1 John 5:1-2 Christians Love Christians

1 John 5:1-2 (KJV)
Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

Rhetoric, the creative use of the word, written or spoken, to instruct and persuade, is a favorite of mine. I like attempting it (though I know I am not good at it). And I like observing it.

1 John 5:1 is certainly fine rhetoric. It requires thought to really catch but once you’ve caught it you immediately realize the simplicity of it. “every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.” It’s this simple, Christians love Christians.

The next verse, I think, is the more challenging. Of course Christians love Christians, but how? What is the Biblically prescribed way to express this love? Am I free to love professing Christians in whatever manner I believe is love? No. Verse two tells me exactly how to love my brethren in the faith:

By loving God
That’s right. The best way to love another Christian is to love God first.

By keeping His commandments
Really! I express my best love for other Christians by obedience to the truths in God’s Word.

My wife knows that I want to love God more than I love her. She is fine with that. She even encourages and prays for that. The reason? She knows that the more I love God and keep his commandments, the more capable I am to love her.

Christians know this to be true so we long to see other Christians love God and keep His commandments.

 

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For this and more than 4100 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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1 John 5:1-2 Christians Love Christians

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1 John 4:6 Confidence

1 John 4:6 (KJV)
We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

Hear these words from Barnes Notes,
“John here, doubtless, refers to himself, and to those who taught the same doctrines which he did. He takes it for granted that those to whom he wrote would admit this, and argues from it as an indisputable truth. He had given them such evidence of this, as to establish his character and claims beyond a doubt; and he often refers to the fact that he was what he claimed to be, as a point which was so well established that no one would call it in question.”

I wonder how others perceive our relationship with God?

  • Is our walk with God so consistent
  • Is our experience with God so compelling

that we may assume that no one will call it into question?

I wonder how we perceive our own relationship with God?
Before we might reasonably expect others to believe we are of God, we must believe it ourselves.

What about those who do not believe us? That depends upon us. If we are sure of our relationship with God then we can be sure they are not of God. We would only have reason to doubt that if we have reason to doubt our personal fellowship with the Lord.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 4100 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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1 John 4:6 Confidence

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1 John 3:20-21 Don’t Follow Your Heart

1 John 3:20-21 (KJV)
For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.

An argument can be made, I think, that these two verses give us what is the crux of 1 John. It provides for us the value of the heart.

We hear so many say things like “follow your heart.” Is this really wise counsel? Mike Rowe makes the point that, when it comes to occupation[1] a person would be wiser to train for work that is needed rather than for what is our passion. A man may be passionate about sports but he would be wisest to let athletics serve as a pastime and do something else for a living. The Bible warns us that our heart can deceive us.

What is the lesson of this passage? That God is greater than our heart so we must give Him priority over it. Shall we listen to our heart or the Word of God?[2] It must be God’s Word!

Does this mean we ignore our heart? No. Though the heart is not an authority it can serve as an adviser. The heart will frequently point the spiritually tender soul toward the will of God. Sometimes, and this is the point of this passage, the heart will warn us when we are stepping away from the will of God.

God is always greater than our heart. With that conviction we may listen to what the heart says.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 4100 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

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1 John 3:20-21 Don’t Follow Your Heart

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[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVEuPmVAb8o

[2] Some people mistake their heart for the will of God.

 

1 John 2:6 Stay Right There

1 John 2:6 (KJV)
He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

The words, abide, or abideth, are found ten times in 1 John, seven of them in this chapter. According to Strong’s Concordance it means, “to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy): – abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for), …” As far as I can tell it is always used in the positive sense, as in abiding in Christ and not in sin.

The concept of staying is one of personal volition. My salvation is a work accomplished by and kept by Jesus. My testimony, my walk, my fellowship is a matter of personal choice. I am told that, if I abide in Christ I ought to walk as He walked. I don’t have to, and plenty of professing Christians do not. But they are wrong.

They most certainly don’t have the testimony they ought to have but:

  • They cannot have the assurance of salvation a Christian can have and
  • They possibly are not the Christians they assume themselves to be

We ought stay focused on Jesus return and stay submissive to His Word.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 4100 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

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1 John 2:6 Stay Right There

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1 John 4:17-19 Perfect Love

1 John 4:17-19 (KJV)
Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
We love him, because he first loved us.

The love for Christ, that is an evidence of salvation, is a love that drives away the fear of judgment before God. It is a love that emboldens us to come freely and often to the throne grace. It is a love that grows our relationship with God as we walk with God.

Those who know and love the Lord, who are saved, are sure of their salvation. Those who are without this love live under the doom of judgment. They are tormented with:

  • Fear of the wrath of God, of
  • Judgment upon this world, with
  • Judgment upon themselves.

They live tormented with the dread of death and eternity in hell.

Perfect love, that love that results because He first loved us, casts out this fear of judgment.

 

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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1 John 4:17-19 Perfect Love

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1 John 3:1-2 Why The World Misunderstands Christians

1 John 3:1-2 (KJV)
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

The world today thinks it knows Christians.
It has two thousand years of observation of every sort of Christian idea and every sort of Christian response to every sort of worldly circumstance.

