1 John [Day 2] – The entire laying out of the Christian life is right here in verses 6 – 10. What a joy to read the specificity in which John lays out the truth in simple if-then-that-else-this statements.
THEOLOGY – When we say we are Christians and proclaim that we are partakers in the divine fellowship with Christ, yet follow and indulge in worldly desires and do not refuse temptation, then we are liars and do not practice the Truths of the Gospel. (Verse 6)
THEOLOGY – Walking and living in the light means to live out the characteristics of Jesus. (Verse 7)
THEOLOGY – The only way to have true unblocked/unfettered fellowship with Jesus and other Christians is to walk in the light. (Verse 7)
THEOLOGY – When I walk in the light I am CONSISTENTLY cleansed from all sin that could mar my relationship and fellowship with God. (Verse 7)
THEOLOGY – Heart, Heart, Heart, Heart, Heart!! We are fallen human beings born into sin through Adam. This fleshly body sins -> full stop. We must HATE our sin, otherwise we are fools and convince ourselves that we are GOOD people and deserve to go to heaven…only you can not earn you way to heaven. (Verse 8)
THEOLOGY – When we ADMIT (present tense) our sin right away and are truly heart felt repentant of that sin, God fulfills His promise to forget/forgive that sin and will CLEANSE (present tense) us continually of all things that are not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action. (Verse 9)
THEOLOGY – If we ignore God’s word and make deliberate statements believing we have not sinned, we are in fact calling God a liar and false|not existent. It is the manifestation of the fact that His Word (Jesus) is not in us.
Today begins a study we are doing, as a Life Group, on the 1st Epistle of John. So for the next 30 days I will be posting my thoughts and revealed theology on this wonderful book. Today was spent praying, reading verses 1 through 5 in chapter 1, and writing down what the Lord was revealing to me as the Holy Spirit confirmed as foundational knowledge of Him and His word.
THEOLOGY – John is very clear about the distinction of the first 2 persons of the Godhead. The Father and the Son have always existed together. (Verse 2)
THEOLOGY – It was God’s plan all along to send Jesus His Son to be revealed to all who saw Him. (Verse 2)
THEOLOGY – Many people saw Jesus before and after His resurrection; multitudes! The Apostles are witnesses to His transfiguration into heaven. (Verse 1)
THEOLOGY – Faith realizes what we have not seen as spiritually visible. We do not see until we have faith. (Verse 3)
THEOLOGY – We are partakers of the “Divine Nature”. We know God only by having fellowship with Him. (Verse 3)
THEOLOGY – The Holy Ghost is not mentioned for it is He, or by the Holy Ghost (Spirit) of the Father and Son in us that we are enabled to have fellowship with the Father and the Son. Believers enjoy the fellowship OF, but not WITH, the Holy Ghost. Through Christ God closes up the chasm that separated Him from us (the human race) -> He imparts Himself to us in the communion of the Divine Life. (Verse 3)
THEOLOGY – Our joy can only be complete when we are spreading the good news of Jesus and winning more people to the fellowship of the Father and the Son. (Verse 4)
THEOLOGY – God IS Light, and there is NO darkness in Him AT ALL, not in ANY way. When we trust in Him and follow His ways and purposes we can be assured that He will work ALL things together for good. (Verse 5)
DISCLAIMER – These Theologies I am writing down are what I take away from the scripture as I read it and cross reference with other supporting passages in the bible. I am not a linguist who is able to decipher the original Hebrew and Greek text, I must rely on the Holy Spirit to reveal in me His truth as I read it.
“Wives, be subject to your husbands [subordinate and adapt yourselves to them], as is right and fitting and your proper duty in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives [be affectionate and sympathetic with them] and do not be harsh or bitter or resentful toward them.” Colossians 3:18-19 ->me: These last couple of years, as we have led our Young Marrieds Life Group, the understanding of the Lord’s stance on husbands and wives has been paramount. Here is the best way I think about these roles in God’s eyes. The bible is full of hierarchy – The Father is the Head of Jesus, Jesus is the Head of the husband, and the husband is the head of his wife. In the spiritual sense wives and husbands are seen no differently in God’s eyes – See Galatians 3:28. However, in role and function God does see a distinction. Being subject does not mean slave or door mat, only that the wife should resist the temptation to manage her husband out of his role as the head of the home; his role as subject to his head -> Christ. If a husband wants to see his wife be subject to him then he should model what it means to be submissive to his head (Jesus) for her. Only when this hierarchy is in alignment will God work powerfully through prayer their marriage – See 1 Peter 3:7
“And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17 ->me: This verse really goes hand in hand with verse 12 (Clothe yourselves). In the previous verses to 17 Paul talks about making our hearts the home of the Gospel of Jesus. Here are the 5 things that Paul tells us to do in order accomplish living the virtues and attributes worthy of the Father -> 1) Clothe ourselves as God’s chosen ones. 2) Let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts 3) Let the spoken word of Christ the Messiah, have its home in our hearts. 4) We are to do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ 5) Give thanks to the Father through the Person of Jesus. When I focus myself on these things there is almost no possible way to act in a manner that is counter to the Lord’s will in my life.
