He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9

Repentance is an essential part of our relationship with God.  It is not enough to simply believe in God, but when Jesus called anyone He called them to follow Him and repent.  We know that God is faithful and just to forgive us if we confess our sins.  God desires to pour His mercy and grace upon us.  He knocks on the hearts of people and those who respond to the drawing of the Holy Spirit are saved and redeemed.

But it is not by accident that we have come into a relationship with Jesus Christ.  We were chosen before the foundations of the earth.  The Lord has a specific plan and purpose for our lives.  No matter where we have come from we can know that if we have confessed our sins to the Lord that He is faithful and just to forgive us.

Advertisements

Perfect love expels all fear

1 John 418

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.

1 John 4:18 NLT

Perfect love is only found in Jesus Christ.  When we understand the love that God has for us we will not walk in fear.  God’s love is unconditional and eternal.  It is not based on performance nor based upon behavior.  Our Father in Heaven will discipline us when we do things and get involved in things that we shouldn’t.  But His love for us does not change.

One of the reason people walk in fear is because they are afraid of punishment.  There is a true judgement and punishment that awaits those who have rejected Jesus Christ.  Those who have rejected Jesus Christ will spend an eternity separated from God in the lake of fire in torment.  When we examine all that Jesus went through to save us we understand the full measure that awaits those who die apart from seek forgiveness from the Lord.

For us to fully experience God’s love in our lives it requires that we abide in Christ daily and draw near to Him.  He is the vine and we are the branches.  It is through Him that true life is found.  Every day we have the opportunity to draw near to the Lord.  The level at which we seek the Lord is the level at which we will understand His love for us.

We should love one another

This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

1 John 3:11 NLT

Time and time again as we read through God’s word we see love talked about over and over again.  The word of God simply states that God is love.  God’s love is eternal and unconditional.  He desires to lavish His love upon us.  His love is not earned and is not based upon our performance or behavior.  He simply loves us because that is who He is.  Because of this we should love one another.

There are people in this world who are more difficult to love than others.  But that should not change our love for them.  If God’s love for us is not based upon performance or behavior, our love for others should not be based upon behavior or performance either.  We should simply love one another because Christ first loved us.  Jesus came and gave us a living example of how we are to live our lives.  In everything Jesus did He relied fully upon the leading of the Holy Spirit.  His life was built in the place of prayer.  May we simply follow His model and may our lives bring Him glory.  May our lives be flooded with His love, grace, and mercy.  May we lavish His love upon those who surround us daily who are broken and lost.

This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us

This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

1 John 4:10 NLT

God first loved us.  Every single one of us who have come to Christ have done so by the grace and mercy of God.  It is the Holy Spirit who has drawn us and convicted our hearts.  We have done nothing to earn salvation.  God has saved us because of His love for us.  Our lives should reflect His love for us as we in turn love those around us.  So many in the world today are broken and hurting.  What will truly draw people to a relationship with Jesus Christ in this hour is the love of God at work in us.

So many today don’t believe in God.  The concept of a creator is rejected by many.  But what people can’t deny is the love of God.  When we choose to love the most unlovable person we are displaying the glory of God in us.  What truly brings glory to the name of Jesus is the love of God at work in us.  The love of God will drive us to take action.  It won’t allow us to simply sit on the sideline and watch people suffer and die in their sin.  It will drive us to reach out.  In everything Jesus did He was driven by love and compassion.  His heart broke for every person that He ministered too.  May we be His hands and feet in this generation.  May we speak the truth in love and do all things in love.  He is coming soon and may we take advantage of every moment we have around those who are lost and broken.

Jude 1-2: Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James

Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and [a]brother of [b]James, [writes this letter],

To those who are the called (God’s chosen ones, the elect), dearly loved by God the Father, and kept [secure and set apart] for Jesus Christ: May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you [filling your heart with the spiritual well-being and serenity experienced by those who walk closely with God].  Jude 1-2

The one who wrote the book of Jude was the half brother of Jesus.  When Jesus was born Mary was a virgin.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit Mary became pregnant with Jesus.  But after Jesus was born, Mary had other children with Joseph and two of these children were James and Jude.

