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Faithlife

Beware Deadly Alternatives

Jesus Followers  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Notes & Transcripts
Claim - The world and all that deny Jesus as the Christ are dangerous to the Jesus Follower and deadly to everyone else.
Focus - Looking at the dangers of the ‘world’ and 'false teachings of antichrists’
Function - To reassure Jesus followers that loving obedience to God by his Spirit through His Word is the most wonderful place to be.
Week 1 in 1 John, we discovered that true Jesus Followers, true Christians, exist in and for joyful fellowship with each other and with God.
And that it is all made possible through Jesus.
Last week we spent time looking at what the life of a Jesus Follower will look like.
2 measures we can apply to ourselves to see if we do walk in the light, if we are true Jesus followers.
Measure 2 - was that We will want to be obedient to God’s commands, most especially the command to ‘love each other’ sacrificially, just as Jesus loved us.
Measure 2 - We will want to be obedient to God’s commands, most especially the command to ‘love each other’ sacrificially, just as Jesus loved us. Because loving each other and loving God is the new command that Jesus reestablished through his life, death and resurrection.
Measure 1 - sits along side obedience because we often fail, and so we readily confess our sins.
Today then, John reminds Jesus Followers how wonderful life is in Jesus. But also contrasts the devastating life of the alternative options. Both as another measure to check we are true Jesus followers, but also a warning for us to steer clear of the danger.
v12-14 are going to show us how wonderful life is as a Jesus Follower.
v15-17 are going to give us another measure to check ourselves against as we will see how devastating it is to love the world, instead of God.
and v18-27 are going to show us how devastating it is to believe anything but the truth about Jesus.
So more warnings and challenges, again that don’t earn our relationship with God, but do demonstrate if we are true Jesus Followers or not.
Focus - Looking at the dangers of the ‘world’ and 'false teachings of antichrists’
Function - To reassure Jesus followers that loving obedience to God by his Spirit through His Word is the most wonderful place to be.

1 - The wonderful life: following Jesus

a - following Jesus
a - following Jesus
In the face of people denying that sin is a problem.
In the face of other people ‘claiming to be Christians’ and yet living disobedient lives before God.
You have it right says John!
1 John 2:12 NIV
I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.
I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.
Dear children simply meaning ALL those who are in Jesus, do not be afraid of discouraged in your faith, why? Because you have the most precious gift: forgiveness.
My dear children, do not be afraid of discouraged in your faith, why? Because you have the most precious gift: forgiveness.
I don’t know what you regret in your life,
I don’t know the most terrible things and thoughts of your heart,
I don’t know how far you have fled from God,
or abused his name,
or slandered His people,
betrayed his commands.
But forgiveness is real for the Jesus Followers.
Jesus takes our punishment and guilt, We are now free in God’s sight to enjoy him forever!
We are forgiven!
John addresses ‘all children’, again as he repeats the
Joh adresses ‘all chidlren’, all Jesus followers, again as he repeats the
pattern in v14
NIV I write to you, dear children, because you know the Father.
All of us who Follow Jesus, be assured in our faith because, we KNOW God the Father!
The One True God. The mighty creator of all things. The eternal God who shines forth life!
Sovereign over all, undefeated, perfectly righteous and good, glorious in every way. Terrifying in power, worthy of fear and reverence.
We know him!
What a wonderful life to be a Jesus Follower!
1 John 2:13 NIV
I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one.
No-one is quite sure who John is specifically referring too when he says ‘fathers’ and ‘young men’.
To the extent that most theologians have to conclude that we shouldn’t conclude!
In other words, John is deliberately vague, to allow for a deliberately wide application.
Fathers, could mean church leaders, or older men, but more likely older men and women, or spiritually mature men and women!
Young men could mean young people generally, or people young in their faith.
John probably wants anyone who hears these encouragements to be encouraged if they can relate to the encouragement, rather than to worrying fitting the vague description..
So, v13, People who are older in ‘years and/or your faith’ then, be reassured because you ‘Know’ him v13, who was from the beginning!
It reminds us of 1v1
1 John 1:1 NIV
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.
You KNOW JESUS! WHO is GOD (from the beginning), WHO is Fully man, as real as KFC!
It’s the most wonderful life to ‘know’ the truth about Jesus! Who he was, GOD, and what he did (died and rose again to set us free, to give us forgiveness!)
Jesus Follower - you know Jesus, do not dispair, he is the truth, the God of all things, right from the beginning.
If you are more mature in your age and/or faith today, then have no doubt that the gift of forgiveness is a wonderful thing for you, but right there next to that gift is the wonderful reassuring confidence that you Know Jesus.
What a wonderful way to live life.
It’s so wonderfully reassuring John repeats the same phrase again in v14.
And for those who are young in ‘years and/or in faith’, right next to the gift of forgiveness in VICTORY! end of v13...

