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What does it mean to follow Jesus anyway?
This is part '1/4' to a study entitled 'Growing in Confidence' on 1 John 2:28-3:10. This page includes a brief introduction to the mini-series on Christian growth and expands John's hope for the Christian from 1 John 2:28. Click 1 John for an introduction to the Book of 1 John and 1 John 2:18-3:24 for an introduction to this particular section of 1 John . An index is provided for your convevience at the bottom of the page.
Introduction: Broken Confidence & Confusion
Many people have basic, and yet serious, questions about Christianity. A lot of questions arise because they are looking too narrowly. With a broader perspective, their questions would clear up in no time. Here are some spiritual questions people ask?
· Does it really matter if I sin?
· How do a person know he/she really is a Christian?
· A person doesn’t have to make Jesus Lord to have salvation, does he?
· A person can’t lose his salvation, can he?
· What does it mean to follow Jesus anyway?
John’s Hope for a Christian
“And now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.” (1 John 2:28)
But before going on and seeing how John will introduce what he wants to teach us, let us first take a close-up of what John is trying to do. I suppose it wouldn’t surprise us that he wants us to stay close to Christ. After all, isn’t John like a pastor. They all want you to stay close to Christ, don’t they? Let’s see how John says this in 1 John 2:28. This will help us to stay focused when we look at the broad perspective.
No matter what we might think of what John will write in the following verses, we should note how John cares for these Christians. As an old granddad, he is trying to help the people in the church understand those things that matter the most. All sorts of things confuse people, but only one thing really matters. John knows what that is and keeps us focused on it.
What is that danger? The danger is that we might shrink away in shame at Christ’s coming.
The biggest danger has the greatest troublesome ramifications. That danger is that after all our religious experience, in the end with all of our hope to be saved and go to heaven that we miss it all and shrink away in shame.
Dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed--for our testimony to you was believed (2 Thessalonians 1:8-10).
We want to remember John’s focus but we now must proceed to learn how he helps us have clarity rather than confusion. Let us now look at the whole text for it is here we will see that broad perspective.
Let’s read the whole passage of 1 John 2:28-3:10 (NASB).
And now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. 29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.
3:1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. 5 And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; 8 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.
John will help us understand the ins and out of our questions but he wants to leave a deeper impression of the blessing of being a Christian. Like Peter, he wants us to ask, “Where would we go if we left you?” In God’s presence we find great riches of His love, a glorious hope and absolute purity. Below he speaks of the wonders of being a child of God from 1 John 3:1-3. Read and meditate on each one.
OUR MEETING WITH GOD
John's Method of Detecting Error (1 John)
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