All Scripture quotations are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.
January 20, 2009
in the LIGHT
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In 1 John 1:7 it says, "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." There are many times when Christians read certain verses of the Bible that they do not take into account the opposite of what certain Scripture verses are saying. We must consider both what the statement made is speaking of as well as what else it is saying. That is, what if we do not "walk in the light?"
According to 1 John 1:7, the blood of Jesus Christ only cleanses us from all sin when we walk in the light. Many Christians are deceived by not considering the complete message certain Scripture verses are saying. Therefore, we must get complete understanding of the Bible, by taking into account all that is said concerning certain Scripture verses.
It is also necessary for Christians to consider the subject matter of the verse they are studying. We cannot take only one verse of Scripture and make it say what we want it to say. We must keep it within the context of that which it is speaking of.
There is more to studying the Scriptures, to know the Truth, then just reading what we see in certain verses in the Bible. It is so important that we get a clear understanding of the Word of God, that we do not become deceived by the teachings of men.
It would be helpful for Christians if they knew how to study the Scriptures? And not just read them. Therefore, a Mini-Book has been written, titled, "Study the Scriptures, Part 1," by Merle E. Koepke. This Mini-Book is available by downloading from our Web sites, at www.handsforjesus.cc and www.handsforjesus.org.
In the Epistle of 1 John, we need to understand the subject of this Epistle, then we can understand what it says? Therefore, in the first verse the Apostle John makes mention of the subject of this Epistle. It says, "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life" (1 John 1:1). The subject of this complete Epistle is "The Word of Life."
What many Christians have not known is that the Greek word used for "life," is "zoe." Zoe, is spiritual life (life in the Spirit). There is another Greek word used for "life" in the New Testament, which is "psuche." Psuche is natural life (the life we received when we were born into this world).
Only God and Christians have "zoe." Therefore, this whole Epistle of 1 John is not written to those who are not Christians. It is only written to Christians who are born again of the Word of God and the Spirit of God (1 Peter 1:23, John 3:6,7).
It is believed that the Apostle John wrote the Gospel of John before he wrote the Epistles of John. Therefore, the Gospel of John had already been made known to those to whom the Epistles of John were written. The Epistles of John were not written to establish doctrine, but to correct error, which had come into the churches after they had already known the truth by the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Evidently, there had already been error taught in the churches at the time the Apostle John wrote the Epistles of John. Some may have believed that once they were born again, all they needed to do was wait until Jesus returns and they would automatically go to heaven. Therefore, the Epistles of John were written to correct that error.
We must be very careful that we do not let ourselves get taken in by error, and not obey the LORD in what was already made known to us in the Gospels. The LORD gave us commandments, that we should obey? Jesus spoke of these commandments a number of times in the Gospels.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus said, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." (John 13:34). Again in John 14:15, Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." Then in John 14:21, Jesus said, "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him."
Most of the information written in the first Epistle of John is speaking of this commandment that Jesus gave to those who are born again Christians. Where Jesus said, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." (John 13:34). When this commandment is not obeyed, Christians get into error and many are taken in the snare of the Devil.
As we go down in 1 John 1:2-4, John was making sure that the readers of his Epistle know who he was writing about, which is Jesus Christ (the manifest "Word of God"). John wrote the purpose for this Epistle, which is, "...that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."
This is important to understand. For there are two different positions that Christians have in eternal life. The first position is "relationship" to God. Relationship to God is established when we are born again into the family of God by a new birth. Jesus said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6). In the new birth, we become born again of the Spirit, into the family of God. To maintain this new birth, we must have "fellowship" with God.
It is possible for Christians to lose their position of "relationship" to God in the body of Christ, and spend eternity in hell. The Apostle John also revealed that to us in the book of Revelation. (See Revelation 3:3-5).
For more information on Revelation 3:3-5, get the Mini-Book, "The Book of Life, Part 1," written by Merle E. Koepke. This book can be downloaded freely from our Web sites at www.handsforjesus.cc and www.handsforjesus.org.
