Power in the Blood
1 John 5
1Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
2By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
3For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
4For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
5Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
6This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.
7For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
8And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
9If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
10He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
11And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
12He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
13These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
14And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
15And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
16If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.
17All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.
18We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.
19And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
20And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
21Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
We have a boy, Levi, who has come in full force into the “terrible twos”. Wow wee! He has more energy than his three siblings combined - a real handful unless he is asleep. I am not exaggerating when I say he has two speeds: full speed and sleep. That’s it, with the occasional break time because he does sit still most of the time for Elmo’s World, but not too often. He does not sit still to eat, drink, or play. Rose and I see it all the time. He walks, runs, dances and torments the family dog (who seems to have the patience of Job). We hear about it from Aunts, Uncles, Grandparent, Sunday school workers, and the slimming list of babysitters. Ever since he could walk he has been on the move, and man can he ever move! However, it is at least partly my fault that he is so skilled on his feet. When he was starting to take his first steps I was so proud, the thought never occurred to me to punish him. When he began to eat on his own a spilled his baby food down his front and smeared it around and got it into his hair and on his high chair I didn’t think enough to shame and scold him. He still doesn’t have the best table manners, but he’s improving all the time.
When we see other Christian’s sin (besides our self, remembering that all unrighteousness is sin) how should we handle this according to this text? Ask what? Ask who? Where can we find power to propitiate? How should we respond if they do recognize a fault, admit that fault, and evidence a turning away from that sinful way?
BTW I still don’t understand why it’s so cute when Levi has spaghetti all over his face, but when I have a small drop on my mustache, it’s gross. ;-)
The Test of Your Mettle: God's Love in You
1 John 4
1Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
2Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
3And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
4Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
5They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
6We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
7Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
9In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
12No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
13Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
14And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
15Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
16And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
17Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
18There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
19We love him, because he first loved us.
20If 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?
21And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
Here is another passage to put your spiritual mettle to the test. This is also a challenge for me?How do you fare?
To an abundant new year for you,
Two Stories Two Questions and a Prayer
1 John 3
1Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
4Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
5And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
6Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
7Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
8He 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.
9Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
10In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
11For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
12Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.
13Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
14We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
15Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
16Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
17But 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?
18My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
19And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
20For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
21Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
22And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
23And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
24And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
Look at verse two (v. 2) "...it doth not yet appear what we shall be..." This reminds me of two stories one is biblical another is not from the Bible, but I like it, why not try it on yourself and see if it fits you.
The first is about a frightened man threshing grain in a little hide out when God called to him he didn't know it because God was calling to a "mighty man of valor" You can read the details in the book of Judges 6. Only God knew what He would do with Gideon.
The second is about a man who described his tailor as his favorite person "Every time I visit my tailor," he said, "he considers who I am today and takes my measurement afresh and then cuts a suit to fit me. Phony Salesmen on the otherhand, don't consider who I am and try to sell me any suit and expects me to fit into it. If I somehow fit they tell me how great I look if I don't they have the gall to tell me I could never be fit for their suit"
As you grow in your love of God and man are you more encouraged by the tailors in your life or those phony salesmen with flattery or consternation who really do not, and cannot know the outcome of your life?
You may say, "What a silly question of course I am more encouraged by the honest tailor than the disingenuous salesmen who is out to make salesmen of the month." OK that was a ridicules question, but here's a probing question... be honest with yourself, which one would you rather identify yourself with as you mature in graciousness toward others?
My hope is the latter.
I heard a man say he often prays, "God help me to become more like the person my dog thinks I am."
The Test of Your Mettle
1 John 2
1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. 7 Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. 8 Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. 9 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. 12 I write to you, little children, Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. 13 I write to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, Because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, Because you have known the Father. 14 I have written to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, And you have overcome the wicked one.15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.18 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.24 Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life. 26 These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. 27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.28 And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. 29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.I am amazed that there are those who say they love the Lord and yet demonstrate nothing, nothing but hatred, contempt, and bitterness toward the brethren, this in no way resembles love for other Christians.
It is always in season to love one another.
In His abundance,