1John 5:6-9

7/3/12 V. 6, John points to three things that prove that Jesus is who he claimed to be and did what he claimed to do. The first two facts are that he “came” through water and blood. Because he came through these two things it follows best that John was speaking of Jesus’ baptism and crucifixion. These were two major points in Jesus’ life, the beginning of his public ministry and the end of it. Some also cite the blood and water from Jesus’ side at the crucifixion, which may play into it. But his baptism and his crucifixion would be primary.

The third testimony is the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit, who actually descended upon Jesus and proclaimed Jesus’ divinity.

V. 7, Later manuscripts include some extra information in this verse. Three testify in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, three in one. Most Bible translations do not include this since it’s seen as a later addition.

V. 8, These three, the water, blood, and Spirit all agree that Jesus was who he claimed to be during his time of ministry on earth. They fulfilled the prophecies concerning the Messiah.

V. 9, It’s true that the disciples and the people who knew Jesus also testified to his work and his divinity, which was good and valid; but the fact that God himself testified to it lays any questions to rest just because he’s God. We don’t need to question whether or not Jesus was the Messiah. We have all kinds of evidence showing that he was.

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Posted by on April 16, 2013 in Uncategorized


1John 5:1-5

7/2/12 V. 1, Whoever believes the gospel, that Jesus came in the flesh and died for us, loves God.

V. 2, And the way we know we love him is if we love others and if we do the things he commands us to do, which are all rooted in love for others.

V. 3, To love is to obey and to obey is to love. When we attempt to obey without love the commands based in love are impossibly heavy and burdensome. But when we obey in love the commands are light and pleasant.

V. 4, In this way we overcome the wickedness of the world. Our faith that Jesus will work in us by pouring out his spirit of love in us is the way we overcome. And overcoming is a huge theme particularly in Revelation.

V. 5, We overcome when we accept the gospel of Jesus into our lives. And that gospel is that he loved us so much that he died for us to enable us to overcome. And we ought to love him and others in the same way.

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Posted by on April 16, 2013 in Uncategorized


1John 4:1-6

7/1/12 V. 1, The Spirit of God, which is the spirit of love, is poured out in his people, but another spirit is also active in the lives of men. Those in whom the spirit of Satan exists are false prophets. They have gone out into the world, which sounds a lot like Revelation 16:14 where the three evil spirits from Babylon go out to the whole world.

It’s very possible that there is a connection between these verses because John wrote both of them. In fact, this entire portion of John’s letter makes much more sense when understood from the perspective of the final great deception. John could well have been alluding to this passage in Revelation 16:14.

In the Revelation scenario these evil spirits are a counterfeit gospel that go out with power to convince people that the unholy trinity is the real thing.

V. 2, In effect, if not in actual word, this counterfeit gospel denies that Jesus came in the flesh. It attempts to give people another way to salvation through the sea beast. The function of the land beast, a counterfeit Holy Spirit, is to point people to the counterfeit Jesus.

V. 3, So any spirit who doesn’t acknowledge the historical Jesus as coming from God, this is the spirit of antichrist. This spirit of counterfeit gospel then equates with spirit of antichrist, which denies the historical Jesus and evidently also denies the spirit of love. The entire theme of the book of John so far has been love, so this portion is consistent with that theme. In many ways this was already going on in John’s day, but there they had heard of the major deception yet to come as well.

V. 4, God’s people had overcome these deceptions during John’s time. How? By the power of the Spirit of God counteracting the power of the spirit of Satan. In the same way God’s people will resist the final great deception as well.

V. 5, In that day the powers of evil will speak from the perspective of the world. In other words their arguments will have human wisdom but not spiritual wisdom, for spiritual things are foolishness to the world. And the world will be astonished and follow after them.

V. 6, God’s people, on the other hand, will demolish such arguments and anything that sets itself up against the knowledge of God (1 Cor. 15). Those in whom the Spirit of God is active will listen to us, but those filled with the other spirit will not. This is how we will discern between the spirits, by who listens to the true gospel and those who will not.

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Posted by on April 16, 2013 in Uncategorized


1John 3:21-24

6/30/12 V. 21, When we are innocent we are able to be in the presence of God with much more confidence than if we are guilty. That just make sense, of course. The innocent always have more confidence before the judge than the guilty because we believe that the truth will set us free.

V. 22, When we are right with God, living righteously in relationship with him then we can ask for anything from him and receive it. We can do this because we are in that kind of relationship with him, which will vet our requests. The person in a close relationship with God will not ask for things that would be detrimental, and even if he did so unknowingly he would not be upset when God did not give what he asked for. In fact he would be grateful because he would assume God knew best and was protecting him. It’s a wonderful situation to be in when one is obeying God’s commands. No wonder the psalmist praised God’s law so much in Psalm 119.

