Exploring 1 John Session 7 1 John 2:7-8
Exploring 1 John Session 7 1 John 2:7-8
This is our 7th session in exploring 1 John. If you are just joining us you can catch up on the previous sessions by checking out the video, podcast, or manuscript on our website www.hbcc.life or the video teaching on YouTube channel HBCC Life.
Dualistic imagery: light darkness, love-hate, good evil, new old are all tools John uses to convey his message contrasting what is ethical behavior with immoral behavior. You know that immoral behavior as a Christian is a failure to love God or a failure to love others, do this and you're in the dark To live ethically is to live like Jesus. Loving God and Loving Others, do this and you're in the light. There is no gray. You should note as John continues to write that he differentiates between those with us, whom he calls dear friends, and those who have left us, and specifically labels those who have left us as anti-Christ. John’s call to love one another is directed to the dear friends and not extended to those who have left us.
Today we are going to explore the characteristics of light and darkness. By the end of the teaching, you will be able to discern what the deeds of darkness entail. [1 John 4:1] You will be urged to get rid of any darkness in your life, to walk stumble free, as you shine in and with the love of Christ. Here’s some good news, the kingdom of God is established and it is advancing.
1 John 2:7-8 (MSG)
My dear friends, I'm not writing anything new here. This is the oldest commandment in the book, and you've known it from day one. It's always been implicit in the Message you've heard. On the other hand, perhaps it is new, freshly minted as it is in both Christ and you—the darkness on its way out and the True Light already blazing!
Identifying the oldest command in the book we can go a couple of ways. We can look through Jewish lenses or we can look through Pagan convert’s lenses. Looking through Jewish lenses the oldest commands in the book are the 10 commandments (Exodus 20:2-17), which can be summarized by Leviticus 19:18 and Deuteronomy 6:5 both verses from the ancient Hebrew texts.
Lev 19:18-19 (MSG)
"Don't seek revenge or carry a grudge against any of your people. "Love your neighbor as yourself. I am God. "Keep my decrees.
Deuteronomy 6:5 (MSG)
Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that's in you, love him with all you've got!
Through Jewish lenses, the oldest command in the book is to love God and to love others. For the pagan converts, those unacquainted with Judaism, they most likely would not know the Jewish scripture. Their understanding of what John is calling a new command would be found in the gospel; the good news of redemption and salvation through Jesus.
Just wondering? Do you know that you can be redeemed from the messes you’ve made in your life? Our lives get messed up because of sin. Sin deters, damages, and destroys relationships. Sin is fueled by selfishness, do what we want, when we want, regardless of the circumstance we are convinced that we know what is best for us. How has that worked out for you so far? God the Holy Spirit revealed to me before I ever knew who was doing the revealing that my life was a mess. I would get depressed, not happy with how life was unfolding. Then I learned that Jesus came that I might have the opportunity to live life the way God wanted me to live it (John 10:10), that I could live an abundant life, life to the full. I wanted that so I acknowledged my sins that created the mess. Believed that Jesus could redeem me out of the mess. I committed to give up living life my way and instead learn how to live Jesus’ way. Then I simply asked God to accept my faith. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit set me on the road to salvation. What was offered to me, redemption and salvation are also offered to you. Your life can be redeemed you can travel salvation’s road. Get out of the dark. Acknowledge your mess, Believe Jesus can redeem you from your mess, Commit yourself to walk that road of salvation, and ask God to accept your faith. If that is your desire, do so right now. Do it, get into the light and tell someone, let me know, I want to help you mature in your new-found faith.
Back to our pagan converts, who most likely would not be familiar with the Hebrew scriptures. So John could be referring to the command Jesus gave to all who would follow Him.
John 13:34 (MSG)
"Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way, I loved you, you love one another.
It looks like love is the answer regardless of the lenses you are looking through.
