by Pastor Ayo Sparks
… ALL FOR HIS NAME’S SAKE!
John began his Epistle by letting us know that the believer in Christ is in a relationship with God and he’s called (or expected) to be in fellowship. It is in fellowship we truly behold Him (though we’ve not yet seen Him); touch Him and encounter Him. As we encounter Him, we grow beyond just hearing about Him, we see Him. We handle Him. That leaves us with what to present to our world as His faith-witnesses.
It is in the place of fellowship that we grow unto Him in all things. Many however have been away from fellowship with God because of their consciousness of sin because the truth concerning their state in Christ, despite their human flaws, has not registered in their hearts.
1 John 2: My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world
I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.
I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.
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.
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.
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.
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.
And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.
It is good to know (and keep in memory) that sin is no longer a problem between us and God. Jesus already paid for it! There’s no room for self-righteous as we are all forgiven and are being forgiven – for Christ’s sake!
However, this is not a license to careless living as some may suppose. Just as the Father sees us in and through Christ, He wants the world to see Him in and through us. Mind you, this takes a deliberate process of growth. As believers in Christ, we grow from childhood to fatherhood.
Though the death, burial and resurrection of Christ is geared towards the redemption of all things and the salvation of all men. Only those that believe are justified however. That is, Jesus died for the whole world. But it is our faith in Him that enact the benefits of Him finished work in our lives.
When we get born again, we are like a new born baby that does not know his left from his right but have to start learning to live. In the process, he messes up his body when pressed; falls while attempting to stand, and so on. No true believer in Christ love to sin, enjoys sinning or sins deliberately as a lifestyle. However, occasional fall into sin is but a token of spiritual childhood!
Understand again that with God, we are sinless and cannot sin! Seeing that we are still in this wretched body of the Earth, until there is deliberate effort to grow, the body (which is yet to be saved) will keep seeking to have its way. Not just in engaging in acts that God frowns at, but also ignoring or walking contrary to the promptings of the Spirit (which is the root of all transgressions).
The most important thing is that we are growing, as expected. No child would actually love to mess up, but until he’s grown up to know “where” and “how” to handle a case of being pressed. Meanwhile, he’s always been cleaned up by his parent(s) or guidance each time he messes up. That’s why occasional fall into sin as Christian doesn’t change our position with and in God because, Jesus who had atoned for our sins is our Advocate.
We can never have sin problem with God, because of Jesus. Only that we are not to start seeing sin as no problem! No true believer does that.
The ability to deal with, or “overcome” the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and pride of life which are the magnetizing force into worldliness is a sign of maturity and it increases your rating in the things of God – from the camp of children to the caucus of young men (the overcomers’ gang!).
When you have mastered the art of living in the world without being influenced by the world, you grow up to fatherhood. The secret and the strength of fatherhood is actually the knowledge of Christ as the Father – Jesus as He that is from the beginning! The knowledge of His Person imparts grace to manifest His nature and character.
That means, the deeper we go in the knowledge of Christ, the faster we grow from being children and the easier it becomes to live above sins powered by lust.
A NEW COMMANDMENT
1 John 2: Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.
Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.
He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
Jesus introduced a new Commandment and it’s all about LOVE! Note that John switched from keeping “his commandments” in verse 4 to keeping “his word” in verse 5. That means the commandments been referred to here are not the Ten Commandments given to the Jews but the very Word of Christ to us.
John writing about this commandment to love is new and wasn’t new to his audience. It wasn’t new because Jesus already spoke about it in His incarnation. It’s new because, before Jesus came, man was alien to loving fellow human beings. Hatred, envy, jealousy which are the offshoot of wickedness were known to man, under the influence of the spirit of this world – Satan. At the root of all sins and iniquities therefore is the absence of love, which unreservedly is the nature and the character of God.
As believers, the ability to love men (which entails being at peace with all men, wishing evil to no one) is given to us because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts to be expressed to those around us. If Jesus commands to love but a believer is living contrary, he is definitely walking in darkness (error, falsehood in antagonism to the word of God in the Person of Jesus).
Amazingly, many believers still find it difficult to love and express love to other believers. How best can we still define walking in darkness? Those who live in hatred always end up hindering themselves one way or the other. Only with those walking in love there’s no occasion for falling. According to Jesus, the yardstick for measuring perfection is the ability to love all men irrespective of who they are or what they do to you.
Matthew 5: But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Love God. Love your neighbor (fellow believers). Love your enemies. Living contrary to this word of Christ is tantamount to living in darkness because, it is when love leads that the divine mission can be accomplished. That’s why God had to express love to the world through the coming of Christ.
Remember that to love is fundamentally to keep and maintain a good conscience towards all mankind, which no one evil. This ability of God to love all men without ever being at a disadvantage is given to us to demonstrate, especially amongst ourselves in the same body!
You’ve got unction! There’s an anointing which you’ve received, it help you to discern between that which is acceptable, permissible and perfect will of God. Hence, when you encounter falsehood, you can never fall for it!
1 John 2:
18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.
But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
Just as the Spirit of Christ has been coming and manifesting through diverse chosen vessels, the spirit of the Antichrist is indisputably already in the world. This is the spirit at work in them that reject or deny that Jesus is the Christ – the Son of God. There messages carry with it power to conceive the unsuspecting.
However, God has put the anointing that is required to be able to discern between the truth and the falsehood of the Antichrist not in a bottle but on us! The anointing is the Holy Spirit which we received at new birth. As we live in response to His teachings and leading, we cannot fall victim to the antichrists.
We know and we believe that Jesus is the Christ and He is not just a ghost or a mere influence, He’s a person. Believing and acknowledging thus, we have eternal life. We have both the Father and the Son – a threefold cord that cannot be broken. Hallelujah!