1 John Overview - Part 1 - Four Reasons Why John Wrote this Epistle

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Fullness of Joy—1:4

1.   Joy Is God’s Will For the Believer.

a)  Joy is the second quality listed as “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22).

(1)                 Chara (joy) is used some 70 times in the New Testament, always to signify a feeling of happiness that is based on spiritual realities.
(2)                 It is not an experience that comes from favorable circumstances.  It is God’s gift to believers.

As Nehemiah declared, “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh. 8:10).

Speaking of how we feel about the Lord Jesus Christ, Peter wrote, “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory” (1 Pet. 1:8).

b) Sadness came as the result of sin – Genesis 3

(1) Lets be real, Sin has its pleasures right?

In fact, Jesus said that "This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. " (John 3:19-20, NASB95)

Listen to what the writer of Hebrews says about Moses and sin "By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward."  (Hebrews 11:24-26, NASB95)

In Genesis 3:8 we read that when Adam and Eve "Heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden."  (Genesis 3:8, NASB95)

(2) Point is this: Sin Ruins Joy - Before Adam and Eve sinned, they had fellowship with the Lord and were in His presence:

The Psalmist writes "You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever." (Psalm 16:11)

(3)                 But now, because of sin, their joy is gone, being replaced with fear and because they fear they are now seeking to flee from God’s presence.
(4)                 There is no joy in fear – God has not given us a spirit of fear – 2 Timothy 1:7

2.                  Difference Between Happiness and Joy.

a)                  Happiness is dependent on outward circumstances.

(1)                 Happiness— is a state of mind; Joy is a state of the spirit.
(2)                 Happiness— is emotional: Joy is spiritual
(3)                 Deep within, all men are searching for joy
(4)                 You cannot go out on a Saturday night and find joy, (unless of course you come to the Saturday night service) you find happiness and it can be turned into sadness by the end of the night:
(a)                 Getting a new car can cause happiness, getting in an accident can cause sadness.
(b)                Driving that new sports car until you get a speeding ticket
(c)                 Finding a roll of $100.00 bills can cause happiness, until you find out they are counterfeit.

!!!! b)                  Joy is a spiritual quality independent of outward circumstances – Some examples of joy

(1)                 Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians – when Paul wrote this epistle he was in prison in Rome.
(a)                 Joy or rejoice appear nineteen times
(b)                Jesus Christ over 40 times.  He is the center of the epistle.  He is the source of joy.  Therefore, the emphasis should be put on Him rather than upon the joy. 

(i)                   The philosophy of Christian living has to do with Him

(ii)                 The pattern of Christian living has to do with Him

(iii)                The price of Christian living has to do with Him

(iv)               The power has to do with Him

(c)                 Therefore, it is a personal relationship with Christ that brings joy to a believer’s life.

As I said earlier and I think it worthy or quoting again is Psalm 66:11 "You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever." (Psalm 16:11)

c)                  Joy is to be present even in the midst of seemingly bad circumstances.

(1)                 Turning your trials into triumphs (James 1:2-8).
(a)                 God tells us to expect trials.  It is not as “if you fall into various trials” But “when you fall into various trials”

Jesus said These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33 NKJV)

Paul said, "We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”  (Acts 14:22)

And don’t freak out about it, Peter says Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; (1 Peter 4:12)

(2)                 God allows temptations and trials for a purpose.
(a)                 To make us stronger and much more pure and righteous.

Paul said that “We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18)               

He goes on to say in chapter 4 of 2nd Corinthians that “our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, (2 Corinthians 4:1)


(3)                 God tells us to count – a joyful attitude (v.2).
(a)                 It means “to evaluate”.  When we become Christians we must evaluate our life and set new goals (Philippians 3:13-14). 

Paul had this in mind when he said "Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. " (Philippians 3:13-14, NASB95)

(b)                Now we must evaluate the trials of life in the light of what God is doing for us, & live for the things that matter the most.  What matter’s the most to you?
(c)                 Our values determine our evaluations.

(i)                   If we value comfort more than character, then trials will upset us.

(ii)                 If we value the material more than the spiritual, then we will not be able to “count it all joy.”

(iii)                If we live only for the present and forget the future, then trials will make us bitter, not better. 

(iv)               Job had the right attitude “But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, (not if, but when) I shall come forth as gold. (Job 23:10)


!!!!! (4)                 God tells us to know something – an understanding mind (v.3).

(a)                 Faith is always tested &, that the testing of your faith produces patience. 
(b)                “patience” means, “to be steadfast, more persevering, more enduring.

Peter said In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:6-7)

(c)                 Remember that testing works for us not against us

(i)                   Satan tempts us to bring out the worst – (1P5:8)

(ii)                 God tests us to bring out the best (Rom.8:28)

(iii)                Its our choice in which way we respond

(d)                2 Corinthians 12:7-10—Most of us ask the Lord to change the circumstances.  God does not want to change the circumstances, He wants to change you.

