Calvary Chapel Dickinson

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You know how sometimes when you read a section of scripture you are spiritually struck by something and wonder, “hmmm how come I never saw that before?” Well that’s what happened during worship practice when we were doing our devotions in Romans 1. Starting in verse 8 I noticed the way Paul encouraged his fellow believers; “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world”. Three things immediately came to mind:

“Wow, God, can this be said of the believers here in Dickinson? Why not? What is my part in this?”

Well to figure this out, I needed to go back to scripture and see what the Holy Spirit gives us in the example of Paul who, by the way, followed the example of Christ (1 Cor 11:1, John 17). Verse 9 says, “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers”. Now this doesn’t mean that Paul had a formulated prayer that he repeated throughout the day for the people of Rome. It doesn’t mean that he walked around with a prayer check list and once he finished it he was good to go for the rest of the day. In other words, it wasn’t a duty, it wasn’t a chore. Look at the verse, look at Paul’s heart. “God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son”, Paul was passionate about the Lord! He was passionate about serving Him with all of his heart. He was passionate about the gospel of Jesus Christ for which he knew he was set apart for (v1) and called to share with everyone God put in his path (v14). And because of this, God had given him a passion for His people. Praying for the people of Rome was an outpouring, an overflowing, of Paul’s love for Jesus Christ. So when they came to mind, which no doubt was often, he was faithful to lift them up before the Lord.

So in going back to my original question, “God, can this same thing be said of the believers in Dickinson? Are they known for their faith? What is my part in this?”, I need to examine my own relationship with Jesus Christ. This then shifts the question to, “Am I passionately in love with You, God?” If I am, that passion will pour out, spill over into my community. It will affect the way I serve, the way I fellowship, the way I teach, the way I pray – not just the ladies of Calvary Chapel Dickinson, but the women in Dickinson and the surrounding areas.

God, grow my love for you, so that there is more of You and less of me being poured out in my home, in my church, in my community, that their faith in You would grow and that You would be glorified.

1 John Bible Study Week 6 Notes

1 John 4 lesson 6

We closed last week with the understanding that it is the Holy Spirit that enables us to Love. He is the One who pours out God’s love into our hearts – without Him working in our lives, it is impossible to love the way God desires us to. You can’t give something you don’t have, and without the Holy Spirit, we don’t have Agape love.

1-3

As believers in Jesus Christ, as children of God we are called to have spiritual discernment.

1 Thes 5:19-21

“do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God.”

Just because someone says they are a Christian doesn’t mean that they are nor does it mean that everything they teach is biblical and truth.

What does it mean to discern? It is a judicial or legal term. It means to examine carefully in order to find truth in something, or fault in something.

So what does scripture have to say about discernment?

Proverbs 2:3, 5 “Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding,… Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, And find the knowledge of God.”

            We need to ask for it, desire it, cry out for it

Proverbs 15:21Folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment, But a man of understanding walks uprightly.”

            It is necessary for right living before God;

1 Cor 2:14-15 14But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”       Discernment is God given and we receive it through the power of the Holy Spirit.

So just as the ability to love is poured into us by the Holy Spirit, so is the ability to discern.

Look at Philippians 1:9 “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment,”

            Love and discernment are definitely connected!

The Bible Knowledge Commentary tells us that It was Paul’s prayer that the Philippians’ love for other believers would abound, run over as a cup or a river overflows.     But that love should be more than sentimental; it should be knowledgeable and            discerning. Having genuine spiritual knowledge (epignōsis) of God and depth of insight into His ways enables Christians to love God and others more.

Back when John wrote this, there were those who professed Christ but didn’t believe that He had an actual body, that’s why John stresses that “Jesus came in the flesh”. These were the Gnostics and Docetists.

Today we have kind of the reverse thing going on. People and other religions don’t have an issue saying that Jesus was a man – but rather they doubt that He was God.

            Mormons profess to be Christians yet they believe that Jesus was a created being, the spirit brother of Lucifer.

            Jehovah Witnesses profess to be Christians yet they believe that Jesus was in fact the     Arc Angel Michael.

            Iglesia ni Cristo “which means Church of Christ” (different from what we know as The             Church of Christ) similar to both mormanism and J.W.’s teaches that Jesus is a created    being.

            WE KNOW THAT Jesus was… is God in the flesh – 100% God, 100% man

            These religions teach that Jesus was 100% man and 0 % God

            So in applying verses 2-3, we know that the spirit behind these religions is demonic.

But we shouldn’t just be able to discern if a religious group is of driven by God’s spirit, we need to use this divine discernment to test those things which men profess or teach. Those men who profess Christ’s humanity as well as His deity. Be like the Bereans spoken of in

Acts 17:11; “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”

Are the words being preached from the pulpit lining up with the whole of Scripture?

