Knowing God in 1 John, Part 8
In the gospel of John, we learn much about the deity of Jesus. There are so many miracles included by the apostle John that point to Jesus as God the Son, that it is difficult to ignore their import and voice. In John’s three smaller epistles, he focuses on specifics about our salvation that opens the door to fellowship with the Father. I’d like to start a series of articles that walk us through 1 John that highlight these things for us. I hope this series benefits you as it does me while writing it.
I am more convinced than ever before that while our salvation remains a constant in our lives, our fellowship does not necessarily remain so. In fact, the issues we experience in our lives as Christians – the ups and downs, the frustrations, even the general depression (not clinical depression), is often the result of our failures in the area of fellowship.
We began a series on 1 John a while ago, and I’d like to get back to it with this article. The last part we did was Knowing God in 1 John, Part 7. This was from January 16th. There, we ended with 1 John 1:9-10, which takes us to the end of the first chapter. With this article, I’d like to move into 1 John 2.
Before we do, I want to repeat a point I’ve tried to drive home on many occasions. I’ll continue to mention it if for no other reason than to drive the point home to myself. There is a huge difference between having salvation and enjoying fellowship with God in Christ! I cannot say that enough. This generation of Christians needs to hear it repeatedly until we “get it” and live it.
It’s probably a good thing to remind ourselves about our salvation. When I became a Christian, according to John 3, I became “born again” or “born from above.” I became born of the Spirit of God. This cannot be undone. That is impossible. How can a person be “unborn” again spiritually speaking? At that same moment that I became “born again,” I was also sealed with the Holy Spirit of God (Ephesians 4:30). For how long am I sealed? Until the day of redemption. When is that day? It takes place after I leave this life and my soul leaves this earthly “tent” (my body). Can I break that seal? No, not at all. I do not have the power to do that. My salvation is secure, it is ongoing, it is eternal.
The Bible also tells me that I am currently seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6). I’m as good as in heaven already. It is a done deal. It’s a completed action because God exists in the eternal present even though I don’t. As a Christian, Romans 8:15; 9:26, Galatians 3:26 and Ephesians 1:5 tells me that I have been adopted into God’s family. I am an heir of salvation in Christ Jesus. John 10:28 tells me I am fully forgiven and will forever avoid God’s wrath, His judgment.
One of my favorite verses on this subject is found in 2 Corinthians 5:21, which states:
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
All these verse are extremely important to all Christians, but this one and others like it especially. Paul tells me here that I am now righteous. That is now my full legal standing before God. What this means is that no matter what I do or how I live from that point onward, I remain labeled righteous as far as God is concerned. This status will never change throughout all eternity.
Romans 4:6, 22-25 tells me why this is the case. Because of faith in Jesus’ finished work on my behalf, God takes the righteousness of Jesus and literally imputes or assigns righteousness to my account. There is nothing in Scripture that even hints that this could be taken away.
This is the truth of our salvation and I’ve only scratched the surface. Yet, there are ample passages of Scripture that make it appear as though we could lose our salvation if we’re not careful. This appears to be the case with 1 John, which is why I want to take the time to continue going through it, verse-by-verse. Again, I’m doing this for me, to cement truth into my head and heart. Let me introduce 1 John 1 as I close this article out. The first four verses highlight John’s purpose in writing this short epistle composed of five short chapters.
1 (My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.) But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One, 2 and he himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for our sins but also for the whole world.
John has previously noted that we’re going to sin (1 John 1:9-10). It is – unfortunately – inevitable. As Constable notes, what he states in 1 John 1:9-10 could have left his readers thinking one of two things: “it is useless to strive against sin, since we can never in this life be done with it; or, if escape from sin is so easy, why dread falling into it?”
In order to keep John’s readers (and us) from thinking that, he immediately counters that thinking with the first couple of verses in chapter 2 above. He does not want anyone to sin (“so that you may not sin”). He assures us though that if/when we do sin, we have the best possible Advocate in Jesus. He defends us and has provided for us through the shedding of His blood. His blood covers every sin we could possibly commit.
John emphasizes how important it is for us to avoid sin at all costs. However, when we do slip and fall, there is God’s provision in Christ. It is as we deal with our sin (through repentance and confession) that our fellowship with God matures and there will be longer times of unbroken fellowship because of it, as opposed to mediocrity in the Christian life.
John notes in verse 2 that the blood of Jesus is enough for the entire world. Salvation is available to all who will come to Him. Yet, many to most do not.
I want to continue with these two verses next time, before we move on. I hope you’ll join me then.
 Dr. Thomas L. Constable’s Notes on 1 John (2015), p. 19
Entry filed under: christianity, eternity, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation. Tags: 1 john, eternal life in christ, fellowship in christ.