Remember Paul said "there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself!  Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.  And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”  Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong."  (2 Corinthians 12:7-10, NASB95)

(5)                 God tells us to let something happen – a surrendered will (v.4).
(a)                 God want’s to produce fruit in our lives!  Fruit of the Spirit (Gal.5:22-23).

(i)                   The ability to keep going when things get tough!

John wrote about those who did not endure to the end, he said "They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us."  (1 John 2:19, NASB95)

(ii)                 God wants us to glorify Him.

(iii)                God wants to make us like Jesus (Hebrews 5:8), "Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered." (Hebrews 5:8)

(b)                God wants us to grow up—Illustration of Brittany not growing up
(c)                 God want’s our cooperation – (Philippians 2:12-13)

(i)                   If we resist Him, then He chastens us into submission

(ii)                 If we submit to Him, then He can accomplish His work.

(6)                 God tells us to ask of something – (v.5).
(7)                 Ask God for wisdom (v.5-8).
(a)                 God knows all things, we don’t!  Therefore, we come to Him asking Him for wisdom
(b)                We need wisdom so we will not waste the opportunities God is giving us to mature.
(c)                 If God delivered us from every trial, then we would not grow in character

In response to a growing demand for their product East Coast fishermen began to ship frozen cod all over the country.  They discovered one drawback, however.  In the freezing process, the cod lost its flavor.  To remedy this, the fishermen shipped their cod live in slat-water tanks to be processed once they reached their destination.  The fish arrived OK, but because they were sitting in these tanks, they became spongy and soft.  For several years, the fishermen didn’t know what to do.  Then someone had a brilliant idea: Ship the fish in salt-water tanks, but throw in some catfish – the natural enemy of the codfish.  They tried it.  The catfish chased the codfish all around the tank as they traveled cross-country, and when the codfish arrived, those that made it alive were flavorful and were sold at premium prices.  The catfish were necessary to keep the codfish moving, thereby enhancing their texture and flavor.  So, too. God says to us, “Because I want the best for you both now and in eternity I will allow an occasional catfish to come into your tank and chase you around for a little while.  Otherwise, you’ll just sit around and get soft.  But I will not test you above that which you are able to bear (1 Cor.10:13).   

d)                  Fullness of joy is something that we have & we experience because of our relationship to God (1 John 1:3-4)

(1)                 God has revealed Himself through the person of Jesus Christ
(2)                 If you lack joy in your walk, one of the things that could be wrong is that you are not spending time with Jesus.   

3.                  This Fullness of Joy Mentioned Six-Times by John.

a)                  Related with consecration (John 3:29-30)

(1)                 How?  In bringing honor & glory to Jesus – “He must increase, but I must decrease.”       

b)                  Related with obedience (John 15:10-11)

(1)                 Jesus want’s your joy to be full & it is related to your reading & obedience to His Word.

c)                  Related with prayer (John 16:24)

(1)                 The fullness of joy is related to our prayer life – asking & receiving

d)                  Related with protection (John 17:13)

(1)                 Related to having joy in the midst of circumstances

e)                  Related with fellowship (1 John 1:4)

f)                   Related with brotherly love (2 John 12)

g)                  Related of being in God’s presence (Psalm 16:11)

h)                  Related with believing (1 Peter 1:8)

Freedom From Sinning—2:1

1.                  The Word of God in Our Hearts Will Give Us Power Over Sin in Our Lives.

a)                  Psalm 119:9-11 – God’s Word in my heart is a powerful weapon – and obedience.

(1)                 Jesus fought Satan with the Word of God—“It written” (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10).
(2)                 Without the Word of God we will start to drift away:

The writer of Hebrews says "we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it."  (Hebrews 2:1-3, NASB95)

(a)                 Drift away can mean to drift by or to drift past.
(b)                It is the picture of a ship, which drifts past the harbor.
(c)                 It drifts by the harbor because of the captain's...

(i)                   miscalculations

(ii)                 lethargy and complacency

(iii)                sleepiness       

(iv)               carelessness in attentiveness

b)                  Before the temptation comes, we must already have determined in our heart & mind not to sin against God

(1)                 Genesis 39:7-9 – Joseph
(2)                 Daniel 1:8
(3)                 2 Timothy 2:22 – “Flee youthful lusts”

c)                  There are many believers who have a problem with sin in their lives

(1)                 The Scriptures speak of the “sin which so easily ensnares us” (Hebrews 12:1):
(a)                 None of us are in our glorified bodies.
(b)                As long as we are in these bodies, we are going to face temptation.
(c)                 We are going to have to deal with the desires of the flesh, which are contrary to the commandments of God’s Word.
(2)                 The Scriptures speak of “the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:12-15):

We are to "Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.  But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin."  (Hebrews 3:12-13, NASB95)

(3)                 Romans 8:23—Paul speaks about our groaning & travailing as we wait for the redemption of our bodies.
(a)                 We are going to have to deal with…

(i)                   Lust, bitterness, wrath, anger evil speaking, selfishness etc…

(ii)                 There are believers who find they have a great difficulty in overcoming sin.

