b for those of the whole world.
but also for every tribe tongue and nation all over His planet!
Main point summary
We can have assurance that God has saved our souls and that we are in Christ by faith by examining our lives. If we see a pattern of life that fights sin and has real holiness and truly loves people in like manner to Jesus, we can know we are His child! If, on the other hand, we see rebellion and idolatry and a pattern of sin, we cannot assure ourselves of our salvation even if we've been baptized, or walked an isle, or prayed a prayer of salvation, or teach Sundayschool, or even pastor a church.
1 John 2:3-6
a By this we know that we have come to b know Him ,
This is how you can look at your life and have assurance that you have come to know Jesus and have been saved by Him,
if we c keep His commandments.
examine your life (thoughts, emotions, actions) and observe your obedience of faith.
The one who says, “ a I have come to b know Him,”
To unpack this more, the person who says, "I know Jesus"
and does not keep His commandments,
and yet does not obey Him,
is a c liar,
is lying to himself and to others,
and d the truth is not in him;
and the truth of his standing with God is not known to him...he is blind to his spiritual deadness;
but whoever a keeps His word,
BUT, whoever does work hard and fight in dependence on the Spirit in humbly crying out to God for help resulting in obedience of faith,
in him the b love of God has truly been perfect ed .
in this person, God's love has (past tense cause) accomplished its work in regeneration and justification.
c By this we know that we are in Him :
In summary, by this we can have assurance that we have been baptized into Christ and are in Him like Noah in the Ark:
the one who says he a abides in Him b ought himself to walk
the person who says he abides in Jesus ought to live as a pattern of life
in the same manner as He walked.
such that he is doing, feeling, speaking, acting, thinking in the same ways that Jesus did.
What are the most terrifying, completely devastating words you could ever hear..."Depart from me, I never knew you". On the flip side, what should determine our real feelings of peace and safety and security tonight when we go to bed? "Nothing can separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus" God is for me... How do we know which of those categories we're in? We have faith? How do we know if our faith is genuine? Is it demon faith? Do we just believe facts about Jesus? Do we enjoy this particular lifestyle that cultural Christianity in this area provides? There are perks to be drawn to...stability, wise living that results in prosperity, still some respect of others for being moral and a person of conviction. Morality generally results in wise living and relative peace. We like having moral friends and we like the idea of our sins being forgiven and going to heaven. But that all can be desired in the flesh? How can we gain assurance for our own soul's peace that we truly have been born again and have saving faith? So remember the thee buckets John gave as his motive for writing this book? So that you may not sin... So that you may have assurance/know that you are in Christ So that our joy may be complete! So, lets look at 2:1-6 and see some of the ways John gives to accomplish these goals. 1-2 One test of whether you can have assurance is how we respond when we sin. There is conviction...we recognize things we think and say and do as sin. Outside of this text, we feel broken over the sin, not because of the natural consequences of it, not because of hurting other people only, but ULTIMATELY, we feel broken because we know our sin grieves the Lord and that that sin was punished on Jesus. The main point of this passage is what we do ONCE we feel conviction and brokenness. Do we respond like Adam and Eve and hide from God to let some time pass and distractions calm our consciences? Or blame someone else for it like Adam? Do we lie to God about it like Cane and think we can hide it from God? Do we try to rationalize it and justify it like Israels cowardice and lack of faith to enter the Promised land ? OR do we do what John says here...to we LOOK to our Advocate? Do we look to Jesus immediately? Do we confess it to him like Verse 9 we studied last week? Do we look to the cross and cast our whole hope on the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world? If we do this as a pattern of life, John wants to give us assurance that we are Christ's! This assurance leads to peace and joy in clear fellowship with Jesus and His body. 3-6 The second test of whether or not we can have assurance and confidence that we are Christ's is how we live our lives every day. Do we obey Jesus' commands, and do we "walk like Jesus walked"? What are His commandments? (MATTHEW) Love your enemies Love your neighbor, meaning people in need (Good Samaritan) Give to everyone who asks of you Treat others the way you want them to treat you Be merciful just as your Father is merciful Do not judge or condemn (sinfully...we are called to discern and practice church discipline,etc) Give