I have been sharing my thoughts as I read from my personal Bible each day. So, here is a copy of the passage in 1 John chapter 3 that I read this past week. Again, I have marked the passage as I have in my own Bible. One of the reason i have chosen to share my thoughts on this particular book of the Bible is that it has changed my life understanding the letters of John to the early church. Anyone who knows me or reads my blog, knows that I firmly believe that all 66 books of the Bible are Holy Scripture. I believe ALL scripture is God breathed and useful for teaching, correcting, rebuking and training in RIGHTEOUSNESS. This letter from the Apostle John is all about training and walking in righteousness. In my last post I shared the definition of righteousness. So, click on the link below to read it.
So here is today’s passage as it appears in my personal Bible.
1See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 3And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
4Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. 5You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. 6No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. 7Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; 8the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 9No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.
11For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; 12not as Cain,who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous.
13Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you. 14We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. 15Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 16We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. 19We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him20in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. 21Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.
23This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. 24The 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.
Today, as I read these verses my mind kept thinking about what are the commandments we are to keep in order to abide in Him. A common teaching is that we are to keep the command of Jesus, in Matthew 22:37-39.
“And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ 38“This is the great and foremost commandment. 39“The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’…
Which of course, is a great summary of all of God’s commands throughout the whole Bible. Another common teaching is that we are to keep the ten commandments found in Exodus 20:1-17.
“And God spoke all these words:
2“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
4“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,6but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
8“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
13“You shall not murder.
14“You shall not commit adultery.
15“You shall not steal.
16“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
And these also are a great list of rules to live by. But what about all the other commands, laws, teachings in the whole Bible, are we to keep these too? This is a question I ponder often. Many have told me that most of these laws are done away with, especially the ceremonial laws, and ordinances. I understand why people think these are all done away with there is no temple now, we do not live in the Holy Land, and Jesus died to take the place of sacrifices. So, I see what people are pointing at. But, I can’t get around the fact that Jesus said about the whole book of Law, that is the Torah. The first five books of the Bible that we are not to teach others to not obey it. Here is the verses I am thinking on.
13“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
14“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
17“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18“For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19“Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20“For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Why would Jesus say these things if He did not want us to abide by His complete law to the best of our ability. Recently, a friend in love shared with me tow passages that she believed made it clear that I should not try and keep the Biblical feasts in the book of Leviticus 23. Here are the two passages.
by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace,
having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.
In my next post, I will get into these two verse and why I think often they are misinterpreted. As you can see from just my pasting them above, both these verse are a part of a much longer sentence. So, there must be a lot more to them that what we read here. So come back next time and see what my understanding of these passages is, and challenge yourself to dig deep into the Word of God and find truth for yourself.
As always, let us love one another in love and understanding. I certainly am just a sinner saved by grace, doing the best I can to walk out His love for me. AS I walk this path, I pray I am used by Him for His glory and to encourage others in their walk with Him.
In closing, why not? Why not make today a great day by walking in His Word.
Shalom my friends.