I am writing to you, young men,

because you have overcome the evil one

And then repeated but fleshed out at the end of v14

I write to you, young men,

because you are strong,

and the word of God lives in you,

and you have overcome the evil one.

Let your youthful age, or youthful spiritual vitality rejoice in the Victory that Jesus has had over the evil one for and with you!
You are not slaves to sin, you are armed for battle - not because you need to defend, no!
The devil, has been overcome already! Victory is certain. Now it is time to advance against his kingdom, against the darkness of chapter 1 v5-7.
Arm yoursleves for battle, not becasue you need to defend, no! The devil, the evil one has been overcome! Now it is time to advance against his kingdom, against the darkness of chapter 1 v5-7.
Declare war against your sin, and forge on with the word of God that lives in you - the truth about Jesus.
The evil one is down, now keep kicking him by proclaiming Jesus in the bible.
As we do men and women are freed to join the joyful fellowship of Jesus followers!
What a wonderful life.
“Christians are boring, Christians are goodie too shoes, Christians are nieve and wet”
No, No No No No!
NIVI write to you, dear children, because you know the Father.
All of us who know the truth of Jesus, be assured in our faith becasue, we KNOW God the Father! The One True God. The mighty creator of all things. The eteranl God who shines forth life, God is light! Soverign over all, undefeated, perfectly righteous and good, glorious in every way. Terrifying in power, worthy of fearly reverance.
We are no longer slaves to sin, we are a forgiven people!
We are no longer slaves to sin, we are a forgiven people! We ‘know’ personally the almighty creator of the universe. We are not accountants and teachers, we are soldiers at war and we have already defeated the captain of the enemy becasue our master and commander is the Risen Lord! We fight to save lives for all eternity everyday in the way we live and in who we procliam!
We ‘know’ personally the almighty creator of the universe.
We are not accountants and teachers, we are soldiers at war and we have already defeated the the enemies captain, because our master and commander is the Risen Lord!
We know him!
We fight to save lives for all eternity everyday in the way we live and in who we proclaim!
What a wonderful life it is to be a Jesus Follower!
What a wonderful life to be a Jesus Follower!
What a wonderful life.
SO, what’s the alternative.
1 John 2:14 NIV
I write to you, dear children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
Perhaps the alternative can’t be called boring either, but the alternatives are most certainly devastating.

2a - The devastating life: loving the world

a - loving the world
1 John 2:15–16 NIV
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.
1 john 2 15
The world is also a wonderful place, God created it. But hear John uses the word ‘world’ not to speak of creation, but to speak of the lies that mankind has invented to tear us away from God.
lust of the flesh - adultery, pornography, wandering eyes, sex outside of marriage, unclean thoughts, overeating, drugs, drink.
lust of the eyes - more money, that house, that car, that holiday, that dress, that TV, that thing I can buy on amazon with 1 click!
the pride of life - have you seen how amazing I am, no? Let’s be friends on facebook - now you’ll see my incredible image!, I need more power at work, I have the respect of him or her.
The world promises so much. It so, real and tangible, it so tasty, I have so much control, I look so good, It’s genuinely so exciting, it’s whatever I want, whenever I want it, it’s....well.... going to pass away!
It’s a devastating life if you love the world and it’s desires!
Now, Love is an important word here. It means more than ‘like or enjoy’.
Love here demands us to live in a way that reflects our priorities.
Ted, in the children's slot had to make a decison. Did he love his donuts or Jesus more. Which was going to influnce his priorities and decisions.
Buying a nice house is fine, but only if you love God and not your house.
Enjoying a beer, playing sport, or earning a good wage may be fine, but only if you love God and not those things.
What does that look like? It means your nice house is available to God first and you second. You invite people to enjoy it with you and tell them about your faith. You host a home group, you invite the Roots group around for a social.
You don’t drink too many beers because you start swearing or you start leering at women.
You priorities God before your hobbies, so you attend church,
You hold your bank balance lightly, wanting to give generously to the battle of proclaiming Jesus, before your own wants and luxuries.
1 John 2:17 NIV
The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
Enjoy what God has graciously given
This is no spoil sport God - enjoy the good things of the world, we just don’t love them. don’t let them dictate our priorities, let God dictate our priorities by obeying him - it’s a sure sign that we have an eternal wonderful life with him through Jesus.
And remember, 2 things:
1 - We will often fail, which is why we must keep confessing our sins.
2 - Doing all these things do not give you eternal life. jesus does that for you. Doing these things is a measure of what is already true.
If you don’t want to obey God and you want to live for the world, then you are fighting the enemies battle - you should worry that you are on the path of devastation, not wonder!
But, if you do want to obey God and hold the good things of this world very lightly and generously, loving God, not the world, then you can be sure that the wonderful life of v 12-14 are yours in Jesus!
One commentator put it like this, and I think it’s a brilliant simple quote to stick on your laptop, car door, wallet, handbag etc.. In fact it’s a very helpful quote to summarise much of 1 John.
The New American Commentary: 1, 2, 3 John (1) Beware of the World (2:15–17)