WALK IN THE LIGHT
We are in the world, but not of the world (John 17:16). Being in the world, we must keep up our fellowship with the Father and the Son, that Satan does not get an advantage over us.
We were told already in Genesis 2:17, not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. When Adam and Eve disobeyed the LORD God and ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, sin and death entered into mankind. This sin and death remained in all human beings from birth into this world until they become born again of the Spirit and the Word. Jesus, making mention of this in John 3:6,7, said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit...Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."
The only way to overcome the sin and death that came upon mankind in the garden of Eden is by first becoming born again of the Spirit and the Word. This new birth is a new beginning for all who believe in Jesus Christ as their LORD and Savior. When we are born again, a new life in the Spirit begins. The old life in the flesh is still with us, being that we are still in this world. It is this old life in the flesh that needs to be overcome to maintain our "relationship" to God.
Satan is still the god of this world. As long as we are in this world, we need to be free of the works of the Devil. In 1 John 3:8 it tells us, "He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning..." In the Modern King James Version it makes this clear, where it says, "He who practices sin is of the Devil, for the Devil sins from the beginning..." This is also made clear in 1 John 1:8,10, where it tells us, everyone does sin. But those who continually live in sin are following the Devil.
Sin separates us from "fellowship" with God. Without "fellowship" with God the Father and the Son, the blood of Jesus Christ cannot cleanse us from sin. Living in sin puts us right back under the law of sin and death, that Jesus came to set us free of.
In Romans 8:1,2, the Apostle Paul wrote of the freedom we should be living in. It says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit...For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."
Notice something in Romans 8:2, where it says, "...the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." The Apostle Paul was free of the law of sin and death, because he walked after the Spirit and not after the flesh. Paul did not say all Christians are free of the law of sin and death. Only those "who walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh."
It is important to understand that with every promise of God there is a condition attached. We must understand the conditions first, then fulfill all the conditions. Then the promises will manifest in our lives. If we do not obey the commandments of the LORD, we cannot fulfill the conditions necessary to receive the promises.
The Apostle Paul in Romans 8:1-8 is talking about the same thing that Apostle John is writing in 1 John 1:5-7. We must have fellowship with the Father and the Son to be cleansed from all sin. The Apostle Paul said, we must "walk after the Spirit," to be free of the law of sin and death.
In both instances, it reveals to us that "if we walk in darkness," the blood of Jesus Christ will not cleanse us from all sin (1 John 1:5-7). If we "walk after the flesh," we will not be free of the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:1-8).
Therefore, to walk after the Spirit or to walk in the light, we must do something ourselves. God gives us the ability to do, whatsoever He tells us to do. But, it is up to each of us individually to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. In James 1:21,22 it says, "Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls...But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." Here again, there is a condition attached to the saving of our souls. That is, we must "be doers of the Word, not hearers only."
It is sad, to say the least, that many Christians today do not study their Bibles for themselves. They let some other individual, who claims to be "called of God," tell them what they should or should not do. God always wanted to have a one-on-one relationship and fellowship with man.
In Genesis, Chapter One and Two, the LORD God created man with the ability to have "fellowship" with God. But, "relationship" with God could only come by eating of the Tree of Life, which was in the midst of the garden of Eden. Adam and Eve disobeyed the LORD God, and ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, rather than the Tree of Life. This prevented mankind from establishing "relationship" with God until after Jesus came and paid the price for sin with His own blood, by His death and resurrection from the dead.
First Jesus paid the price with His Blood, then He arose again from the dead. Then, mankind could become born again of the Spirit and the Word and establish "relationship" with God. All the way from Adam and Eve, God continued to seek "fellowship" with man, declaring "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8).
It is wonderful to know that God is Love (1 John 4:8). God loved man so much that He declared "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8). Therefore, many who believed God, were already counted as children of God, even before Jesus came and paid the price of our redemption on the cross of Calvary.