Does the interpretation provide continuity?

Is the desire of the one speaking to bring glory to God or self?

Jesus said in John 7:17, “If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.”

Spiritual discernment comes from seeking to do the will of God that He would be glorified.

It comes from digging into the Word of God.

Heb 5:12-14 12For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.   13For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.   14But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Without spiritual discernment it is easy to get caught up in partial truths and twisted doctrine. Satan is hard at work trying to deceive and destroy those who love God. He is skilled in deception, masterful in the art of manipulation, able to masquerade himself as an angel light. He is a counterfeiter bent on deceiving us with cheap imitations of the truth. He will twist scripture to suit his purpose, spout partial truths to create doubt.   And he will use men and women behind pulpits throughout the world to spread this deception. He is just as relentless and tireless in his schemes today as he was during the time of the first century church.

Verses 4-6

The deception we see in this world, in our churches is very real.

The spirit behind this deception is very real.

It is demonic!

Eph 6:10-12

Verse 12 is speaking of ranks – military ranks

We are naive to think that issues we have are with people. The issues we have are with the demonic spirits who have influence over those people.

And yet, their influence has limitations

Romans 8:38            They cannot separate us from the love of God

-Ephesians 1:20-2,1Colossians 1:16, Colossians 2:10           Jesus has authority over them

1 Corinthians 15:24           They all have an end

Colossians 2:15       they have been disarmed by Christ. Because of Jesus death and resurrection we have victory!

Verse 4

There continues to be two sides, two kinds of people; those who are of God and those who are of the world. For the children of God, regardless of how hard Satan tries to deceive, tear down and destroy, the final victory remains ours. Why? Because, “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

But because there continue to be 2 sides, we are essentially stepping out onto the battle field every day.

The false teachers of this age speak to the things of this world and those of the world embrace their teaching. 2 Timothy 4:3-4; “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”

The In the same way the child of God embraces the teaching of his master. Jesus sais in John 10:1-5; “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 
But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”

There is a spiritual battle raging around us. We see the effects in our churches, in the media, in entertainment, our government. We are bombarded by the warfare of the enemy. Yes, as believers we hear the voice of our master – we know the spirit of Truth intimately and yet how often do we hand little skirmishes over to the enemy and instead of being a victor, we become his weapon used against one another in the body of Christ…

Verse 7-11

We need to stop beating up the sheep.

“beloved let us love one another” this Greek phrase means, "those who are loved, let us love."

We are not commanded to love one another in order to earn God’s love, or somehow become worthy of God's love.

We love one another because we are loved by God, and have received that love, and live in light of it.

This love is who we are! As children of God we are the vessels of His amazing agape love.

            When I was with my dad the month before he died several years ago the Holy Spirit gave me a song and the last chorus says, “Lord I choose to be an alabaster jar filled with sweet perfume broken at your feet a living sacrifice poured out for You. May the aroma of my life forever be before your throne until the day, you take my hand, and lead me home.”

My dad was an unbeliever when I wrote that. My heart was so broken over his lack of salvation. I didn’t want to hold anything back.

Being loving is a choice.

This should be our heart for all those who have been created in the image of God who are perishing in their sin.

More than that –

This should be our heart for the body of Christ His sheep – the sheep of HIS pasture

Ps 100:3 Know that the Lord, He is God;   It is He who has made us, and £not we ourselves;   We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

We can be so quick to pick apart and tear down our own.

It greaves me to hear Christians throwing other Christians to the wolves. We somehow forget that they are sinners just like us.

Is 53:6    All we like sheep have gone astray;    We have turned, every one, to his own way;    And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Jesus died for that other person’s sins just like He died for ours. We are very good at noticing the shortcomings of others, but how often do we see the brokenness and deep wounds that follow. Many of us have left wounded sheep in our wake of self-righteousness, others are those wounded sheep left on the wayside… this is how the world treats it’s own, not how we as Christians should treat our own…

As Christians, we are all under the headship of the same Shepherd – the Good Shepherd. The lost are watching.

Verses 12-16

People are going to be drawn to the shepherd as they see His love perfected in us.

People are going to see God only when they see His love lived out in the lives of His people. That love should begin at home, within the church.

1 Cor 13talks about all the amazing things we can do in the name of God, but without love, Paul says, it is worthless.

As so we are reminded, we are encouraged to Abide!

            God abiding in us

            Us abiding in Him

            The Spirit given to us

            Abiding in love

God knows how difficult it is for us to love like this. He knows our struggles,

That’s why he reminds us over and over to abide.