“Victory is assured, resistance is required.”

There is another deadly and devastating alternative to the wonderful life of a Jesus Follower, and that is this: denying Jesus.

2b - The devastating life: denying Jesus

John is writing too a church were some are denying Jesus as God, or Jesus as the Christ, the one who will save. And John has a name for them:
The New American Commentary: 1, 2, 3 John 3. Know Your Spiritual Status (2:12–14)

But it is at this point that a helpful word can be given, using this particular issue as example, to guide those who wish to avoid those “exegetical fallacies.” The difference of these translations in the mind of the first-century reader might not have even been noticed. So fine a distinction would scarcely have been considered. Care should be taken and caution applied so that we do not see in a text what is really not there.

The New American Commentary: 1, 2, 3 John 3. Know Your Spiritual Status (2:12–14)

2:12 The first and most fundamental word of encouragement that John can give to all members of the church is that in the past they were forgiven of their sins and that this forgiveness remains effective in their lives.

v12 - in the name - who he is and what he did]
v13
The New American Commentary: 1, 2, 3 John 3. Know Your Spiritual Status (2:12–14)

The knowledge they have is indicative of a deep, ongoing spiritual relationship (“have known” is in the perfect tense) that is grounded in the historical death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, not in intellectual speculation that perverts the true picture of who Jesus is, the eternal Son of God. That he overtly draws attention to the Father in the latter part of this verse further supports the Christological understanding here.

The New American Commentary: 1, 2, 3 John 3. Know Your Spiritual Status (2:12–14)

Schnackenburg asserts: “Just as Christ reveals the truth of God and champions God’s cause in the struggle for the hearts and minds of people in this world, so is the evil one the representative of all that is opposed to God (5:18f.). He is an active aggressor, who, however, can never harm those who are born of God (5:18c).” This security comes from the fact that “the evil one” has been defeated by Jesus Christ by victory over death and sin.237 As a result, when someone is born of God, Jesus Christ secures victory over death for that person.

1 John 2:18 NIV
Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.
The New American Commentary: 1, 2, 3 John 3. Know Your Spiritual Status (2:12–14)

This passage again shows the deep continuity that exists between the Old and New Testaments. Those who are members of the new covenant community have the law of God written on their hearts, and they are taught by the Holy Spirit, who dwells within them.

To know the Father is to be like the Father. Spiritual maturity moves us into a deeper and fuller knowledge of our God with the result being familial resemblance. Children should resemble their Father. John believes they will.

Anti-Christs
1 John 2:18–19 NIV
Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
The New American Commentary: 1, 2, 3 John 3. Know Your Spiritual Status (2:12–14)

It is highly likely that John refers to the Old Testament and to the account of the life of Jesus in his Gospel. The believer’s source of strength has not changed. The believer may still overcome (last of the perfect tense forms in vv. 12–14) the evil one through faith in Jesus Christ and careful study of and abiding in the Word of God.

The world
v15
1 john 2 18
The New American Commentary: 1, 2, 3 John (1) Beware of the World (2:15–17)

When people love the world, they are misapplying this human emotion in a way that will lead to their demise. In a sense love is neutral. The object of one’s love or affection is decisive. One must be careful that this love is going in the right direction and that it acts in a manner consistent with Christian confession. John charges us to love neither the world in general nor the things of the world in particular. The command is comprehensive. Our allegiance must not be divided. Our affection must be focused and specific.

