1. The Book of 1 John brings the issue of one's profession into sharp focus. Romans 10:9-10 says, "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
When man trusts in Jesus Christ as his Savior it is an act of the heart and the person receives a new heart. In the Bible the heart is a term for the center of man's thinking, emotions, and will. Man thinks in his heart (Gen. 6:5; Prov. 23:7). He understands with his heart (Prov. 2:2). He devised his way with his heart (Prov. 16:9). The heart meditates (Psa. 19:14), considers (De. 4:39), purposes (Dan. 1:8), takes counsel (Prov. 20:5), reasons (Luke 5:22), desires (Rom. 10:1), has intents (Heb. 4:12). From the heart proceed all the actions and motivations of man (Prov. 4:23--27; Matt. 15:18-20). (Way of Life Encyclopedia of the Bible and Christianity, Vol. 2, Electronic version)
When with the heart a person has truly trusted in Christ, he will professes his salvation with his mouth. He will publicly tell others of the change in his heart. John is dealing with the problem of some who may willingly or maybe without fully understanding salvation profess that they are saved with their mouth and yet not know Him from their heart.
2. In 1 John. 1:6, 10, 2:4,11, he says these who profess with the mouth and who have not yielded their hearts and lives to the Lord are in reality lying.
In 1 John 1:6 The Bible says that a person walks in darkness, doesn't live as a Christian and he doesn't know Christ. This does not mean that Christians will not sin because the passage says all believers will sin. Here John is talking about people whose lives are a pattern of sin. They sin continually as the normal course of their lives.
1 John 1:10, says that a person who says he has no sin and denies he needs to be forgiven doesn't know Christ. John says the word of God is not in such a person. This is a very pointed and definitive statement. The Lord in this passage is say that those who profess they are saved, but who are insensitive refusing to recognize sin in their lives and who will not repent are not saved.
1 John 2:4, says a this applies to person who ignores the clear teaching of Scripture refusing to live as the Bible says and yet claims to be a believer is a liar. These verses have far reaching ramifications. Think of all the pastors and churches which know what the Bible clearly teachers yet refuse to obey God's instructions. Think of all the people who know what is right and wrong yet live lives marked by habitually sin
1 John 2:11 addresses the person who harbors hate, bitterness and has an unforgiving Spirit. The Bible says that true Christians will forgive because he knows the get debt that he has been forgiven and therefore as a child of God forgiving spirit. 3. Although these passages strongly condemn the false professor of Jesus Christ, the true believer can take heart and be encouraged by these truths. When he examines himself the Bible affirms his relationship with Christ that it is genuine and this gives assurance. Being challenged by these instructions Christians will come under conviction seeing themselves in sin and the one who has made a false profession can see his need to truly trust Christ and be saved.
4. The following section describes the life of a true believer in a positive note, where as the preceding verses are in a negative vane.
I. LITTLE CHILDREN, FATHERS AND YOUNG MEN. 1 John 2:12
1. "Because your sins are forgiven." He is pointing out vital and absolute truths. John can call them "little children" because they believed and the Lord forgave their sins.
2. "Your sins are forgiven." Grammatically phrase is in the perfect tense, meaning a present result based on a past action. In the past when they believed God had forgiven their sins.
3. "For his name sake." The are saved because of Christ's name or because of what He did. It was Jesus' purpose to die for the sins of the world and those that believe and are saved fulfill His purpose and bring glory to Him. Some have mistakenly thought the name of Jesus is magical or by just saying the name like a magical word would produce some benefit.
See 1 John. 3:23: It is not the name, but the person to whom the name identifies and in whom we believe that produces the benefit. Many cults and false religion use the name of Christ. If there was magic in the name just using the name Jesus would not have said what he did in Matthew 7:21-22, stating that many who use His name He does not know.
B. FATHERS: 1 John 2:13. This is referring to the older generation. Example: Fathers our country.
1. John says, "You have known him." He is referring back to verse 3. The basis of his writing was their belief in the Son of God, the Lord Jesus.
2. The statement "know him" is not referring to an concept or a philosophy and is more than accepting a truth or idea. Many ridicule Baptists and other Christians who state we have trusted Christ as our "personal Savior". This verse is our reason (and many others also). The relationship with Christ is personal. When a person is saved they accept the person of Christ as their Lord. The "know" Christ personally.
C. JOHN ADDRESSES THE YOUNG MEN: 1 John 2:13 is addressing the young generation of Christians.
1. These are young people in the freshness and vigor or youth. He is not speaking of children, but of those who have become of age.
