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The Letters of John

BC Weekly Digest
Monday, April 6 1998

In this issue:

	1 John 2:1
	1 John 2:3,4
	1 John 2:3
	1 John 2:19
	1 John 2:20, 27

1 John 2:1

"I am writing..."
  God's covenant with Israel was a written one.
Jesus affirmed it when he resisted Satan with
the words:"for it is written..."( Matthew 4:4-10).
The apostle Paul twice declared the Old
Testament writings as profitable "for our
instruction"( Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:11 ).
  But more important than instructions written
in ink or engraved on stone is the incarnation
of godly principles written on the heart as a living
epistle! According to the prophet Jeremiah, this
was to characterize the making of God's new
covenant, unlike the old, because He was to put 
this covenant within His people and to write it
upon their hearts ( Jeremiah 31:31-34 ).
  Those with God's word written on their hearts
are ministers of a new covenant, a dispensation
of the Spirit, of a splendor greater than that seen 
on the face of Moses when he received the Law.
"But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a
mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into
the same image from glory to glory, even as from
the Lord the Spirit ( 2 Corinthians 3:1-18 ASV ).
  Are we transformed into living epistles?
J.Lee Roberts


1 John 2:3,4

1 John 2:3,4 (OPV)
3 And by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His
4 He who says, I know Him, and does not keep His 
commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
2:3 "We know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments"
  The verb 'to know' is used twenty-five times in First
John (2:3,3,4,5,13,13,14,18,29; 3:1,1,6,16,19,20,24;
4:2,6,6,7,8,13,16; 5:2,20). John wants his readers to know
what they can know, and how they can know they know!
  A Christian not only knows about God, he can know God.
It was predicted that all those under the New Covenant 
would know God: "And they shall not teach every man his 
fellow-citizen, and every man his brother, saying, Know the
Lord: For all shall know me, from the least to the greatest
of them" (Heb 8:11 ASV).
  We know God by knowing His Son Jesus Christ. When Philip
asked Jesus to show them the Father, Jesus replied:
"Have I been so long time with you, and dost thou not know
me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; how
sayest thou, Show us the Father?" (John 14:9 ASV). 
  Jesus has a close relationship with us, like that of a 
shepherd who cares for his sheep: "I am the good shepherd;
and I know mine own, and mine own know me" (John 10:14 
  Just as sheep follow their shepherd, so we follow Christ
and keep His commandments because we love Him. He tells us:
"If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments" (John 14:15
ASV), "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my 
love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and 
abide in his love" (John 15:10 ASV).
  When we know Christ, love Him and keep His commandments,
we not only know God through Him, but God knows us! "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 unto
him" (John 14:21 ASV).
  This sets us apart from the world. As Paul asks the 
Galatians: "But now that ye have come to know God, or 
rather to be known by God, how turn ye back again to the
weak and beggarly rudiments, whereunto ye desire to be in
bondage over again?" (Gal 4:9 ASV).
2:4 "He who says, I know Him, and does not keep His 
commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him"
  It is not enough for someone to claim that he knows God:
"They profess that they know God; but by their works they
deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every
good work reprobate" (Titus 1:16 ASV).
  John is not referring to a supposed salvation by 
meritorious works. He already stated in chapter one that 
anyone who says he is without sin is a liar.
  But from that time till this, many have used the grace of
God as an excuse to ignore the commandments of Christ.
  John is simply pointing out that it is possible to know
God only by keeping His commandments, and that keeping His
commandments allows us to KNOW that we know Him!
Roy Davison


1 John 2:3

1 John 2:3
2:3 "And by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His
  Here are the emphatic qualifications for our access to
the redemptive grace of God through the shed blood of His
blessed Son. This is the only way one can attain the 
fellowship spoken of in verse 7 of the preceding chapter.
  To "know" Him simply means to have an intimate knowledge
of Him through obedience to His word. When I was a child,
my mother would take me in her arms and soothe my woes. It
is in this same manner that our Father takes us into his 
spiritual arms and makes things right once again. What a 
blessed relationship that we are able to call Him our 
Father and to know that His son is our Brother in the 
Spirit (Romans 8:14-17).
Howard B. Justice


1 John 2:19

 The question has been asked: Who are "they who went out from us"?
 John did not dignify the "antichrists" who went out from the churches of
Christ by naming them.  It is possible that Cerinthus, a Jew who was educated
in Alexandria, Egypt may have been one of them.  He became
 a Gnostic and lived in or near Ephesus during
 John's stay there (see Guy N. Woods' commen-
tary).  Whether or not Cerinthus was one of them,
we are certain that they had been associated
with the Lord's church but were never really 
converted to Christ.  This is implied by the phrase,
"For if they had been of us" (verse 19).  The 
imperfect tense of  "were not of us" indicates that
these false Christians had continually in time past
maintained the status of not being "of us."  "Of 
us" means more than being nominal Christians.  
Apparently, these men were deceitful from the 
start.  "Remained" is the rare pluperfect tense in 
Greek.  The implication here is that had they 
been true Christians, they would have completed 
their expected tenure "with us" but they skipped 
out at some time in the past.  Charles Hess.


1 John 2:20, 27

  The question has been asked:  What is the 
"anointing" spoken of in verses 20 and 27? 
  John explains that the anointing is (1) from 
"the Holy One" and it enabled his readers to 
"know" something (verse 20).  The Greek 
present tense indicates that they continued to 
receive the anointing.  What the anointing 
enabled them to know was evidently "the truth" 
(verse 21).  The anointing was divinely given.  It 
was "from Him" (verse 27).  Not only did it 
enable them to know the truth, but it made it 
unnecessary for them to be taught.  It taught 
them about all things.  Undoubtedly, the 
anointing was a supernatural gift that enabled 
Christians in the first century to receive 
revelation directly from the Holy Spirit.  
Charles Hess.