God is GOD, and He is the Creator of all things. God created Lucifer, who is now Satan, the Devil. Even though Satan is the god of this world, he does not have power over God.
God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit "have supreme authority" over all creation. This is the same God (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit), that make their abode in Christians. In John 14:23, Jesus said, "...If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." (Did you notice the condition Jesus made with this promise "...If a man love me, he will keep my words...").
When Jesus spoke to His disciples in John 14:23, He only mentioned the Father and Himself making their abode in Christians. What about the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is God also with the Father and the Son. In 1 John 5:7 it tells us, "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." God is three Persons in one God. They are always in total agreement with each other. That is what it means by being one. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is also in every Christian from the day they are born again of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit (John 3:6, 1 Peter 1:23).
It is important to understand the Holy Spirit. Even though the Holy Spirit is in every Christian from the day they were born again, there is still something that Christians must do for the Holy Spirit to work in their lives. That is made clear by Jesus in Acts 1:4,5,8, where it says, "And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me...For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence....But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
Why is it so important that Christians receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit? There are multitudes of reasons for receiving the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. But, of the more important ones, there is, (1) receive the power that we need over the works of the Devil (Acts 1:8). There is, (2) communication with God through the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 14:2). There is, (3) being "led by the Holy Spirit" (Rom. 8:14). There is, (4) "being taught by the Holy Spirit" (John 14:26,16:13; 1 John 2:27). Besides these, it is the Holy Spirit that controls all the "gifts of the Spirit" (1 Cor. 12:7-11). All of the fruit of the Spirit operate by the ability of the Holy Spirit working in our lives (Gal. 5:22,23).
How can we walk after the Spirit if we do not permit the Holy Spirit to lead, guide, comfort, help, and teach us? To please God, we must take advantage of all that God has to offer us in the New Covenant. We need the Holy Spirit to walk after the Spirit, and to keep up our fellowship with the Father and the Son.
There are many things in the New Covenant that were not available to those in the Old Testament. These are very important to Christians. We need all that God has provided for us. We need God in our lives at all times. We cannot be doers of the Word without having fellowship with the Father and the Son.
Our fellowship with the Father and the Son is questionable without the Holy Spirit making all things possible by His ability and power. The Holy Spirit is the power of God that brings into manifestation the Word of God.
It was the Holy Spirit that made it possible for Mary to become the mother of Jesus. Without the Holy Spirit, Jesus could not come into this world, "born of a virgin." It is the Holy Spirit that causes us to become children of God through the New Birth, when we are "born again of the Spirit" (John 1:13,3:6).
From Genesis 1:2 on, throughout the whole Bible the Holy Spirit caused the manifestation of the Word of God. If we desire the Word of God to manifest in our lives, we need the help of the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, it is important to understand how to "walk in the Light as the Father and the Son are in the Light" (1 John 1:5-7). If we fail to walk in the Light, we will automatically be walking in darkness. If we walk in darkness, the Blood of Jesus Christ cannot cleanse us from all sin.
To walk in the Light, we must walk according to the Word of God. Without the Holy Spirit we do not have the ability to walk according to the Word of God.
As we study the remaining chapters of 1 John, we will understand the need for the Holy Spirit to teach us all things. It says in 1 John 2:27, "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him."
When we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, we receive "the anointing" of the Holy Spirit. Just like Jesus received the anointing of the Holy Spirit when He was baptized with the Holy Spirit.
It is by the anointing within us, that the Holy Spirit can teach us all things. Knowing and understanding all things, will help us to maintain our fellowship with the Father and the Son. Maintaining our fellowship will cleanse us of all sin. As it says in 1 John 1:7, "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."
The Apostle Paul, writing to the Galatians to correct error that had come into the Church a Galatia, said in Galatians 5:25, "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." To walk in the Spirit, we must be "Led by the Holy Spirit." Christians need the Holy Spirit as their Teacher, Guide, Helper, Leader, and Comforter at all times.