We need to stay close to the Shepherd – when we wonder off we become easy pickins for the enemy. This is why sheep flock together – it is protection from their predators.

Verses 17-18

When we are abiding in Christ

When we are clinging to the Good shepherd, listing to His voice, obeying His commands we have boldness in the day of judgement.

Why?

Because we are His. Nothing sticks,

Covered by His blood

Cloaked in His righteousness

When He shall come with trumpet sound O may I then in Him be found Dressed in His         righteousness alone Faultless to stand before the throne

Wrapped in His perfect love.

There is no fear in that.

That is the love God lavishes on us.

That is the love that we should lavish on one another.

That is the love the lost should see when they look at the church today.

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Love and Tolerance

Love and Tolerance

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 
In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:7-11

Don’t ever confuse love for tolerance. We are called to love the sinner while still abhorring sin. God tells us in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death. He also tells us in Romans 3:23 that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

God’s solution to this eternal separation from Him as a result of sin is love. He loves us so much that He offered up His own son as our propitiation, our substitute for His wrath. We could never pay the wage required to gain eternity with God, so Jesus paid it for us through His death on the cross, the perfect spotless lamb crucified for us. This is the free gift offered to us by God Himself – salvation through the shed blood of His son Jesus Christ. Although we should never condemn the sinner, we should love people enough to condemn the sin. How will people know the love of the Savior if they don’t realize that they are in need of a Savior? Tolerating sin isn’t loving at all, in fact, I believe it is one of the most unloving things a Christian can do.

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1 John Bible Study Week 5 Notes

Last week

            Amazing Love God has for us

            We are his children – beloved

            We should resemble Him take on His characteristics

            That as His kids there is no room for continual sin

            We talked about the contrast between love and hate

            The world hates us

            The example of Cain and Able

            And how we ought to always respond in love

Last week we talked a lot about kinda do’s and don’ts. Comparing and contrasting those who abide and those who don’t; children of God and children of the devil; those who practice righteousness and those who practice lawlessness.

This week, as we finish out chapter 3 :16-24, we will see what love looks like when it is worked out in our lives

In our relationship to others (verses 16-17)

as well as in our relationship to God (18-23)

Practical stuff

1 John 3:16-24

Verses 16-17

God sets the example

We are to follow His example

An example of what that looks like

God is love. What better way for Him to show us what that means than to send His own Son to earth to BE the very definition of love. We see love lived out in every aspect of Jesus life; but the greatest expression of Gods love is found in the willful act of laying down His life for us.

            Romans 5:8

            John 10:11-18

In order for Him to do this, Jesus had to become a part of His own creation

He who was immortal put on mortality

He who was incorruptible – made himself subject to corruption

According to Rev 5:6 Jesus still bears the scars of our redemption.

            “And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures,       and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain

Matt 20:25-28“But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.   And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Jesus love for us was demonstrated in service and sacrifice.

In the same way our love for the brethren – all believers - should manifest itself in service and sacrifice.

Verse 17tells us what this means

Notice in verse 16John uses the term brethren

            Very general

Often times we think that in order to make a difference we need to do something on a grand scale:

            Go to Africa and feed the poor

            Being a part of disaster relief programs

            Give our time and money to organizations that build houses or create clean drinking water in 3rd world countries

These are certainly ways that we can “lay down our lives for the brethren”. But let’s face it not everyone is called to this kind of service and sacrifice. Not all of us have the resources to do these things.

SO John makes a point here in verses 17 to say “brother”

            “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his BROTHER in need…”

We all have something God can use to bless someone else.

            List some off – think of what you have on a daily basis

                        Gas in your car – you can give someone a ride somewhere

                        Clothing, jackets, blankets, and extra pillow

                        Shelter, food, an extra tooth brush

                        Running water

                                    Offer a glass of water to that person doing work on your house.

                                    Offer up the hose to cool off the kids playing in your yard over the summer

                        TIME – I love this one because I think it is what each one of us holds so dear.

Take time and talk to that sister in Christ who is struggling – the chores can wait, homeschooling can wait.

And the exciting thing is, is that we don’t have to go looking for ways to “lay our lives down”.

God presents us with opportunities every day. The question is do we recognize them?

And when we do recognize it, are we willing to use the resources God has given us to meet the need that is before us?

That being said, you can’t open your heart to meet a need if you don’t know the need exists.

Some needs are obvious.

            What are some needs that are pretty easy to identify?

Others not so much.

            The couple with kids, no family in desperate need of a date night

            Single mom

            Family illness

                        Those who have had similar struggles usually have the ability to see these                          needs a little more easily than those of us who haven’t

                       

Sometimes God reveals to us a need without us even realizing it.

            Those random acts of love we do for people just because they pop into our heads.

