Exploring 1 John Session 5 1 John 2:1-2 continued

Exploring 1 John Session 5 1 John 2:1-2 continued


We are picking up our teaching from last time, so if you missed session 4 you can find the manuscript, the podcast, the video on our website www.hbcc.life or you can watch the video teaching on our YouTube channel HBCC Life.  We left off with the question of how is it possible not to sin especially considering what John has written in the first chapter.

1 John 2:1-2 (MSG)
I write this, dear children, to guide you out of sin. But if anyone does sin, we have a Priest-Friend in the presence of the Father: Jesus Christ, righteous Jesus. When he served as a sacrifice for our sins, he solved the sin problem for good—not only ours but the whole world's.

In chapter 1 John has made the case that what we do matters.  If our actions do not substantiate our testimony then we are self-deceived no matter what we believe. If you say you love God but do not obey His commands, that disobedience identifies you as a liar.  If you say you love God but fail to respect another person or refuse to meet their need when you have it within your ability to do so, that disobedience identifies you as a liar.  No love demonstrated means you do not know God.

Friends all you have to do is look at the hells we have created on earth to know that sin deters, damages, and destroys righteousness. Righteousness exists where things are working as designed.  Love brings righteousness. When selfishness rules with its lust, with its greed, with its desire to acquire, with its need for power, for fame, for riches, its desire to rule, look what gets accomplished.  Is it good?  Does a refusal to love to create equality, liberty, freedom, or justice?  I think not.  The mind of selfishness is that I am going to take what is yours and use it exclusively for myself.  The attitude of selfishness is my needs come first. Selfishness creates exploitation, loving things, using people, hate, war, lies, stealing, murder, division, contention, addictions, confusion, and chaos.  Selfishness destroys the community. Would you have a dear close friend, a best friend, who operated from the principle that I am going to do what I want, when I want, to whom I want, regardless of the consequences?  It’s me first baby.  That sounds like a heartache, a heartbreak, with victimization, with being used and abused, and discarded as eventualities thrown in.

The hate stops with you, you must not tolerate hate in any form any longer.  Allow God to change your heart and give you a voice.  Here’s the truth: we are to love people, black, white, rich, homeless, neighbor, foreigner, Native American, Pacific Rimmer, loving people includes everyone for whom Christ died.  But love doesn’t mean we tolerate anarchy, oppression, that we don’t correct the abuse of power, that we don’t demand liberty and justice for all.]

In the first chapter John is simply saying that those who say they do not sin, that they have never sinned, that it doesn’t matter what you do if you believe are wrong in their understanding of living as a disciple of Jesus.

When we realize our failure to love we have a great promise. 
1 John 1:9 (MSG)
“…if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won't let us down; he'll be true to himself. He'll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing.”

We have learned that forgiveness of our sins and reconciliation with God is possible because of the atonement of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:18).  Jesus is our Priest Friend, he is our “paraclete” the one whose presence is a source of help. His voluntary sacrificial death on the Cross makes it possible for a person to enter into the light.  In the light, we have fellowship with God and with one another. In the light, it is expected that we will love God and love others.  It is expected that one who knows God will not continue to sin.  Sin is refusing to love.

“Paraclete” translated as Priest friend, sometimes as Comforter, sometimes as advocate, can be understood as one who pleads your case, kind of like an attorney in a court of law.  The title can also be understood as one whose presence gives you help.  In teaching His disciples Jesus said that His leaving would make it possible for another “paraclete” to take up residence within all who believe and give the help necessary to live in the light, to be guided and empowered in all truth. 
John 16:13 (MSG)
“…when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is.”

This other Friend, the Spirit of Truth is the Holy Spirit. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, you do not have to sin. “I write this to you so that you will not sin” (1 John 2:1 (NIV).  The empowerment of the Holy Spirit makes it possible for you to love God and love others in every circumstance of life. Loving God and Loving others is the pathway of Truth, it is the way of righteousness, it’s being in the light.

When God accepts your faith, the Holy Spirit takes up residence within you (Ephesians 1:13). The fancy theological word for this is regeneration, making new. In Christ, the proverbial leopard can indeed change its spots.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (MSG)
Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone…”

When you acknowledge the hells you have created on earth and believe that Jesus can deliver you from the hells you have made, by renouncing selfishness and committing yourself to loving God and loving others, you can ask God to accept your faith.  Because of the atonement, God will forgive you of your sins, reconcile you to Himself, and place the Holy Spirit inside you. This grace changes you, makes you that new person empowered to live righteously.  Following the leading of the Holy Spirit, you will be guided out of sin.  Living in the fullness of the Spirit, keeping in step with the Spirit, you can avoid a failure to love God and a failure to love others, you can avoid sinning (Galatians 5:16).

