Standing Our Ground

And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1 John 3:3

You can’t ponder the hope of seeing the savior face to face and not be pure. Somehow we must be in such a state that we can stand our ground. That only happens with our being just as pure as he is. He has seen to that.

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Fit for a King

3 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1 John 3:1-3

Most would not know that William and Kate’s kids belong to the queen. That’s the law. Here the law is love, and we’re God’s children because he loved us enough to adopt us. If those kids knew their rightful place, it’d go right to their heads!

Just as it’s difficult to intimately know a monarch and their family, it’s hard for the world to know us. We may be tread on by the world, but we’re treated like royalty by our king. We try to share this secret with others but they just don’t get it until they experience their own adoption.

There’s an exciting time coming soon when we’ll see the king, and we’re told he’s got the appropriate clothes for us to wear when he comes. (Revelation 19:14) We look forward to this occasion with anxious anticipation, and hope it’s soon! It’s really all we think about. Keeps us out of trouble.

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Consider the Source

25 This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life. 26 These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. 27 As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. 28 Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. 29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.  1 John 2:25-29

No one can promise eternal life but Christ himself. The writer (the Apostle John) received this promise directly from him and is passing it on to us.

There were detractors in the “church” who thought otherwise. They left the fold to follow their own way. John was writing these things so that the followers of Christ might not be deceived.

Satan has devised many alternatives to the truth that sound plausible but are lies. He includes just enough truth to make his arguments enticing. We know this from his modus operandi with Jesus in the wilderness. (Matt. 4:1-11) Like Jesus, we know there’s something wrong because of our anointing, the Spirit of God within us who contemplates everything postulated and pronounces it true or false. We can rely on the teachings that come from within. John wrote of this confidence we should have in the truth, using the word four times in this letter.

While John had the privilege of hearing the truth directly from Jesus, we can read it in the Word, or in this case, in John’s letter. If we live, i.e. abide in the Word, it’s hard for heresy to penetrate and lead us astray. We have the textbook and the teacher. What more do we need?

Some scholars and skeptics obfuscate the truth with distracting questions about Bible authorship and accuracy, but the Spirit tells us “the sum of your word is true.” (Psalm 119:160) Our teacher does not let us veer into the weeds, but with His counsel he guides us.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with My eye upon you. Psalm 32:8

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Christ Deniers

18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? 1 John 2:18-22

This passage is both comforting and disturbing.

For one, there’s comfort in knowing where you stand. If you know Christ, if you’ve confessed him, if you practice righteousness, you’re in. You’ve received the anointing–His Spirit–and you know the whole truth. All you need to do is abide in it. This means to reside within the confines of God’s word. Through his word we have total access to God’s mind–well, who really can know the mind of God? Better, he teaches us through his spirit “all things.” (2:27) And as we’ve seen in previous verses, if we mess up as we abide in the word, there’s a process–confession–whereby we can easily right the ship.

On the other their hand, there are many who are wayward and wandering–simply lost. Others are aggressive in their posture towards the truth. Passive or aggressive, they’re all Christ deniers. In the end, there’ll be one consummate “antichrist,” and he will be defeated by Christ himself.

For now we’re constantly on guard against the counterfeits. John tells us how to spot a Christ denier outside the obvious. They don’t abide in him, and as such, they can’t abide with true believers. They’ll eventually check out. Truth is, they simply can’t abide by–tolerate–the name of Jesus. These people want to get as far away from that name as possible. They want a safe place but there is none.

In contrast, we “can have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.” (2:28)

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What Happens Here Doesn’t Stay Here

15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2: 15-17

We believers are in the world, but not of it. We’ve actually been transferred out, and we’re waiting to catch a plane.

13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14

While grounded we’re tempted to partake of what the world has to offer.

Picture this. The world is Las Vegas. But what we do here doesn’t stay here. It’s well known to the Father in heaven, and with many he’s not well pleased.

The flashes of skin, the neon lights, the draw of the blackjack table are the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life. These are what the world offers. Thing is about all the bright lights, they all can go dark with a flip of a switch. Following after God is to be drawn by the eternal light.

A couple of takeaways.

We’re in the world. If we love its things the love of the Father’s not in us.

We can’t have two masters. So you’re either being lured into sin, and perhaps you don’t possess the power to resist, or you’re seeking to do his will.

All that’s in the world will fade away, but the consequences of our seeking after these things won’t.

For some, you need to stay in and follow the one true light of his word. For others, isn’t it high time you change planes? It’s one gate over. You won’t regret it. You can bet on it.

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You Gotta Love the One You’re With

The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now. 1 John 2:9

It’s incredibly easy to hate your brother these days. Not as much a flesh and blood person in your sphere, but people groups in general. This is mainly due to the organs of hate, which constantly grind out chords of derision.

I would say that if this kind of hate mongering keeps you from extending decency and kindness to the man or woman in front you, you’re in darkness.

We may criticize what we see in society, but it all boils down to the one-on-ones.

When Christians interact, the same restraint that Jesus possessed should be ours. The words we say should be as gracious as his, seasoned as it were with salt. (Colossians 4:6) Our face should reflect the face of one who forgives those who know not what they do. (Luke 23:24)

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The Power to Love

Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard. On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining.  1 John 2:7-8

Before Christ it was all about the law. But with him on earth, the new commandment was not really new but old,  to love God and your neighbor. Now though, there was the power to love in Christ.

Love in the end will reign. In the meantime it will increase, not pass away! You’d never know that checking today’s news. You’d think that love’s virtually vanished in a society where men and women rail against each other with vile vitriol.

It used to be that hate was hidden behind white hoods or black leather, or exercised by scowling or shunning or hushing. Now love is stomped on and burned.

But the love of God cannot be barricaded or shouted down with obscenities. Jesus brought with him and left behind the power to love. This love loves its enemies.  It will win out in the end.

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