                        When Ron buys me flowers “just because” there is almost always an                                          emotional need he is meeting without even realizing it.

                        A surprise cup of coffee dropped off at a friends door while you are passing                               by.

But other times needs go unmet because we keep them hidden from the body. When we choose to do this, we can’t complain of being “unloved” because nobody came along side to help. When our pride keeps us from opening up to other believers, we can’t blame them for being unloving.

We need to be women who’s hearts are open and willing to give of ourselves to those who are in need. Women who sacrificially serve and love those whom God has placed in our path on a daily basis.

Verse 18

It is easy to love with our words, isn’t it?

John groups a couple of things together here

Let us not love in word or in TONGUE, but in deed and in TRUTH.

Let’s take a look at the correlation between words and deeds

Saying and doing are two totally different things.

James 2:14-17

I use to ask my Gramma why she didn’t go to the women’s bible study at church. She said because they were just opportunities for women to get together and gossip. When I asked her what she meant, she went on to say that women disguise gossip as prayer. They talk about so and so oh, and how they are going through this and that and “oh, let’s pray for them”. She was put off by the words because there were no actions to back them up.

But there are 2 other words John groups together

Tongue and truth

We all know what truth is right?

Jesus says, “I am the truth” – so if we are unsure whether something is true or not, we turn to Jesus.

So why did he mention the tongue?

James 3:3-16

We can say the right things

We can do the appropriate deeds

But if they lack sincerity, if we are saying or doing with the wrong heart, they profit nothing, and in the long run can do more harm than good, not just to ourselves, but to the body of Christ.

Our words need to be spoken with sincerity and worked out in meekness.

Verse 19

When we love the brethren the way God wants us to, (in word and truth/in sincerity and meekness) it is kind of a confirmation that our heart is right before God – our love for others shouldn’t be a “got to” it should be a “get to” It should be a natural outpouring of God’s love in us.

The more we pour out, the more God pours in, the more we desire to pour out – not so that we will get more but because we have this closeness with the Lord.

Now the great thing is that according to

Verse 20

When our hearts condemn us – when we mess up, when we lack sincerity, when we say we are going to do something and forget, or maybe spoke up boldly without praying and realize later that we can’t follow through…

God is greater! He knows our hearts. He knows our intentions. He is merciful and gracious. He is compassionate and understanding! And even though our own heart condemns us, HE DOES NOT!

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,£ who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1

Verse 21

…even better!

There is nothing as sweet as those times when we are walking in step with the Lord. When we are walking in submission and obedience, dying to self and desiring nothing more than God’s perfect will in our lives.

When we are in this place

Verse 22 tells us…

What commandment?

Verse 23

            Love – love the Lord your God with all your heart soul mind and strength

            Loving our neighbor as ourselves

            This love can only come from a saving faith, an abiding relationship with Jesus

What are those things which are pleasing to Him??

            That outward flow of love

            That outward manifestation of what is in our hearts

            Loving not just in word or tongue, but in deed and truth

Psalm 37:4

            Delight means to be soft a pliable and be happy about it

            We need to willingly allow God to mold us, shape us into what He desires.

            And as He does, His desires become our desires and our prayer life changes.

John 14:12-14

When we believe on Jesus

The Holy Spirit indwells us

When we place our faith in Him,

He abides in us and we abide in Him,

not only will our works reflect Him,

but our prayers will align with His will. And He will do what we ask.

Why?? That the Father would be glorified!!!

Verse 24

Loving sacrificially, loving in sincerity and meekness is impossible to do without an abiding relationship with God. In fact it takes all 3 persons of the Godhead to make it possible:

We talked about at the beginning of the study that

God is love    1 John 4:8

            Jesus is the example of love         Romans 5:8             John 10:11-18

            Here as we finish up the chapter, we see that

            It is the Holy Spirit who enables us TO love

                        He is our comforter

                        He is our helper

                        He is the one who helps us pray when we don’t know what to pray for

                        He is the one who reveals the heart of God to us.

                        Romans 5:5 says, “5Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has                               been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

How amazing – God doesn’t ask us to do anything that He has not fully equipped us to do. Are we able to love like this perfectly all the time?

Of course not,

But because of His great love FOR US…

He gives Mercy!

Eph 2:4-5 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,   5even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),  

Lam 3:23 Through the Lord’S mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.

He gives us grace!

James 4:6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.

1 Tim 1:14 the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.

God has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3)

            He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to             the power that works in us (eph 3:20)

                        His power, His love in us, poured out onto others for His glory!

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1 John Bible Study Week 4 Notes

1 John 3:1-15 (including 2:28-29)

Lesson 4

2:28-29

Now, start today – it doesn’t matter what we’ve been doing in the past

            Right now – today – ABIDE in Him.

