Love Right and Wrong (1 John 2)

1 John 2

1 John tells us how to have fellowship with God and his people. Chapter 1 tells us that walking in the light means dealing honestly with our sin. Chapter 2 introduces us to a favorite concept—abiding. The Greek word is used 10 times in verses 6-27. It means "abide," "remain," "live" or "dwell," and speaks of a close, intimate, open relationship.

I. When Love is Right                            1-11

Since we all sin, we need to know where to go for help. John replies that we have a Friend in High Places, a Defense Advocate who pleads our case before the Father.
          1) When we sin, we have an advocate in heaven. 1
           2) He has made full propitiation for our sins. 2
When we sin . . .

Jesus admits our guilt, and

Pleads his blood on our behalf.

          3) The proof of eternal life is daily obedience. 3-4
           4) Obedience leads to an intimate experience of God's love. 5
           6) Obedience means living as Jesus did. 6
           7) Brotherly love is the essential mark of the Christian life. 7-8

A) It is not a new command.

B) But it is a distinguishing mark of the life Jesus brought to the earth.

          8) Hatred causes us to stumble because we live in the darkness. 9,11
         9) Those who love will not stumble because they are walking in the light. 10

II. When Love is Wrong                12-17

Knowing God personally sounds wonderful—and it is. But is it not easy because we live in a world that constantly attempts to seduce us spiritually.

1) There are various levels of the Christian life. 12-14

A) Children know the Father and their sins are forgiven.

B) Young men are strong in the Word so they can stand against the evil one.

C) Fathers have an intimate knowledge of God.

2) The world is the organized system that leaves God out. 15

3) The world attacks us three ways. 16-17

A) Lust of the flesh = Evil Desires

B) Lust of the eyes = Covetousness

C) Pride of life = Self-exaltation

4) It is foolish to love the world because it will ultimately pass away. 17

III. When Discernment is Necessary 18-29

Spiritual counterfeits are all around us—and even among us. John calls them "antichrists." They are as prevalent in the 21st century as they were in the first.

1) False teachers are already in the world. 18

2) They separate from those who teach the truth. 19

A) Their nature = Antichrists

B) Their number = Many

C) Their source = Among us

3) The Holy Spirit enables us to understand the truth. 20-21

4) False teachers deny the truth about Jesus Christ. 22-23

5) No one who denies the truth about Jesus has a relationship with the Father. 23

6) Our only hope is to be deeply grounded in the Word of God. 24-25

7) The Holy Spirit teaches us the truth of God. 26-27

8) We must abide in Christ so we will be glad to see him. 28

9) There ought to be a family resemblance that links us with God. 29

Note that the false teachers originate from within the Christian fellowship. Although they appear to be like us, they deny the truth about Jesus Christ. The number of false teachers will increase as we near the Second Coming of our Lord.
John mentions two provisions for our discernment:

External = Teaching of the Apostles 24-25

Internal = Anointing of the Holy Spirit 26-27

Application: 1 John helps us understand how the world learns about God

Step 1: We live a transparent life.

Step 2: We obey God's commands.

Step 3: We love our Christian brothers.

Result: The world begins to understand God's character because they see it reflected in us.

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Ray Pritchard

RAY PRITCHARD

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