Exploring 1 John Session 28: 1 John 5:1-5
Exploring 1 John Session 28: 1 John 5:1-5
In this session, we are going to learn how to conquer the ways of a Jesus denying world. John will tell us it is by our faith, characterized by our acceptance, belief, and commitment that Jesus is God’s Messiah.
Every person who believes that Jesus is, in fact, the Messiah, is God-begotten. If we love the One who conceives the child, we'll surely love the child who was conceived.
The reality test on whether or not we love God's children is this: Do we love God? Do we keep his commands? The proof that we love God comes when we keep his commandments and they are not at all troublesome.
The gospel reveals that when we ask God to rescue us by acknowledging our desperate need to be saved, believing that God in Jesus provides the way the truth and the life to save us, and committing ourselves to follow Jesus, then our asking to be saved results in God adopting us as His children. Jesus called it being born again. The Apostle Paul called it becoming a new person. Are you a child of God, born again, a new person? Forgiveness of sin and reconciliation of relationships are yours, God’s free gift for those who acknowledge, believe, commit, and ask. If you realize you are not of the family, today you can reach out in prayer and ask God to adopt you. I want you as my brother or sister in Christ. If you ask, let me know so I can help get you acclimated to the family.
John tells us again, if you love God, you will love His children. We live this love out first and foremost within the congregation. We know it is our love for one another that reveals God and draws people to God. Choosing not to love a brother or sister in Christ is an indication of not knowing God. If you notice a lack of love in an individual, regardless of what such a non-lover preaches or teaches, or prophesizes, take it was a warning to be especially on guard. There are many manipulators, deceives, and charlatans masquerading as Christians. How a person treats others reveals the heart.
We’ve extensively examined the command to love. To refresh your memory, the ones John insists that we love are those who are God-begotten (John 1:12 & Romans 8:15). Those who deny the faith, those who “went out from us (1 John 2:19) are excluded from the community. They turned their backs and left. We are not commanded to love them as if they were still members of the congregation. Though we are called to love others, it seems to me, and this is my opinion, there is a love reserved for members of the family that are not extended to those not of the family while still maintaining the mandate to treat everyone with respect and as the opportunity arise to lend a helping hand. John tells us that if we say we love God we will also embrace Jesus the Messiah Christ, and the rest of those who are called God-begotten (2 Corinthians 6:18 & Galatians 4:4-5). John is concerned about how we in the family of God relate to one another, that we indeed love one another.
Even in the midst of someone else’s frustrating, unjust, illogical, ridiculous, one-sided idiotic rant, it has been by breathing, breathing, breathing, and of course, prayer that the Holy Spirit empowered me to keep my conscience clear. What’s neat is that after, I felt satisfaction that I did right. I know when I am in an emotional low, I have to be especially on guard, that I don’t let anger and sarcasm win over love. Retaliation is not loving. Selfish anger is not loving. Holding a grudge is not loving. It is expected that we will love our brothers and sisters in Christ.
I have found it especially difficult to choose to be a lover during times of loss or tragedy or opposition, or just plain frustration. I have found it difficult when I felt I was being taken advantage of, more so when a loved one was being abused, or that an injustice was occurring. Another trick I try to use beside breath, pray and breath is to sing in my head the old Beatles song “All You Need Is Love.” Maybe something like that will help you maintain a cool head and clear thinking when thrust into a nasty situation.
“…if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
His love restores us to be lovers, to reconcile, to apologize, to forgive. We leave the situation hopefully wiser and determined to be a lover next time. Keep practicing and you will get it right. That’s really how we overcome the Jesus denying world. The Jesus denying world is any thought, word, deed, writing, or institution that refuses to love God and love others. Obedience is the fruit of faith. Anytime you see love not happening, it’s anti-Christ. Anytime you love you are exercising your faith, your belief is being put into action, and you overcome the ways of a Jesus denying world. It is by your actions that you declare that Jesus is the Son of God.