WHY?

(Verse 28)

            When He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him.

Why would we lack confidence?

What in the world would cause us to be ashamed before Jesus when He returns for us?

Sometimes the best way for me to grasp something is to look at it’s opposite meaning.

The opposite of confidence in this case is fear.

            As a born again believer in Jesus Christ, I know, according to 2 Tim 1:7, that God has not     given me a spirit of fear but of power and love and of sound mind.

1 John 4:17-18 tells me that, “Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”

In other words, If I have been perfected in love, I will have boldness or confidence in the day of judgment – that day when Jesus comes back for me. I will anticipate His coming with joy.

How is it that I am perfected in love?

Well, according to 1 John 4:16 “God is love”.

Jesus tells us in John 15:9-10; “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.”

So if I want to be perfected in love, having no fear but rather confidence at the return of Christ, I need to ABIDE in the love of Jesus – I need to abide in Christ!

If we are abiding in Christ at His return, not only will we be confident, but we will be unashamed.

Unashamed of what?

It could absolutely be the things we are doing, if we are stumbling around in the darkness, entertaining the things of the world

            (which are…..? chapter 2:16)

But given the over-riding theme of abiding and love in this letter, I believe it is even more so speaking of The condition of our hearts ; why we do the things we do.

1 Cor 3:9-15

            Notice it says “how” a man builds, not “what” a man builds…

These rewards will be in the form of crowns:

            1 Thes 2:19  crown of rejoicing

            2 Tim 4:8      crown of righteousness

            James 1:12 & Rev 2:10     crown of life

            1 Peter 5:4    crown of glory

            1 Cor 9:25-26crown of victory

When I stand before the thrown of God, I want rewards, I want crowns!

            Why?

Because we won’t keep them – we will throw them at the feet of Jesus! (Rev 4:10)

The bible says our works are as filthy rags – there is non righteous.

These rewards will be given as a result of acting under the authority of Jesus righteousness.

I don’t want to stand before Jesus empty handed, I don’t want to be ashamed.

Matt 6:19-20

Where is your heart? Who holds it?

Romans 6 tells us that we are either a slave to this world or a slave to God

Romans 6:12-14, 16, 19 (focusing on the last line of 19)

Verse 29

Practicing righteousness, or godly living,

When we allow Jesus righteousness to flow through us in the things we do and say – unhindered by self or flesh

We bear witness to the fact that we are born again believers - we are women who have the spirit of God living in us!

            What is the fruit of the Spirit? What is the 1 things that is produced in the       life of a true believer?

            LOVE

            Gal 5:22– all those other things are manifestations of LOVE.

            This love, this amazing agape love comes from God himself!

Chapter 3:1-3

Verse 1

Behold – don’t miss this! Pay attention!

What manner of love the Father has bestowed on us.

Consider the incredible love of God – JOHN 3:16

Jesus Said greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. That is exactly what He did…

Romans 5:5, Romans 8:39, Eph 2:4, Eph 3:19

He has bestowed this love on us:

            Bestow means to give completely – not holding anything back, expecting nothing in     return. Freely given, freely received.

And the proof of His amazing love for us is that He calls us His children!

            You are a child of God, what does that mean to you?

            Romans 8:17, Gal 3:19, Eph 3:6

            To me this means being chosen, hand picked.

Consider you – when you were growing up, the mistakes you made, the stupid things you did… when you were a young adult… the places you went, the things you did prior to giving your heart to Christ – even after you gave your heart to Christ. God still chose you – you out of everyone in this entire world, God chose you to be His daughter, to lavish you with His love in a way only a Father can…

                        I had a friend one time ask me “if you knew back when you adopted the boys that                       this is how things would be, would you have made the same decision?”

                        I looked at her dumbfounded! Of course I would.

                        I told my boys “God grew you in your mothers tummy, but He grew you in my                              HEART”.

Therefore… (part 2 of verse 1)

If I had never told that we had adopted our 2 older boys, I don’t think you would ever question it. Josh has black hair and hazel eyes. Joey’s hair is the color of mine and his eyes are the same color as Corban’s. Josh has Ron’s skin color, Joey has mine. Same height as Ron, same mannerisms, same sense of humor, God made us a family and He did it perfectly! There would never be a doubt in anyone’s mind that they were Hodson’s.

The same is true from a spiritual standpoint.

When we abide in Christ we take on His characteristics, His mannerisms; and because of that the world doesn’t understand us – the things we do or don’t do, the way we speak, how we act and react makes no sense to them.

