Living a Balanced Life Week 8 (Teaching Outline)

Living a Balanced Life

(An In-Depth Study of First John)

Week 8

Commentary

The Abiding Word

1 John 2:18-29

 Outline

As we come to the end of chapter two one thing is abundantly clear; John loves God and John loves the children of God. In John’s day, just like today, truth for a majority was relative. To those who left the church and sound doctrine, truth changed with popular culture. They saw themselves as “progressives”. They understood truth as the latest teaching designed by the human heart. John assures his readers that the truth never changes. Whether the 1st century or the 21st century, “that which was from the beginning”, the message delivered by Christ to the Apostles and then to the church, has not changed. Nothing new has been added. The message is the Gospel. Inside this truth is found a deep and abiding love for God which overflows toward others. John reaffirms the core of Christianity, saying that either we exhibit the sound doctrine, obedience, and love that characterize all Christians, or else we are not true Christians.

In John’s mind, the truth does not originate from inside a person. If a person is found with the truth in them, John makes it clear that God is at work. John makes this point with the use of two words that are not common to most casual conversations; “abiding” and “anointed”. Truth is revealed by an anointing of the Spirit of God and an abiding in the Word of God. It’s no wonder John strongly encourages us to “abide in Him”. (1 John 2:28) This being the case, John would agree that a professing Christian that is never abiding in the Word of God and never praying is living a life that is prone to following lies (antichrist).

However, in this section of Scripture, filled with warnings about the spirit of antichrist found in this last hour, rests some of John’s most encouraging and assuring words to all those who are truly born again. John is confident that the truth is in you by the power of the Holy Spirit. (vs 20) He is confident that the truth that you heard from the beginning is such a part of your life that you will abide in the Son and the Father. (vs 24) In other words, both a theological depth and an intimate personal experience with the truth (God) is found in the life of every believer. This keeps life balanced. This establishes and maintains our system of values. Despite the power of the spirit of antichrist in the world, John knows believers will persevere. He remembers Jesus’ teaching… “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Understanding the Times

Verse 18 is chiastic in structure:

A. This is the last hour

B. Antichrist is coming

B′. Many antichrists have come

A′. This is the last hour

The first part of v. 19 (like v. 18) is chiastic:

A. They went out from us

B. They did not really belong to us

B′. If they had belonged to us

A′. They would have remained with us.

Result: We live in a last hour of great deception.

The WORD and the SPIRIT

Anointed: Truth is a gift (vs 20; 27)

Abiding: Truth never changes (vs 24a)

Persevering: Truth always keeps (19, 24b, 2 John 9)

LIFE APPLICATION

Lifestyle of the anointed is to abide

Abiding gives rise to:

  • Growth in understanding
  • Power to practice the truth
  • Ever increasing confidence

Living a Balanced Life Week 7 (Teaching Outline)

Living a Balanced Life

(An In-Depth Study of First John)

Week 7

Commentary

Seek First the Kingdom

1 John 2:15-17

 Outline

It has been said that the human heart is an idol factory. It should be abundantly obvious that God, our creator, designed us to worship. For, worship we do. The problem, ever since the rebellion in the garden, is we worship idols and not the only one worthy of worship. John is not unaware of the allure of created things. He knows that everything the world offers is not only temporary, but if worshipped (or loved) always leads the worshipper away from God.

Therefore, our text for this session contains one bold commandment; “Do not love the world or the things in the world.” John learned at the feet of Jesus. No doubt he remembers the time that Jesus gave similar warnings…“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Matthew 6:24) John, like Jesus, is saying that no one can love both the world and God at the same time. John is stating that our allegiance must not be divided. Our affection must be focused and specific.

John’s view of love for God comes from the understanding that the highest form of love is founded on loyalty and commitment. For John, and for us, to form allegiance with the world is to declare opposition to God. Once again we come face-to-face with a life balance issue. John is not requiring us to rid ourselves of material possessions. He is simply and boldly requiring us to rid ourselves of misguided affections. He is requiring that the way we live our life reflect the way Jesus lived his. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

The question we ask ourselves would be…is my desire for home, family, and career first and foremost a desire for God? Do I desire dinner because I desire God? Do I want a job because in it I will discover God and love God? Do I long for a spouse because I am hungry for God and hope to see him and love him in my husband/wife? Do I desire the child and the healthy body and the good night’s rest and the morning sun and the great book and the evening with friends for God’s sake? Do I have an eye for God in everything I desire? (See Colossians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 10:31.)

