Fellowship and Sonship (1 John)

by Rev. Vince Finnegan on October 7, 2018
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Obedience is the outward expression of love.

1 John 1:1-3
Fellowship with brothers in Christ, God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ are all connected or interwoven. You cannot have one without the other.

Joy is realized in life as we share in fellowship.

This epistle confronts some deceptions that were influence by Gnosticism.

The false assertion is that we can have fellowship with God, while at the same time we walk (habitually live) in darkness. Some of the early Gnostics were guilty of believing that Christians are released by grace from the obligation of observing the moral law. They thought of the body as a mere envelope covering the human spirit, which, they further maintained, was incorruptible; it could not be contaminated by the deeds of the body. Others taught a truly spiritual person progressed beyond the possibility of any defilement. You could be righteous without necessarily doing righteousness. Consequently, the communion of the spirit with God was independent of the morality of the body.

Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 1:15; 59:1-2
Such believing was part of the original sin with Adam and Eve.

1 John 1:6
The Greek word “poieo” translated “practice” occurs 13 times in 1 John, most often meaning practice, repeatedly, habitually.

Note the word “if” used in 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. On this little word, hangs significant truth that may determine your eternal life.

If we walk, we are cleansed by the blood (Revelation 1:5; 7:14; Hebrews 9:14; 1 Peter 1:19; Ephesians 1:7). Conversely, if we walk in darkness, we are not.

Much of the emphasis of the epistle is to confront the lies and deception about the consequences of sin.

1 John 2:1
The knowledge of forgiveness is not to free you to sin but rather to avoid sin.

“Propitiation” is to appease, to gain or regain favor with God, conciliate.

The word “know” occurs 36 times in the five chapters of John.

This addresses the false notion that you can know God without keeping His commandments. The very opposite is the truth; the only way to know Him is to keep His commandments. To know God experientially, you must obey Him. There is no other way.

Another false assertion is you can walk in the light and still hate your brother.

The one who does the will of God lives forever.

Those who practice righteousness are born of Him; those who do not are not.

Do not be deceived. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Ephesians 5:3-6

1 John 3:9
No one born of God practices sin. Another point of misunderstanding addressed is that we are able to maintain sonship independent of fellowship.

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