But then John writes something that makes me think that maybe he is referring to Jesus and the presence of Jesus in your life: the darkness on its way out and the True Light already blazing! (1 John 2:8 (MSG). The True Light, most likely is the relationship of salvation through Jesus as opposed to the false light of those that left possessed. False light is no light at all.
Matthew 6:23 (NIV)
If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
Jesus is the light bringer. We can trace this throughout John’s writings.
John 1:1-5 (MSG)
The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God, in readiness for God from day one. Everything was created through him; nothing—not one thing!—came into being without him. What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn't put it out.
Jesus is the bringer of Life-Light.
John 8:12 (MSG)
Jesus once again addressed them: "I am the world's Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in."
The light symbolizes Jesus.
1 John 1:5 (MSG)
God is light, pure light; there's not a trace of darkness in him.
Behind the words is there is a connection to be made: Jesus is Divine; the Father and Jesus are one.
“The True Light is already blazing!”
Darkness is on its way out. It is wise to understand what the darkness is all about. Darkness causes stumbling (1 John 1:6). We are in darkness when we do not know God. “Life-Light” blazes in those who know God. A failure to love results in stumbling, stumbling creates the messes in our lives.
When you witness division, schism, divorce, disunity, a scattering of the community, you are witnessing the results of being in darkness. [1 Corinthians 1:10-17; Galatians 5:20]
When you hear accusations, accusing, slandering, gossiping, blaming, you are hearing the results of being in darkness. [Revelation 12:9-11; 1 Peter 2:1]
When you are peddled lies, deceit, untruths, spin you are being asked to buy into the way of darkness. [Isaiah 5:20]
Where the darkness thrives there is the negation of life, the destruction of community, and hate for another. [John 8:44]
Where the darkness thrives there is inequality, oppression, injustice, bigotry, bullying, and prejudice.[Zechariah 7:9-10, Proverbs 14:31]
Where the darkness thrives there is violence, immorality, abuse, selfishness, scandal, and strife. [Galatinas 5:19-21]
Lives being destroyed by poverty, addiction, acquisition, trauma, religious talk without loving action, only happen in the darkness.
Lives being destroyed by pornography, promiscuity, greed, lust, only happen in the darkness. [Coossians 3:5]
Lives being manipulated, propaganda believed, conformity demanded, us verse them, only happen in the darkness. [Ephesians 5:6]
In the dark there is no God, there is no altruism, no compassion, and no empathy. [Proverbs 31:0] In the dark, it’s everyone for themselves, it’s me first, it’s I am the highest authority for what is right and what is wrong. [Philippinas 2:4] In the dark, there is isolation, rejection, there is no community, there is no exchange of ideas, no debate, and no free speech.
All that belongs to the darkness is on its way out. As a follower of Jesus, having acknowledged, believed, committed, and been accepted if there is darkness in your heart, get rid of it (Psalm 51:10). Ask God to purge you from all wrongdoing, all wrong being. Such forgiveness and restoration and freedom are found in confession (1 John 1:9) and fellowship (1 John 1:7).
Ephesians 5:8-11 (NIV)
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
Ask the Holy Spirit to expose the fruitless deeds of darkness in our own life. Start here. Start with yourself. Let the blazing light overcome the darkness.
If you are in Christ, the True light is shinning in you right now.: “the darkness is on its way out and the True Light already blazing!” It is so very difficult to see in our culture that the darkness is progressively being defeated. It seems anything but, it seems that chaos and hate and violence are rampant because these are the headlines that bombard us. [Romans 8:22] Such bad news all the time creates a state of fear and paranoia. We should add fear to the list of the results of darkness for as John has written:
1 John 4:18 (MSG)
There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.
Get rid of the darkness from the corners of your life (Romans 13:12; Psalm 139-23-24). Step into the blaze of light that is overcoming the darkness even now (John 8:12). Let your light shine. Expose the darkness in the world around you (Psalm 94:16). Shine the light of love, this pleases the Lord, this is what disciples do. My friends, there is a kingdom of love established. It advances through you as you love God and love others.