The New Commandment

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

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

1. The word agape is used 43 times.

2. The word phileo does not appear in 1 John

B. 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.

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

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.

II. The old commandment from the beginning has three possible applications (1 John 2:7).

A. From the beginning of creation -- God is love.

 1 John 4:7-8 -- Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

B. From the beginning of the Law.

1. The 10 Commandments

2. The 1st and greatest commandment – love God

3. The 2nd commandment – love your neighbor

a. Mark 12:29-31 -- Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. ‘And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. "And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these."

C. From the beginning of Christ’s ministry.

1. John 15:27 -- And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

2. 1 John 1:1 -- 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, concerning the Word of life

3. 2 John 1:6 -- This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.

4. John 15:12, 17 -- This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. . . .  These things I command you, that ye love one another.

III. The new commandment is emphasized in this section (1 John 2:8)

A. The word choice is significant.

1. John uses kainos not neos.

2. Neos is used of something that is recent in time, unworn, never used.

a. Mark 2:22 -- "And no one puts new (just made) wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new [kainos – restored, refurbished] wineskins."
b. Colossians 3:10 -- and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

3. Kainos speaks of “redressing” or “restoring” something already here.

a. Matthew 26:29 -- "But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom."
b. 2 Peter 3:13 -- Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

2. The “new” [refreshed, refocused] commandment is more personal.

1. The “Old” commandment was broad – based on obedience to Law.

a. It commanded obedience in behavior focused on worship to God.
b. It commanded obedience within human relations.

2. The “New” commandment was focused on the brotherhood of Christians.

a. John 13:34 -- A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
b. John 15:12 -- This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

B. The reason for the “new” emphasis is to demonstrate Christ’s love.

1. The ”Old” Covenant saw God through the Law and sacrifices.

a. Hebrew 10:4 -- For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

2. The ”New” Covenant was sealed on Calvary and by Christ’s sacrifice.

a. 1 Corinthians 11:25 -- After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
b. 2 Corinthians 3:6 -- Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
c. Hebrews 9:15 -- And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
d. John 13:35 -- By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

IV. The darkness is past and the true light now shines (1 John 2:8)

A. In this context, the “darkness” must refer to the Old Testament era.

1. Romans 16:25 -- Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began

2. Ephesians 3:9 -- And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

3. The entire Old Testament was based on bringing the Messiah into the world.

a. Numbers 24:17 -- I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.
b. Jeremiah 33:22 -- As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me.
c. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.    Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
d. Daniel 9:25 -- Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

B. In this context, the “true light” must refer to the person of the Lord Jesus.

1. John 1:4-5, 9 -- In him was life; and the life was the light of men.  And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. . . . . That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

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

3. 1 Thessalonians 5:5 -- Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

V. The required “new” action is to open love the brothers & sisters in Christ.

A. The “New Covenant” is no longer based on national identity.

1. Galatians 3:26-28 -- For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

2. Galatians 5:6 -- For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

3. Romans 10:12 -- For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

4. Colossians 3:11 -- Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

B. Hatred expressed toward the Twice-Born has several identifying factors.

1. Such a person walks in darkness.

a. 1 John 2:9 -- He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.

2. Such a person is blinded by the darkness.

a. 1 John 2:11 -- But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

3. Such a person is a murderer.

a. 1 John 3:15 -- Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

4. Such a person is a liar.

a. 1 John 4:20 -- If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

C. Love toward the Twice-Born actively demonstrates that love.

1. Such a person honors and prefers the brotherhood.

a. Romans 12:10 -- Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another

2. Such a person refreshes the brotherhood.

a. Philemon 1:7 -- For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother.

3. Such a person remains in righteous behavior, never causing others to sin.

a. 1 John 2:10 -- He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.

4. Such a person are well known as Children of God.

a. 1 John 3:10 -- In this the children of God are manifest.

5. Such a person knows that they are of the Twice-Born.

a. 1 John 3:14 -- We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.

6. Such a person tries to fulfill the needs of others.

a. 1 John 3:17 -- But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

7. Such a person gently uses the word of God to admonish others in worship.

a. Colossians 3:16 -- Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
1 John


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