Monday, February 1, 2010

1 John 2C - 4: #Walk In The #Light (#Bible)

1 John 2:18 - 4:21

Theme: Walk In The Light

4) By discerning liars (2:18 - 4:21)

False teachers will lead you astray from fellowship with God. This passage shows several ways to discern whether someone is from God or the devil.

Examine their fruit

Children of the devil do not habitually practice righteousness or show love for the brethren. God's children do. This doesn't mean the presence of any sin at all, at any time, should make you doubt whether you, or someone else is a child of God. John has already stated that as you walk in the light, God will reveal your sin to you, and that anyone who says they do not sin is "a liar" (1:7-10). The word "practice", in the phrase, "the one who practices sin is of the devil" (3:8ff. NAS), is in the present tense, and seems to refer to habitual sin, rather than the presence of any sin at all. 

Children of the devil practice sin habitually, especially hatred for their "brother", and children of God practice righteousness habitually. The righteousness you practice would especially include love for your brother, but also your hope to be like Christ, when He returns for you. Such hope motivates you to avoid sin in general (3:1-3). When you practice righteousness habitually, especially showing love for your brother, this assures your heart that you are saved, gives you confidence before God, and results in answered prayer (3:14-24; cf. 4:7-21). You should discern liars, by examining their fruit.

Test their doctrine 

When verse 19 refers to the false teachers going out from "us", but not really being of "us", it probably means they were never really endorsed by the true apostles, rather than that they left the company of believers. Certainly these teachers were among the readers to whom John was writing, or it wouldn't have been necessary to discern them. Antichrists are said to deny two main doctrines of the Christian faith. 

One is that Jesus is the Christ, or Savior (2:22), the other is that He, God, has come to the earth in the flesh (4:2). Both of these truths are necessary for your saving faith in Christ. Only God could pay your infinite debt of sin. Only a man could die your death penalty in your place. True children of God believe Christ is their Savior, and that He came to earth as both God and man. You should discern false teachers by testing their doctrine.

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The Gospel

Have you heard Christ died for our sins, and God raised Him from the dead? Did you know God saves you from hell and gives you eternal life through faith in this finished work alone, not your merits (Jn. 3:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-3; Eph. 2:8-10; 2 Thess. 1:8-9)? This is so man cannot boast, and God alone gets the glory (Eph. 2:8-9).


The grand purpose of creation is to bring glory and pleasure to God in Christ (Eph. 1:1-10; Rev. 4:11). The gospel of Christ's death and resurrection for our sins, achieves this goal by magnifying God's grace and mercy towards undeserving sinners. The purpose of faithguard, is to glorify God, by defending and confirming the gospel of Jesus Christ.