Jesus brother James wrote the book of James.  He was known as James the just and was a leader in the Jerusalem church.  Jude his brother wrote this letter and it was in defense of the truth and against the false teaching of the day.  Jude nor James believed Jesus was the Christ during his earthly ministry.  They actually believed He was out of His mind (Mark 3:20-21).  But we are told that Jesus appeared to James (1 Corinthians 15:6-8) once Jesus had risen from the dead and we see from Jude’s letter that he also became a believer that Jesus is indeed the Son of God.

Jude writes this letter to those who are believers and followers of Jesus Christ.  We who have chosen to follow Christ were chosen first by Him.  We are kept by the grace of God and it is not based on our own strength or ability.  He has simply called us to draw near each day and abide in Him (John 15:5-8).  As we abide in Him we will continue to grow and experience the abundant life that Jesus proclaimed.

God’s mercy, peace, and love is only experienced by those who walk closely with Jesus Christ.  Our walk with the Lord is something we experience on a daily basis.  It is not an abstract concept nor simply theological in nature.  It is a living relationship with the Living God and the reason we experience God’s mercy, peace, and love when we walk closely with Christ is because His presence consumes our lives.  It is the Holy Spirit who fills us to overflowing and it is the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives.  So many miss out on all that God has for them because they simply fail to walk closely with the Lord.  They chase after things that have no eternal value and become distracted by the lies of the enemy.  When Christ is the priority and drawing near to Him is the driving force in our lives, we will experience all that Christ has for us.

1 John 5:21: Little children (believers, dear ones), guard yourselves from idols—

21 Little children (believers, dear ones), guard yourselves from idols—[false teachings, moral compromises, and anything that would take God’s place in your heart].  1 John 5:21

John’s last words is for us to guard ourselves from idols.  Idols not only include statues or images that people worship, an idol is anything that would try to usurp the supremacy of Christ in our lives.  Our jobs, money, sex, false teaching, and moral compromises can all become idols in our lives.  Jesus is not only to be Savior, He is to be Lord of our lives.  That means He has the priority in our lives and everything we do in our lives is done to continue to grow in our relationship with Him.  We are called to remove anything that would hinder our relationship with God.  As we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and walk according to the Spirit our hearts will be guarded from the lies and deceptions of this dark wicked world.

1 John 5:9-13: If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son

If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which[c] He has testified of His Son. 10 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. 11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life,[d] and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.  1 John 5:9-13

John is writing to argue the truth of who Jesus is.  False teachers abounded during the time of the apostles and abound on the earth today.  Many times the apostles would be led to write what they did by the Holy Spirit to defend and clarify the truth.  The enemy will always try to distort the truth of Jesus Christ because it is through half-truths, lies, and deceptions that people are placed in bondage.  The greatest weapon we have against the lies of Satan is the truth of God’s word.  God’s word is sharper than a two edged sword and destroys every stronghold and lie of the enemy.

Those who reject the truth of Jesus Christ and God’s word do so from their free will.  Those who come to Christ have the witness of the Holy Spirit living inside their hearts.  Those who reject the truth of Jesus Christ in essence claim that God is a liar and therefore find themselves in darkness.  It is only through Jesus Christ that we are set free from the darkness and dominion of Satan.

God has given us eternal life and it is found alone in Jesus Christ.  Many will claim many paths to salvation, but the truth is there is only one way to salvation and this through Jesus Christ alone.  God has saved us by His love, grace, and mercy.  He didn’t have to save us nor give His life for us.  But He chose to do so because of His love for us.

Those who have placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ have life.  The abundant life Jesus proclaimed was salvation in His name.  It doesn’t mean that life on this earth will be easy by any means.  But our life will truly begin when we one day walk in God’s kingdom.  Those who reject Jesus Christ don’t have life.  The only thing they are left with is the emptiness of this world.  When their lives end here they will spend an eternity separated from God and His kingdom in torment and darkness unless they repent and turn from their sins.

