Right Beliefs Produce Right Living - A study in 1 John
Why did John write this epistle?
1. That your joy may be full (1:4)
2. That you may not sin (2:1a)
3. That you may not be deceived (2:26)
4. That you may know you have eternal life (5:13)
We will look at the first two reasons:
We have joy because John saw, heard, and touched Jesus. He was a witness to Jesus’ humanity. Jesus was a real person not a ghost. He was with the Father in the beginning and John declares the eternal life which was with the Father. Jesus was made evident (manifested) so we may have fellowship with the Father and Jesus. We also enjoy this fellowship with believers in Christ. This brings us great joy.
The second reason John wrote his epistle was so that we may not sin. This implies we have a choice to sin or not sin. Before you became born-again, you did not have the power to not sin. You were controlled by your sin nature. If we say we have fellowship with God and our course of life is continually sinful we are lying to ourselves. If we say we have not sinned we are deceiving ourselves. If we say we have not sinned we make God a liar. As a believer in Jesus, one who has confessed our sins to Him and received His free gift of salvation, we have the choice to not sin because Jesus paid for our sins on the cross. All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God (Romans 3:23). The Scriptures declares us as sinners. What are we to do? We turn to the One whom John declares to us. The One he saw, heard, and touched - the One who is real. Romans 6:3-4 tells us we are baptized into Christ Jesus. This means we are identified with Jesus and with His death. We are new creations in Christ. We walk in newness of life (2 Corinthians 5:17). The shame and guilt we experienced is lifted off us in Christ. Now that gives us great joy!
Since we are identified with Christ in His death, we too are dead to sin. We no longer have to be a slave to our sins. Those sins of worry, lack of trust in the Lord, unbelief, drinking, lust, etc. do not have dominion over us any longer. God, by His Spirit, empowers us to say “no” to those sins. Praise God! Reckon (consider) yourselves to be dead to sin and alive in Christ Jesus.
Sin does not have to reign in our lives. This is where we have a choice and God’s power to live as those who overcome. Do not place yourself in a position where you are weak and easily fall into sin. Avoid those places. An unbeliever does not have this option. He can only continue to sin because he does not have the power to conquer it.
A carnal Christian has the option but chooses not to use it. The ability to overcome sinful areas in our lives brings us great joy. It’s not an easy option but it is one that pleases God.
What happens if we yield to that temptation and sin? We have the marvelous remedy in Christ Jesus. See 1 John 2:1-2.
Confess your sins to Jesus. He came for the sinner. He is our Advocate with the Father. Jesus intercedes for us. He speaks to the Father on our behalf. He is our supporter and our defender. We have placed our faith and trust in Him to forgive us of our sins. We believe He paid the full penalty for our sins. Now we have fellowship with both the Father and the Son. Jesus knows us and we are His sheep. We hear His voice. He will not cast us out. We are in Jesus’ and the Father’s hands. The Father gave us to Jesus and Jesus gives us His Holy Spirit to dwell within us. He is for us. Isn’t He wonderful?
He is the propitiation for our sins. The propitiation was Jesus on the cross satisfying the wrath and judgement of God for sin. God is offended by our sins. He hates sin. Sin must be judged. When Jesus was on the cross, the offense and righteous anger that God had for sin was placed on Jesus. The wrath of God and the demand for justice was place on Jesus. God was satisfied with the penalty Jesus paid so the Father raised Jesus on the third day.
Let us be joyful in what God has done for us in His Son Jesus.