Tag Archive: 1 John



1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. 4In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5The light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” –1 John 1:1-5

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Its a wondrous thing our sacred doctrine. Often when we embark on studying it we may find key phrases may jump out at us during one reading, and another altogether during a rereading. For me this verse was no different. As I wrote it down on my white board, I stood there staring. Contemplating. Yes, I know the basic truths behind this verse, and furthermore believe them, but what was God trying to tell me through this particular scripture?

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Two key phrases stood out to me:

From verse 3: “Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.”

From Verse 5: “The light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

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Currently, in the spirit of full disclosure to the reader, I am working on rededicating my life to the Lord. How surprised was I to know that I had fallen away! However, some exhortation is due on part of the Lord for allowing me to know this very thing. How tragic it is when one falls away and never knows it! This may be of interest to the reader simply because it gives some context into the verse, what was shown unto me, and what it all means. First, we approach verse 3. It states, again, “Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.”

The language or construction of this verse is what made it stand out to me first. It is kind of odd. I thought, “Well, why not just say that without Him nothing was made?” Why the added, “nothing was made that has been made?” To me this indicated that I should see it through some new eyes. The ones that the Lord provides at times when reading His Word, which was in the beginning, along with God, and was God.

There is of course something to be said about the message of the Holy Trinity or the Triune God which is made evident here in its representation and presentation. Usually I would focus on this point, for it is a great point to make, but the Lord wanted something else known unto me.

Often when we run across repetition or a tautology of language within Holy Writ or anywhere else for that matter, it is either of grammatical error, or it is utilized to emphasize a point. I believe the repetition in this case of, “without Him nothing was made that has been made,” supports the latter, that it is used to emphasize something.

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I realized the emphasis is used to make a powerful point, which becomes clearer when we add verse 5. I came to the realization that, “without Him nothing was made that has been made,” means nothing exists outside God. Everything is God. Not in the Cosmic Humanistic standpoint mind you, but everything that exists is so because God deemed it to be. Outside God there is nothing. What is this nothing?

 photo Ceiling_zps1a5b3872.pngWell, Scripture often describes nothingness, evil, and being apart from the Lord as “darkness.” Everything that was made was made THROUGH Him and WITHOUT Him nothing is. Yet, how does sin and evil equate to nothingness. We obviously have a conception of it so doesn’t it exist? Further, if it exists are we to say that God created it? Absolutely not!

Darkness only exists in relation to the light. God said, “Let there be light,” not, “Let there be darkness.” The darkness is the absence of God and being completely apart from him. This describes sin in a nutshell. Sin is action, thought, contemplation, temptation, and anything that is separate from the nature, being and, for lack of better terminology, character of God. As two forms of matter can’t occupy the same space, so too God and evil cannot occupy the same space. Thus if God is light, and darkness is far removed from Him, as it is, the darkness cannot occupy the same space without being illuminated itself and becoming light. Yet, we know God is of a singular nature and cannot be light and darkness at the same time.

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Taking these principles, I read the second phrase that stood out, that is verse 5. Again, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” We should say, of course, amen to that, for it tells us of Christ’s complete victory. Yet, as does happen, I got something else out of it. Something Scriptural. It is important to weigh every interpretation with the rest of Scripture in order that the mind not deceive.

As I have shared, I am currently rededicating my life to Christ, and one of the first things that occurs to one when doing so is the great shame that envelopes. The nature of sin is darkness. It is apart from God. Thus, I had a great message of hope. When one walks of the path, we become entangled in the thickets of sin and in doing so the enemy prepares a lie which I heard on my way to church yesterday.

“You are a worthless pile. You have no business going to church, nor bowing before your Lord. Why would he want anything to do with you?”

Obviously, the end to following this lie is that one avoid church and avoid the Lord because of shame. It was easy to distinguish the lie and tell the enemy to get behind me. Yet, shame and guilt still follow. Some taunts of the enemy, others righteous revelation. My guilt was righteously being revealed unto me, but I still had the question:

“My sin is great O’Lord. So great forgiveness would be beyond my human understanding and comprehension. Can I still come to you? Have I been so set in my ways that I am separated and plunged into darkness for all eternity?”

No! Why? Verse 5 shows us that even in the midst of grievous sin there is light. Do we deserve it? Certainly not, but yet it is there. Our sin, which God knew from the beginning and destined our Savior to cleanse it with blood, is the light that shines through even the most horrid of sins. This is of course no credit to ourselves, but rather credit belongs to Him who sits at the right hand of God. The promise and blood of the lamb cannot be overcome by even willful sin it is so great. Again, this is no credit to self, but our Lord Himself and to Him may eternal praise belong.

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“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” -Romans 10:9

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In a previous entry (see my entry concerning Romans 1:12, “On The Correlation Between Faith and Love”), I had discussed some of the like attributes between both love and faith. Yet, when we consider our faith in the Lord, we find love to be a necessary condition for our faith in Jesus Christ. Without this love, our relationship with the Lord cannot develop and will eventually be negated by the doubt that we as believers are sometimes confronted and assaulted with, for our faith cannot be steadfast without loves inclusion in the relationship. We can obviously see this when it comes to loving our brethren, how much more should it be applicable to our relationship with the Lord, who is love? The Bible makes it perfectly clear how love and faith are the prerequisites to developing a deeper friendship with the Lord (see my entry concerning John 15:15, “On Having a Friendship With The Lord”). 1 John 4:19 states (see my entry, “On Love’s First Cause”):