V. 23, God’s commands are not complicated. They are not always easy, but they are not complicated. First we are to believe in Jesus that he is the Son of God. To believe in Jesus is to believe that he is our Savior, redeemer, atoning sacrifice. To believe in Jesus is to accept the full gospel. Second, we are to do what Jesus commands us to do. That includes everything that Jesus said to do, but at it’s baseline is that we love each other. This has been John’s primary point throughout.

V. 24, When we obey we are living in relationship with him. Indeed, it’s impossible to obey outside of relationship with him. We don’t have what it takes to truly obey–truly love–without the grace God provides that enables us to do so. When we are living close to him he pours out his Spirit of love into us. When the spirit of love pours out of us toward others then we can know that God is living within us.

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Posted by on April 16, 2013 in Uncategorized


1John 3:16-20

6/29/12 V. 16, How do we know what love is? The best example is Jesus, and ultimately Jesus’ crowning act of love: dying for us. Jesus lived his whole life illustrating what love looks like, but it was his death for us that shows us how extreme love can be. This is the sort of love we are to strive for. We must be perfected in love to the degree that we are willing also to die for someone else. But we are often far from even basic acts of love, not to mention great ones.

V. 17, For instance, anyone who says he’s a Christian but who can ignore the needs of someone when he has the ability to help is not filled with the love of God. Jesus would never pass by a need when he had the means to relieve it. When love fills us we shouldn’t be able to stand having too much when someone else has too little.

V. 18, Loving others as a Christian isn’t just pretty words we can say. We must prove that the love of God is in us by our actions that are in harmony with the truth as it is in Jesus. We must do loving things.

V. 19, Indeed that’s how we will know if we truly belong to God. This is assurance before God when our hearts condemn us.

V. 20, Our hearts do feel guilty before a perfect God. But when we love each other we have something to say to our hearts. We can know that we belong to God in spite of our guilt before him because we can see the evidence of God’s grace at work within us. God is greater than our hearts. He is greater than our guilt. He knows our sin problems.

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Posted by on April 16, 2013 in Uncategorized


1John 3:11-15

6/28/12 V. 11, This has been God’s consistent message from the very beginning. Love each other. God is love and his universe must operate on that principle or else it will not work and we will get the situation that we see in operation right now on this planet.  We must love each other, and not just those who love us in return.

V. 12, Cain, the first one born into sin, became a murderer. He didn’t love. He hated his brother because his brother showed him up. His brother did what was right and Cain did what was wrong. That never sits well with those who are doing wrong.

V. 13, We shouldn’t be surprised when the world hates us. The reason they hate us is because we do right. That is the way guilt works, it hates that which shows it to be wrong.

V. 14, When we learn to love as we have been taught then we know that we have become children of God. We are no longer doomed to a living death or a physical death. We begin to really live. But if we refuse to learn to love we will continue to live in death. God told Adam that he would surely die if he ate the fruit and he did in fact pass from life to death the moment he disobeyed. From that act of disobedience Cain went so far as to murder his brother.

V. 15, All it takes to be like Cain is to not love, which is to say to be unlike God. If we do not love someone we murder him. Jesus said that explicitly in the sermon on the mount. And murderers have no place in the kingdom of God.

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Posted by on April 16, 2013 in Uncategorized


1John 3:4-10

6/27/12 V. 4, John, the one who was loved and was taught to love by Jesus himself, continues to make a big deal out of obedience. Breaking God’s law is sin. That’s the definition of sin.

V. 5, He doesn’t leave out grace, the fact that Jesus the sinless one came to take our sin away and to give us victory over sin in our lives. We must always keep this grace in mind when we look at the idea of obedience. But John’s primary purpose here is to emphasize obedience. Why?

V. 6, Because sin in our lives is the evidence that there is a problem in our relationship. When we continue to sin that proves that we are not in a saving relationship with God. Those in such a relationship quit sinning–through the grace of God.

V. 7, When we do right we are righteous and we are of God.

V. 8, When we do wrong we are of Satan because that is Satan’s work. He sins. The entire reason Jesus came to earth was to stop Satan and his evil ways.

V. 9, Therefore, anyone who has come to know God and is in a close relationship with him will not work against him by doing the very things he’s trying to eradicate from our lives.

V. 10, Indeed we can tell who belongs to God and who does not by their actions. Most especially how they love others.

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Posted by on April 16, 2013 in Uncategorized