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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

October 2, 2013

1 John 3:19-24, 4:1-12

  1. Chapter 3:19-24. The apostle shares with the church that to love God is to love his commands. As we come to God our hearts are being converted to hearts like God. It is impossible to have a heart that is being transformed by God and not have a heart that loves. If one does not have a loving heart then one should examine to see if they are really in the faith. Jesus came because of love to save us, and that same love is what has been deposited into our hearts as his beloved children. We are his children because we have been given the true Spirit of God. This Spirit causes us to resemble our father in actions and deeds. We are called to believe in the Son for that is what leads us to eternal life, and to love our brother and sister, because that is what shows that we are children of God. And since we are his children we need to have confidence in our heavenly father that he will take care of us, and hear our prayers as we live for him.

  2. Chapter 4:1-3. The Spirit we received as the children of God is not the same spirit that is in the world. There is a spirit or spirits in the world that go against God and against God’s call for us to love one another. The apostle admonishes us to test the spirit or the motives behind the teachers and preachers we encounter. If their motives are to point people to the true and living Savior that declared you must be born again, then they are of the same Spirit we are. If they are preaching another jesus that doesn’t call for you to repent and deny yourself then we have to be careful about them because they are not of the same Spirit. The Spirit of God will cause one to declare and testify that Jesus has come in the flesh. This means he has come to save the world by being the atonement for our sins. This means that we have to admit that he was the Son of God and that we are all sinners in need of that grace. The false teachers will offer another jesus, but that little jesus has no power to change your life.

  3. Chapter 4:4-6. The apostle shares that those who are of God should have no fear about those who are of a different spirit, because their spirit is not greater than the Spirit that has been given to the saints. By “overcome them,” John means that his hearers have resisted the false teaching. The reason that they have overcome is not only that they are from God, but also that with the new birth, they also received the Holy Spirit (“the anointing,” 2:27), who indwells in them. He is greater than he who is in the world (Satan, who inspires the false teachers). Even though the Gnostic teachers may have been intellectually superior to John’s “little children,” the presence of the indwelling Spirit gave his readers the ability to discern and thus avoid the errors of the false teachers. Even though those with a different spirit might get the ear of the world and larger crowds, because they preach a false gospel that the world likes, don’t worry because this is how we know who is really of God. The world system is built around the principle of taking glory from God and transferring it to proud, self-willed man. That was Satan’s original temptation to Eve in the garden. He challenged God’s word and suggested to Eve that if she ate the forbidden fruit, she would become like God, knowing good and evil (Gen. 3:1-5). Any teaching that detracts from God’s glory and sovereignty and exalts man by feeding his pride is satanic at the core. The gospel message makes a clear distinction of who is of the world and who is of God. Those that are of God hear the message of God and listen to it, but those of the world hear it and detest it and desire the message taught by those who are really not of God but of the antichrist.

  4. Chapter 4:7-12. John repeats his admonition on love one more time. He cannot overstate this command, because it hits at the core of our new birth. Once we are born again we should begin to see love cultivated in our lives. Love is the by-product of the Spirit of God in our hearts. This love comes from God because he is the source of this great God kind of love. This great God kind of Love is a sign on believers that they are God’s children; God demonstrated the best example of this great God kind of love when He sent his son as a death sacrifice for our sins. So our response to God’s example of love, and the fact that we have been given a Spirit that produces love, is to love one another. The fulfillment of God’s love is done when we extend our hands of love to help one another. When we show love we are fulfilling God’s plan to show love to the world. God’s love is not meant to stop at us, but His love is meant to flow through us.

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