1 John P2R, Week 10

This week our passage focuses on the differences between those who are “of the devil,” and those who are “born of God.” These differences highlight the evidence of who is who by the practices of each: those who are of the devil make a practice of sinning, and those who are born of God practice righteousness. John repeats the idea of “making a practice” to emphasis that he is not speaking of one who occasionally sins or does right, but of a pattern of life which is evidence of the condition of one’s heart. As we have already seen in this epistle, believers will sin, but it is not the defining characteristic of their lives. The defining characteristic of a believer’s life is that she has been born of God, and when the child of God sins, she may confess her sins, and our Father is righteous and just to forgive and cleanse! Continue reading “1 John P2R, Week 10”

Fellowship with God: Confidence in Christ, Lesson 8

Do not love the world or 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 desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

As we go through our lessons, we must remember to read each new passage in the context of what has gone before. The portions of 1 John that we study each week are small snippets of a larger whole—an entire epistle—with a logical flow of thought. John has just encouraged his readers that they are indeed beloved children of the Father. He knows this to be true. He now holds up for our inspection the outrageous inconsistency that one so loved should choose to also love the world which is at war with all that our Father—and therefore we—should hold dear. Continue reading “Fellowship with God: Confidence in Christ, Lesson 8”

1 John P2R, Through the Holiday Season

Dear Ones, Last week I posted a week late for week 10’s memory work. After speaking with a friend who is memorizing with us about the busy-ness of the holidays and her concerns about falling behind, I decided to modify our schedule through December. We won’t “take a break” from memorizing, but we will slow down adding to what we have memorized, allowing us the opportunity to solidify what we have already covered, and time to catch up for those who may be lagging behind a bit.

So, instead of leaping ahead to week 11, dedicate your memorization efforts each day to rehearsing what you have already learned, driving it deeper in your heart for a more secure mastery of the passages. Next week I will post for week 11, and two weeks after that, week 12, … you get the idea. We will resume our weekly schedule mid-January, when our Bible study classes begin anew and our resolve to start the year with newly-strengthened disciplines is refreshed (and the Christmas decorations are packed away).

May your holidays be blessed!

Fellowship with God: Confidence in Christ, Lesson 7

12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake.

13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning.

I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one

I write to you, children, because you know the Father.

14 I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning.

I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. 

In our last three lessons, covering 1 John 1:5-2:11, you may have picked up on the fact that John’s humility does not equate to weakness of conviction. He has already dropped some uncompromising truth in our laps and your head may be throbbing by now if you wonder if you are passing the tests of faith. Yes, the tests are for the purpose of bringing assurance to true believers, and though they are offered with the apostle’s tender concern for his readers, they may still have knocked the wind out of those who question their faith. (“Do I really love the brethren? I don’t know!”) Our passage this week gives us a pause as John transitions from his challenging exhortations to gentle words of affirmation and consolation. Continue reading “Fellowship with God: Confidence in Christ, Lesson 7”