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1 John 2





Again I find myself with a chapter that has so much in it.  There are so many different and important things in this chapter that we could spend days in it and not get everything.  So, I am going to limit myself to two things.

First, I want you to look at the first couple of verses.  John is encouraging us to put away our sin.  Life without sin would be infinitely better than life with even one sin.  So, he says is writing to help us win that battle. 

But we do sin.  We sin more than we want to admit.  We may even sin more than we actually realize.  So, what do we do then?  Verse 1 says we have an advocate with the Father.  The word advocate refers to someone that is called alongside of.  Specifically, it was used in this way.  When someone was called into court, he would take an advocate or lawyer with him to stand at his side and plead his case

Imagine, if you will, being called before God because as a Christ follower you have sinned.  As we make that long walk to God’s court room, we suddenly find Jesus walking with us.  As the trial began, Jesus says to the Father, “This one is mine.  I paid for His sin when I died on Calvary.  Therefore, this sin has been wiped away.”

The reason Jesus can do that is, according to verse 2, He is our propitiation.  Now there’s a Bible word for you.  What in the world is a propitiation? Propitiation refers to the satisfying of God’s Holy Law.  The Law says that the wages of sin is death and that the shedding of blood is necessary for the sin debt to be forgiven.  

So, Jesus went to the cross.  He shed His blood and died there not only for our sins but the sins of the whole world.  Think about this.  Jesus died once and for all for every sin that had ever been committed or would be committed by everybody who had ever lived and those who would live.  His sacrifice was total and complete.

When we are saved, that death, that shed blood is applied to us.  Therefore we never have to face judgment for our sin.  Jesus as our Advocate, stands next to us and declares the sin paid for and us free from it all.

I have said all of that to get me to the second thing I want to talk about in this book.  This whole notion of Jesus dying once for all sin of all time is a difficult concept to get a grip on.  But it is the basis for the incredible principle of once we are saved, we are always saved.  Once the blood of Jesus is applied, it covers all of our sin.

But therein lies a problem.  Sometimes we struggle with whether or not we were actually saved.  Sometimes that struggle can be devastating.  Are we actually saved?  Can we actually know if we are actually saved?

The answer is an emphatic “yes”.  We can know that we are actually saved.  In fact, much of 1 John is written to help us know that we are saved.  For example, verse 3 says one of the tests of salvation is obedience to God’s Word.  Are we doing what we should be doing?  Verse 10 says one of the tests of salvation is whether or not we love other Christians.  In a kind of upside down way, verse 15 gives us the test of loving the world.  Love of the world (see verse 16) is evidence that you have not been saved.

My time and space is gone.  Just know that as we work our way through the rest of this amazing book, we are going to find a variety of ways that we can actually know if we have actually been saved.  So, hang in there…

Posted by Joe Ligon with

1 John 1





Today we start a brand new book: 1 John.  I am not sure how familiar you are with this.  So, I thought I might give you just a little background before we dive into chapter one.

The author of 1 John also authored The Gospel According to John, 2 John, 3 John, and Revelation.  He is one of the more prolific New Testament writers.  Another interesting thing about this guy is that he referred to himself as the “one whom Jesus loved” two different times in The Gospel According to John. (John 13:23; John 21:20)  When we first encounter this identification, I think it kind of chaffs.  It would be one thing for someone else to say that John was the disciple whom Jesus loved.  But the only place we find this is in John’s own writing.  John is actually saying this about himself.

Honestly, I think our first response is more like “that’s egotistical” or “who does he think he is”.  But if we can get past that weird emotion, there is a great truth here.  First, we need to agree that Jesus did indeed love John.  So, John was actually accurate when he described himself that way.  Second, Jesus loves us in the same way.  So, it would be just as accurate for us to describe ourselves this same way.

I suspect we could be egotistical or arrogant with this.  But we could just as easily be very accurate.  Jesus does love us.  If we ever got that figured out, that would change everything.

As John opens this letter, he is intent on making sure we know that Jesus is real.  He talks about the physical encounters he had with Jesus.  He speaks of the fact that God has gone above and beyond to make Jesus “manifest” which means openly known.  Think about this.  God’s purpose in sending Jesus to this earth was that we might know Him.  

From there John goes on to talk about fellowship.  This is an interesting word.  Typically, we Baptists think you have to have fried chicken to have a fellowship.  But the original word, Koinonia, actually refers to sharing life together.  In many places, it is actually translated partnership.

John talks about the opportunity we have to share life with and be partners with God the Father and Jesus the Son.  That is a staggering thought.  God doesn’t need us.  He can do whatever He chooses completely by Himself.  He is in need of nothing or no one.  But He has chosen to share His life with us through Jesus.  And He has called us to partner with Him in the work of the Gospel.  

John also talks about how that fellowship creates fellowship between believers.  Christ followers have much in common.  We believe in one God.  We believe in one Son, Jesus.  We believe in one way to salvation: Jesus.  There is much that connects us.  

But we must never forget that the thing that connects us at the deepest point is that as Christ followers, we are called and equipped to share life together.  We get to be partners as we move through this life.  Space does not permit me to write about this here, but I would encourage you to do a study of the “one another” statements in the New Testament.  We really do get the incredible opportunity to go through life with other Christ followers.  And that’s pretty cool.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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