Friday, July 3, 2009

1,2, & 3 John and Jude

1JOHN

Chapter 1: The Purpose of the Message

The apostles, are unified in their purpose: to testify to the truthfulness of the gospel message which they have observed first hand. The invitation of eternal life offered by the gospel message is extended to believers everywhere so that in believing, they too may have fellowship with the Father, Son and each other as well. God represents goodness. There is no evil to be found within God, so if we claim we walk in fellowship with God, yet still behave as if we are evil, then we are lying and deceiving ourselves. The blood of Jesus has the power to cleanse us from our sin. If we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive us. But if we try to make the claim that we do not sin, then we may as well call God a liar. Be assured, that those who say they have no sin, and are not in need of forgiveness, are not in fellowship with God, but rather they are simply living in denial.

Chapter 2: A Faithful Life

God wants us to live a life consistent with our faith. If we have total disregard for God’s commands, then how can we claim we are in fellowship with God? We are nothing but liars. Remember the greatest commandment? That is to love one another; to love your neighbor as yourself? If we love, then we are in the light and living in fellowship with God and His commands. But if we hate our neighbor, or our fellow brother, then we live in darkness. We are forgiven and justified through Jesus. Through Jesus we can have fellowship with God. We can overcome the Devil which is the Evil One. Remember the best way to beat the Devil is to make sure God’s word remains within. Do not pursue worldly goals which include pride, selfish ambition and fleshly lust.

According to prophecy, the antichrist is supposed to come. But keep this in mind, anyone who opposes God can be considered an anti Christ, and we have already had many false teachers and false prophets who claim to be representing God’s message. Simply put, anyone who denies that Jesus is the Messiah, is the antichrist. Whoever denies the Son, Jesus, denies the Father as well. God’s promise to us is eternal life- a gift beyond comprehension. The least we can do is remain loyal.

Chapter 3: Gods Command- Belief in Jesus and to Love One Another

God has loved us so much that we can be called God’s children. We should have confidence and not shame. Consider that the world doesn’t know us, because we are no longer part of this world but part of God. Maybe we have some questions as to the particular details and that is okay as well. The future in its entirety has not yet been revealed. All we know is this: when Jesus returns, we will somehow be like Him and with Him. That is our hope. There is no sin in God. Remember that sin is associated with the Devil! It is God’s intent to eventually destroy sin. As children of God, we are no longer under the curse of sin, because the penalty for our sin has been paid. But that does not mean we should sin. After all, to sin is to break the law. Remember what God’s greatest commandment is: to love one another and to love our neighbor as our self? We have no excuse to not follow this commandment. The world does not follow this commandment and that is why the world is in opposition with God’s children. Remember Cain hated his brother and murdered him. Therefore if we hate our brother we are no better than Cain who was a murderer! Murderers will not inherit eternal life. Just as Jesus sacrificed his life for us, we should learn from the example of Jesus and show love for one another. We should act on our faith and live our faith! To emphasis it again, this is the command of God: to believe in the name of Jesus and to love one another. If we do this our hearts and conscious will be clear. But if we don’t do this, our hearts and conscious will condemn us. When we keep this command, we remain in God and God will remain in us. Love is considered to be the ultimate test of our faith and of our sincerity in the truth. The reason is this: it is not always to love our brother or our neighbor as we love ourselves. We tend to be greedy, selfish, envious and competitive. Oftentimes to truly love our brother, neighbor and especially our enemies, we have to overcome our natural inclinations of selfishness.

Chapter 4: The Truth Vs Lies about Jesus

“Dear friends do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you know the Spirit of God: Every Spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. But every spirit who does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist; you have heard he is coming and he is already in the world now.” 1John 4: 1-3 What this means is this: when you hear a new teaching, pay attention to what is said about Jesus. If it is not consistent with what you have learned, then it is not from the Holy Spirit at all, but from the devil. In fact, even now, many are deceived into believing lies about Jesus. Countless people are drawn into false religions and false teachings that distort who Jesus really is. Don’t be just another statistic. Make sure what you hear is consistent with the bible message! Don’t be discouraged, we who are from God, have no part in this world. We can discern the true spirit of truth from the spirit of lies.

