Assurance and Obedience

I.  The first chapter of 1 John sets the foundation.  (1 John 1)

A. The record is based on “eyewitness” information.

1. 1 John 1:1-3 -- That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you,.

2. Acts 4:20 -- For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

B. The message:  God IS light – there is no darkness at all in Him.

1. 1 John 1:5 -- This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

2. John 12:46 -- I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

C. The expectation is for close fellowship with Jesus Christ and with each other.

1. 1 John 1:6-7 -- If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

5. 2 Corinthians 6:14 -- Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

II. The remainder of 1 John (chapters 2 through 5) is built around two key words.

A. We are expected to KNOW that we are the Twice-Born.

1. The word ginosko is used 25 times.

a. Its basic meaning is knowledge gained through personal experience.
b. It is used in chapters 2, 3, and 4 – not in chapter 5.

2. The word I’do is used 17 times.

a. Its basic meaning is mental understanding and comprehension.
b. It is used in chapters 2, 3, and 5 – not in chapter 4

3. The interplay between these words provides keen insight about assurance.

B. We are expected to LOVE each other and the commandments of Scripture.

1. The word agape is used 43 times.

a. The verb form appears 29 times.
b. The noun form appears 22 times

2. The word phileo does not appear in 1 John

III. The strength of John’s letter is based on two primary conditions.

A. Jesus Christ is our righteous advocate (1 John 2:1).

1. The parakletos is one who is call to our side to help us.

a. The word is used 5 times, most often translated “comforter.”
b. The word is used of the Holy Spirit in John 15 and 16.
c. The word is used of Jesus Christ only here in 1 John 2:1.

2. The Lord Jesus is our righteous High Priest.

a. Hebrews 5:10 -- Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
b. Hebrews 6:20 -- …even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
c. Hebrews 7:26 -- For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
d. Hebrews 8:1 -- We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
e. Hebrews 9:11 -- But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come

3. The Lord Jesus is continually interceding for us at the Throne room.

a. Romans 8:34 -- Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
b. Hebrews 7:25 -- Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

B. Jesus Christ is the “propitiation” for the whole world (1 John 2:2).

1. The word is hilasmos – only used in 1 John.

a. 1 John 2:2 -- And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
b. 1 John 4:10 -- Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

2. The word means “that which appeases” – “that which satisfies.”

a. Romans 3:24-26 --Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation [different word - hilasterion] through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
b. 2 Corinthians 5:21 -- For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

3. The hilasterion is God’s mercy granted because of Jesus Christ.

a. Hebrews 2:17 -- Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
b. Hebrews 8:12 -- For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

IV. The “propitiation” was sufficient for the “whole world.”

A. This is the strongest statement in Scripture about the complete payment.

1. The phrase is - alla kai peri olou tou kosmou – literally: “but even concerning altogether the cosmos.”

2. The precious promise in John 3:16 also uses kosmou – the cosmos.

a. Mark 16:15 -- And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world [kosmou] and preach the gospel to every creature.
b. John 1:9 -- That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world [kosmou].
c. John 3:17 -- For God sent not his Son into the world [kosmou] to condemn the world [kosmou]; but that the world [kosmou] through him might be saved.

B. This statement provides basis for all to be saved.

1. God’s desire is that “all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

2. Ezekiel 33:11 -- Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

3. The work of Christ on Calvary was sufficient for all sin.

a. His death was the full payment for all sin.
b. His death was the satisfactory payment for all sin.
c. His death made possible the salvation of “the whole world.”
d. His death accomplished the forgiveness of “all sin.”

4. The sinless Son of Man was the proper substitute for mankind.

5. The infinite Son of God was the sufficient substitute for mankind.

C. This statement accretes to several clear applications.

1. Whosoever will may come – no exceptions; no exclusions (Mark 8:34).

2. All humanity CAN be saved – no more to be done (Ephesians 2:8-10)

a. The sinful condition of the aborted unborn is forgiven.
b. The sinful condition of the mentally incapable is forgiven.
c. The REJECTION of Christ’s provision brings damnation (John 3:19).

3. All humanity WILL NOT be saved – more reject than respond (Matthew 7:13).

a. There is a “yoke” – (Matthew 11:28-30)

b. There is a “repentance” – (Mark 2:17)
c. There is an “unforgiveable sin” (Matthew 12:31; Mark 3:29; Luke 12:10)

4. All of humanity that WILL repent and believe will be saved.

a. Mark 1:15 -- And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
b. John 1:12 -- But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

IV. The assurance of our fellowship with God is our obedience to God (1 John 2:3-6).

A. The experience of sin in the Believer should be rare.

1. We should “walk in the light”

2. We should “confess our sins”

3. We should “not sin” – all references in 1 John are “continue” or “practice” sin.

a. 1 John 3:4 -- Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
b. 1 John 3:8--  He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
c. 1 John 3:9 -- Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

B. The assurance comes when we “keep his commandments” (1 John 2:3)

1. John 14:15 -- If ye love me, keep my commandments.

2. John 15:10 -- If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love;

3. 1 John 3:22 -- And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

4. 1 John 5:2 -- By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

5. 1 John 5:3 -- For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

C. The assurance comes when we “walk as he walked” (1 John 6)

1. John 6:66 -- From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

2. Romans 8:1 -- There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

3. Romans 8:4 -- That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

4. 1 Corinthians 3:3 -- For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

5. Galatians 5:16 -- This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

6. Galatians 5:25 -- If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

7. Ephesians 2:10 -- For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

8. Ephesians 4:1 -- I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

9. Colossians 1:10 -- That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

10. 2 Thessalonians 3:6 -- Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

1 John


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