(iii)                They do things they know are wrong and afterwards they hate themselves for doing it.

(iv)               They are fighting against the weakness of the flesh, They make promises to God to never do it again, They seem to fall into temptation again, and again.

(v)                 Satan beats them up with Hebrews 6:4-6

d)                  It is important to note, John is writing to Christians.

(1)                 1 John 5:13 – “I have written these things unto you who believe in the name of the Son of God
(2)                 2:1 – John use’s “we” indicating that he also sins
(3)                 Remember, what it takes is God’s Word implanted deep in my heart daily—Psalm 119:11
(4)                 My little children, thee things I write to you that you may not sin.


2.                  Through the Death of Christ, We Have Become Dead To Sin (Romans 6:6-7).

a)                  Paul talks about knowing something:

(1)                 Paul talks about the "washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit" (Titus 3:5).  Once we have been born again we cannot continue to sin as a habit or a pattern of life (1 John 3:9), because the power of new spiritual life within us keeps us from yielding to a life of sin.
(2)                 We are dead to sin & sin will no longer have dominion over you (Romans 6:11, 14).
(a)                 To be dead to sin or to be set free from sin involves the power to overcome acts or patterns of sinful behavior in one's life (Romans 6:12-13). 
(b)                To be dead to the ruling power of sin means that we as Christians, by virtue of the power of the Holy Spirit and the resurrection life of Christ working within us, have power to overcome the temptations and enticements of sin. Sin will no longer be our master, as once it was before we became Christians.

b)                  The Word Salvation is used in Scripture 3 different ways:

(1)                 The once-for-all experience of salvation (Luke 7:50 cf. Eph.2:8; 2Tim1:9).
(a)                 Saved from the condemnation of sin, death, & hell.
(2)                 The continuous experience of salvation (1Cor.1:18).
(a)                 Being saved from the dominion of sin and is being sanctified (Heb.7:25)
(3)                 The redemptive experience in the future (Rom.13:11)
(a)                 Will be saved from the very presence of sin in heaven forever (Rom.5:9-10)

c)                  In Practical Terms, Two Things Are True.

(1)                 On the one hand, we will never be able to say, "I am completely free from sin," because our sanctification will never be completed.
(2)                 But on the other hand, a Christian should never say (for example), "This sin has defeated me.  I give up”. 
(3)                 To say this is to admit defeat.  It is to deny the truth of Scripture, which tells us, "You also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 6:11).  It is to deny the truth of Scripture that tells us that "sin will have no dominion over you" (Rom. 6:14).

d)                  Christ’s victory is our victory

e)                  We need no longer be a servant to sin.

Warning Against False Teachers (1 John 2:26)

1.                  There Were False Teachers Who Were Trying To Seduce Them

a)                  “seduce” means, “to deceive”; to lead astray

(1)                 The Greek: it is a continuous action; “those who are constantly at work in misleading you”

2.                  A False Teacher Attempts To Lead Us Astray from Jesus Christ.

a)                  They deny that He is the Son of God who came to earth to die for our sins.

b)                  They teach that man came become acceptable to God by some other way that Jesus Christ.

c)                  They teach there are other ways, approaches, religions, & truths

3.                  It is the last hour (v.18a) – a kind of time, not a duration of time.

a)                  Three Applications:

(1)                 We need to know that this is a kind of time that we are living in:

Paul exhorts the believers in Rome saying "And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.  The night is far spent, the day is at hand" (Romans 13:11-12a)

Be watching & ready, don’t be spiritually asleep like Jonah in (1:4-5).  Or like those in Luke 19 who did not know the time of your visitation.

(2)                 We need to live pure lives:  

Peter say’s in his second epistle that he is stirring up their “(pure minds by way of reminder) about the Day of the Lord "that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts” (2 Peter 3:2-4, NKJV)

(3)                 We need to stay pure(Our English word “sincere” comes from the Latin word that means “unadulterated, pure, unmixed.”)  James 1:17 says that we are to “keep oneself unspotted from the world.” 
(a)                 Illustration: washing and waxing my truck, then it just sprinkles enough to ruin it.   
(b)                Let our every contact with the world be as light as possible” (1Cor.7:31; 1John 2:15-17).

4.                  Believers Must Be On Constant Guard Against False Teaching-ers.

a)                  We must not be mislead.

