The Heart of the Matter

1 John 1:1-4 ESV

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

Jesus Christ, God the Son, was from the beginning with God and he was (is) God. “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (Jn. 1:3). Yet, He left his throne in heaven, and he humbled himself “by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:7), and he made his dwelling among men (Jn. 1:14).

When he was the age of 30, I believe it was, he began his earthly ministry. And, so he called for himself twelve disciples who were to work alongside him in ministry for three years. John was one of those disciples who followed Jesus, and so he was giving an eyewitness account of what he saw and experienced with Jesus while he was on the earth fulfilling his purpose.

For, Jesus Christ was (and is) the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham that through his seed all nations would be blessed. And, if we belong to Christ, then we are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to that promise (Gen. 22:18; Gal. 3:16, 26-29; Gal. 4:28).

Jesus is the Christ who was to come, the Messiah of God’s people. All who believe on him in truth believe in the God of Abraham. All who do not believe in Jesus Christ do not believe in the God of Abraham, and they are not heirs according to the promise. But, they are the antichrist (1 Jn. 2:22).

Jesus Christ is the Word of Life, he is Life, and he is the giver of life, both that of flesh and blood, and that of the Spirit of God, i.e. eternal life.

Through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, in death to sin, and in resurrection with Christ to new life in Christ, we have eternal life with God. But, this eternal life is not just the promise of heaven when we die. It is the hope of a transformed life away from sin to God while we still live on this earth.

John’s purpose in writing this was to proclaim to his readers that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come, and who had now come.

It was to let them know that, through faith in him, they could have eternal life with God. For, he wanted them to be part of the fellowship of God, too, which would mean that they were in fellowship with the other disciples, as well. For, John knew that only through God-given faith in Jesus Christ can any of us be in fellowship with God and have life (eternal life) in Him.

1 John 1:5-6 ESV

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

Ok, now we get to the crux of the matter. We are not saved from our sins, with the hope of eternal life with God, via some nebulous faith in Jesus.

Many people today are just telling people to believe or to have faith but they don’t explain what that means. Or else they give the impression that such faith is a mere acknowledgment of who Jesus is (and was) or that it is a mere acceptance of his death on a cross for the forgiveness of our sins.

But, if we are truly to be in fellowship with God, be saved from our sins, and to have eternal life with God, we have to die with Christ to sin and we have to live with Christ to his righteousness, for this is why he died (1 Pet. 2:24).

Many people today are teaching that we can believe in Jesus and yet continue in our sinful lifestyles, and that God doesn’t even see our sin anymore, and, in fact, he delights in us even if we are vegging out on porn. For, they teach that all God requires is this nebulous faith and that he does not require repentance, obedience or submission to Christ as our Lord.

But, John blows that theory out of the water here. He lets us know that if we claim to be in fellowship with God, via faith in him, but we walk (in lifestyle, in practice) in darkness (sin addiction), that we are liars who don’t live by the truth. Ouch!

John didn’t soft pedal the truth one iota, did he? Why? Because he wasn’t concerned about offending people or hurting their feelings. He was concerned that they were dying and going to hell based on a lie.

1 John 1:7-10 ESV

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

So, do we want to be in fellowship with God and with one another? We must walk (in lifestyle, in practice) in the light (truth, righteousness). And, then the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sins.

So many people don’t get this. So many people who call themselves Christians and followers of Jesus do not get this, for they are not being taught this. But, this is taught all throughout the New Testament. For, we are not saved from our sins based on some past belief. Our eternal life with God is not founded in some one-time experience at an altar.

True faith in Jesus Christ, which is God-given faith, endures. It continues. And, it walks (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit of God and not according to the flesh (Rom. 8:1-17; Lu. 9:23-25). So, if you have been told that you can believe in Jesus and still continue on in your sinful addictions, you have been fed a lie from hell.

What Jesus taught and what his NT apostles taught is that we are saved (past), we are being saved (present) and that we will be saved (future) when Jesus Christ returns and our salvation is complete. The belief in Jesus that guarantees us eternal life with God is present tense, not past tense.

Also, what scripture teaches is that our faith in Jesus Christ means we die with Christ to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, not just once, but daily by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh. And, it means what we practice is righteousness, not unrighteousness.

For, if we walk (conduct our lives) according to the flesh/sin (in practice, in lifestyle), WE WILL DIE in our sins, not have eternal life with God in heaven. For, we will reap what we sow. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction (decay, death). But, if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life with God (Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:19-21; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).

So, don’t believe the lies. Believe the truth. If you are basing your hope of eternal life with God on some one-time experience where you prayed a prayer after someone else and where you invited Jesus Christ into your life, please know that alone does not assure you eternal life with God.

For, we must walk according to the Spirit. We must walk in the light (truth, righteousness). We must deny self and take up our cross daily and follow Jesus, not in absolute perfection, but in daily practice.

And, we must not live to fulfill the lusts of the flesh and make the flesh our god in place of God. And, Jesus Christ is to be the only Lord of our lives, not ourselves and not our fleshly desires. For this is the grace of God at work in our hearts and lives in cleansing us from all sin, as we surrender our wills to the will of God. And, then we have the hope of eternal life with God.

He Gives Purpose

An Original Work / June 9, 2012

“Listen to Me when I’m calling to you.
Obey freely My word.
Follow Me in all of My ways.
Do all that I say.
Hear Me gently whisper to you
My will for your life and future.
Give all of your life and heart to
Follow Me always.”

Repent of your sins and worship Jesus.
He’s your Lord and Master.
He died for your sins so you could
Live with Him today.
He has a plan for your life and
He gives purpose and direction.
He gives meaning to your life,
So follow Him today.

“I love you so much I gave My life for
You to walk in My ways,
Living for Me each day as you
Bow to Me and pray.
Witness for Me of your love for Me and
Of My grace and mercy,
How I died to save you of your
Sins now and always.”

Friday, February 22, 2019

7 thoughts on “The Heart of the Matter

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