1 John 5:1-5 ESV
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
To believe in Jesus Christ is to keep (in practice) his commandments, by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, and in his power and strength at work within us who believe on him. And, we can learn these commandments by reading the New Testament of the Bible (Matthew to Revelation). For, these commandments are all throughout the books of the New Testament.
Thus, faith in Jesus Christ does not free us from having to keep the commandments of God. Faith in Jesus Christ, instead, empowers us to keep God’s commandments, by his grace, in his power. For, Jesus Christ died on that cross so that we might be delivered out of our slavery to sin and so that we might now become slaves (bond-servants) of his righteousness. Amen!
So, to believe in Jesus Christ is to die with him to sin that we might live with him to righteousness. It is to walk (in lifestyle) now according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God and no longer according to our sinful flesh. It is to leave our old lives of sin behind us to follow Jesus Christ in obedience to his will and to his ways for our lives. And, it is to live lives which are separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being made to be like Jesus (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Rom. 12:1-2).
When we believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord (owner-master) and Savior of our lives, we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit of God. Now God, by his Spirit, lives within us and out through us. So, if we have the Son, Jesus Christ, alive within our hearts, then we also have his love living within us, and his love, then, should be lived out through us in loving other followers of Jesus Christ, and in loving the people of the world around us, too.
Yet, this love is not human love. It is not based in our feelings. It is God-like love which loves others because God is love, and because he first loved us and gave his life up for us. So, this love prefers what God prefers, which is what is holy, righteous, pure, just, moral, honest, and trustworthy, etc. This love, thus, walks in obedience to God’s commandments.
Therefore, if we love one another with this kind of love, we will not take advantage of one another. We will not willfully do what will harm others. We will not lie to, cheat on, steal from, betray, falsely accuse, commit adultery against or murder those we love. But, we will do for others what is for their good, as God defines good. Thus, we will also not withhold the truth from one another which can save lives, but we will share with one another the truth which can set the captives free!
1 John 5:10-12 ESV
Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
When we believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith, the life of Jesus now lives within our hearts. And, we have eternal life with God in heaven secured for us who are believing on our Lord Jesus.
But, this eternal life with God is not a mere promise of heaven as our eternal home when we die. This eternal life with God begins the moment we truly put our hope and faith in the Lord Jesus. And, it is the life of Jesus within us and living out through our lives.
Thus, this eternal life is God’s love and life alive within us and expressed out through us in how we live our lives for his glory and praise and no longer for our own glory and praise. It results, thus, in lives which are dedicated to our Lord Jesus to follow him wherever he leads us. It results, thus, in lives which are committed to purity and holiness, and which reject the filth of this world.
This eternal life with God also results in lives which bear the testimony of Jesus Christ, not only in how we live our lives in accordance with his will and purpose for our lives, but also in the words that we speak, and in our sharing of his gospel message with the world around us, and in our encouraging one another within the body of Christ to live holy lives, pleasing to God, which is our spiritual worship of him (Rom. 12:1-2; Eph. 4:17-24).
1 John 5:13-16 ESV
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
When we believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, we are not choosing a religion or religious practices to follow. We are choosing to have the life of Jesus alive within our hearts transforming our hearts away from lifestyles given over to sin to now having hearts given over to obedience to our Lord.
So, what we are choosing is heart transformations, and changed lives, and we are choosing to enter into personal relationships with Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives.
Thus, when we enter into this relationship, by faith in Jesus Christ, we join with Christ in an intimate relationship which is much like a marriage, with him as our husband and with us as his bride. And, our faith in Jesus Christ is much like the vows we make to one another in a marriage relationship. For, by faith, we choose Jesus as our only Lord and for us to be faithful to him and to have no other gods before him.
And, for this relationship to be ongoing and to develop, much like in a marriage, we have to spend time with our Lord daily in personal times of worship of him, in the study of his Word, in prayer, in confession, in supplication, and in allowing him to speak his truths to our hearts. And, then also in response to what he says to us by obeying what he shows us.
But, when we pray, our prayers are not to be selfish or self-centered. For, we are to pray according to the will of God. For, God is not a genie in the sky there to grant our every request. He will hear us, though, if our hearts are in the right place, and if we are praying according to His will. So, we need to know what his will is, which we learn through the study of his Word. And, then we will know how to pray, too, according to his will.
God is With Us
An Original Work / June 11, 2019
Based off Psalm 46
God’s our refuge. He is our strength,
A present help to us when in pain.
Therefore, we will not be afraid,
Although the earth beneath us gives way.
Though the mountains be moved to the sea,
Roaring waters abound so free,
And the mountains now tremble so,
We will not fear, God is near, we know.
God is with us and He makes glad
The hearts of all who to Christ have fled.
Christ is in us, so we’ll not fall
When on our Savior our hearts do call.
God will help us, as mornings arise,
To be faithful to His design.
Nations raging, and tempers flare.
Our God is with us. We know He cares.
Come and see the works of the Lord.
He’s armed for battle with His great sword.
He’s the Word, and He is the Life.
He gives us strength in all of our strife.
Be still and know that He is our God.
He’s exalted where’er He trods.
The Lord Almighty, with us still;
The God of Jacob, our citadel.
Monday, August 19, 2019
P.S. We arrived in South Carolina safely yesterday afternoon. We move into our new home (apartment) this morning around 11:00 a.m. (US Eastern Time). Thank you all for your prayers for us. God is answering!