(1)                 New Christians tend to be gullible because they are not yet grounded in the truth of God’s Word (Eph. 4:14).

The Lord wants us to grow and be equipped in such a way "that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting… that we “may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—" (Ephesians 4:11-15, NKJV)

(2)                 But all Christians can be misled by impressive personalities and spectacular appeals.
(3)                 The Word of God warns us of False:
(a)                 Brothers (2Corinthians 11:26; Galatians 2:4)
(b)                Apostles (2Corinthians 11:13); Teachers (2Peter 2:1)
(c)                 Speakers "speaking lies" (1Timothy 4:2); False witnesses (1Corinthians 15:15; Matthew 26:60)
(d)                False Christ's (Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22); False Gospel (Galatians 1:9)
(e)                 False spirit (2Corinthians 11:4)
(f)                  False ministers of Satan who transform themselves into ministers of righteousness (2Corinthians 11:14-15)

5.                  Putting False Prophets to the Test (Deut.13:1-5).

The Scripture repeatedly warns of the danger of false prophets: Moses paused in the midst of giving God’s law to Israel to warn of those who would lead people astray from it:

a)                  Check the content (1John 4:3).

(1)                 A Half truth is a whole lie. 
(a)                 False prophets will say many things that are true; however, because a person says some true things, it does not mean that he is of God & that everything he says is the truth of God.
(b)                Every Major Cult is in error concerning the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Some may even have good points, but so does a porcupine.  

b)                  Check their congeniality (1John 4:5).

(1)                 Geared to win popular approval
(a)                 A false prophet teaches what the world wants to hear.

Paul writing to Timothy says to "Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry." (2 Timothy 4:1-5, NKJV)

c)                  Check their commercialism (2Peter 2:2-3).

(1)                 Geared to material gain.
(2)                 They are constantly appealing for money: material gain
(3)                 The miracle billfold: you will get one if you send in a contribution.

Paul said that "Godliness with contentment is great gain." (1 Timothy 6:5-6, NKJV)

d)                  Check their character (Jude 1:4)

(1)                 They use the grace of God as an excuse to sin.
(a)                 What kind of life do they live?
(b)                Jude 4 refers to “ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness”
(c)                 One who committed adultery said, “my private life is my own business, my public life is dedicated to the Lord.”

(2)                 Put it to the Test (1John 4:1-3).
(a)                 You and I are commanded in the word of God to apply spiritual tests to all things we hear.
(b)                “try” could be translated “test” or “prove” used in reference to putting metals to the test to see whether they are genuine (.

We should be like those in Berea who "Were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so." (Acts 17:11, NKJV)

Paul says that we are to "Test all things; hold fast what is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21)

Spiritual Assurance—1 John 5:13

1.                  Faith Possesses, assurance knows it possesses.

a)                  We know – 15 times

b)                  You know – 6 times

(1)                 Two Greek words translated “know”
(a)                 “Oidas,” to know intuitively – 14 times
(b)                “Gnosis,” to know by experience – 19 times

2.                  Freedom From Sin Results in:

a)                  Assurance.

(1)                 Sometimes the lack of assurance is due to sin in our lives.
(2)                 There are those who are not certain of their salvation from week to week.
(3)                 John will give a series of tests for you and me.
(a)                 He will deal with those who make false professions
(b)                He will give us scripture by which we can know that we possess eternal life.

b)                  Fullness of joy.

3.                  On What Do You Base Your Hope for Eternal Life On?

a)                  Works, self-righteousness, good deeds, etc.

(1)                 Paul said, “what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ” Phil.3:7
(2)                 Are you holding on, or trusting in anything else other than what Christ has done?

b)                  Or is it the finished work of Christ death on the Cross at Calvary (John 19:30).

(1)                 Christ satisfied God's justice by dying for all to pay for the sin debt of the world.  But this forgiveness is only applied to those who put their faith and trust in Him. 
(2)                 These sins can never be punished again since that would violate God's justice. Sins can only be punished once, either by a substitute or by yourself.

Jesus Himself said "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."  (Mark 10:45, NASB95)

He also said in Matthew 26 that "this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins."  (Matthew 26:28, NASB95)

Paul said, "For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. " (2 Timothy 1:12, NASB95)

c)                  Paul committed his life to Him

(1)                 Have you?

How Do We Tie In What We Have Just Learned?

1.                  Isaiah 55:10

Isaiah writes "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; " (Isaiah 55:10, NASB95)

a)                  God is saying that His word will not return to Him void.

b)                  It shall accomplish the purpose for which He sent it.

2.                  Why did He send His word?

a)                  That your joy may be full—1:4

b)                  That you would have freedom over sin—2:1

c)                  That you will not be deceived—2:26

d)                  That you would have assurance of your salvation—5:13

HOMEWORK—6 places John tells us that Jesus is our example, before next Saturday, find them.

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