generously Examine yourself first and then help your brother out of sin Do not be angry with your brother, but reconcile Do not lust, but have purity of mind Do not lie, but speak truthfully and honestly Do not store up treasures on earth, but store up treasures in heaven Do not worry, but trust in the sovereign goodness of God Seek the Kindom of God above all else Do not fear man who can only kill the body, but fear God and boldly proclaim the gospel Love Me above your family and even your own life Come to Jesus for your rest and not other things or people Speak your words knowing that you will give an account of every single one before God Deny yourself and take up your cross daily, desiring to save your life BY surrendering it to Him Forgive one another just as God forgave us Do not divorce Do not love money, but follow Jesus Look forward to and urgently for Jesus' return Use the resources and skills God gives us for kingdom investment and not our own kingdoms Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them and teaching them to practice all that I have commanded you How did Jesus walk? (LUKE) He was baptized (by immersion as an adult) to fulfill all righteousness He fought temptation with the word of God He spoke hard truths without fear of political backlash or concern for his popularity He had COMPASSION for people, healing them and raising dead children and weeping over Lazarus He was SOOO patient and gentle with His disciples, yet blunt and stern when required He associated with outcasts and lowly and sick to the detriment of his reputation and standing with friends, family, and culture. He spend his days discipling people...through teaching and modeling. He taught people what the scriptures mean He showed people who God is and what He is like He prayed all the time....sometimes for hours at a time or all night He relied on the power of the Holy Spirit as He took on the form of us humans.. He boldly called people to follow Him He fearlessly spoke against injustice and hypocrisy and evil in the presence of powerful enemies He spent his first 30 years as an obedient son, working with his hands as a carpenter He spent 3 years in full time mission work, marching toward His ultimate mission He was always humble, depending on the Father, looking toward the interest of others, glorifying His Father. He was ZEALOUS for God and His worship and His word...there was no apathy or laziness or boredom with His Father or His mission or the Word or with prayer. He was willing to suffer, even suffer humiliation torture unto death for the salvation of a people who were still ungodly and enemies. He was calm and at peace in suffering, trusting that it was ALL FROM His Father in wisdom and love. (You would have no power over me Pilate, if it were not GIVEN to you FROM MY FATHER) He forgave until nearly His last breath and in His last breath FINISHED the act of forgiving for His bride. His obedience with motivated by JOY in God! So, if we examine our lives and see that we obey Jesus' commandments and walk as He walked (NOT IN PERFECTION, but as a pattern and posture of life), John want's to give us assurance that we are IN HIM! BECAUSE, we can know that God has done the work to justify us by grace alone through faith alone. As we see fruit and are assured of our justification, we can have peace and joy in Him! One note...Do you think assurance of your salvation is necessary FOR your salvation? I don't think so. I believe that people go to heaven every day who still have doubts about whether they have been born again. BUT, assurance leads to freedom and peace and joy and abundant life and hope. Should we ask for assurance? YES Ask for more of the obedience of faith, which will lead to more assurance. BUT primarily...when we feel doubts about our being in Christ, we should LOOK TO OUR ADVOCATE! Look to Jesus! Cry out for His help! Yes we are to 1) Look AT our obedience on occasion and look for fruit (Read 2 Corinthians 13:5, 1 Peter 1:6-9; 2 Peter 1:5-12.).. if your tree looks bare or you truly believe you fail the test of faith and are not born again...then what? Should the response be much different if we fail our own assessment or if we see very little fruit? 2) Look AWAY FROM your obedience and cry out to Jesus for help ! Both steps are CLEAR in scripture. Let the one remind us of our need for grace. Let the other remind us of the guarantee of grace through Jesus. See Jesus as our champion! See yourself INSIDE Jesus like Noah was safe inside the arc. To the degree that we look to Him and see Him and believe that we are in Him is the degree we will feel assured of our standing with God. Pray for greater obedience to validate your faith to grant assurance leading to peace and joy. Change where you abide. Abide in Jesus. John 15 If you've drifted out from under the waterfall of the means of grace (word, prayer, fasting, Lord's supper, fellowship with believers, Bible study, meditation on His word, service), fight to prioritize getting back under that waterfall. This is how we abide in Him so that we can bear fruit leading to assurance!