The New American Commentary: 1, 2, 3 John (1) Beware of the World (2:15–17)

The correct application of love springs from the fact that the believer has a singular loyalty and commitment to the Father. This verse states clearly that one cannot love the world and love God at the same time. The absolute nature of this statement is striking and compels careful and serious reflection. The stakes are high. Because the Father’s kingdom is at war with the kingdom of this world, the two will never coexist peacefully. To pledge allegiance to one side is to declare opposition to the other.

The last hour is a term the bible uses to describe the time frame between Jesus’ becoming man and when he will come again to judge the world.
v16 - cravings, lust
The New American Commentary: 1, 2, 3 John (1) Beware of the World (2:15–17)

John would include anything and any way in which humans improperly fulfill fleshly desires (overeating, drunkenness, etc.).

The last hour is a term the bible uses to describe the urgent time frame bewteen Jesus ascension back to heaven and when he will come again! It is called the hour, to arouse our urgency in proclaiming JEsus to those who face a devastating eternity.
Eyes
It is called the hour, to arouse our urgency in proclaiming Jesus to those who face a devastating eternity.
The New American Commentary: 1, 2, 3 John (1) Beware of the World (2:15–17)

Dodd notes that the desire of the eyes can be understood as “the tendency to be captivated by the outward show of things, without enquiring into their real values.” This insight cuts to the heart of the issue in that all of these temptations of the world focus on enjoyment in the present without an analysis or understanding of the future ramifications. How an action, or its value, compares with the worth of the eternal things that come from God must always be factored into the equations of life.

boastign
The New American Commentary: 1, 2, 3 John (1) Beware of the World (2:15–17)

This pride that results from and in worldly possession is an affront to God, for it leads to a glorification of the self and a failure to realize the dependence of humanity upon God, the Creator, for existence. In this area of temptation, individuals make idols of their livelihood, social standing, and any other status symbol that the world determines is important but that matters little to God. Pride, prestige, power, and position count for nothing in the kingdom of God. The value system of this world is turned on its head when God provides the evaluation.

And at the end of the hour, not only will Jesus return, but so will The Antichrist: the devil. where one final battle will play out and the devil will be cast from the presence of God and His people for all eternity.
v17
The New American Commentary: 1, 2, 3 John (1) Beware of the World (2:15–17)

“Victory is assured, resistance is required.”

It is sobering stuff, and should heighten our efforts to proclaim Jesus before it’s too late, and if we don’t know Jesus, it should cause us to make sure we are on the winning side.
Anti-Christs
But between now and then there are many antichrists.
v18
I think there are 2 criteria that John has that qualifies someone as an antichrist.
1 - You need to be anti-Christ, anti-Jesus.
1 John 2:22–23 NIV
Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
1 joh
NIVWho is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Jesus is the only way to God.
2 - You need to be someone from within the Christian church.
1 John 2:19 NIV
They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
1 john 2 19
They were never true believers - that is why we get these measures or test throughout John so we can reassure ourselves that we are not false believers.
1 John 2:22–23 NIV
Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
It’s particularly dangerous when people in the church deny the truth about Jesus (Who he is and what he did) because they so easily confuse us!
1 John 2:21–23 NIV
I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
And nothing has changed today.
1 joh 2 21-
Islam is a twisting of Christianity that broke away from the church in the 7th Century. They deny Jesus as being God, and deny his resurrection. So Islam was started by antichrists!
Doesn’t really matter if he is in the line of Jesus. They deny Jesus as being God, and deny his resurrection. So Islam was started by antichrists!
Jehovah Witnesses, who deny Jesus as God, meet the same criteria.
But let’s get closer to home.
John would have labeled a vast majority of the church leaders in this country as antichirsts.
The New American Commentary: 1, 2, 3 John (2) Beware of the Antichrists (2:18–28)

It takes wisdom and perception to understand which theological issues are open to discussion and honest disagreement and which ones are so clearly essential that schism must be preferred to compromise. John examines the problem and rightly concludes that the proper understanding of the person and work of Jesus Christ is fundamental to Christianity and cannot be compromised.

Churches teaching that all paths lead to God are denying the exclusivity of Jesus being God. Antichrists.
Those that say Christianity is all about Good works, not sin and repentance, they deny the work of Jesus on the cross. Antichrists.
Even some so called ‘evangelical Christians’ over the last decade have began to deny that God punished his Son Jesus on the cross for our sin.
They are denying the work and truth of Jesus.
There may well be people here today who will reveal themselves in the future as denying who Jesus is or what Jesus did.
No-one who denies Jesus knows God at all - it is a devastating life.
So we must be on our guard and we must hold firm to the truth.
How?
The New American Commentary: 1, 2, 3 John (2) Beware of the Antichrists (2:18–28)

The rise of antichrists should not cause the believer to be dismayed or disheartened but should be an encouragement because it is a sign that the return of Jesus Christ is imminent. This antichrist activity is indicative of the reality that the real Christ has come and believers are living in a period of time when the kingdom of God has been inaugurated and awaits its final consummation.

