[1 John 3: 23-4:1]
“This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
[4:1] Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
This is the 36th lecture on the book of 1 John.
In the last session, I explained up to the first part of chapter 3 verse 23.
If we keep the commandments of God, we become confident before God, and we can then receive anything we ask in prayer.
The foremost of the commandments of God is to believe in the name of God’s Son Jesus Christ.
We are saved when we believe in the fact that Jesus Christ is the Savior who redeemed us from all sins.
We can also receive anything we ask with faith if we pray in the name of Jesus Christ.
But we must keep in mind that there must be the deeds of keeping the commandments for our faith to be true.
In the second part of verse 23 it says, “”…and love one another, just as He commanded us.”
The first of all commandments that we must keep is to believe in the name of the Lord, and the second is that we must love one another.
If we truly believe that Jesus suffered for us, we cannot hate our brothers.
Jesus took the wretched cross because of our sins and to forgive and save such sinners as us, and how can we dare hate others?
John 13:34 also says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”
We have to love one another just as our Lord loved us.
For example, when there are many siblings, if they fight and quarrel with one another, how heart-broken the parents would be!
Those children who love their parents would love their brothers and sisters, too.
They know how it breaks the heart of their parents if they quarrel or dislike each other, especially in front of their parents, so they would not do it.
Parents would love all their children.
Whether smart or not, they love all their children.
When one of the siblings is a troublemaker and if other siblings hate him/her, the parents would be heartbroken.
On the other hand, if other children love and care for that trouble-making sibling, the parents would be comforted and encouraged.
It’s the same in the Lord.
We know that the Lord loves our brothers just as He loves us, so we also love our brothers.
We do not judge or condemn others, nor become jealous, nor get angry at them.
We will seek the benefit of others sacrificing ourselves.
If we love our brothers and seek their benefit first, we will naturally keep God’s commandments.
That is why Romans 13:8-10 also says, “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, ‘You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
Just as Jesus fulfilled the Law with love, we can also fulfill the Law with love by loving our brothers.
This is the new commandment given in New Testament, and a proper way that believers in the name of Jesus Christ have to keep.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, verse 24 says, “The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.”
If we keep the commandments, the Lord dwells in us, and we dwell in Him.
It means we and the Lord become as one.
And if we become one with the Lord by believing in the name of Jesus Christ and keeping His commandments, God gives us the promise of great blessing.
John 15:7 says, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
When the branch sticks to the tree and is one with the tree, it can receive water and nutrients, and bears abundant fruits in its season.
But if the branch is cut off from the tree, it cannot bear any more fruit. It will soon wither.
In John 15 it says the Lord is our vine and we are the branches.
The branches that are on the vine will bear many fruits.
Namely, those who become one with the Lord by keeping the commandments will bear abundant fruits of holiness and blessings.
If we dwell in the truth completely and please God, He will answer all our desires and He will reconcile even our enemies to us.
God will be glorified through this.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, the latter half of today’s scripture verse 24 says, “…we know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.”
1 John 4:13 also says, “By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.”
God sends the Holy Spirit to those children who accept Jesus Christ.
If the children who have received the Holy Spirit commit sins, violate the commandments, and befriend the world, the Holy Spirit in each one’s heart grieves.
So, they lose joy in their hearts and they feel afflicted.
On the other hand, if we keep the commandments of the Lord, namely, if the Lord dwells in us, the Holy Spirit also rejoices.
Then, we can have peace and joy coming down from above.
The Holy Spirit leads us delicately, so that we can choose the truth more willingly.
With these works of the Holy Spirit, those who used to hate others can now forgive, love, and sacrifice themselves for others.
Those who used to complain and break peace can now give thanks, be content with what they have, and pursue peace.
They will have mercy on and pray for even those who persecute them and curse at them without a cause.
We can be sure that the Lord dwells in us when we see ourselves change this way by the works of the Holy Spirit.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the essence of the Law can be summarized into two things.
Namely, it is to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, strength, and wisdom, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
It is not difficult to keep the commandments if we have love.
First part of 1 John 3:1 says, “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are.” As said, I hope you will always remember the love of God the Father who has given us His only Son and He’s given us the Holy Spirit. He also made us His children and He answers even the little desires of our hearts.
By giving thanks for that love and keeping His commandments, may you have each day filled with the Holy Spirit, receiving answers and blessings to the fullest extent, I pray in the name of the Lord!
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, 1 John 4:1-6 talks about discerning the spirits.
It tells us that there are spirits of truth that belong to God and spirits of darkness that do not belong to God, so the believers must be spiritually awakened and not be deceived.