It’s Word Study Wednesday. We are continuing our summer study on the book of 1st John with a special focus on the message Genuine Christians and to Counterfeit Christians. This book is the perfect book to study if you doubt your salvation or the salvation of someone else. However, if you doubt someone’s salvation, I do not recommend going to them and telling them your concerns without having spent much time in prayer over the situation. You might also want to wait until you have studied all of 1st John.
Because of the amount of content in the second chapter of 1 John, we will cover 1 John 2:1-11 today and verses 12-29 tomorrow.
- Make sure you have 1st John printed out from lesson 1
- You will need 3 different colored highlighters
- In 1 John 2:1-11, mark with your first colored highlighter any reasons John gives for writing this letter
- Highlight any verses referring to Genuine Christians.
- Highlight any verses referring to Counterfeit Christians.
This picture is not necessarily the chapter we are working on, but I have included it so you can see what I mean by marking the verses.
Reasons the Apostle John wrote 1st John
In 1 John 2:1, the apostle John gives one of his many reasons for writing this letter. In chapter 1, he said that he was writing so “that our joy may be full”. In chapter 2, he gives us a second reason; “that you may not sin”. John wants the recipients of the letter to read it so they might have joy and not sin. This is very good advice to all believers. If we want to be full of joy and not walk in sin, then we must diligently study the Word of God. The Lord lovingly wrote 66 books to guide us, comfort us, bring us joy and keep us from sinning. This can only happen when these 66 books are studied. It will not happen by osmosis. Owning a Bible which sits on a bookshelf cannot save you, teach you or bring you joy.
Does the word sin in 1 John 2:1 mean I will never sin as a Christian?
If you have not done so already, mark every reference to the word sin in chapter 2. In verse 1, John is not saying that a believer never sins, because he says the words “if anyone sins”. Rather, he is telling us that reading the word of God helps to prevent us from sinning. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, He will be an advocate for you when you do sin. This is not a license to sin, because we will learn later that a Christian will not live a lifestyle of sin or continue in the same sin over and over.
The Christianity Test
I hope that you have marked your printout so you can distinguish the verses for a Genuine Christian and a Counterfeit Christian. Let’s make a list of these verses.
- “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” 1 John 2:3 (NKJV).
- “But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him” 1 John 2:5 (NKJV).
- “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” 1 John 2:6 (NKJV).
- “He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him” 1 John 2:10 (NKJV).
- “He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” 1 John 2:4 (NKJV).
- “He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now” 1 John 2:9 (NKJV).
- “But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes” 1 John 2:11 (NKJV).
You are now developing a good list for those who are saved and those who are not. I hope you will examine your salvation to see if you are in the faith. If you have doubts about your salvation, then read through both of these lists to see which one applies to you. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your spiritual state. Only He knows whether or not you are saved. According to 1 John 2:3, we should be able to know whether or not we have salvation. If you suspect a friend or relative is lost, but deceived into believe he/she is saved, begin praying that the Holy Spirit will show them their sinful state.
I hope you will join me tomorrow to finish our study on 1 John chapter 2.