My dad, when we were moving out here asked me “how do you do what you do? How are you able to stay home with your kids and homeschool? How can you leave everything and move to ND where you don’t have jobs, you don’t know anyone?” He followed it by telling me how much he admired what I was choosing to do, but he truly didn’t get it.

Verse 2

Beloved –

There is so much tenderness in this word

It is a term reserved for believers alone.

But it isn’t just how God views us, it is how we are to view eachother

BELOVED – someone worthy of love – that extravagant, expecting nothing in return, perfect, holy love.

Beloved, now we are children of God

            Romans 8:15 tells us that we have received the Spirit of adoption (God’s Spirit) by whom       (the Spirit isn’t a what, He is a Who)     we cry out “Abba Father”.

                        Abba means Daddy

Right now, we are God’s kids, loved, adored, cared for, held, carried, defended by, rejoiced over, praised, and disciplined by our Daddy Who has plucked us up like a brand out of the fire (Zech 3:2)

Ps 40:2 tells us that, “ He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,     Out of the miry clay,     And set my feet upon a rock,     And established my steps.”

Why? Because He loves us.

This is the manner of love He has for us

This is the love we abide in as His kids, the kind of love we should have for eachother.

This is why the world doesn’t get us

And as amazing and overwhelming as this is, it is only a glimpse of what is to come;

But what we do know according to the last part of verse 2 is:

That even though we really don’t comprehend what lies ahead, we DO know that when we see Him, we will be LIKE Him because we shall see Him as He is.

            You see, right now, sin hinders our relationship, obscures our vision and distorts our perception of Who God is.

1 Cor 13:12 Paul writes, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

When we meet Jesus face to face sin will be gone.

            1 Cor 15:53 tells us that when Jesus calls us to Himself we are going to change; “53For       this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”

And when this happens we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is – love personified in all of His beauty, all of His glory…

Verse 3

If we are going to be like Him for all eternity, shouldn’t we desire to be like Him now?

4-9

The person who is in habitual, unrepentant sin is rebelling against the Law. In other words:

Habitual sin is rebellion against God.

Jesus life, death, and resurrection offers us redemption – freedom from a life of sin.

            Prior to receiving Christ, we were bond or shackled by sin – we had no choice – we were    destined to a life of sin followed by an eternity in hell. (we talked a little about this in            Romans 6).

Jesus came to free us from that life. Sin no longer has a hold on us. He broke the chains. Now we have the freedom to choose a life of abiding in Christ or rebellion against Christ.

For the person who professes a relationship with Jesus and continues to walk in rebellion, willingly, knowingly continuing in sin, then they really don’t know the God they profess to have a relationship with. Because if they did, there would be conviction followed by repentance. You cannot have an abiding relationship with Jesus Christ and be content to continue in your sin.

Verse 7 says

Brooklyns example:

There is a beautiful field and in the center of this field is a fence. Jesus stands on one side and Satan on the other. There are people on both sides, but one man decides to straddle the fence. Both groups of people are lead away by the owner of the fields. While the man on the fence gazes at Jesus and His followers, Satan approaches and says to the man, “let’s go!” to which the man replies, “I haven’t made up my mind” Satan replies, “yes you have… you see, I own that fence.”

We cannot abide in both worlds. There is no sin that is acceptable in God’s eyes.

1 Peter 1:13-16, Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;   as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;   but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,   because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

If we are truly children of God, we will never be content in a life of sin – it goes against our new nature.

            2 Cor 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things     have   passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

Verses 10-15

John, through the H.S., brings us back to the theme of this letter – LOVE.

There is not gray area, no wiggle room… no “but she… but he…”

(verse 10)

There are 2 groups of people. Who are they?

            Children of God and Children of the Devil.

What 2 things are tied together?

            Practicing righteousness & being loving

We show the world who we are, who we belong to in our actions. Our actions are motivated by the condition of our hearts. The condition of our heart is determined by who or what is enthroned there.

John uses and extreme but appropriate example – love vs. murder

            God is Love – 1 John 4:8

            Satan is a murder – John 8:44

He uses Cain and Able to illustrate this point.

Gen 4:1-8

What do we learn about Cain?

His works were not right and his heart was not right.

            Cain was a man who knew God and went through the motions of worship.

How do we know he was just going through the motions?

            Because God didn’t accept his offering.

God’s response was to offer Cain hope – a way of acceptance.

Cains response was anger fueled with jealous pride which produced hatred leading to murder.

God gave him a chance to repent – “where is your brother?”

Cain responded with a lie – “I don’t know”

God offered Cain forgiveness, Cain chose to be cast out.

My point?

I don’t think any of us are shocked when the world hates us. We know that Jesus said that the world hated Him and so it will hate us also. We can deal with that.