We cannot walk after the Spirit unless we have full confidence in the Holy Spirit working in our lives daily, in everything we do. We cannot have confidence in ourselves, or our ability to do whatsoever the LORD has called us to do. That would be "walking after the flesh." In Galatians 5:24 Paul wrote, "...they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."
It says in Matthew 16:24, "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." Christians cannot prefer themselves before others and expect the Holy Spirit to work in their lives the way He worked in Jesus' life.
Jesus denied Himself and put others before Him. In Matthew 14:14-36, it tells of Jesus, how He denied Himself to help others. "Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick" (Matt. 14:14). Then it tells us, "And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals" (Matt. 14:15). At that time, Jesus fed "...about five thousand men, beside women and children" (Matt. 14:21).
Then in Matthew 14:22,23 it tells us, "And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away...And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone." In Matthew 14:25 it tells us, "And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea."
As you read the whole account of this in Matthew, Chapter Fourteen, you will see that Jesus was more concerned about others than He was about Himself. Jesus always preferred others before Himself. Jesus denied Himself to help others.
God is love "agape" (1 John 4:8). The true "agape" love of God always looks upon the needs of others before themselves. In 1 Corinthians 13:5, it tells us that "agape" love "seeketh not her own." That means "agape" love is not "selfish." Selfish means, "too much concerned with one's own welfare or interests and having little or no concern for others." This is the love of God that is poured out into the hearts of all of those who are born again Christians.
Christians must walk in the "agape" love of God if they are "to walk in the Light as the Father and the Son are in the light." We cannot have fellowship with the Father and the Son without walking in "agape" love.
Without faith, we cannot please God (Heb. 10:38, 11:6). Faith works by love (Gal. 5:6). In everything God asks us to do, He gives us the ability to do it. God never asks us to do anything He would not do Himself.
The main reason God asks us to do things, is because God is looking for those few who will deny themselves to become like Jesus, in everything they do. Jesus is God with the Father and the Holy Spirit. God never asks us to do anything He is not willing to do Himself.
In heaven, everyone will prefer others before themselves, just as God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit prefer others before themselves. Those who are unwilling to prefer others before themselves may not be in heaven. For it says in 2 Peter 3:13, "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."
Righteousness, is doing things the way God does things. If we want to be in heaven after we leave this earth, we must learn to do things the way God does things. Then, be doers of the Word and not hearers only.
Jesus, being God with the Father and the Holy Spirit, humbled Himself and became man in the flesh. Jesus became a servant unto man, that He could deliver man from the works of the Devil.
After Jesus did all that He could to set mankind free of the works of the Devil, He ascended into the heavens to be with the Father. Then He sent the Holy Spirit to carry out the works of God here on earth.
Now, it is the Holy Spirit working in and through those who will deny themselves and be led by the Holy Spirit in everything they do. Christians need to pray in the Spirit hours a day. Keep studying the Scriptures to know the truth, and not be taken in by the teachings of men.
The Holy Spirit will do whatsoever is needed to be done, when Christians do their part by praying in the Spirit and studying the Scriptures daily. For the most part, Christians are looking to others, trying to do what others say to do. They are not trusting in the Holy Spirit to do what the Father and the Son have sent Him down here on earth to do.
We cannot do the works that Jesus did without the Holy Spirit working in us and through us in everything we do. In Philippians 2:13 it says, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." Why are Christians making it so hard for the Holy Spirit, that the Holy Spirit "must work" to make us willing to do the will of God here on earth? The Holy Spirit must become our Helper, Guide, Teacher, Comforter, and Leader in everything we do.
Many Christians are sitting back, waiting for God to do something in their lives. God has already done all that He is going to do in the lives of Christians. Now, it is up to Christians to do what God asked them to do.
For more information on "Walk in the Light," Get the next part of this series.
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