Tuesday, May 04, 2021

2021.05.04 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 John 2:28–3:3

Read 1 John 2:28–3:3

Questions from the Scripture text: What does the apostle call them (1 John 2:28)? Where does he tell them to dwell/abide/rest? What is Jesus going to do? What does the apostle want them to be able to do at Jesus’s coming? What do they know about Jesus (1 John 2:29)? What then must they know about whomever has his birth from Him? What does he now command them to see (1 John 3:1)? Who has bestowed this love? In what particular gift—what are we and the apostle called? Who does not know us to be this? Why—Whom else does the world not know to be as He is? Now what does the apostle call his readers (1 John 3:2)? What does he reaffirm about them and himself? What has not yet been revealed? Who will be revealed? What will we be like in that day? Why must this be so? In Whom do believers have this hope (1 John 3:3)? What do such believers do? Unto what end/standard?

Next week’s Call to Worship, Prayer for Help, Song of Adoration, and Prayer of Confession all come from 1 John 2:28–3:3, so that we will see that we are singing God’s thoughts after Him with Blessed Are the Sons of God

New nature from a new birth. Jesus loved little children, and this apostle especially likes to use that term of endearment for the church as a whole (1 John 2:28). In John’s mind, every baptism is a paedobaptism! 

This is because when baptism is made effectual by saving faith, it testifies to a pouring out of the Spirit by which we get a new birth. And we can tell who has had this birth, because they are the only ones who from the heart love and seek to practice righteousness (1 John 2:29). Let this put an end to the nonsense that we are naturally good. Practicing righteousness can only come from being born of Him!

New status from our new birth. This new nature comes with a new status: adopted child of God. Here is the greatest love-gift of any father that there has ever been. God has called us His children! The apostle commands us to behold this love (1 John 3:1a). Not just know it. Consider it, marvel at it.

New difficulties from our new birth. So completely has God identified us with Himself, and begun a work in us of making us like Christ, that this makes “problems” for the Christian. We live in a world that refuses to acknowledge Him. So, we mustn’t expect that they will be glad to see His likeness in us or hear His name upon us (verse 1b).

New hope from our new birth. Just as the Spirit says through Paul (cf. Philippians 1:6), so He says here through John: He who has begun the work will bring it to completion (1 John 3:2). When Jesus is revealed, we will be like Him, and the final version of ourselves will then be revealed. This is a certainty. 

New duty from our new birth. So, for the Christian, loving and obeying God’s law is more than just the obligation of the creature to the Creator, or of subjects to a King. For us, “purifying [my]self” (1 John 3:3a) is learning to ply the family business and grow in the family resemblance. This is what Father and Son are working at by their Spirit, and it shall be done. And if we are in the family, then we will be doing it to—and that to the family standard: “just as He is pure” (verse 3b).

Our baptisms tell us to look to Father, Son, and Spirit for all of these—and that it is a sham to profess faith in Christ if we are not exhibiting a new nature of practicing righteousness, beholding love expressed in a new status of adoption, experiencing new difficulties from a world that denies our Father, enjoying the new hope of what we shall be at Christ’s return, and engaging in the new duty of purifying ourselves as He is pure.

What evidence of the new birth do you see in your life? How are you seeking them?

Suggested songs: ARP87 “The LORD’s Foundation” or TPH461 “Blessed Are the Sons of God”

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