But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.
1 John 2:20–21 NIV
But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth.
1 John 2:24 NIV
As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.
1 John 2:26–27 NIV
I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.
1 john 2 24-
We have an anointing from the Holy one (by which John seems to mean the HS), so that we know and hold fast to the truth as revealed from the beginning! (God’s word, the bible)
1 john 2 26-27
The word and the Spirit jointly testify to and hold us in Jesus!
But then again that’s not surprising. Becasue a key role of the Spirit is to show us Jesus. And how does He do that?
If you are a true Jesus Follower, then the HS will keep you in Jesus by revealing Him continuously in His word the bible!
But then again not surprising. Becasue a key role of Spirit to God, is to show us Jesus. And how does He do that?
Through the Spirit’s sword the bible.
It makes sense of now when John says you don’t need anyone to teach you.
He is clearly not saying we don’t need earthly theologians to help us - because that is exactly what John is doing.
He is saying that a Jesus Follower already knows that it’s all about Jesus! So as John teaching continually about Jesus, we just know he’s right because God’s anointing through his truthful word confirms it in our hearts!
So Beware anyone who doesn’t teach you about Jesus. If it’s good enough for the Spirit of God, it’s good enough for us to teach: Jesus!
And if you know Jesus, and remain in Him (unlike the antiChrist’s who showed themselves never to have been in Jesus v19) then the Spirit through God’s Word will keep you in Jesus!
So the anointing of God is his precious outpouring of the Holy Spirit that not only begins our walk in the light through Jesus but sustains and persevers our walk in, thougth and with Jesus but His Word the bible.
And
It’s no surprise that God the Holy Spirit also knows that God the Father’s strategy to make Jesus followers, is all through Jesus himself. So the annointing of God is his precious outpouring of the Holy Spirit that not only begins our walk in the light through Jesus but sustains and persevers our walk in, thougth and with Jesus.
So Beware anyone who doesn’t teach you about Jesus. If it’s good enough for the Spirirt of God, it’s good enough for us to teach: Jesus!
If I, or anyone else stands up here on a Sunday or any other day of the week and even suggests that Jesus isn’t what we are all about, you should challenge me, or them. If we don’t show you Jesus in the bible week after week, then question us and show us 1 john.
If you get bored of hearing about Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, you should challenge yourself.
Because it’s all about Jesus, revealed in the bible, confirmed by the Spirit.
And just so we are clear, John ends this section with v28

28 And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming

28 And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming

And now dear children, continue in him (Jesus), so that when he (Jesus) appears (at the end of the hour) we may be confident and unashamed before him (Jesus) at his (Jesus’s) coming!
Circular but flawless argumetn - if we presiume that once saved always saved. Test of perserverance
It’s a devastating life to love the world, for it will pass away and you will face an eternity without God.
The New American Commentary: 1, 2, 3 John (2) Beware of the Antichrists (2:18–28)

This relationship in which the Christian remains in God is vital, intimate, and constant. The order of the Son and the Father places the emphasis on the person of Jesus Christ, through whom the believer has access to the Father. Smalley notes, “If this good news be allowed to direct the theological thought and moral practice of the individual disciple, the outcome is a deep fellowship with both the Son of God and God himself.”

It’s a devastating life to deny Jesus - because you do not know God the Father, if you deny His Son.
v27 - hold fast to faith in word and spirit
But it’s a wonderful life to be a Jesus Followers. So seek the truth of Him in His word, never tire of what you have known from the beginning, and join the battle against the evil one, because he has already been overcome.
The New American Commentary: 1, 2, 3 John (2) Beware of the Antichrists (2:18–28)

Spiritual illumination of the received traditions was the pattern they should follow.

New truths shoudl be avoided as the annoiting (Spirit) inspired the apostles to teach the origional truth. Avoid new ideas.
So let us continue in Jesus
v28
The New American Commentary: 1, 2, 3 John (2) Beware of the Antichrists (2:18–28)

Abiding in him prepares believers for his appearing: abiding is our confidence; his appearing is our motivation.

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