Category1 John

Can Christians Have Victory?

America has been leading itself as a nation down the path of taking everything that was morally wrong and promoting it as morally acceptable. To give an examples, beginning in 1974, different organizations stopped classifying homosexuality as a mental disorder. Since then, groups of people who call themselves “homosexuals” have been demanding people to accept them for who they are. Yet, Christians are told they need to change; the author’s guess is that Christians do not fit the world’s narrative by denouncing homosexuality. The Bible does give clear guidelines about this issue; it is not up for debate (for reference, read Romans 1:26-32).

In the crazy world in which Christians live, can Christians have victory over the world? Can Christianity stand by the truth of the Bible without bending to the pressure of the world, that demands that Christians change?

1 John 5:4-5 – For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

When the world demands that Christians change, rest in the fact that God, who is the creator of all the universe, is on the Christian’s side. Never fear when the world gives you reason to fear; trust in God and life will work out. Take the life of Joseph for example. He went from being a prisoner, to second in command of Egypt. God was molding Joseph to be the person he needed to be, and Joseph didn’t bend to his temptation to change. When the time was right, Joseph was put into the exact place God wanted him to be. And God will do the same for the author, and for the readers, at His divine timing. Joseph had victory over the world, and Christians will as well.

Whatsoever We Ask

Have you ever asked for something from God, and not understood why your request was denied? Perhaps, a little bit of bitterness rose up in your hearts because of it? God will sometimes say no to requests because we do not need it, but in today’s post the author will discuss another reason for God saying no.

1 John 3:22 – And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

While this verse does not specifically state a reason for God saying no, it can be used to draw an important principle. Negate the bold keywords in the verse to show the opposite case (not receiving what we ask). It would read something like this:

And whatsoever we ask, we receive not of him, because we keep not his commandments, and do not do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

And thus we have a principle to base the hypothesis on: that God says no when Christians are not obeying Him. Critics would say a loving god would never set such a standard, but the God who rules all of the universe has the right to make the standard. So what is this commandment?

1 John 3:23 – And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

The commandment, very simply put, is be a Christian, and love one another. As was discussed in the last post, telling someone you hate them is not loving one another. Loving people who love you is easy, how about people you would even consider saying “I hate you” to? Recall a statement Jesus Christ made in Matthew 5.

Matthew 5:46 – For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

So are you loving one another? Are you keeping the commandments of God? If you love God and you love people, you will follow the commandments in the Bible. Are you? If you are, then you are in a good position. If not, you really need to consider taking a  close look at your own heart.

1 John 3:24 – And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

 

I Hate You – Dangerous Words

“I hate you!”

Have those words ever come out of your mouth? If not, have you thought them? You more likely than not repented of saying those words to a person and probably didn’t think too much else on the matter.

1 John 3:15 – Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

The author wonders if this verse popped into a person’s mind after saying: “I hate you!” This is a difficult pill to swallow, even for the author. Sometimes Christians put levels on sin; for example, adultery and murder as worse sins than telling a lie. The issue with this view is that God considers sin sin. If one unbeliever only told a lie in his entire lifetime and another unbeliever only killed one person in his entire lifetime, neither would go into Heaven.

So, when the final part of the verse reads “no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him,” it is not stating that is you murder someone, you cannot go to Heaven. All people have the freedom to accept the free gift of God, to become a born-again believer.  It is stating that if you hates someone, you are as bad as an unsaved murderer. Not something one probably thinks about minutes after letting those dangerous words slip. Take some time to think before you say these dangerous words again.

 

 

Love Not The World

Because of the fall, Christians struggle between two differing views of how to live life. Before a person is saved, their life is dictated by how to please the flesh. After a person is saved, the struggle is between living for the flesh and living for God. Now then, if one is to live for God and not for the flesh, should one then not do those things which the world does? The world doesn’t live for God; the world only lives for the flesh. So, if an activity only pleases the flesh, the old nature of mankind, should the activity be done? What does the Bible say about a person who loves the world?

1 John 2:15 – Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Serving the flesh by partaking in activities that do not please God is not only sinful, but it harms a person’s testimony of Christ for the world. Why would the world want to hear the message of salvation from a Christian that acts like the world? The world won’t see a change, and will possibly even assume that they are saved, as how they are living is the same as how the Christian is living. Christians ought to not only have the love of the Father in them, but show it.

1 John 2:16 – For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

The activities that Christians ought to stay away from are pointed out in this verse. A person may say that Contemporary Christian Music is not spoken against in the Bible, but the author would suggest that the principle found in the verse quoted above state clearly that CCM is wrong and should be avoided. If the world sings a rock song and Christians sing a song with similar music but different lyrics, should that be alright? Is rock music not of a worldly nature? Because it is of this world and has such a nature, it should be avoided no matter what the lyrics are that are sung over it! Why should Christians listen to the same genre of music that the world listens to?

1 John 2:17 – And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

 

 

Do You Know God?

Do you know God? If you answered, and proclaim to be a Christian, more likely than not you said yes, almost without thought no doubt. That question is such an important question, yet when asked, an answer is not always well thought out. Is that to say that “yes” is the wrong answer to the question? Perhaps, it may be. Let the Bible explain.

I John 2:3 – And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

Do you know God? Is your answer different than when asked the first time? God draws a line between having the title of a Christian and actually living up to the title of a Christian through service and obedience to God. Reading on in the passage:

I John 2:4 – He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

Going to church Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesday night, and whenever the doors are open does NOT make you a “good” Christian, and does NOT exempt one from obeying the commands of God. The same goes with any Christian ministry. The only standard that God places on Christians to be what man calls a “good” Christian, is to keep His commandments, not serving in bus ministry, or working in the nursery, or going to church every time the doors are open.

This is not to say that any of the previously mentioned activities are bad. Through keeping God’s commandments, a Christian will most likely be serving in ministry and going to church regularly. But man is not to judge a Christian as unfit for Christian service because he misses a service. Paul judged John Mark unfit for ministry and Paul eventually admitted that he was wrong (recall II Tim. 4:11). Men ought not to judge other men, as Jesus says in Matthew 7:1-3.

Matthew 7:1-3 – Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Do you know God? Are you keeping his commandments? Are you judging others? Judging others is something Christians are commanded not to do. Do you want to obey God today?

I John 2:5-6 – But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

Walk in the Light

What does it mean to walk in the light? What happens if one is not walking in the light? How does one stay walking in the light? Why is it important to be walking in the light? The first epistle of John gives the answers to these questions, and that is what this post will be about today.

What does it mean to walk in the light?

1 John 1:5 – This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

John reminds his readers that God is light, and that He has no darkness is in Him. The light is representative of holiness, and darkness is the example used here for sin. Walking in the light then, would mean to walk in the path of God’s holiness, and not stepping out of the light into the darkness.

What does it mean to not walk in the light?

1 John 1:6 – If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

If a person walks in darkness, and not in the light, they do not have fellowship with God and are not following the truth. What then is darkness? Darkness, in this sense, could be defined as anything not following the principles of the Bible; a few examples would be worldly music, vulgar speech, and rebellion against authority.

Why stay walking in the light?

1 John 1:7 – But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

If we walk in the light, we have fellowship with Jesus Christ. Perhaps this is overlooked by Christians sometimes. Christians have fellowship with the God of the universe! Think of this. If one is in fellowship with God, they will be protected by the God who created the universe! Walking in the light is all God asks, which is simple obedience, and every Christian should be willing to follow.

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