Other people turn from this relationship with God because they feel so distant from Him. They want a relationship with God, but feel so disqualified, so distant. They need to know what God has done to make this kind of relationship possible. If someone invited you to have a "personal relationship" with Napoleon, or Alexander the Great, or Abraham Lincoln- or even Moses or the Apostle Paul- we would think them foolish.
One cannot even have a genuine "spiritual" relationship with a dead man. But with the eternal God who became man, we can have a relationship. The word fellowship has in it not only the idea of relationship, but of sharing a common life. When we have fellowship with Jesus, we will become more like Him. The disciples did not have the close fellowship with Jesus when He walked this earth with them. As Jesus said to Philip at the very end of His earthly ministry, " Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip?
Therefore we can enter into the same fellowship with God that the Apostles could enter. It is as if the Father and the Son agree together to let us into their relationship of love and fellowship. This idea of a shared life is essential. This doesn't mean that when Jesus comes into our life He helps us to do better what we did before. We don't add Jesus to our life. We enter into a relationship of a shared life with Jesus.
- Saras Quest!
- First Epistle of John - New World Encyclopedia.
- Ethics and Qualities of Life!
- A Love letter to Struggling Christians.
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We share our life with Him, and He shares His life with us. That you also may have fellowship with us : We may think it curious that John first considers fellowship with God's people; but this is often how people come to experience a relationship with God: they first encounter God through relationships with God's people. That your joy may be full : The result of fellowship is fullness of joy. This joy is an abiding sense of optimism and cheerfulness based on God , as opposed to happiness , which is a sense of optimism and cheerfulness based on circumstances.
John clearly echoed an idea Jesus brought before His disciples the night before His crucifixion. He wanted fullness of joy for them- even knowing that the cross was directly in front of them. John Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. That you joy may be full : Fullness of joy is certainly possible for the Christian, but it is by no means certain. John wrote with the desire that believers would have fullness of joy- and if it were inevitable or very easy to have he would not have written this.
The Christian's joy is important, and assaulted on many fronts. External circumstances, moods and emotions, or sin can all take away our joy. Yet the Christian's joy is not found in the things of this world, as good as they might be. When John wrote about these things , he wrote about this relationship of fellowship and love we can share in with God the Father and the Son Jesus Christ.
Too many Christians are passive in their loss of joy. They need to realized it is a great loss and do everything they can to draw close to God and reclaim that fullness of joy. If any of you have lost the joy of the Lord. I pray you do not think it a small loss.
Observations on this first portion of the book, which is one long sentence in the original manuscript. John began with the beginning - the eternal God, who was before all things. He told us that this God was physically manifested, and that he and others could testify to this as eyewitnesses.
He told us that we may have fellowship with this God, and that we are often introduced into this fellowship with God by the fellowship of God's people. He told us that this eternally existent God, the Word of Life , who was physically present with them, and present for fellowship, is God the Son, named Jesus Christ.
He told us that fellowship with Jesus leads to a life lived in fullness of joy. We could say that in these four verses, John gave us enough to live our whole Christian life on. No wonder one commentator wrote, "Observe the note of wonder in the Apostle's language. Speech fails him. He labours for expression, adding definition to definition.
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. This is the message : This is a claim to authority. John isn't making this up; these are not his own personal opinions or ideas about God.
This is God's message about Himself which we have heard from Him , which John now reveals to us and declare to you. What John will tell us about God is what God has told us about Himself. We can't be confident in our own opinions or ideas about God unless they are genuinely founded on what God has said about Himself.
God is light and in Him is no darkness at all : We must begin our understanding of God here. John declares this on the simple understanding that God Himself is light ; and light by definition has no darkness at all in it; for there to be darkness, there must be an absence of light. A good definition of God is, "God is the only infinite, eternal, and unchangeable spirit, the perfect being in whom all things begin, and continue, and end.
God is light and in Him is no darkness at all : Therefore, if there is a problem with our fellowship with God, it is our fault. It is not the fault of God because there is no sin or darkness in Him at all. Any approach to relationship with God that assumes, or even implies, that God might be wrong, and perhaps must be forgiven by us, is at its root blasphemous and directly contradicts what John clearly states here.
If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. If we say that we have fellowship with Him : John first deals with a false claim to fellowship. Based upon this, we understand that it is possible for some to claim a relationship with God that they do not have. We can also say that it is possible for someone to think they have a relationship with God that they do not have.
Many Christians are not aware of their true condition. They know they are saved, and have experienced conversion and have repented at some time in their life. Yet they do not live in true fellowship with God. And walk in darkness : John speaks of a walk in darkness, indicating a pattern of living.
This does not speak of an occasional lapse, but of a lifestyle of darkness. We lie and do not practice the truth : God has no darkness at all 1 John Therefore, if one claims to be in fellowship with God a relationship of common relation, interest, and sharing , yet does walk in darkness , it is not a truthful claim. The issue here is fellowship , not salvation. The Christian who temporarily walks in darkness is still saved, but not in fellowship with God. If John said "that is a lie," it means he thinks in terms of things being true or being lies.
John is much too plain for our sophisticated age, which doesn't want to see anything in black or white, but everything in a pale shade of gray. In , the governor of the state of New Jersey was caught in a scandal. Though he was a married man with children, he was also having a sexual relationship with a man. At the press conference he held to admit this, he began by saying: "My truth is that I am a gay American. In the thinking of the world today, I have my truth and you have your truth.
