1 John

The True Christ is both Eternal God and Eternal Life

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1 John 5

20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

Years ago there was a commercial about an investment firm. In the commercial, whenever anyone said, “E.F. Hutton said…” all the people in the room stopped talking to listen to what E.F Hutton did say. I do not know if this company is even in business anymore but I do know that when God speaks everyone should listen. God has spoken to us through His word, the Bible, and has given us all the instruction that we need for eternal life and for present life.

Here, near the end of the Apostle John’s 1st epistle, we learn a great deal from God’s word. We are told that we can know that the Son of God has come and we can know Him who is true. In a day when God is put in the margin and truth is subjected to human desires and passions, we can know God and we can have His truth in us. Jesus is God; this is a fact of eternal proportions. Someone can deny electricity but if they stick a metal fork into an outlet they cannot deny its power. Someone can deny that Jesus Christ is God but when they stand before Him they will not be able to deny His godly His power.

Three times in this verse we are told that something is true, it is real, it cannot be denied: Christ is true, we are in Him who is true, He is the true God and eternal life.

This is a most striking sentence. Christ came to give us an understanding of God the Father, we can know God as the true and real God because we have Christ in us and we are in Him. Jesus Christ, the image of the Father, is the true God and He is eternal life. Earlier John said, “He who has the Son has life.” Eternal life and Jesus Christ as synonyms!

We must not be drawn away to any other gospel for no other gospel has this truth, this reality, and no other gospel offers us eternal life in the eternal God. May our faith in Jesus Christ, the eternal God and eternal life be increased.

 

We are almost finished with 1 John here at JIBC. Next Sunday will be our last Sunday in this epistle. This has been a wonderful study into the many things God wants us to know. Yesterday I read 27 references in 1 John that tell us we can know something. Near the end of the letter, John brings back three of those things we can know. If you want to listen to this message, follow the link below.

I met a family in the elevator last week and the wife was from Croatia, the husband from Brazil. I invited them to church and then to lunch. They did not make church but they came for lunch. We have a family in our church from Croatia and they also came for lunch. We visited for nearly five hours. It was a wonderful of getting to know each other. We did talk about the Lord and look forward to future opportunities for friendship and for sharing Christ. You never know what a day might bring forth.

 

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

 

 

 

 

Showing Compassion as Children of the Compassionate God

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1 John 3

10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. 11 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, 12 not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.

13 Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. 15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?

18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

As I prepare to bring this passage to the church so much has come to light. The life of Christ was a life of compassion. Whenever Jesus had compassion on someone or on a group of people, He did something about it. Even though Jesus never handed out money and never built anyone a house, He reached into His very spirit, the core of who He was, and cared for people at the level of their need. When Jesus would act on His compassion, people would marvel.

John takes time to let us know that when we open our hearts of compassion we are acting like children of God. His sons and daughters, in caring for people, act like their Father.

So much of compassion today is defined by caring for the poor of this world. Yet compassion is needed at every level of society. Jesus cared for rich and poor alike. So much of compassion today is demonstrated by improving someone’s temporary life. The compassion of Christ culminated at the Cross where He gave His life so that we through His act of compassion could live forever. We won’t know until eternity, but how many people in the early church in Jerusalem were people whom Jesus healed, fed, or cast a demon out of? After the resurrection when the Gospel of Christ was preached, those who had met Christ in this life got to know Christ in His eternal life.

We today, when compassion grows within us, should care for both the eternal and the temporal needs. Acts of compassion are not solicited nor can they be repaid yet neither can they be withheld. For when the Spirit of God moves within us to care for one of His sheep, His people, we have no other work to do but to act on that compassion. Consider today, how many compassion stories have you been a part of? What person or situation might God be leading you to that needs your compassion and action?   We, who are children of God, cannot withhold our lives from caring for others. We are His children.

This morning at 11:45 JIBC will be opening the church up for Friday Christian prayer. We have invited the Christian community to participate at this time. Every Friday, the businesses in Indonesia close for an hour and a half so their workers can go to prayer. It was brought to our attention that the Christians should have a place to go for their prayer also. Today is the beginning of our Friday Christian prayers. May God be honored as His people gather to pray to Him.

We are praying for Sunday that God will use His word to change hearts. We are baptizing three this Sunday, including the young man I asked you to pray for. Praise God for these dedicated to following Christ with us.

 

Have a great day in the Lord,

PS

 

Hearts and Lives Filled with Assurance – 1 John 3:18-24

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Christians struggle with assurance of their salvation but the Apostle John wants their hearts filled with assurance from God.  In this message, Pastor Steve looks at this passage and seeks to clarify just how we can know that we have the assurance of eternal life from God.

Evidences of God in Us – 1 John 3:19-24

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The Apostle John gives us many evidences of Christ in us. In this passage Pastor Steve brings out some more evidences of who lives within. When we live within we cannot bring out the evidences of God. But when God, in his Holy Spirit, lives within, there are definite changes that take place from the inside out of our lives.

Christians Loving with Genuine Love – 1 John 3:10-18

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In this passage, John makes it very clear that people who are loving are of God and people who are not loving are of Satan. He uses Cain as an example of someone filled with hatred that led to murder and then states that no murderer has eternal life. In this message, Pastor Steve looks carefully at the two sides of this passage and reminds us that the Lord Jesus delights in saving murderous people who will be saved. But, those who reject God’s grace and live in hatred are not nor can they be children of God.

Can Christians Sin?

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In this passage John makes some very strong statements about who is and who is not following Jesus Christ. The basis of John’s qualifying statements lies in someone’s heart attitude toward their own sin. In this message, Pastor Steve takes a look at John’s instructions regarding those who practice or continue in sin while claiming to be a Christian.

Who Can Live a Pure Life?

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The Apostle John calls all children of God to live pure lives.  In this message, Pastor Steve looks at this passage as a call to purity to all who have received eternal life by grace.  John says that Jesus is coming back and that we will be like Him when we see Him. He then calls us to live in purity as we await the Savior’s return.  In a time when churches are drifting away from greater purity of life, this passage calls us to an increase in pure living each day until we meet Jesus.