“We love because He first loved us.” -1 John 4:19

Throughout my life, many times have I heard the phrase, “God is love.” From this verse in 1 John, it is more than apparent that this is truth, for it links our love with His. Though God has many attributes, including discipline, these all have their basis in love. Even concerning His wrath, He takes no pleasure in the punishment of the ungodly, but God cannot co-inhabit with evil. As Psalms 5:4 tells us, “With you the wicked cannot dwell.” In the same way two forms of matter cannot occupy the space, so too, the wicked cannot dwell with perfect holiness. This, is in fact, a contradiction, and thereby we need the justification that was manifest and offered upon Calvary. What God does take pleasure in, however, is the justification of the wicked by His Son! This is not only backed up in Scripture, but if it wasn’t true, Christ would not have came and died upon such a cruel instrument of death in the first place. Yet, the cross became His glory! If this did not appease God’s justice and have the ability to, not only change a sinners being, but also clothe the depraved with a garment of righteousness, then the Trinity would have never been separated. Yet, since it has alleviated God’s justice, we are granted the opportunity to come to the Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, in faith. By this very thing, which should be evident in our hearts, and through which springs all godly obedience, we are saved. Thereby, we next find ourselves in The Book of John, at one of the most famous verses in all of Scripture, Chapter 3, Verses 16 and 17:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”

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Regarding God’s discipline, it is also based in love. Hebrews 12:7-13 likens God to a loving worldly father (indeed when looking at family proper, or rather, a proper family, we find much in the family structure symbolizes God’s nature):

“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as His children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8If you are not disciplined – and everyone undergoes discipline – then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in His holiness. 11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. 12Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13‘Make level paths for your feet,’ so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.”

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Notice that Verse 8 clearly expresses John 3:16, for if everyone, by love, undergoes discipline, then it follows, “that God so loved the world,” is indeed true. God’s love is absolutely perfect and in complete accordance with His nature. Before our existence in the world came to pass, He already loved us and had our justification planned out in Christ. We can come to the Lord in the first place, as sinners, due to this preexisting love. If it exists prior, on a temporal plain where we didn’t even exist yet, how much more important is this mutual love when we do exist and come to the Lord by faith? Our faith, among other things, is a recognition of that love, and by it we love God reciprocally as the Book of Deuteronomy commands:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.” -Deuteronomy 6:5-6

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It is this same faith and love in His Son, by which we are granted the Holy Spirit. To those who have eyes, let them understand, for due to the corruption of this world, the following may be hard to contemplate, or uncomfortable to focus on. However, it is important. As man and women become one flesh in love, likewise do we become one with the Lord by His love and sacrifice. He dwells within us, as the Spirit of Holiness, and if we are in the Spirit as well, love is perfectly manifest and we, by the Spirit, cannot do anything apart from love. If our actions are ones that don’t speak to the love of God in either word or example, it is of the self. As 1 Corinthians says:

“Therefore I tell you that no one is speaking by the Spirit of God says, ‘Jesus be cursed,’ and no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.” -1 Corinthians 12:3

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Though this love was manifest in perfection by the Son, in both His death and resurrection, it existed prior to Christ’s first coming and was in the Law, which according to the Gospels can be summed up with just two commandments:

“‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? 37Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38This is the first commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” -Matthew 22:36-40

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The Law, revealed by God unto Moses, shows explicitly the attributes and nature of God. Hence, we can only conclude the Law is good, just as our Lord is good. In the same way, because God is love, the Law, by necessity, follows suit. Therefore, since we know love to be such an intrinsic part of God, our faith too should resonate with love for our Lord. In addition, the love of God is boundless and this being the case, our love can always become manifest greater in our lives. Though we can love too little, we cannot love enough. This week, let us pray that the Lord may extend the boundaries of love we have set by the desires of the self and our own comfort, that we may better serve both the Lord and man. Let us pray that we may glorify Him even further than we have, through not just words, but rather by example. Amen.

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“Paul, an apostle – sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the Dead.” -Galatians 1:1

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Among other things, the beauty of the Bible is explicitly manifest in God’s ability to speak through it. Many verse are not hindered by a singular interpretation, rather God can use any verse to address any number of things. One of the only things that is required is that it doesn’t contradict any other Scripture. If it does then this “veiled” wisdom cannot be from God (see my note concerning John 14:27, “On The Lord’s Peace and in Which You’ll Read a Few Notes Concerning Biblical Interpretation”).

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Here, Paul, as he does in later verses (see my note concerning Galatians 1:11-12, “On Paul’s Source and The Shifting of Name”), reveals His source of the Gospel, and He who sent Him to the Gentiles to preach the message of reconciliation. This message He did not get from any man, but rather through direct revelation from Jesus Christ. In fact, according to Galatians 1:18-19, Paul didn’t meet any of the apostles until three-years after his ministry had begun. By this verse, we also see that Paul didn’t regard Jesus Christ as a mere man. This is not only important in the context of Scripture, but also in response to the popular belief that Christ was a mere man, though possibly a prophet of some sort.

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"The Conversion of Saul," by Caravaggio. oil on canvas. c. 1600

Yet, Paul states, that he was neither sent by men (the apostles), or by a man (a mortal Jesus). Rather, his knowledge came from the Son of God, and the Father, who raised the Son to a life surpassing mortality, due to His obedience and righteousness. In addition, we who are in Christ, have our passport stamped so that when our mortal bodies pass away, we, in a likeness of Christ, will arise to life, worthy by grace and covered in the blood of the Lamb.

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“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” -1 John 1:7

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