January 2, 2000
I John 2:28-3:10
v. 28 - "abide in Him" - John 15:4-5, 14:21,23
"He shall appear" - Parousia - historically used to
describe the festivities attendant on a monarch's
arriving for a state visit.
v. 29 - "He is righteous" - The coming of Christ suggests
the righteousness of Christ for it is as a righteous
Judge that He is coming!
To partake of that righteousness which is God's nature
is proof of birth from Him.
Righteousness must be shown in conduct - conduct is
habitual - not a casual or occasional good deed will
manifest this but continuity of righteousness.
This righteousness is not a condition of rebirth but a
consequence of it.
"know" - - knowledge direct & absolute
"know" - - knowledge gained by observation
The soul regulates the body, the spirit governs the soul
& God governs all.
Tell us what a righteous man ought to be & do at any
moment. We can tell you what he will do.
He is a spiritual man who has passed from death unto life.
When a man resembles God in nature we know he is a
child of God by the second birth.
Where there is a God-like man there is a Heaven born
one. "without holiness no man shall see the Lord.
Righteousness is on the throne of the universe.
The righteousness of God is the Divine attribute thru
which God wills & performs all things which are
conformable to His eternal Law, prescribes suitable
laws to His creatures, implements His promises made
to man, rewards the good, & punishes the ungodly.
The inner abiding in Christ must pass into the
outer life of "God defined" & "God-like activity",
not God "defying activity".
v. 1 - "Behold" - "what manner of love the Father
hath bestowed upon us"
Amazement, the marvelous quality of such love!
Believe it, contemplate it, admire it, reciprocate it!
Meditate on the Love of the Divine Father - "My Father
and your Father, my God and your God"
Romans 5:8 - "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that,
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 8:16 - "The Spirit, Himself, beareth witness
with our spirit, that we are the children of God"
He inspires us with holy desires & purposes, He restrains
us from sin, He comforts us in sorrow, He strengthens us
to produce the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, temperance.
The presence of these things in our lives is a testimony
that we are the "sons of God."
A magnificent title with corresponding dignity - "Sons of
God" - "Partakers of His Divine Nature" - II Peter 1:4
Goal of God's Love - that we become "children of God"
The world doesn't recognize us - it didn't & doesn't
recognize Him! Soul things are too hard? "it knew Him not"
Not above the world but above recognition - in disposition, in character,
principles and practice.
When sickness weakens the body that you may rejoice in
tribulation. When visiting the grave you can see the region where there is
not death. When entering the valley of the shadow of death it will be lit with
a heavenly glory.
Enigmas - puzzles - Take it personally? I HAVE BEEN
The approval of the world is to be feared - to be hated is
unpleasant but it shows that one is loved of God which is
more important that the world's hatred!
We are Love's objects, though rebels, having revolted,
He has remade us, gave us a rebirth, WE ARE GOD'S
"Behold, what manner of Love the Father hath bestowed"
The lavishness of that love, apart from which there would be no children of God.
"Our life is hid with Christ in God" - Col. 3:3b
v.2 - "Now" -Our present state is known, our future
remains unrevealed! When it is manifested, we shall
find ourselves like God.
"As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness:
I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness"
God is Light and light is seen - in this life we see not
the light of the Divine Nature as it is but only as it is
Shadow - Genesis - image of God -
Pictures of John & Nat
"we know" - II Cor. 5:1, II Cor. 3:18, Phil 3:21
Love's intentions - see that baby in the cradle - there
are big hopes for that child - it is not merely what he
is today that he is loved, but for the potential he has to be!
"when He shall appear - we shall be like Him (likeness of
"conformed to the image of His Son" - Rom. 8:29
"as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also
bear the image of the heavenly." - I Cor. 15:49
"they shall see His face and His name shall be in their
foreheads" - Rev. 22:4
"face to face" - learn more of God's glance in a moment
than a century of thought.
Contrast Luke 22:61-62
"it doeth not yet appear" - we have no symbols by which
future glories could be revealed to us.
As it is written, eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither
have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared
for them that love Him" - I Cor. 2:9
v. 3 - A present privilege - A future glory!
Use the appointed means - the cleansing efficiency of the
Blood of Jesus Christ, God's own Son! Confessing our sins - taking advantage
of the services of the Advocate!
Titus 2:13 - "Looking for that blessed hope and the
glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour,
Hope set on Jesus - Hope is desire + expectation.
Take away hope and life's inspiration is gone _"if in this
life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most
miserable" - I Cor 15:19
In the presence of such solid grounds of hope as revealed
in the gospel, how great a wrong is done to a man's own
nature when his indifference or unbelief has reduced him to such a state of
hopelessness that his highest achievement is that of submitting to the inevitable.
The evil of suicide!
"But ye have not so learned Christ!" Eph. 4:20
"without holiness, no man shall see the Lord" - Heb. 12:14
Apart from holiness, hope is impossible - God's laws
are guards, guides and trainers for holiness through Christ!
To indulge in sin, or to cease to strive after holiness like unto that of Christ,
would be virtually to renounce hope.