The testimony of God

Repeating what we have taught so far: If we truly love God, we will love one another as well. God remains in us when we love one another and when we testify that the Father sent the son to be our savior and that Jesus is the Son of God. God’s love has the power to conquer the evil of this world. God testifies on behalf of Jesus. The Spirit of God, The blood of Jesus and the water, testify in unison to the truth about Jesus Christ. They are all in agreement that God has given us eternal life through His Son. Now that is assurance. Anyone who denies this, essentially calls God a liar. Without the Son, you will not have eternal life! If you deny this truth that God Himself testifies to, then you are calling God a liar.

Prayer

Prayer is not just a waste of time. We can have the utmost confidence that our prayers will be heard by God. And even greater is that God will provide whatever we ask for in accordance with His will. Also remember to pray for one another including sins. Keep as far away as you can from idols, idol worship or any worldly thing that comes in between you and your faith in God. When we place our faith in God, we are under God’s protection- safe from the Evil One. Through Jesus we may have eternal life. “We are in the true One- that is, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” 1John 5:20


2JOHN

The apostle John follows up with the theme of his first letter: the command to love one another. Although this letter is mainly addressed to a specific woman, in John’s own words, it may be applied to all believers as well.

The Command to Love:

Remember to follow the command to love one another. When you do this, you affirm your faith in God. Remember in all areas of your life and your actions to so this.

The Antichrist:

Thos who do not teach that Jesus came to this world as a man of flesh in order to die for our sins is an anti- Christ. He is a false teacher who is deceiving others. Don’t believe these false teachers! You know better by now. And furthermore, if anyone adds to the teachings of God, he does not have God either. God does not approve of adding to the message. Do not aid in the dissemination of lies. If a false teacher asks you for your support in delivering and promoting his phony message, do not give him a donation and do not provide for him any other aid otherwise you are helping him to spread his lies about Jesus! Hold fast to your truth, don’t risk everything all the efforts you have made so far!

3JOHN

The Apostle John wrote this letter to Gaius, to encourage and commend him for his faith.

Whatever you do for your fellow believer, testifies on behalf of your faith and love for God. Think about the self sufficiency of our teachers in the faith- they do not taint themselves or compromise themselves by accepting support from heathens and pagans. Therefore we should do what we can to help them out and to support each other so that we too may be co-workers in the truth. If any of you are simply out for glory and recognition, then forget it! Your priorities could not be further from the will of God. Do not hinder those who are actually spreading the message of the Lord. Remember do not imitate evil. Rather, you should imitate what is good.

JUDE

Jude wrote this letter as a warning about false teachers and their deceptions.

There are some men, false teachers who are distorting the truth and teaching lies. They advocate promiscuity and deny Jesus! Don’t worry, they will receive the judgment and punishment that is in store for them. Remember the examples of how God has handled other evil people in the past. Remember how the Egyptians were destroyed and how Sodom and Gomorah were destroyed because of their evil perversions. Consider the angels who were expelled from heaven and to this very day await their eternal punishment for having disobeyed God. They will all suffer eternal punishment in eternal fire! How dare these sick and depraved people who commit sexual immorality dare to presume they have any knowledge. They are like stupid animals, blaspheming anything that their puny little minds can’t understand. How dare they reject God’s authority and dismiss his gospel message. “Woe to them” Jude 1: 11 Even the angels themselves know better than to question God’s authority.

Remember these filthy perverted people are not far from you at all. Keep an eye out for them! You will even find them at church, sitting in the pews next to you, muttering hymns and maybe even partaking in the ceremony of the Lord’s supper! They are hypocrites. Don’t be fooled by their outwardly religious fa├žade. They are counterfeit Christians. They are unholy and perverted, driven by selfish desire and ambition. They will flatter people just to exploit them and use them and take advantage. These people are spiritually dead! Remember what you were told countless times by the other apostles as well. In the end times, these filthy people, these hypocrites and false teachers will increase in number. They will have their evil influences within churches even to the point of creating divisions and dissention! Keep your hopes and faith in God, and do not waiver. Remember love your enemies: hate the sin but love the sinner, but be careful that you too do not get caught up in or tempted by the sins of others.

Remember that God has the power to protect you . through Jesus you are made blameless. “To the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power and authority before all time, now and forever”. Jude 1:25

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