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.

 

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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

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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.

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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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1 John 3:7 What Righteous People Do

1 John 3:7 (KJV)
Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

The subject being addressed is whether sin is a concern for the Christian. There is a doctrine, which seems to declare that the believer may sin with no eternal consequence. This doctrine is a lie on a number of grounds:

  • Sin in a saved person’s life breaks his fellowship with God, thereby causing him a loss of confidence in eternity.
  • Sin in the saved person’s life breaks fellowship with other believers thereby removing the edifying benefit of that fellowship
  • Sin in the life of a saved person will certainly lead to chastening which is not pleasant.
  • Sin in the life of a professing believer is evidence of a possible false profession

John’s answer to this deception is that the person who possesses the righteousness of God does righteousness. Many read this passage wrongly interpreting it to mean that righteousness is earned by doing righteousness. The better understanding is that those who are righteous by nature do righteousness. When we get saved we are given a new righteous nature. If that nature is not manifested to some degree we may rightly question whether we possess that nature.

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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 3:7 What Righteous People Do

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1 John 2:5 Assurance of Salvation

1 John 2:5 (KJV)
But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

The word perfected means completed or fulfilled. The proper interpretation then is not of any sort of sinless perfection but that, whenever a sinner hears the gospel and obeys it, God’s love for that sinner comes to its fulfillment which is their salvation.

No Christian is sure of his salvation by the keeping of the commandments of the Bible. If this were so none would ever have assurance because none keep His Word perfectly. Assurance comes from the confidence that God’s plan for saving sinners is perfect and functions perfectly.

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 2:5 Assurance of Salvation

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1 John 1:1-2 Communicating Our Faith

1 John 1:1-2 (KJV)
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)

There is a transition in speaker and audience that takes place as the First Epistle of John develops. The author begins with the plural pronoun “we.” He continues the use of this pronoun through the first part of the second chapter when he shifts to the singular, “I.”

At the first he speaks of himself and the apostles
Vs 1-5

The “we” then shifts to include all of his audience.
Vs 6-10

This is, I believe, signaled by his pointing to his audience in verses 3-5. The transition moves from John and the other Apostles to all of the Apostles and those reading this epistle.

Finally he shifts to more of an “I and you” discourse
2:1

I think I see what could be likened to the experience of believers
There is that experience we have as a part of our church.
It is corporate within our church but it is very personal too.

Then there is that experience we have along with all believers.
Some things are true of us as members of a local church that are not necessarily true of every Christian. Some things are true of all Christians in general. The smaller the group we identify with, the more personal and specific are the things we have in common.

There is that experience we have as communicators of our faith
Whether that is to the lost who need to be saved or the saved that need to be built up, we each have some responsibility to communicate our faith to others.

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 1:1-2 Communicating Our Faith

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at Bible Baptist Church Fundraiser. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free.