Today: [1 John 2:] Children of the Cosmos: In 1 John 2 we are called out of the chaos of the world into the cosmos of the kingdom. Whether we be little children, young men or fathers in God sin is chaos, and the commandment is cosmos. What is the commandment? That we love one another as John declares in our study today.
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[1Jo 2:1-15 KJV] 1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world. 3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. 7 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. 8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. 9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. 11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes. 12 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. 13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him [that is] from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. 14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him [that is] from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. 15 Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1 John chapter 2 addresses itself to little children, young men, and fathers. Maturity in Christ is not a static thing. Growth in the things of God is progressive, and not everyone is in the same place in the kingdom. The focus for John is to identify sin for those of differing levels of spirituality. Sin for a new believer in Christ is a different issue than for someone who has walked with God for decades. Regardless the reminder of the apostle is that our goal is to sin not. If we do sin, we are to know that we have Jesus for our advocate before the Father.
We might ask the question why do we need Jesus as our advocate if God is a loving God. If God loves us would he not simply overlook our sin and help us to a place of repentance whether Jesus was in the picture or not? What is it about God that necessitates the need for what v. 2 calls a “propitiation for our sins?” The word propitiation is obscure in modern language. What it means is that Jesus is our appeasement before God for our sins. Why is this so? Isn’t love enough? If God, in fact, loves us why does he need to be appeased at all? Why doesn’t he overlook our sins and help us to become better? We genuinely need to redefine our understanding of God in the light of scripture.
The necessity of Jesus as our intermediary tells us that even though God is love if there was no Jesus to arbitrate that love to us through the work of the cross, we would be lost in our sins and condemned to an eternity in hell. Why would God condemn someone to an eternity in hell? The answer is found in understanding the nature of just who God is. In the book of Deuteronomy and the book of Hebrews we see the following statement:
[Deu 4:24 KJV] 24 For the LORD thy God [is] a consuming fire, [even] a jealous God.
When a person dies one way or the other, his spirit goes back to God that gave it. In Ecc. 12:7 Solomon states the following:
[Ecc 12:7 KJV] 7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
If a man’s spirit goes back to God in an unregenerate state that would be hell because he or she is unreconciled to God and an enemy of God because of sin. This is the sentence of death brought on every person born into the world because of Adam.
Jesus came into the earth to breach the barrier of sin in His humanity and to make a way for us by covenantal relationship to pierce the veil of transgression and return to God in a reconciled state. To go to God who is a consuming fire by the reconciliation of Christ is heaven. To go to God outside of Christ is eternal death. Thus we see the need because only Jesus could pierce the sin veil and only Jesus could bring us back by the sacrifice of Himself into a right relationship to the Father according to His original, Edenic intent.
In v. 2 we see that Jesus not only died for our sin but for the sins of the whole world. Note that there are two classes of people here – “us” and “them.” What is the difference? Many believe and now teach that if Christ died for all, then all are saved – but only through faith. There is no blanket amnesty for sin because only through faith (fidelity, covenantal union with Christ) do we appropriate and see applied to our lives the efficacy of what Jesus accomplished for us on the Cross (according to Paul in Eph. 2:8):
[Eph 2:8 KJV] 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:
We talk about coming to know Jesus as the basis of our faith. How do we know Him? John says we know Him if we keep His commandments. This is very powerful. If we struggle with sin as believers, it indicates a deficit in our relationship with God. If we do not keep and in fact fulfill the commandments in a New Testament way, we do not know Him. You cannot know Him through doctrine. You cannot know Him through esoteric spiritual experiences. You know Him through the will that surrenders itself to the keeping of His commandments, so says John the Beloved.
If we are a commandment keeper the love of God is perfected in us. Most people who are focused on the commandments however we find are not very loving. They are typified by the pointing of the finger and making all around them miserable by their law-keeping and the insistence that we live up to their standards that they apply only to others and not themselves. Jesus, on the other hand, kept the commandment and yet was the friend of publicans and sinners. If we abide in Him (v. 6) we ought to walk as He walked.
If we say, we are commandment keepers and know God thereby but do not love our brother we are in darkness. If we love one another, we abide in the light and do not stumble nor give others occasion to stumble. This is the exhortation (v. 12-13) to little children and to fathers in the faith alike. We are to love one another. We are to love not the world neither the things of the world. If we love the world (choosing the chaos of the world over the cosmos of the kingdom) the love of the Father is not in us.
[1Jo 2:16-29 KJV]
16 For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. 18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would [no doubt] have continued with us: but [they went out], that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. 20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [(but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also]. 24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, [even] eternal life. 26 These [things] have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. 27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. 28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. 29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.
What is the love of the world? The love of the world is what the flesh lusts after. Not everything the flesh wants is inordinate, but there is that which is lustful desire arising from longing for that which is not ordained of God. Lust means inordinate or unordained affection. We might ask the question what is the flesh? This is a theological term that is much misconstrued today. Think of it this way – it is naked instinct. There are three minds on the inside of you according to the scriptures:
The Mind of the Flesh which is Instinct.
The Mind of the Soul which is the Intellect.
The Mind of the Spirit which is the Intuition.
To allow the instinct to dominate the intellect is to be carnally minded which is death and leads to death. To subjugate the intellect to the intuition whence God’s voice originates in us is life and peace.
Why are these things held to be so important to John? Because (v. 18) it is the last time. It was 2000 years ago, but John saw it as the last time. Was John mistaken? No. When you walk with God and experience life through the lens of anointed and sanctified intuition you come to the place where past, present, and future become a singular lens through which you experience eternity. It’s all the same, and it is all now. John looks out from a place of timelessness into the time-bound thinking of his followers. The anti-Christ is timebound. The mind of Christ is timeless. Those wrapped up in timebound thinking are under the sway of the anti-Christ principle in the world that goes in and out from among us because they are not of us. This is the unction of the world, the unction of the chaos that constitutes sin recognizing no other authority higher than itself. But we have the unction of the cosmos in us, the unction of the Holy One and thereby know all things for to know the Holy One is to step out of time into eternity where all things are experienced and known through the now perspective of God.
How do we identify the anti-Christ spirit? It is that which denies that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh (v. 23). It is that which denies the kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21). It is that which suggests that Christ in you is not enough (Col. 1:27). Any other influence John insists (v. 27) is seduction. We, however, are not seduced by the chaos of the world we are embraced by the cosmos of the kingdom. It is the cosmos of the kingdom in us that teaches us, and we need nothing that originates from man for we are taught all things by the indwelling Spirit that inhabits our lives by virtue of the work of the cross.
Thus we are called and commanded (v. 28) to abide in Him. We abide in Him so that when He appears – when He shows up in our life we will have confidence and not shame in His presence. This isn’t just talking about the apocalypse but about the daily appearing of Christ in the timeline of our life. Because we know Him and allow Him to live out His life in us we experience righteousness and are righteous before Him because we live out our life yielded wholly to Him
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