Series: 1 John
Passage: 1 John 2:7-11
Title: Basic Principles of Knowing God (Part 2)
Focus: Furthering Fellowship
Last Week in Review
Week 5 – PRINCIPLES (Knowing God): (1) Keep His Commandments (2) Keep His Word (Conclusion) Walk Like Jesus.
TITLE: Basic Principles of Knowing God (1 John 2:7-11)
INTRODUCTION: John communicates the importance of obedience in the last verses that we have already discussed (1) 3-6 – keep God’s commands (10) and (2) Keep God’s Word (Bible). When one obeys the Lord by walking as Jesus walked there is a personal intimacy and deeper knowledge of God. Remember, Jesus did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill the law (Matthew 5:17) so John goes deeper past the (10) commandments God gave and speaks about that commandment which is the greatest (as we talked about last week). Perhaps you are familiar with the story…
“Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:34-40
This is nothing John’s audience had not heard before as John was simply speaking about Jesus reciting that, which was in the Old Testament…
“You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.” Leviticus 19:18
This commandment, as John says is “no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning.” (1 John 2:7) and is critical to continuing to get to know God more.
TITLE: Basic Principles of Knowing God (1 John 2:7-11)
Point #1: Know the Father if You Keep the Greatest Commandment (1 John 2:7-8)
• Explanation: What is sometimes old seems old when delivered in the original packaging. However something old can be “made new” by taking that which was old and restoring it to a condition that is acceptable. As John states, the “old” commandment is “at the same time” (1 John 2:8) “new”. Two different individuals realize this in/at two different times.
o Realization of Christ: Jesus, being while 100% God and still 100% completely human came to the realization in his earthly ministry that what was once old was not to be eliminated but reinstated. (“The law and the prophets hang on these two commands. Matthew 22:40). There must be a love for God and a love for each other.
o Realization of Christ Followers: What is true in Christ is also true in us because “the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining” (1 John 2:8). This means that whatever Christ deemed important because of Him being God, that we too must also put in importance as we continue to walk the ways Jesus walked. He says that the old and new commandments are not in opposition but are two heads of the same coin. They (Old and New Testaments) contain the same basic truth.
• A conformation to Christ is that which one willing chooses to eliminate the darkness in his or her life and allow the light to illuminate his or her path properly for proper living.
• Application: For us it is important to note that what Jesus did in His work on earth to paves the way for us as believers. Jesus gives the believer an opportunity to no longer walk in darkness. The believer is to be in the light (1 John 1:5-10).
o NOTE: This does not mean that there is no longer darkness in the world (Col 2:8, 20) but that the believer has strength through the Spirit to walk in the light and to have full confidence in the eternal victory of Christ over darkness (1 Corinthians 15:54-57).
• “A new command (Old with a facelift) I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
• Since the new commandment contains the same basic truth as the old commandment, but the new commandment is demonstrated in 5 notable ways:
o Jesus (God) showed love
• Through experiences and fellowship with GOD
o Jesus (God) reaffirmed love
• Through experiences with others
• Examples: Disciples, Mary, Martha, Lost souls, Peter’s mother in law, etc.
o Jesus (God) taught love
• His disciples were to love others as he had loved them – with humility
o Jesus (God) sacrifices through love
• Willing laid down his life for others
o Jesus (God) offered concrete salvation
• The new command (NT) carries efficacy that the old (OT) did not.
• Know (salvation) God if you know these things.
• Know (fellowship) God if you do these things.
Point #2: Know the Father if You Genuinely Love (1 John 2:9 and 11)
• Explanation: John speaks on this is verse 9 and 11. What he says is the person who does not know God (unsaved) can know hatred for another person. However, the Christian who “hates” (hate = an exclusion, insult, and rejection because of a contradicting doctrinal beliefs or religious practices) their fellow brother in the Lord has failed to genuinely escape the darkness that is in the current culture. As the Bible states in the Old and New Testament, many men have distanced themselves in their relationship with God through the hatred of another.
o Cain killed his brother Able (Genesis 4:8)
o David had Uriah killed (2 Samuel 11:15)
o Saul held the coats while Stephen was stoned (Acts 22:20)
• These men had much to learn about God and DID when the self (hatred) decreased and Christ (Spirit) increased (John 3:30)
• Application: If we are “walking in the light” (Christians - Greek word here is usually used metaphorically to describe the tone and direction of one’s entire life. It is not a single act, it encompasses one’s entire life focus) and still “hates their brother” (1 John 2:9) then we have much to learn about God and cannot live legitimately claim that they have a true intimate knowledge of God. If we really know who God is then we would love our brother and sister in the Lord the way that Christ did as He walked. Sometimes this is painful…
o Cain was forced to learn about God by becoming a “restless wanderer” (Genesis 4:12)
o David learned God’s greatness by losing a son for the sin he committed (2 Samuel 12:14)
o Paul went blind to receive the Lord (Acts 9:8) and lived with a thorn in his flesh to understand dependence (2 Corinthians 12)
Point #3: Know the Father by Not Being a Stumbling Block (1 John 2:10)
• Explanation: John affirms that the man who loves his brother lives in the light regardless of how much darkness is in the world. In this form of love there is NOTHING in this person that would make a brother stumble. Hatred may be an internal emotion but it still, as seen already, has external consequences. When we hate we choose to walk in darkness. When we walk in darkness it does a few things (stumbling blocks)…
o Walking in darkness will keep us from comprehending God (1 John 1:5)
o Walking in darkness will blind our spiritual eyes (1 John 2:11)
• God is light and in Him is no darkness (1 John 1:5)
• Followers of God will not walk in darkness (1 John 1:6)
• Walking in the truth of God's Word will keep us from walking in darkness (Psalm 119:105, John 3:21, John 17:17, 1 John 1:6)
o Walking in darkness will produce the WORKS OF DARKNESS
• The works of the flesh = unfruitful works of darkness (John 3:20, Ephesians 5:11)
• The believers (Bride) are to cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light (Romans 13:12)
• Application: We must not lose our direction but yet follow God (the light) as that is the true source of life and what life is all about. God, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit helps us
o Open our spiritual eyes (Isaiah 42:6)
o Comprehend the works of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14)
o Advance the kingdom (Matthew 28)
o Glorify God (1 Corinthians 10-11)
• When our ACTIONS are TRUE there we will see the most FRUIT and others come to KNOW Jesus like we do!
CONCLUSION: S.T.O.P. for June