2. John compliments them saying "you have overcome the wicked one".
a. This phrase is in the perfect tense and as such it is a fact. John is encouraging them saying "take heart" in the assurance of your salvation.
b. Romans 6:6-12 says that sin is defeated. Ephesians 6:10-12 reveals the Devil's attack and Ephesians 6:13-16 gives the cure and way to overcome Satan. Romans 6 relates to the fact of Satan's defeat and Ephesians 6 gives the Christians tools for defeating Satan.
c. The word "overcome" in 1 John 2:13 means to defeat, master, subdue and conqueror. These young people had overcome Satan. In our day it is often believe that young people are under such great pressure that they cannot overcome the social pressures to sin. The young people also lived in a evil time and they too had much temptation to go astray. This verse should be instruction and encouragement to youth and their leaders that young people can overcome the wick one.
II. AGAIN: LITTLE CHILDREN, FATHERS, YOUNG MEN. 1 John 2:13-14
A. LITTLE CHILDREN: "You have known the Father".
This is the counterpart of verse 12, your sins are forgiven and you KNOW the Father. It is presented as a fact without question. You are saved, if your sins are forgiven! These verse establish the two fold purpose of the Book. First to encourage and give full assurance to the saved and second to expose those who made false professions of faith who need to believe and be saved.
B. FATHERS: This is addressing the older ones in the congregation. John says you know the Lord thus you are strong. Their strength came from knowing the Lord. No matter now hard he might try the unsaved man cannot have the strength or power to overcome sin.
C. YOUNG MEN: You have overcome Satan grip over you. You are strong because of what?
The Word of God is in you. The Bible is the true source of strength for the Christian and here it says for the young men. In our day when the trend is to tailor and cuddle young people with shallow teaching this verse saying something important. These young people overcame Satan by the Word of God. They were taught doctrine and knowing God's Word made them strong.
Have you ever thought about why pastors encourage parents to bring their children to Sunday School and to attend Sunday night services and Bible Study?
1. Word must be known to be of any strength.
2. The word cannot be in us if we are ignorant of it.
3. It is by the Word, that believers are able to overcome sin and the attacks of the Devil.
Psalm 111:10 tells us, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good UNDERSTANDING have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth forever."
Psalm 119:11 says, "Thy Word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee."
We should not be surprised that some many young people do not follow the Lord as they grow older. We should give them strong meat as they are able to take it preparing them for the trials and temptations of life.
III. LOVE NOT THE WORLD. 1 John 2:15
A. What is the World?
1. The word means: man's way of life apart from God. It is referring to man's philosophy which says, get all the gusto you can, do your own thing, we are all working to get to the same place just in different ways, let you children be exposed to all religions so they can make up they own mind, God doesn't love you when you sin, etc. All these statements are false and the product of man's faulty and corrupt thinking.
Proverbs 14:12 warns us that "There is a way which seemeth right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
2. Means in darkness, or not following the Bible.
3. When man sinned he threw a monkey wrench into perfect world God had created. The true believer should hate sin that which destroys all it touches. Further, the Christian should understand that the world's philosophies have no place in their lives or in their congregations. Romans 12:2 instructs us, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
B. Verse 15 reveals that if a man craves after the world and enjoys the world's destructive life it is strong evidence that the he doesn't know the Lord.
QUESTION? Do you think that a person who whose life is marked by immorality, lying, envy, lusting after what others have, drinking, and using profanity knows the Lord? Where do these things come from in a person's life? Do you think they come from God?
Friends what God is telling us is that truly saved children of God don't do these things.
A. Clearly we know that the world will past away.
1. Our family and friends we are dying and see that this life is a temporal existence.
2. Our possessions will all rot away.
3. The "supposed" good times are soon over and gone and what did they accomplish in our lives? The immoral act which gives a moments pleasure often will bring a life long regret.
B. If one does the will of God it will abide forever!
Matthew 6:19 instructs us to, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt and where thieves break through and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves don't break trough nor steal, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
1. If one does the will of God, trusts Christ as their Lord and Savior, their lives will produces eternal reward.
2. To the lost person God says, "Would you trade an once of Gold for a golden daffodil? Pretty as the flower is for a moment in time it will turn brown and rot away.
Would you rather have the world's temporal pleasures or eternal life and heaven when you die? Would you rather have the false religions and empty idols of the world or life changing salvation offered freely from our loving and wonderful gracious God?
Would you rather enjoy for a time some worldly pleasures, the world's friends, and a moment's good time for and then lose the eternal blessings and grace of God.
Would you rather enjoy sin, than accept God's forgiveness.
Would you rather spend eternity in Heaven or Hell?
God lets you decide? He will not force heaven upon you if you don't want it.
3. Christian: You think it is wise to live enjoying the world's pleasures at the expense of eternal reward.
Do you think it is better to by one's life style to bring shame on the name of Christ you profess to be your Lord, or live for Him and Glorify him by your life??
Do you think its better to be unfaithful, and live not studying God's word, not attend the services of our church, or living a life growing in the Lord daily?
Do you think your witness to your wife or husband or children, your example you are setting is helping bring them to Christ, or placing a stumbling block in their way??