I think the shock and hurt we feel comes when we are hated from within the body. When we are the subject of gossip or the recipients of un-forgiveness. When we are shunned or ignored by those we have trusted.

Does this mean that those who have treated us this way are unsaved? Maybe.

There are absolutely people today who profess a relationship with Jesus Christ and yet their hearts are void of love. When a heart is void of God’s love, it naturally will be filled with what Satan has to offer – lies and hatred.

But there are those who have simply allowed sin to creep in and although they belong to Christ, they battling a heart issue.

This unloving behavior is something that we are all susceptible to. It is another reminder that we need to abide in Christ on a daily basis.

Verse 14 says that “we KNOW we have passed from death to life”. So we need walk in that knowledge.

We need to be those who are compelled by the Love of Christ to pursue fellowship and love the brethren in spite of the hurts we’ve received, or the hurts we have inflicted on others.

Amen?          

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1 John Bible Study Week 3 Notes

1 John 2:15-29 lesson 3

Verses 15-17

“do not love” this is a form of the word Agape – Agapeo

To find your joy in, to delight in

In this case being “do not love” means to neglect, disregard, condemn

In other words, do not find your joy in, or delight yourself in the things in the world, rather neglect those things, disregard those things, condemn those things that are in direct opposition to the things of God.

What things ?

Verse 16 tells us

The lust of the flesh

The lust of the eyes

The pride of life

Why?

Because these are not of the Father, they are of the world.

They have no eternal value…

I see this like an old scale

            Flesh vs Spirit

            Things of the world vs The things of God

            Satan’s will vs God’s will

Do not love the world OR the things IN the world…

There is nothing that we should love more than Jesus! There is nothing that we should make us say, “I want Jesus to come back BUT… FIRST…”

Heb 13:14 (NLT), “14For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. “

1 Peter 2:11, “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.”

                        Sojourner – someone who lives in a place without the right of                                           citizenship.

                        Pilgrim – someone who is from a foreign country and comes to live                                     alongside the natives.

Phil 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,

Do not love the world

This includes people

What does Jesus have to say about this in Matt 10:37-39?

(taking up our cross)

There shouldn’t be anything that we are not willing to give up for the sake of Jesus

            No thing

            No comfort

            No person – that’s hard

            Including ourselves

                        All to Jesus I surrender

                        All to Him I freely give

                        I will ever love and trust Him

                        In His presence DAILY live…

Verse 16

Flesh – desiring those things that appeal to our carnality – our old nature - and are in direct opposition to the spirit of God indwelling us. How do you know if you are lusting after the flesh? Look at the fruit.

Gal 5:19-26 NLT “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.”

Eyes

Matt 6:22-24

Where are we focusing our eyes? On the things of the world or on the things of God?

What we have, what we don’t have; or what God has graciously provided.

Are we focusing on our wants, our needs or on God who able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think according to the riches of HIS glory (EPH 3).

Are we looking in the mirror wishing we were something different, doing something different

– Eph 2:20 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

NLT says, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

            Are we looking at our circumstances believing that God is Sovereign?

2 Cor 4:17-18, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,   while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

When we lose this perspective and begin thinking…

            What I really need is…

            I would be better off if…

We are dethroning God and placing self in His rightful place.

This brings us to the pride of life

            Somehow thinking we know better or could do better than God.

                        Sounds ridiculous

            But isn’t that what we do?

            Isn’t that what Eve did in the garden?

                        Gen 3:6

God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble…

These things are not of the Father, but of the world

We need to get our heads on straight, get our eyes off of the things of this world and firmly fix them on Jesus Christ.

Verses 18-23

It is the last hour

            1 Peter 4:7

            Romans 13:11 (keep a marker there – we will be coming back to it)

Many have come

( “The” Antichrist is him who will declare himself god in the Holy of Holies of the new temple and demand to be worshiped. All those oppose him will be executed. anti – Christ (little a)… can mean those who, vehemently, violently, appose Jesus Christ. However it can also mean all who deny that Jesus is the Messiah and that the Messiah is come in the flesh )

Given the context of this portion of scripture I believe this is what John is describing

But before we get to that,

What point is the Holy Spirit stressing in this verse (18)?

That it is the last hour.

This should affect our perspective.

This truth should affect the way we live our lives on a daily basis

            Romans 13:11-14

            Phil 4:5

            James 5:7-8

Now, verse 19is referring back to “many antichrists”

Where did they come from?

            This isn’t talking about the church hopper.

            It isn’t talking about the one who leaves a church because of doctrinal or personal issues        in order to find biblical truth or simply a better fit.

            These are the folks that are wolves in sheep’s clothing – uncomfortable in a healthy,      Christ centered, bible believing body. And because of this, they will not stay long in        fellowship.