His purity is our pattern, a test of character for our daily lives!
Aim for purity and righteousness - to live in disobedience is to abandon any hope
v. 4 - Sin is transgression of the Law - a disregard for Divine Law, a breach of
Sin is absolutely incompatible with Christ's work and union with Him.
What birth from God excludes! Sin is the transgression of God's will.
God's Law intended for (1) right government of self
(2) concern for our brother
(3) loyalty to God
"in keeping of them there is great reward" - Ps. 19:11
The Law carries rewards for those who keep it and
penalties for those who do not.
Christ paid those penalties, and if we refuse Him & God's intentions and we
clutch our sins & hold on to them, we are putting self before God. (a dangerous
practice ) I hope you steer from the class of men mentioned in Scriptures as
"workers of iniquity" - in Job 34:22 & many Psalms.
Not occasional, but a habitual working of iniquity - voluntary, deliberate, activity
in wrong doing.
Lawlessness is incompatible with Christ!
v. 5 - Sin is lawlessness and Jesus Christ appeared in order to remove it.
"Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29
He was manifested to take away whatever sins exist. To
remove them altogether - He was manifested to destroy
the works of the devil who sinneth from the beginning.
"in Him is no sin" - absolutely separated from sin -
one who leads a sinful life is in constant opposition to the Person, will and work of the
Son of God.
How dark does a sinful life appear by the side of Christ?
Abolition of sin - vs. 5,8
Christ's entire mission was opposed to sin. He became
incarnate, He prayed, preached, was in all points tempted like we are yet
without sin, He wrought mighty & gracious works, he suffered and died and
rose again and he ever lives to make intercession for us.
Heb. 9:26 - "Once in the end of the world hath He
appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself."
"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am chief."
I Tim. 1:15
v.6 - To live in the Sinless One is to live a life of righteousness committed to
not sinning, and when one does it is confessed as lawlessness and abandons it.
NO ONE WHO LIVES IN HIM KEEPS ON SINNING!
v. 7 - Let no one seduce you to believe that character &
practice can be separated, thus trying to reconcile
religion with moral laxity.
He that doeth righteousness is of God - he that doeth
sin is of the devil.
v. 8 - An elaboration on v. 5
God will destroy the devil and all his works including those of his children who
accept sinning as a way of life.
Their character is derived from the devil, his desires
become their desires, they, like him, become liars &
seducers. Those who do so prove who their father is.
Christ's manifestation - to destroy sin and the devil,
darkness is dispersed and destroyed.
The Light shineth in darkness and the darkness
comprehended it not - John 1:5
v.9 - The new principle of life abides & grows in him
until it prevents the old unregenerate nature from
An act is different from a state of sin.
Our ideal - "inability to sin" - "doeth not commit sin"
A child of God cannot be opposed to his Father's will - the product of the
new birth is a child who will will as his Father wills. In errors of judgment
he may fall, may be overcome by a gust of temptation and surprised into
a fault but from sin, and living alien to God he was delivered once and for
A summary of v. 6 - no one who lives in God can practice a life of sin.
No one who is born of God can continue in sin.
"in Christ" - If He lives in us then our life will be His
life in us - WWJD
v. 10 - Love of one's brother, a test.
Righteousness & love - inseparatable in God, in
Christ and in His people.
No excuses - either one loves his brother and proves
he is God's child or else he does not love his brother
and proves he belongs to the devil.
Two classes of men - either child of God or child of the devil.
"By their fruits ye shall know them" - "do men gather
grapes of thorns or figs from thistles?" - Matt. 7:16
He who drifts away from loyalty to God will soon drift
away also from consideration to man.
While all are created of God, some become His children
spiritually while others become the children of Satan.
on the sunny aspects of the world and of life and would shut their eyes
to what is dark and terrible.
They like to hear of a being who is all-gracious and loving; the vision
of one who is the enemy of all that is gracious and loving shocks them –
they wish to suppose that it belongs to the world's infancy and that it
disappears as we know more.
The Children of God do righteousness.
The children of the devil do sin and not righteousness.
Of all the failures of doing righteousness - this is the
most conspicuous - failing to love one's brother!
Think of the prodigal son - during his guilty wanderings he may have been
entirely faithful to his employer in the pig pen but be sinning against his
father all the while he was away.
The forces God has employed against sin:
* a Law to condemn it
* a Saviour to redeem from it
* a Spirit to destroy it
* a Gospel to testify against it
* a Family of New Born to be living witnesses
of deliverance from its power
WHAT AN HONOR TO BE A CHILD OF GOD!
Proofs of redemption and regeneration - a new life - higher than nature knows
sustained by the power of God.
What a sorry outlook for those who are not children of God! What can they
be thinking of, that's the problem, they do not think! They ask not, "what
am I doing?" - Alien from God, rushing against His Law, neglecting His gospel,
despising His Son, to what humiliation and destruction are they rushing? Siding
with the evil one, like him, they must be cast down & cast out!
In disregard & defiance of His authority!