“And above all these [put on] love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony].” Colossians 3:14 ->me: The bible also tells us that God IS love so when this verse says that love is ‘the bond of perfection’ it makes sense. The virtues: Tenderhearted Pity, Mercy, Kindness, Selflessness, Humility, Gentleness, Patience, and Forgiveness all become distorted and unbalanced when they are pursued without LOVE. If I am saved then I am IN Christ and He is in me. If He is love then the fruit of my life will be these virtues enveloped in LOVE.
“Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper].” Colossians 3:12 ->me: The way I see this is not much different than the way I felt when I put on the uniform in the Air Force. Whenever I donned my BDU (Battle Dress Uniform) or dress blues I always felt responsible to conduct myself in a manner worthy of the uniform. This really resonates with me in how we are to put on the uniform of a devoted follower of Christ seeking to uphold and represent that uniform with all that it stands for…our humbleness in our salvation and gratitude for God’s grace on us daily. In that uniform we should be extending those same things that a storm ravaged population would see in the Red Crosses represented on a volunteers vest -> help, comfort, peace, hope, and kindness.
“[In this new creation all distinctions vanish.] There is no room for and there can be neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, [nor difference between nations whether alien] barbarians or Scythians [who are the most savage of all], nor slave or free man; but Christ is all and in all [everything and everywhere, to all men, without distinction of person].” Colossians 3:11 ->me: In biblical times just as in these days, was a strong set of threads of prejudice, suspicion, and arrogance, so ingrained as to be thought natural and normal. These distinctions have become irrelevant in Christ Jesus. Difference of background, nationality, color, language, social standing, and so forth must be regarded as irrelevant to the question of the love, honor, and respect that are to be shown to individuals and groups. Christ is in ALL people, so -> where ever someone looks, one sees Christ. When an elderly person is ignored, Christ is ignored. When a lively teenager is snubbed, He is snubbed. Where a poor or colored person (or, for that matter, a rich or white one) is treated with contempt, the reproach falls on Jesus. I must not allow prejudices from my pre-Christian days to distort the new humanity which God has created in and through the New Man. Very convicting today……..
“And have clothed yourselves with the new [spiritual self], which is [ever in the process of being] renewed and remolded into [fuller and more perfect knowledge upon] knowledge after the image (the likeness) of Him Who created it.” Colossians 3:10 ->me: I really like the deeper interpretations the amplified adds to this verse. “Ever in the process of being renewed and remolded” -> the process of growing in the Lord and knowledge of Him is never ending…in fact we will need all of eternity to learn about Him. So, while I am here on earth I must be consistently seeking Him in the tools He has given me, the Word, the Holy Spirit, and the Church Body. The Spiritual Self is the new part of me that needs to be brought into maturity – when I am doing this right I not only learn more about God but I also learn more about myself and become more effective at listening to the Holy Spirit and responding to God’s instruction in my life. This is the part of me that as it grows becomes more adept at running to God first rather than a last minute rip cord.
“But now put away and rid yourselves [completely] of all these things: anger, rage, bad feeling toward others, curses and slander, and foulmouthed abuse and shameful utterances from your lips! Do not lie to one another, for you have stripped off the old (unregenerate) self with its evil practices,” Colossians 3:8-9 ->me: When we look a the list from yesterday in verse 5 (sexual vice, impurity, unholy desires, etc) and then this list today, we tend to concentrate on one list or the other. I know of Christian communities that would be appalled at the slightest sexual irregularity but which are nests of malicious intrigue, backbiting, gossip and bad tempers. Then there are others where people are so concerned to live in untroubled harmony with each other that they tolerate flagrant immorality. The gospel, though, leaves no room for behavior of either sort. Lord help me to see these 2 lists as equal and equally dangerous towards my spiritual purity; give me sight and discernment to see these when they are happening and to protect not only my home but also set the example for my family.
“So kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members [those animal impulses and all that is earthly in you that is employed in sin]: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness, for that is idolatry (the deifying of self and other created things instead of God).” Colossians 3:5 – To kill something I must cut off its lines of supply: it is futile and lying to myself to complain about my inability to resist the last stage of a temptation when earlier stages have gone by unnoticed, or even happily/expectantly welcomed. This does not mean I set up a new gargantuan wall around something general, such as branding all theatrical performances (or whatever) as inherently ‘sinful’. Instead, I have the responsibility, before God, to investigate the lifelines of whatever sins are defeating me personally, and to cut them off without pity…immediately. Better that than have them eventually destroy me. Temptation itself is not sin…see Hebrews 4:15 “For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning.” Jesus was tempted in every way but He never sinned. This action of ‘cutting off the lifelines’ is a day-by-day, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute, second-by-second activity until Christ returns.