Hello and welcome to the podcast!
1John Chapter 3 has been full of deeply meaning Biblical text that we can really study and pray over. I am only 27 episodes in of the Founders Podcast, so I certainly have left out very meaningful commentary in regards to such an important chapter in the Bible. 1John is full of text that we should use to look at our own hearts and our own relationship with Jesus Christ.
Our podcast and blog Tuesday ended with 1John 3:18:
‘Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.’
One critique I have of televangelist and maybe your local pastor is “verse shopping”. This is a technique where pastors will do topical preaching instead of expository verse-by-verse preaching. For example, a pastor may preach on God’s love and take verses and passages out of context by verse shopping to prove his point. It can lead to sloppy teaching and can greatly distort the Bible to fit their worldview. This is the main critique I have of those who argue the gap theory verses young Earth theology.
If we just take 1John 3:18 for what it says without context, we come to the understanding that we need to love with deed and truth and not just by tongue or our words. Yes, this is true, but verse 19 really hits it home and nails this point.
‘We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him’
Verse 19 gives us the comfort in knowing that if we love by deed and truth, that we will have true eternal salvation. As I discussed in Episode 26, I lived my life in a false salvation. I was great at expressing love with word and tongue, but love was nowhere to be found in me through deed and truth. Verse 19 shakes me to my core as it brings back the thought that I once was not assured and would have spent my life in a conscious, eternal damnation.
I can now fully admit that I am of the truth and my heart will be assured before Him. What a great feeling it is! That Christ saved a wretched soul that has no business being allowed in Heaven. By Christ and Christ alone I am saved. By thinking and knowing this, I find it easy to live in love in deed and truth! Christ died a brutal death for me, so I may have eternal life!
‘in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. ‘
As the title of this blog is “Assurance of Our Faith”, I find this verse to be very exciting and comforting. Although it can be scary to know that Christ knows all things and knows our heart, it is comforting to know that although he knows all of it, he still wants to save us and give us eternal salvation. I have a wretched soul that has committed thousands of sins! What is even more wretched is my soul and my mind, the sins that you cannot see, but God can. And he even still saves me and loves me enough to wash me white as snow!
What a great God we have!
‘This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. ‘
I find it interesting how often love comes up in the text, especially since we have been studying 1John. How great of a commandment love is! In verse 23 the commandment to believe in Jesus Christ is directly followed by loving one another. How many of us fail to love others? Think about it this way: You have done great evil in your life and your heart and mind is even more wicked than the sins you have committed. If Jesus Christ can wash away your sins, it should be infinitely easier for us to forgive and love our brethren. If we keep these commandments, we abide in him and he abides in us. He abides in us through the Holy Spirit. Living in a false salvation I never lived with the Holy Spirit. Since living in a true salvation, I have found the Holy Spirit showing me and guiding me through everyday life. What a great feeling it is to be guided by God!
Jesus Christ abides in me and guides me in the right direction everyday through the Holy Spirit. What a great comfort it is that His will is being done through me! Oh Lord, use me at whatever the cost is to me on this Earth. I will one day be in heaven! What a promise it is.