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Christ's Love on the Cross Changes Everything!

Abide in Him

“Now little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.”—1 John 2:28 NASB
     A few years ago, I would have definitely been the guy shrinking away in shame. Not only did I lack that abiding confidence, I lacked a significant understanding of the Gospel, of Grace and of who I was in God. I mean, I could have told you something that I thought might have come from the Bible. I probably would have told you that God wouldn’t give you any more than you could handle, too. Although that is not what the Bible says at all.
     I was that guy who eagerly sat in church all the way up to the point when I drifted away from regular attendance. I did the stuff, I worshipped on the drums, I was involved, and I served. But, I didn’t study the Word of God back then. I read here and there, did a topical devotion but it was all high, fly-over glances at the Bible. Broad strokes. I relied heavily on what I heard on Sundays…

Best. Teacher. Ever.

“These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.”—1 John 2:26-27 NASB
     Have you ever been lied to? Have you ever been led to believe one thing by someone you trust to later find out that it was not necessarily accurate? I know I have been lied to and definitely misled a time or two. When we hear lied to and misled, we automatically think of the shifty, calculated instances where that employee calls in sick on Friday, only to be tagged on Facebook at the beach. Or, perhaps it is when we are told that our own names are being dragged through the mud by people we trust, who for whatever reason are misrepresenting us when we are not present. That is a different kind of lied to and misled. At least, it definite…

Promised

“This is the promise that He Himself has made to us: eternal life.”—1 John 2:25 NASB
     Lately, I have heard a lot about the promises of God. It’s wild to think of God promising us anything when I try to wrap my simple brain around it, but He has promised us some amazing things. Part of my looking at the promises in the New Testament has led me to realize that if only three promises are specifically made to me, in my faith, as a believer today, in this moment—I am stressing the point of me, right now—then I have every reason to be super stoked and full of joy. 
     The first promise is that of the Holy Spirit. This is major. Jesus called this the promise of His Father (Luke 24:49). In Acts, He told the Apostles to stay in Jerusalem until God blessed them with the promise of the Holy Spirit, which they received, and we are blessed to receive, too (Acts 1:4; 2:23). The Holy Spirit guides us, directs us, convicts us, and helps us understand the Word of God. I mean, the Holy Spirit nu…

One or the Other

“As for you, let that abide in you what you have heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father”—1 John 2:24 NASB
     Such a straightforward verse. Yet, what is the writer saying to the original recipients? What was it that they had heard from the beginning? To love one another, just as God loved us and Christ loved us. It was John that said God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, and it was also John that said he was not giving us a new commandment but that we were to love one another, right? At the center of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is a selfless love that we have not earned, nor do we deserve. A love that went to the cross while we were all still sinners, while we were all still enemies of God so that we may be able to once again enter into a relationship with God as He originally intended.
     If we abide in that love, John tells us that we will also abide in the Son and the F…

Saved or Lost?

“Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.”—1John 2:22-23 NASB     These verses are heavy for me. How many people in todays culture call themselves spiritual? How many of us know family and friends that have an eclectic stream of ideas from all over the place that just are not grounded in the Bible? In the hodgepodge of spiritual-movements that are out there, I know there are people that believe Jesus was born a man, and through His careful attention to the Law, “the Christ” was then able to possess Him, (for lack of a better way of putting it), so that He became the Christ when John baptized Him. Some may even go so far as to say that He became a God, which is the destiny of each one of us if we dare to follow in His footsteps.
     This is not a new thought-process, the Gnostic's held to the s…

No Lie is of God!

“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth.”—1 John 2:20-21 NASB
     The way John presents this statement makes me wish that I had an Apostle saying, “You have an anointing from the Holy One and you all know!” I mean, imagine being in the group that this epistle was specifically written to and reading this aloud with the fellow members that made up that first century assembly of believers!! How powerful!! While this was clearly written to that specific community of believers (and I would urge anyone reading 1 John to guard against taking verse 20 as a life verse), we can still know the truth and what it means to be able to see who is of God, and who is of the antichrist! But, how?
     Well, what is John saying to the specific audience that he is writing to? They have an anointing and they know the truth! First thing that I want to know, wh…

Anti-Christ(s) and False Teachers

“Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.” 1 John 2:18-19 NASB
     Years ago, pre-Christian me would hear about the Anti-Christ and laugh. He sounded like a video game boss to be beaten in a climatic showdown. Beat the Anti-Christ and go on to face off with the False Prophet and then the Devil himself. There might even be a market for that come to think of it. However, it never occurred to me that the antichrist was not necessarily a singular person wielding evil like a superpower. Rather, the antichrist could also be the spirit or nature of those who come against Jesus Christ. It is easy to focus solely on the individual that Revelation conjures in our minds, but it is dif…