In 1 John 1-4 we learn these truths: If we say we have fellowship with God while we walk (in conduct, in practice) in darkness (sin), we lie and we do not practice the truth. If we say that we know the Lord but we do not obey his commandments (New Covenant) we are liars and the truth is not in us. No one who abides in Christ and Christ in him makes a practice of sinning.
If sin is what we deliberately practice we do not know the Lord Jesus. For it is whoever practices righteousness who is righteous, as God is righteous. Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. For anyone who does not love with the love that is from God does not know God, because God is love.
And since this love comes from God it will align with the character of God and with his will for our lives. So, it will prefer what God prefers, which is what is holy and righteous, and it will not deliberately and habitually sin against others, knowing that harm is being done to them. Instead it will be honest, morally pure, faithful, kind, compassionate and tenderhearted.
1 John 4:13-17 ESV
“By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.”
Now, not everyone who makes a profession of faith in Jesus Christ knows Christ or abides in him or has the Holy Spirit living within him. For it is not enough to just profess faith with our lips but we must no longer walk (in conduct, in practice) in sin, and we must walk in obedience to our Lord and to his commands, in righteousness, and we must love our fellow humans.
And confessing Jesus as God and as the Son of God is more than a mere verbal acknowledgment of him, as well. For the word “confess,” in a biblical context, means to fully agree with God, to have the same mind as God, to align with God, and to speak to the same conclusion as God. So, if we have the same mind as God about Jesus we will submit to Jesus as Lord, we will forsake our sinful practices, and we will walk in obedience to his commands.
Also to abide in love is not about our emotions. For love is not what we feel, it is what we do. So, if we love others with the love of Christ that he has for us, we will treat others the way in which Jesus treats us. And for one, he speaks the truth in love to us. He tells us what we need to hear, not necessarily what we want to hear, and sometimes the words may be hard to hear, for they might cut us to the heart (see Hebrews 4:11-13).
Also, Jesus willingly gave his life up for us on that cross so that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, that we might be crucified with him in death to sin and raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. And so we need to lay down our lives by being willing to tell people the truth of the gospel which will deliver them from their addiction to sin.
They Shut Him Out
But not everyone agrees with that. Many people today professing faith in Jesus Christ look at their salvation from sin as merely forgiveness of sins, escape from hell, and the guarantee of heaven when they die. Many today within the gatherings of what is called “church” have not forsaken their sinful practices, and they are not walking in obedience to the Lord, and many of them believe they don’t have to. And they call that “grace.”
So, they shut out the Holy Spirit from their lives and from the gospel for they do not accept him as God’s inner voice within them counseling, directing, guiding, convicting, urging and empowering them to forsake their lives of sin and to follow Jesus in obedience to his commands. They see their salvation as a done deal that guarantees them heaven and so they go on with their lives, assuming that when they die they will go to heaven.
Instead, the teachings of mere humans (not inspired by God) and marketing books and movies, etc. are what they are listening to and what they are following, like the teaching that says faith (undefined) is enough and nothing else is required – no submission, no obedience, and no repentance. Or the teaching that says not to share the gospel but to just “be the gospel” which is not much more than just good deeds and making friends with the world.
So, we don’t have the Holy Spirit if we won’t listen to the Holy Spirit, i.e. if we shut him out and we remove from the gospel his workings in our hearts and in our lives. For it is those who are led by the Spirit who are the children of God. It is those who are walking (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh who are true children of God, not those who merely make a profession of faith in Jesus.
So, if we are walking in obedience to our Lord and we are not walking in sin, and we are submitting to Christ as Lord, we have the hope of eternal life.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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