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- 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude!
- Gospel of John - Wikipedia?
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- 1–3 John and Jude Study Book;
But Jesus said, "I am the truth" and the Bible clearly tells us of a truth that is greater than any individuals feeling about it. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. But if we walk in the light : This means to walk in a generally obedient life, without harboring known sin or resisting the conviction of the Holy Spirit on a particular point.
John's message here means that a walk in the light is possible. We know that on this side of eternity, sinless perfection is not possible. Yet we can still walk in the light , so John does mean perfect obedience. The Christian life is described as walking, which implies activit y. Christian life feeds upon contemplation, but it displays itself in action. Since God is active and walking, if you have fellowship with Him you will also be active and walking.
As He is in the light : Since God is light 1 John , when we walk in the light we walk where He is. We are naturally together with Him in fellowship. We have fellowship with one another : We would have expected John to say, "We have fellowship with God. John wants to make it clear that fellow Christians who walk in the light enjoy fellowship with each other. This leads to an important idea: if we do not have fellowship with one another , then one party or both parties are not walking in the light.
1 John or The First Epistle of John
Two Christians who are in right relationship with God will also naturally be in right relationship with each other. The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin : As we walk in the light we also enjoy the continual cleansing of Jesus. This is another indication that John does not mean sinless perfection by the phrase walk in the light ; otherwise, there would be no sin to cleanse in this ongoing sense. We need a continual cleansing because the Bible says we continually sin and fall short of the glory of God Romans Even though Christians have been cleansed in an important general sense, our "feet" need cleaning John The verb form John used in cleanses us from all sin is in the present tense, not in the future tense.
We can do more than merely hope we will one day be cleansed. Because of what Jesus did on the cross for me, I can be cleansed today. Christ took the sins of his people and was punished for those sins as if he had been himself a sinner, and so sin is taken away from us; but in no sense, degree, shape or form, is sin removed by attainments, emotions, feelings or experiences. The blood of Jesus Christ : This continual cleansing is ours by the blood of Jesus.
This does not mean the actual drops or molecules of His literal blood, but His literal death in our place and the literal wrath of the Father He endured on our behalf. The blood of Jesus Christ paid the penalty for all our sins- past, present, and future. The work of Jesus on the cross doesn't only deal with the guilt of sin that might send us to hell. It also deals with the stain of sin what hinders our continual relationship with God.
We need to come to God often with the simple plea, "cleanse me with the blood of Jesus. It is always the blood that is shed. Please respond to confirm your registration. Enter your email address and we will send you instructions on how to reset your password. Delete Move to Wishlist. Wishlist is empty.
1–3 John and Jude Study Book
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After sufficient time, ask:. What doctrines or principles do you learn about love from these verses? How is loving others an expression of love for God? As students share their ideas, write this principle on the board: We express our love for God when we love and serve one another. Remind students that some of those to whom John wrote were contemplating leaving the Church and pursuing other religious beliefs.
Point out that love can be a remedy to eliminate disunity among Church members. If you write these scripture references on the board, students will better remember what they are to read. After sufficient time, invite several students to read their sentences to the class. A few truths that should be central to their responses are: God is love. God manifested His love for us by sending His Son into the world. Love of God and love of other people eliminate our fears.
To deepen understanding of these truths, you might ask questions like the following:. What are some fears Church members have today?
How does love for others and for the Lord help someone overcome those types of fears? How has love helped you to overcome fears? You could ask a few students to share ideas from their list. Challenge students to do one of the things they wrote down today, without putting it off until tomorrow. For further insights, you might have students read the student manual commentary for Jude Some may have heard it from Jesus Christ; others likely heard it taught by the Apostles.
Have students read Jude looking for why Jude wanted the Saints to earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered unto them. Have a student read Jude aloud while the class follows along and identifies what Jude did to help protect his readers from the teachers of false doctrines. Then give students a moment to search Jude —7 and identify the three different groups that Jude reminded the Saints about.
The children of Israel who were led out of Egypt and then did not remain faithful, the angels who chose to follow Satan in the premortal life, and the people who lived in Sodom and Gomorrah. What do these three groups have in common? All three groups rebelled against God; all three groups received punishments for their actions. Summarize Jude —16 by explaining that Jude identified others in the Old Testament who failed to be faithful to the Lord and compared them to the teachers of false doctrines who were among the Saints of his day.
Give students a moment to study Jude —21 and identify what Jude taught about the last days. As students share their answers, help them see this principle: Prophets warn us against teachers of false doctrines and against sin so that we can escape the destructions that will befall the wicked.
What dangers have modern prophets and apostles warned us against? As students respond, consider writing their answers on the board. What experiences in your life have helped you to feel the protection that comes from heeding the words of living prophets and apostles? Give students a moment to ponder whether they listen to warnings given by modern Church leaders. Have them think about decisions they might make today to avoid the destructions that will befall the wicked. Home ChurchofJesusChrist. Then ask: How are similar false teachings or practices manifest in our day?
What stands out to you in these verses? Then write the above bold principle on the board, and ask: Why is our testimony of what we know important in countering the influence of false doctrine?
Related The Truth for Today: Jude, 1 John, 2 John & 3 John
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