            They are attending church with an agenda, and it isn’t to sit under sound biblical           teaching, to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. They are not true followers of Jesus Christ, they are driven by the things of the world – those things we    just talked about “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life”- and                       they will keep searching for a place, or a group of people that will fill their self- serving desires – even if they have to create that environment   themselves.

1 Timothy 4:1-2

But you – verse 20-21

You have an anointing from the Holy One and you know all things.

            What do you mean?

From an application stand point:

Let’s take a look at

Eph 1:13-14 “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14who£ is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”

As believers in Jesus Christ we have the Holy Spirit of God living within us. Nothing and nobody can take Him away from us or change this amazing truth! But we know Satan tries to feed us lies causing us to doubt this truth.

Perhaps there were those in the body who began to doubt what they believed, maybe even doubting their salvation, as a result of others within the flock leaving and teaching false doctrines. Has Satan ever placed questions in your mind that tempt you to doubt what you know to be true? The word “know” used in verse 21 to turn your eyes toward something and inspect it with great care and discernment, it means to be sure of something– you know that you know that you know.

Satan loves to cast doubt and he uses lies, being that according to scripture he is the father of lies (John 8:44), to this end. Peter said in John 6:68-69, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” When these doubts arise, we need to follow the example of scripture and seek the one Who is Truth, because within Him we know there is no deceit (1 Peter 2:22). Perfect light – no shadow or variation.

Now, contextually, I want to take a look at

2 Cor 1:21-22,“Now He who establishes (saves) us with you in Christ and has anointed us (set apart to the service and ministry of Christ and His gospel by the gift of the Holy Spirit) is God, who also has sealed us (marked us as His) and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

We have been called, set apart, equipped for ministry by God through the indwelling of His Spirit and because of this we are able to understand spiritual truths.

Because we have the Spirit of God indwelling us, We should, we have everything we need to be able to identify those who are in the church but not of the body. We should be able to separate the truth from a lie.

 

1 Cor 2:10-12, “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.   For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.   Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”

Verse 21- John didn’t write this because they didn’t know, he wrote it because they NEEDED REMINDING!

We need to wake up!

Verse 22

So who is a liar? Who is the one who breaks faith? Who is this false and faithless man? Who is this one who professes salvation but lives and thinks contrary to Christian Truth?

Anyone can acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God. Anyone can acknowledge that Jesus is God.

Matt 8:28-29

Did the demons believe Jesus was the Christ?

Did they believe He was the Son of God?

Did this “belief” save them?

Weirsbe said this:

True confession involves personal faith in Christ—in who He is and what He has done. A confession is not a mere intellectual “theological statement” that you recite; it is a personal witness from your heart of what Christ has done for you.

Therefore

Because it is the last hour

Because there are false teachers and wolves in sheep’s clothing

Because satan want’s nothing more than to come in and steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10) – totally ripping us off of the blessings of God

ABIDE!

            Jesus came to give us life, not just life, but an abundant life!

ABIDE!

Verse 24-25

“that” – points back to verse 12

            Your sins are forgiven you for HIS name’s sake!

                        Let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning.

If that truth abides in you

If it is a part of you

If you know that you know that you know

It is because you have a relationship with Jesus and the Father!

            Those who have walked away and are teaching another Jesus – they don’t!

Look at what Jesus says in

John 10:22-30.

Back to 1 John 2:25

26-27

In these 2 verses we receive an admonishment – the way we guard ourselves from deception is by listing to the Spirit of God.  

Does this mean we don’t need to go to church or bible study?

How do I know that?

Hebrews 10:24-25, “24And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”  

As believers we are to gather together with other like minded believers on a regular basis. When we sit under godly teaching from the word with other believers, we are strengthened, convicted, spiritually nourished, equipped, resulting in a desire, a need to be closer to Jesus than before.

Why? Because of the man behind the pulpit?

No, because of the power of the Holy Spirit working in each member of the body individually and as a whole.

It isn’t man that teaches, it is the Spirit of God empowering the one with the gift of teaching. It is the same Spirit empowering the listener with the gift of wisdom and understanding. (examples Acts 4:31, Acts 10)

How do we know if the one who is teaching is speaking by the power of the Holy Spirit or by the strength of his own flesh and intellect?

The Holy Spirit will give us discernment in all things if we are abiding in Christ. The more we understand the things of the Spirit, the greater our desire will be to abide.

In closing:

Verses 28-29

Abide…

We will dig into these 2 verses next week.

This chapter places a huge emphasis on Abiding in the truth, abiding in Christ.

I challenge you to meditate on that this week – what does that mean to you? How does that effect you? Challenge you?

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