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1 John 2:3-6

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1 John 2:3-6

-        There have been some great con artist in history, many of them sitting right in this room.

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-        One of my first little cons I remember was a boy around 9th grade asked my to buy him a nickel bag of weed.

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-        I kept avoiding him for a few days and I finally took some basil from my mom’s kitchen and gave him his “bag of smoke”

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-        Do you really know that person sitting next to you?

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-        I did a search on some of the most famous con men and imposters – some of these stories are just amazing – here are a few:

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-        Victor Lustig was known as “the man who sold the Eiffel Tower”

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-        Born in Czechoslovakia he spoke many different languages and traveled on the ocean liner routes between Paris and New York scamming hundreds.

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-        One of his first scams was a small box he would present to clients that he called a “money printing machine”.

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-        He claimed the machine would print out 100 dollar bills but said its only downfall was that it could only print out about 1 every six hours.

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-        He would demonstrate the machine and it would spit out a crisp 100 dollar bill and the buyers would be so amazed they would sometimes pay up to $30,000 for the machine.

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-        It would spit out a couple more $100 bills over the next 12 hours and then would only produce blank paper because the bills that it printed had been pre loaded by Lustig and by now he was long gone!

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-        For his master con he was reading the newspaper in 1925 and there was an article talking about how the French were having a hard time maintaining the Eiffel Tower.

-        Lustig acted like he was a government official and sent out an invitation to 6 different scrap dealers to discuss a possible deal in selling off the metal for scrap.

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-        He took off on a train with a suitcase full of cash and the scrap dealer was so humiliated he did not even want to go to the police.

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-        Lustig was eventually arrested for counterfeiting in the United States and was sent to Alcatraz in 1947 and died only 2 days after arriving.

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-        Do you know that person sitting next  to you?

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-        How about David Hampton? He was played by a young Will Smith in the movie titled “Six Degrees of Separation”

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-        This young African American man made rounds in Hollywood claiming to be Sidney Poitier's son.

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-        He would get free meals in restaurants and even conned some big movie stars.

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-        He was able to convince Melanie Griffith, Gary Sinese and Calvin Klein that he was a friend of their children and that he had just missed his plane with all of his luggage on board.

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-        They would let him stay in their homes and some even loaned him some money.

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-        He was arrested in 1983 for fraud and ordered to repay around $5000 to some of his victims.

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-        He died about having of complications with AIDS in 2003.

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-        Do you know that person sitting next to you?

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-        Lastly but not least…(some of you younger people may not know this pair) how about Milli Vanilli?

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-        The pop duo sensation was on top of their game in the 80’s.

-        During an MTV live performance the track that had their song recorded began to skip and the truth came out that they were not even the ones who performed their songs.

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-        Their Grammy Award was stripped from them and at least 26 different lawsuits was filed against them and their record company.

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-        Only 1o years later one of the crew was found dead in a Frankfurt, Germany hotel of a drug overdose. 

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-        How do you find work after something like that?

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-        Do you really know that person sitting next to you?

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-        People can deceive you – You think you can know someone but the truth of the matter is can you really?

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-        There is only one Person who has ever walked this earth who is everything that He ever said that He is… and His name is Jesus Christ!

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-        In our text today we are going to ask ourselves the question… “Do I really “KNOW HIM”

Recap

-        1 John is written to believers which is VERY important in how we look at these next verses.

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-        We learned about false guilt which is brought on by satan and his purpose is to keep us down so that we do not enjoy our relationship with God

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-        The Bible says that he is an “accuser of the brethren” and his goal is to bring you down.

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-        The answer to this false guilt is found in chapter 1 and it is simply the blood of Jesus Christ

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-        His death on the cross was sufficient to pay for any sin that have committed or will commit.

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-        We learned about true moral guilt which we experience as believers when we know that we have sinned.

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-        The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin and we also have our built in conscience that knows what is right and wrong.

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-        The solution to this kind of guilt is confession and trusting in forgiveness with 1 John 1:9

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-        And because God knows us better than even we know ourselves He has given us His Son to act as our Advocate, our sort of Lawyer, who pleads our case in the very throne room of heaven.

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-        When we stumble, He reminds the Father – and the enemy – that He is the “propitiation” (or payment) it says in chapter 2 vs. 2 for all of our sins and all of our sins have already been paid for.

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-        That brings us to our text today in chapter 2 vss. 3 – 11

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-        Read verses 3- 6

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Text

-        On the surface as you read these verses it may appear that what it is saying is that if you really know God, if you are a true believer you will keep His commandments.

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-        In fact I would say that this is probably the most taught and circulated interpretations of these verses.

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-        Many would say that this book of 1 John contains “tests” on how to tell if you really are a true Christian or not.

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-        How many of us if asked the question “Have you kept God’commandments?” like it says in verse 3 could raise your hand?

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-        What commandments is John talking about here?

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-        I think the 10 commandments are in view but I think even more the2 greatest commandments which are to love the Lord your God with all of your heart mind and soul and to love your neighbor as yourself.

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-        Jesus confirmed that these were the two greatest commandments and all the law was fulfilled in these.

