March 01, 2010 Filed in: Bible Study
We near completion of our study of 1 John. John closes his letter with three affirmations. Today we want to examine the second of these affirmations. It’s found in verse 5:19.
This verse reads, “We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.”
There is a great contrast in this verse. First, notice that those to whom this book has been directed are children of God. This combination of words refers to God’s family.
Any person who has come to a trusting faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is a member of this group. We see the tenderness of God in His use of this term for those who have been reconciled to Him.
God recognizes and points out in the Scripture (Rom. 3:23) that every person who has had residence here on earth is sinful in nature and in action. They have failed to live up to the perfection of Jesus. This condition has caused a separation between God and human beings. Adam was the first person in this long line of people to be separated from God.
But God did not create man for this alienation. God created men and women, boys and girls to have a loving, obedient relationship with Him. However, God is Holy and cannot endure a close relationship with sinful people.
So God sent His only Son, fully the essence of God, to enter earth and share in the humanity of man. He became flesh and blood. He was tempted like everyone else. One big difference –– He never sinned. Thus, he was qualified to become the atoning sacrifice to pay the penalty for the sin and failure of humanity. And that’s what He did when He died on the cruel cross.
However, Jesus did not automatically make everyone righteous. But He became the means of reconciliation between Holy God and sinful man. Any person may receive forgiveness and cleansing by calling out in faith for Jesus to be the Lord and Savior in and over their life. But it’s a matter of choice. Each person must decide to place their will and life under the control and direction of Jesus Christ. And when one does this, they become a child of God. They enter His family. The Bible calls this being born again (John 3:3), but it is also referred to as adoption (Eph. 1:5) into His family.
Back in 1 John 3:1, we read, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
That means we receive all the benefits of sonship. God loves us enough to discipline us and train us so that we will become like His beloved Son, Jesus (Rom. 8:29). Furthermore, He gives us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3.) Our filthy garments have been removed and we are now clothed in garments of righteousness. And we have open doors of communication. Although He is King of Kings He invites us to come talk with Him any time.
And one day, every child of God will join Him in His home in heaven and we’ll spend eternity together.
But there’s another phrase to verse 19. It says that we know that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.
This is a truth which the enemy, Satan, seeks to hide. He does not want people to recognize that the world system is really His domain. However, it’s important that Christians know this truth so that we don’t become enamored with his kingdom. The glitter and dazzle of the world system is like a carnival. It promises pleasure and fun, but it is superficial, and behind the scenes lies evil and decay. There is no eternal value. In fact, the end of the world system is called the second death (Rev. 20:14,10) where torment lasts forever.
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January 22, 2010 Filed in: Bible Study
This is one of the highly debated verses from the Bible. The scholar Dr. Plummer calls this first phrase the ‘most perplexing’ in the letter.
The difficulty is to understand what is meant by the terms water and blood.
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