John writes this letter to those who believe in Jesus Christ.  It is impossible to understand the truth of God’s word unless we have the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is only received when we place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ.  It is the Holy Spirit who leads and guides us into all truth.  John speaks of continuing to believe.  Our journey with Christ is a daily journey.  It is not a one time decision.  We are called to abide in Him and sadly there have been some who have begun with Christ but who have abandoned the faith.  As we abide in Him and walk with Him, He will sustain us by His grace and His power.

When we take the time to truly study the depth of scripture we come to know the heart of God.  We come to know the depths of His grace and mercy for us.  We understand that we deserve nothing, but because of His love and His grace He has given us all things.  May we continue on in the truth and fix our eyes upon the author and finisher of our faith.

1 John 5:6-8: This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ

This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth:[b] the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.  1 John 5:6-8

Jesus came by the water and the blood.  He was baptized by John the Baptist and in doing so fulfilled the will of His Father in Heaven.  He came by the blood when He went to the cross and died for our sins.  It is the Holy Spirit who bears witness of the truth of who Jesus Christ is.  That He came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it.  In all that Jesus did He fulfilled the perfect will of the Father.  Because of His death and resurrection we can have new life this day in Him.

The three who bear witness in Heaven are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Both in John’s gospel and here, John refers to Jesus as the word.  They are three in one.  Some will argue against the theology of the trinity.  But God is made up of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  They are not three separate Gods in which we serve three Gods.  They are three distinct persons of the Godhead but are all one.

The three witnesses on the earth who bare witness to the truth of Jesus is the Holy Spirit, water baptism, and being born again through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.  Our salvation is not based on feelings but the witness of the Holy Spirit within us.  It is the Holy Spirit who transforms us from the inside out and draws us near to the Father.  It is Holy Spirit who leads and guides us into all truth and reveals that Jesus is truly the Son of God.  It is through God’s word that our lives are transformed.  As we come to understand the depths of God’s word our lives are truly transformed into the nature and character of Christ.

1 John 4:19-21: We love Him because He first loved us

19 We love Him because He first loved us.  20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can[c] he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.  1 John 4:19-21

Our love for God is because He simply first loved us.  It would be impossible to love God if He first didn’t love us.  We wouldn’t know what love truly is without knowing Jesus.  As we abide in Him and grow in Him, we become more and more like Him.  He simply is love and the more we become like Him, His love consumes our lives.

A person who claims to be a Christian but not love His fellow brother or sisters is a liar.  It is impossible to claim to walk with Christ and not walk in love.  When I say walk with Christ I don’t mean simply claiming to follow Christ.  But you actually walk with the Lord on a daily basis in all things.  He desires to teach us the depths of His kingdom in all that we do.  But this only happens as we walk with Him each day.

The bottom line is we are called to love the Lord with all our heart and love our neighbor as our selves.  We can’t claim to be in Christ and not walk in love.  The love of God will impact every relationship we have.  The love of God will impact every interaction we have on this earth.  God is simply seeking those who would be vessels of His love.

 

1 John 4:16b-18: God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.  1 John 4:16b-18

God is love.  Even though it is only three words it is a powerful statement and truth.  Everything God does is because of love.  The way He has so designed our lives is because of the love He has for us.  If we are to truly walk with Christ and live in Him then we must be people of love.  It is impossible to truly walk with Christ on a daily basis and not be filled with His love and be driven by His love.

We are called to be like Christ.  The Christian journey is one of being transformed into the image of Christ.  There are many who fear the judgement of God.  But those who walk with Christ on a daily basis have nothing to fear.  For in all that we do we will follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and be empowered by the Holy Spirit.

There is no fear in love.  When we walk with Christ daily and are filled with the love of Christ, fear has no place in our lives.  The reason we often succumb to fear is because we are trying to do things in our own strength and power.  But when we are empowered by the Holy Spirit and filled with the love of Christ we will do everything out of the compassion of Christ.  In everything Jesus did He was driven by compassion.  In every heart He touched and on His way to the cross He did all things in love.  It was love that held Him to the cross and it was love that led Him to lay down His life.  To put it simply Jesus is love.  May we abide in Him and become more and more like Him each day.