Main Point (vs 15) 

Do not love the world or the things in the world.

Four reasons why:

  • If you love the world, you don’t love God
  • Everything of the world is not of God
  • The world is passing away
  • The one who does the will of God abides forever

What is the world’s?

  • The desires of the flesh
  • The desires of the eyes
  • The pride of life

John’s Idea of Eternal Life 

Faith (believe) and Love for God

  • Inseparable
  • “Trust in Christ” and “Love for God” to John are the same
  • No love for God, no saving faith

Example – Repentance 

Big difference between ‘self-righteous repentance’ and ‘gospel-centered repentance’

Self-righteous: repentance only out of fear of God’s anger and punishment; repentance for ‘being bad’ or ‘doing wrong things’

Gospel-centered: repentance out of love for God and his commands, knowing He loves us always as a Father loves his child; repentance not merely from bad actions, but from the very desire to seek the flesh/world/sin instead of God; from a desire to have a living and active relationship with God

LIFE APPLICATION

Boast only in the Lord

God is in ALL of life, Desire God!

Living a Balanced Life Week 6 (Teaching Outline)

Living a Balanced Life

(An In-Depth Study of First John)

Week 6

Commentary

The Victorious Christian Life

1 John 2:12-14

 Outline

I share my father’s name. At 16 years of age, I walked into the showroom of my local motorcycle dealer and financed the motorcycle of my dreams with that name. This was a time in banking before social security numbers. The bank assumed that my father was purchasing this rocket ship. I lived in a small town and conducted business with a small town banker and before the deal was closed my banker discovered that it was my father’s 16 year old son that was requesting the loan. In spite of the fact I had no credit experience, the banker approved the loan. His reasoning???… “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”.  I rode off in a blaze of glory!

Like me riding the coattails of my father’s credit history, the Apostle John assures every true believer that they are victorious in the name. The first and most fundamental offering of encouragement John gives his readers is the fact they are forgiven of sins and that forgiveness remains effective in their lives. This forgiveness occurs because the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ made the mercy and grace of God available to those who repent of their sins and believe in the name of Jesus.

Every verb in our text (vs 12-14) is in the perfect tense. In other words, the power in this name (Jesus), stands for the person and completed work of Jesus in its totality; Jesus proclaimed from the cross, “It is finished”. Therefore, John is stating that everyone who confesses the name of Jesus is saved and as a result of that confession they now have access to the power of that name.

John states that we overcome the ‘evil one’ (Satan). This victory implies battles. It is through prayer and the Word that every believer has communion with the Father and gains direction and power for the battle. In this session we will explore who this battle is with and how it is we overcome the enemy. This victorious strength comes from our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose victory over the evil one grants us the ability to triumph. (1 John 5:4)

Why does John address three groups?

  • Little children – the church
  • Fathers – Leaders
  • Young Men – the strong

The pattern in John’s letter:

  • Assurance
  • Vigilance

Summing up the pattern so far in the letter:

  • (1:7) If we walk in the light…ours sins are cleansed (2:12) Your sins ARE forgiven!
  • (2:4) If you don’t keep the commandments, you are a liar and the truth is not in you (2:13) But you DO KNOW HIM!
  • (3:8) Live in sin and you are of the Devil (2:13) But you have OVERCOME the evil one!

Overcoming the evil one (vs 14b) 

Young men who are strong:

  • Overcome the evil one
  • Have the Word of God abiding in them (Prayer and the Word)

The Word of God overcomes Satan

Satan’s MO:

  • Accuse Christians regarding sins past (Rev. 12:10-11) / (1 John 2:1-2)
  • Tempt Christians into future sin (John 8:32; 17:17) / (1 John 2:14b)

LIFE APPLICATION 

Lies can only be defeated by the TRUTH

Let the Word abide in you!