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One of the greatest tragedies of life is the inability or the neglect of a father to pass on to his children the benefits of his experience.

Fathers must instruct, warn, and encourage their children.

For the next while Wednesday evenings messages will be from John’s first epistle and are titled “The Counsel of a Spiritual Father to His Children.”

Today we are discussing The Tests of Fellowship.

Text

1 John 2:3 (AMP)

3 And this is how we know [daily, by experience] that we have come to know Him [to understand Him and be more deeply acquainted with Him]: if we habitually keep [focused on His precepts and obey] His commandments (teachings).

1 John 2:9 (AMP)

9 The one who says he is in the Light [in consistent fellowship with Christ] and yet habitually hates (works against) his brother [in Christ] is in the darkness until now.

Scripture Reading

1 John 2:3-14 (AMP)

3 And this is how we know [daily, by experience] that we have come to know Him [to understand Him and be more deeply acquainted with Him]: if we habitually keep [focused on His precepts and obey] His commandments (teachings). 

4 Whoever says, “I have come to know Him,” but does not habitually keep [focused on His precepts and obey] His commandments (teachings), is a liar, and the truth [of the divine word] is not in him. 

5 But whoever habitually keeps His word and obeys His precepts [and treasures His message in its entirety], in him the love of God has truly been perfected [it is completed and has reached maturity]. By this we know [for certain] that we are in Him: 

6 whoever says he lives in Christ [that is, whoever says he has accepted Him as God and Savior] ought [as a moral obligation] to walk and conduct himself just as He walked and conducted Himself.

7 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 message which you have heard [before from us]. 

8 On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true and realized in Christ and in you, because the darkness [of moral blindness] is clearing away and the true Light [the revelation of God in Christ] is already shining. 

9 The one who says he is in the Light [in consistent fellowship with Christ] and yet habitually hates (works against) his brother [in Christ] is in the darkness until now. 

10 The one who loves and unselfishly seeks the best for his [believing] brother lives in the Light, and in him there is no occasion for stumbling or offense [he does not hurt the cause of Christ or lead others to sin]. 

11 But the one who habitually hates (works against) his brother [in Christ] is in [spiritual] darkness and is walking in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

12 I am writing to you, little children (believers, dear ones), because your sins have been forgiven for His name’s sake [you have been pardoned and released from spiritual debt through His name because you have confessed His name, believing in Him as Savior]. 

13 I am writing to you, fathers [those believers who are spiritually mature], because you know Him who has existed from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men [those believers who are growing in spiritual maturity], because you have been victorious and have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, children [those who are new believers, those spiritually immature], because you have come to know the Father. 

14 I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has existed from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong and vigorous, and the word of God remains [always] in you, and you have been victorious over the evil one [by accepting Jesus as Savior].

Introduction

As a preface to his instructions concerning irrefutable proof of one’s abiding fellowship with God in Christ, John exhorted believers to avoid sin and be conscious of satan’s ever present efforts to tempt and seduce the children of God.

But realising that the sinful nature is still present with us even though our souls are redeemed, John reminded his readers that all is not lost when we sin.

God has made provision, through the advocacy of Jesus, our great High Priest, who is seated at God’s right hand in heaven.

With that incomparable truth established, John proceeded to set forth two tests that will prove that a person has fellowship with God.

  1. The first test is that of obeying God’s commands in 1 John 2:3.
  1. “Know” is a very special word.

It is more than just being aquatinted with someone.

It describes a continuing relationship that has deepened and become more intimate because of shared experiences.

We might illustrate it like this, here is an individual that we both met at the same time on the same day.

We made his acquaintance, learned his name, and maybe discovered something about him.

A relationship was established.

But then I went away and never saw that person again.

On the other hand, you cultivated the relationship.

You saw this person almost every day.

You became friends and shared experiences together.

Both of us know this person, but my knowledge of him is only in passing.

You really know him because you have experienced life situations together.

This is the knowledge of God to which John was referring to.

B. How can we be sure that we know Christ?

By a natural desire to keep His commands.

John was not indicating a dutiful act of obedience, as a slave obeys his master, with no feeling.

Instead, he was advocating obedience based on who Jesus is and who He has become to us.

John was talking about constantly keeping or guarding God’s Word.

This requires daily meditation on Scripture.

C. In verse 5 John said that whenever someone takes God’s message to heart, the love of God has reached its full stature in that person.

Jesus said in John 14:15 (AMP)

15 “If you [really] love Me, you will keep and obey My commandments.

Love, in its very essence, is a reciprocal experience.

The perfect ideal of love involves two parties.

We must express love to one another, and that person in turn must respond with love.

This is what John meant when he said that when we obey God’s Word, we are responding to the love that caused God to reach out to us in the first place.

2. The second test is that of loving one another. 1 John 2:9.

  1. We must clearly understand the kind of love which Kohn was referring.

He was not talking about the affection we have for those we like and we have things in common.

Loving those who are loveable requires no effort.

John was talking about the top of love  expressed by the word, agape, a self sacrificing love that does not first consider whether that love will be returned.

Its interest is entirely for the well being of the person to who the love is expressed.

B. How do we love others who are not loveable or those who are hostile, or insulting, or offensive?

It happens naturally, spontaneously, because it comes out of the overflow of love produced in our hearts because of our obedience to God’s Word.

If we obey God’s Word, He will fill us to overflowing with Hid love, and it is with that love that we will automatically love others.

C. John added, almost as an afterthought, that when a Christian loves others, he has no “occasion of stumbling in him” 

1 John 2:10 (AMP)

10 The one who loves and unselfishly seeks the best for his [believing] brother lives in the Light, and in him there is no occasion for stumbling or offense [he does not hurt the cause of Christ or lead others to sin].

In other words, when we show love to others, no stumbling blocks are in our way to keep us from growing in grace, from advancing from glory to glory in our Christian lives.

Conclusion.

Two things, inseparably related, assure us of continued fellowship with God, first, a habitual obedience to God through the keeping of His commands, and second, a habitual loving of others, which becomes the natural outflow of our obedience to God. 

Until next time

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

2020 IS A YEAR OF CLARITY

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