This infilling with the Holy Spirit, with God Himself, doesn’t remove the possibility of being overcome by temptation resulting in some selfish act.  We are never above temptation in this life to act selfishly.  Yet we are empowered to overcome temptation in this life by consistently choosing to love God and love others.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (MSG)
No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it.

The Holy Spirit supports you in your efforts to live a holy life through your deeds of loving God and loving others.  As you partner with the Holy Spirit you allow God’s gift of sanctifying grace to empower you to be like Jesus.  Sanctifying grace is the grace that transforms the disciple (2 Corinthians 3:19), turning the practical sinner into an ethical saint (Colossians 3:5-10).  Sanctifying grace endows you with both the desire and power to rid yourself of selfishness and all the hell's selfishness brings (James 1:21).  The scripture paints a picture of selfishness as filthy rags that we are to tear off so that we can wear a wardrobe of righteousness (Zechariah 3:4).  We need help to do so.  The Holy Spirit gives us His help. As we ask for His help, as we denounce the old ways we grow in grace, we do better, our spiritual health increases, we step further into the light.  This results in living ethically, morally, desiring integrity, and purity of thought and action.

Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Through John's writing, we have discovered that we are under no compulsion to sin every day in thought, word, or deed.  Instead, when tempted to be unloving we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to refuse.  The disciple of Jesus has the help of the Spirit within and the congregation without to live a life of love.  If anyone fails in living this life of love, Jesus has already made atonement for our every act of selfishness and will still plead our case before the Father if we do sin.  This is why we can be cleansed from all unrighteousness through confession.  Then being forgiven we walk together, being part of the congregation, and are continually transformed into lovers because we have a Priest Friend in Jesus.

What can we walk away with from this teaching:

1. You can choose to leave your hells behind by asking God to save you. 

Romans 10:9-11 (NIV)
“…if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."

I want you in the light. Ask God to accept your faith.

2.  For all your unloving acts and the hurt, they have caused you can be forgiven.  The consequences may remain but the spiritual guilt and shame can be separated from you as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12).  Jesus has made atonement for your sin.  All you have to do is confess. Confession acknowledges the unloving act, determines never to forsake the path of love again, seeks reconciliation with offended parties, and asks to be forgiven. 

I want you in the light. Ask God to forgive you for your sins.

3.  By partnering with the Holy Spirit you can live a devout and holy life, you do not have to sin.  The Holy Spirit empowers ethical transformation so that every time you are tempted you can overcome the temptation and choose to be a lover.

I want you in the light.  Ask God to empower you to be like Jesus.

If any of those three truths are your desire. Actualize them now.  Please, let me know what you have decided for like John I want our joy to be complete.

Galatians 5:25 (MSG)
Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives.



Exploring 1 John Session 5 1 John 2:1-2 continued

1 John 2:1-2 (MSG)
I write this, dear children, to guide you out of sin. But if anyone does sin, we have a Priest-Friend in the presence of the Father: Jesus Christ, righteous Jesus. When he served as a sacrifice for our sins, he solved the sin problem for good—not only ours but the whole world's.

If our actions do not substantiate our testimony then we are self-deceived no matter what we believe.

Selfishness destroys the community

In the first chapter John is simply saying that those who say they do not sin, that they have never sinned, that it doesn’t matter what you do if you believe are wrong in their understanding of living as a disciple of Jesus.

1 John 1:9 (MSG)
“…if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won't let us down; he'll be true to himself. He'll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing.”

Jesus is our Priest Friend, he is our “paraclete” the one whose presence is a source of help.

Sin is refusing to love.

John 16:13 (MSG)
“…when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is.”

The empowerment of the Holy Spirit makes it possible for you to love God and love others in every circumstance of life.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (MSG)
Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone…”

Following the leading of the Holy Spirit, you will be guided out of sin. 

1 Corinthians 10:13 (MSG)
No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it.

As you partner with the Holy Spirit you allow God’s gift of sanctifying grace to empower you to be like Jesus.

Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

1. You can choose to leave your hells behind by asking God to save you. 

Romans 10:9-11 (NIV)
“…if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."

2.  For all your unloving acts and the hurt, they have caused you can be forgiven.  The consequences may remain but the spiritual guilt and shame can be separated from you as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12

I want you in the light. Ask God to forgive you for your sins.

3.  The Holy Spirit empowers ethical transformation so that every time you are tempted you can overcome the temptation and choose to be a lover.

I want you in the light.  Ask God to empower you to be like Jesus.

Galatians 5:25 (MSG)
Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives.


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