Confidence in Love (1 John 2:28-3:24): 1 John (03)

Date: 4/29/2018
More audio from All Saints Church
Type: Sunday Sermon
Topic: 1 John
Organization: All Saints
Price: FREE

The Parallel Outline of First John
A 1:1–4 — Prologue — Eternal Life Manifested   
  B 1:5–2:2 —The Truth Proclaimed
    C  2:3–17 — The Love Commandment
      D 2:18–27 — Antichrists Deny Jesus is the Christ
        E 2:28–3:10 — Confidence as Children of God
          F 3:11–18 — The Message: Sacrificial Love
        E’ 3:19–24 — Confidence in God’s Presence
      D’ 4:1–6 — Antichrists Deny Christ Came in the Flesh
    C’ 4:7–5:5 — The Love Example
  B’ 5:6–12 — The Testimony Received
A’ 5:13–21 — Conclusion — Eternal Life Assured
(adapted from J.C. Thomas cited in NAC)

Confidence as Children of God (2:28-3:3) - a) You must gain confidence by remaining/abiding in Him (2:28) by continuing to believe in Christ and loving the brethren. This produces confidence before the Lord. We are to have open confidence (parrasia) when Christ is fully revealed (parousia). Parrasia is “publicly/openly” (Jn 7:13, 10:24, 18:20) and parousia means “arrival” or “presence” (2Cor. 10:10, Phil. 2:12; OT “coming in judgment” e.g., Is. 13:9, 31:4, 40:10). b) You must gain confidence by identity in Him (2:29-3:3), being “born of Him” (2:29; John 1:12-13). Abiding/remaining/staying in Christ requires faith in the apostolic gospel (Jesus is Lord and Christ) and expressing this through loving the brethren, thus persevering in the apostolic community. We should wonder at the love of God for us that He makes us children by the sacrifice of Christ. We shall also be “publicly” manifested as the children of God in the eschaton (at the Last Day).

Confidence by Obedience in Him (3:4-10) - We gain confidence by obedience to His will. Those who know and abide in Him obey. Practicing sin shows that you are “of the devil,” rather than born of God (3:10). This is the “obedience test.” Sin is lawlessness, thus obedience to God is a requirement to display (but not earn) that we are “born of Him.” This is not brute moral obedience to a litigious body of rules, but rather the law of love, e.g., 3:10:  “nor the one who does not love his brother.” Love for the brethren is the repeated theme of showing our “doing righteousness” in 1 John. At the very center of the book the message is sacrificial love for one another. We know John 3:16, but we should know 1 John 3:16: “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

Sacrificial Love Defined (3:11-18) - In this center section of the book, there are two parallels that provide a clear definition of Christian love which evidences life from Christ. There are then two central points in this passage: a) You must not selfishly live in hatred. The illustration is Cain who was challenged by the Lord, “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?” But instead he manifested an heart evil by his actions and was controlled by it (Gen. 4:7) all the way to the end-game of all hatred, murder. Hating brethren manifests being of the evil one. This is how evil is manifest. ButChrist was manifest to destroy the works of the devil (3:8).  b) You must sacrificially live in love. Just as those of the evil one, depart from the original message of “love one another”—so those who are “of God” should manifest who they are by loving others sacrificially. Christ shows this in giving all and surrendering His life for our salvation. We show that we have life in Him (fellowship with the Triune God) when we open our hearts (literally, guts) by meeting the needs of brethren in “action and truth,” not just in lip-service.

Abide, Forgive, Refuse

Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more