Chapter 3 (cont’d)
16-18: Love will require sacrifice. Christ gave his life, we ought to be willing to do the same. Love through sacrifice will require the believer to willingly give of his material possessions for the good of a brother.
19-24: God is pleased when we keep his commands. At first glance these verses may seem to support some kind of works-based righteousness that believers can begin to build up and earn interest on, but verse 23 destroys this thought. The command is: faith in Christ and love toward one another.
The works which please God are the works of Christ. Therefore, man’s faith in the God-pleasing life of Christ is the work that pleases God.
Our work is faith.
The second part – to love one another – is going to come from obedience to the first – faith in Jesus.
So, these verses teach at least three things: 1) God the Father is satisfied with the work of Jesus, 2) he commands our faith in Jesus, and 3) knowing that God is satisfied with us, because of the work of Jesus, we are set free from the burden of depending on our ability to keep the law.
The other wonderful truth is that faith is a gift (Eph. 2:8)!
Chaptet 2 (cont’d)
18-27: The common definition for a liar is someone who does not tell the truth. Here (specifically vs. 22), John says that a liar is someone who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Interestingly, in John 14:6, Jesus says that he is truth. This is not a semantic accident or mystery. John is saying that the true measure of what makes someone a liar is whether or not he testifies that Jesus is the Christ.
If you are a liar, in this sense, and deny Jesus as the Christ, you are an antichrist. But there is hope (see part 2)!
28-29: Perseverance comes through abiding in Christ. So crucial.
1-3: God loves believers as his children (see vs 10 below).
4-9: a) Sin is lawlessness, b) in Christ there is no sin, c) in Christ there is no lawlessness or, in the positive, d) in Christ is lawfulness.
Those who are in Christ are justified, because he perfectly fulfilled the law, and his righteous life is imputed through faith.
10: God’s children are those that believe Jesus is the Christ.
11-15: Christians are the Abel’s of the world, hated for righteous acts (which come through faith in Christ). The response ought to be continued love for others, particularly other believers, so that the world might see how God loves his children and that unbelievers might be compelled to respond in faith.