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-        Have you done that? Does it mean you are not a believer? Of course not!

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-        What John is talking about here is knowing God in a super intimate way!

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-        The Greek word for know in this verse is the word “ginosko” and it means to know in a very intimate way.

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-        This is a favorite word of John’s and he uses it to describe the relationship a believer can have with Christ.

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-        You can ask different people… “Hey do you know Jesus?”

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-        Some may respond “Oh yeah I am a Christian” – and if they have placed their faith in Jesus Christ for  the forgiveness of sins then they are!

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-        But you may ask someone else – “Hey do you know Jesus?”

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-        They may respond in a different way – “Oh Yeah! He saved my soul and gave me a new life and now I am sold out and walking with Him!!”

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-        This is the kind of “know” John is talking about here.

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-        It is a very intimate super close relationship – in fact – the Greeks used the word “ginosko” as a sort of idiom or slang way of talking about sex  “I want to “know” her or him…

-        John uses this word 25 times in this letter. In Greek there are other words for know and he uses them as well and they mean to just know in a casual way.

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-        But he purposely uses our word ginosko to talk about what I have told you is the purpose of this letter and that is so that as believers we can enjoy the relationship that we now have with Christ to the fullest and that comes by “Knowing Him!” “Ginosko Christas!!”

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-        So how do we get to know God better?

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-        The answer is just a couple of verses back and knowing Him is directly related to being obedient to him.

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-        In verse 1 John makes it clear that the believer does not “have to sin”

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-        He says “I am writing these things unto you that you may not sin”

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-        The implication there is that the possibility to not sin exist.

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-        The secret to victory over sin is found in the phrase “walk in the light” in 1 John 1:7

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-        To walk in the light means to be open and honest, to be sincere. Paul prayed that his friends might “be sincere and without offense” (Phil. 1:10).

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-        The word sincere comes from two Latin words, sine and cera, which mean “without wax.” It seems that in Roman days, some sculptors covered up their mistakes by filling the defects in their marble statues with wax, which was not readily visible—until the statue had been exposed to the hot sun awhile. But more dependable sculptors made certain that their customers knew that the statues they sold were sine cera—without wax.

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-        Is your life covered with wax today… or are you open and transparent before your God –

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-        Allow the true Light to melt off the wax in your life and lay yourself before him in obedience to Him and He will do mighty things in your life.

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-        There are three motives for obedience. We can obey because we have to, because we need to, or because we want to.

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-        A slave obeys because he has to. If he doesn’t obey he will be punished

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-        An employee obeys because he needs to. He may not enjoy his work, but he does enjoy getting his paycheck! He needs to obey because he has a family to feed and clothe.

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-        But a Christian is to obey his Heavenly Father because he wants to—for the relationship between him and God is one of love. “If you love Me, (Jesus said) keep My commandments” (John 14:15).

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-        And because John knew that a believer would struggle with walking in the light he is sure to let us know that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin in verse 7

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-        And God provides a way for us to maintain our fellowship with Him when we do sin simply by confession of that sin like it says in verse 9.

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-        Back to chapter 2 verse 4 (read verse)

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-        John says that the person who says that the person who makes the claim that they have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ but is not obedient is a liar.

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-        John makes several statements similar to this – they are:

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-        Chapter 1 vs. 6: If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;

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-        Vs. 8 - If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.

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-        Vs. 10 - If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

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-        And right here in Chapter 2 vs. 4 - The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;

-        But verse 5 says that “whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected”

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-        The word “love” here is our Greek word “agape”

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-        It occurs 18 times in this short little letter, more than any other book of the Bible! Next in line is 1 Corinthians where it appears only 14 times.

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-        It is very significant that this word occurs so many times. The Apostle John is trying to make a big statement about what is very important.

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-        It is said that he lived to the age of 104 and as a very old crippled man they used to carry him into the church service on a mat where his favorite expression was “little children we need to love each other”

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-        How true that is for all of us here today. We need to love each other.

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-        I want to make clear what I propose these verses are teaching. That love for Christ and obedience to His Word are not a test for saving faith.

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-        Our salvation is secure merely by our faith in Jesus Christ. There is nothing that you can do to prove or earn that salvation other than “believe” which is the word that occurs almost 100 times in the Gospel of John.

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-        I believe these verses teach that love for Christ and obedience to His word is a test of genuine, sincere, heartfelt discipleship to the one who gave Himself for us.

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-        If any of us were given a test to see if we were a true believer there is none of us who would stand.

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-        We would all fall short and that is the very reason that Christ had to come and die.

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-        When it says that the “love of God has truly been perfected” it means that it has been brought to completion or brought to its goal.

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-        God’s love for the believer is wonderful at the point of salvation like it says in 1 John 3:1

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-        “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are!”

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-        How great a gift to be called a child of God – a priveledge none of us should take lightly .

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-        But the goal is not reached until the believer returns that love by obedience!

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-        Then our passage concludes with

Vs 5-6  By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

So what does that look like? Find out next week!

Introduction

Sermon text with italics and bold and John 3:16 and v. 20.

Heading 2

Text with an outline.

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