Tuesday, January 26, 2016

God Is Life

1 John 5

Faith in the Son of God
Life Application Study Bible (NLT) Notes:
1Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. 2We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments.
1 John 5:1-2 When we become Christians, we become part of God's family, with fellow believers as our brothers and sisters. It is God who determines who the other family member are, not us. We are simply called to accept and love them. How well do you treat your fellow family members?
 3Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. 4For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.

1 John 5:3,4 Jesus never promised that obeying Him would be easy. But the hard work and self-discipline of serving Christ is no burden to those who love Him. And if our load starts to feel heavy, we can always trust Christ to help us bear it (Matthew 11:28-30).
12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.
1 John 5:12 Whoever believes in God's Son has eternal life. He is all you need. You don't need to wait for eternal life because it begins the moment you believe. You don't need to work for it because it is already yours. You don't need to worry about it because you have been given eternal life by God Himself—and it is guaranteed. 
13 I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.
1 John 5:13 Some people hope that they will receive eternal life. John says we can know we have it. Our certainty is based on God's promise that He has given us eternal life through His Son. This is true whether you feel close to God or far away from Him. Eternal life is not based on feelings but on facts. You can know that you have eternal life if you believe God's truth. If you aren't sure the you are a Christian, ask yourself: Have I honestly committed my life to Him as my Savior and Lord? If so, you know by faith that you are indeed a child of God. 
14And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.
1 John 5:14,15 The emphasis here is on God's will, not our will. When we communicate with God, we don't demand what we want; rather we discuss with Him what He wants for us. If we align our prayers to His will, He will listen; and we can be certain that if He listens, He will give us a definite answer. Start praying with confidence!
16If you see a fellow believer sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it. 17All wicked actions are sin, but not every sin leads to death.
1 John 5:16,17 Commentators differ widely in their thoughts about what this sin is that leads to death is and whether the death it causes is physical or spiritual. 
  • Paul wrote that some Christians had died because they took Communion unworthily (1 Corinthians 11:27-30), and
  • Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead when they lied to God (Acts 5:1-11).
  • Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit results in spiritual death (Mark 3:29), and
  • the book of Hebrews describes the spiritual death of the person who turns against Christ (Hebrews 6:4-6).
John was probably referring to the people who had left the Christian fellowship and joined the antichrists. By rejecting the only way to salvation, these people were putting themselves out of reach of prayer. In most cases, however, even if we knew what the terrible sin was, we would have no sure way of knowing whether a certain person had committed it. Therefore, we should continue praying for our loved ones and for our Christian brothers and sisters, leaving the judgment up to God. Note that John says, "I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it," rather than, "You cannot pray for them." He recognized the lack of certainty. 
18We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. 19We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one.
1 John 5:18,19 Christians commit sins, of course, but they ask God to forgive them, and then they continue serving Him. God has freed believers from their slavery to satan, and He keeps them safe from satan's continued attacks. The rest of the world does not have the Christian's freedom to obey God. Unless they come to Christ in faith, they have no choice but to obey satan. There is no middle ground; people either belong to God and obey Him, or they live under satan's control.

Sin’s Power Is Broken
1Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace?
2Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? 
3Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? 
4For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.
5Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. 6We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. 
7For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. 
8And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. 
9We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him.
10When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God.
 11So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.
12Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. 
13Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. 
14Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.
15Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! 
16Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. 
17Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. 
18Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.
19Because of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this. Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy.
20When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right.
21And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. 
22But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. 
23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

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