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1 John

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When a Spiritual Sibling Sins

1 John 5:16-17

The church is a family full of brothers and sisters who are all equally related to their heavenly Father through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Although we will all be perfect when we see Jesus, we are not yet sinless. We sin more often than we like to think, and yet, when we do think, we are deeply ashamed and turn to the Lord in confession, asking to be forgiven.

Three Characteristics of Born Again People

1 John 5:18

God is the Father of everybody who has put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. They are His children (John 1:12-13); He has not only brought them to birth but He nurtures them, and a relationship develops between them – a bond of love and trust. The Lord loves us and we trust Him with a child's love which wants to please its parent. So we do not want to continue to grieve our Father by our selfish rebellion. We desire to please Him. But some people do not care about offending Father God: it makes us wonder if they are really His children.

We are Different from the World

1 John 5:19

This bold statement immediately explains why the Christian life, if it is to be lived properly, is not easy. The good news is that we belong to God if we have repented of our sin and believed in Jesus the Saviour. We are God's children; born-again into His family. He loves us and desires only the best for us. It is a privilege to be loved by somebody as special as God … and we should never minimise the preciousness of our secure position in Him.

Christian Confidence

1 John 5:20

The confidence of youth depends on what we can do, and the confidence of maturity rest on living within our limits, but the Christian's confidence is totally based on Jesus Christ: who He is, what He has done and where He is leading us. As John comes towards the end of this little letter, to Christians who had been unsettled by false teachers, he reminds them of the key truths about the Lord Jesus – so that they might have confidence in a hostile world.

Beware Idols

1 John 5:21

This may seem to be an unusual sign-off line as John completes his first letter, but it summarises the pastoral warnings of the epistle. An idol is anything which is worshipped, but is not God. As far as we know the false teachers did not present physical objects to worship. But they taught that Jesus Christ was not God in the flesh: they wanted people to worship their philosophy rather than Jesus.