They have witnessed what they consider to be the good in Christianity (and have deemed it, for the most part, irrelevant) and they have witnessed what they know to be the worst of Christianity (and focus primarily on that).

The world today believes it knows Christianity better than Christians know Christianity.
But what the world has never known, and can therefore never know about the Christian, is God.

I would suggest that, based on 1 John 3:2, it is true that Christians do not know Christianity very well. There are things that are ethereal about the faith, things that only God knows, and things that we, as believers, learn piece by piece.

We only know two things well:

  • That when He shall appear we shall be like Him
  • That we should keep ourselves from sin

The rest of it is progressive.

And we do know God.

  • His witness in our spirit,
  • His presence in our consciousness,
  • His convicting work consciences,

convinces us that He is and that we have a real and vital relationship with Him.

The world can never understand the Christian psyche because it does not know the God who informs it.

 

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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1 John 3:1-2 Why The World Misunderstands Christians

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1 John 2:14 Yea, Hath God Said?

1 John 2:14 (KJV)
I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.

There is such a rapid change from “I write” in the two previous verses to “I have written” that it almost startles. It must have meaning and purpose and yet almost all writers either ignore it altogether or gloss over it.

The most common way the commentaries ignore any meaningful understanding of the change is to attempt a correction of it. It amazes me how easily we slip into the Devil’s trap, “Yea, hath God said?

While I confess that the reason for the change of tense is not absolutely clear, a simple explanation is that it is a reference to the Apostle’s previous work, the Gospel he wrote earlier.

  • “I write” in this epistle
  • “I have written” in the Gospel

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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1 John 2:14 Yea, Hath God Said?

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1 John 1:5 The Moral Core of the Believer

1 John 1:5 (KJV)
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.

People, who like to pretend that they are smarter than others, claim that faith in God is superstitious and unreasonable. They insist upon this even though some of the world’s most intelligent people, historically and currently, are believers. Those who founded the United States, for example, were almost to a man, believers in Christ. They were of different denominations and some of them would not have claimed to be born again, but they almost all accepted that there is a Supreme Deity governing in the affairs of men. They also believed that this belief is essential to good citizenship.

There is no question that 1 John begins with a position of faith. It is written to those who accept the testimony of the Apostles and their account of life with Jesus Christ.

Notice the message of John. When once we establish that we accept his testimony, He says his message is plain, “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” That’s the foundational principle of faith. From there it moves to what the founders of the United States saw, that faith in this principle of faith moves men to morality.

There are five “ifs” that follow 1 John 1:5, each of them predicated upon the truth of verse 5. Each one pointing to the moral core of the believer:

  • That the believer does not “fellowship” with darkness
  • That the believer actively “fellowships” with other believers
  • That the believer is honest with his own sin
  • That the believer trusts God alone to deal with that sin
  • That the believer places the truth of the Word of God above his own reason

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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1 John 1:5 The Moral Core of the Believer

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1 John 5:1 A Bible Truth That Can Send People to Hell

1 John 5:1 (KJV)
Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

We have in this verse an absolute truth.
This is as comforting a promise as anyone will find within the pages of the Holy Word. We find here a truth so simple to understand and so easy to obey that it pours light and hope into the darkest regions of despair.

We have here also a passage that can lead masses to hell if misappropriated.
Here then is the great lesson of the Bible; there is nothing in it too hard but there is nothing in it that ought to be taken for granted. The simplest truths of the Bible must be illuminated in the rays of the whole Word of God.

To believe in Christ is the means of salvation but it is not merely believing about Him. Believing  that Jesus is the Christ necessitates our understanding:

  • Who the Christ is and
  • What the Christ came to accomplish

Foremost of all, believing that Jesus is the Christ means trusting His work as our saving merit. We are saved through the merit of Christ alone and it is in that merit the born of God rest.

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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1 John 5:1 A Bible Truth That Can Send People to Hell

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1 John 4:6 Gay, Giddy and Garish

1 John 4:6 (KJV)
We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

I cannot help but notice the confidence of John in these words. And why not? He had:

  • Seen
  • Handled
  • Heard and
  • Watched

the Lord. He had fellowship with Him and the other apostles who had fellowshipped with him. He had no reason to doubt because his was a personal relationship with the Lord.

The apostle then simply says, “Those who hear us possess a spirit of truth and those who don’t possess a spirit of error.” The person who ignores the Bible is wrong.

Of those in error Adam Clarke writes,
“The doctrine and teacher most prized and followed by worldly men, and by the gay[1], giddy, and garish multitude, are not from God; they savor of the flesh, lay on no restraints, prescribe no cross-bearing, and leave every one in full possession of his heart’s lusts and easily besetting sins. And by this, false doctrine and false teachers are easily discerned.”

Boy can I think of a few men who fit this bill!

[1] We know, of course, that the term “gay” is used quite differently than it was when Clarke penned these words.

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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1 John 4:6 Gay, Giddy and Garish

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