1. In our study of 1st John, we have seen thus far...
a. That John's aim is that we may have fellowship with the Father
and the Son, so our joy may be full - 1Jn 1:1-4
b. That fellowship with the Father is contingent upon:
1) Walking in the light - 1Jn 1:5-7
2) Confessing our sins - 1Jn 1:8-10
3) Making use of our "advocate" and "propitiation", Jesus Christ
the Righteous - 1Jn 2:1-2
c. And that fellowship with the Son (Jesus) depends upon our:
1) Keeping His commandments - 1Jn 2:3-5a
2) Walking as He walked - 1Jn 2:5b-6
-- Otherwise, it is not true that we "abide in Him", nor truly
2. Having stressed the importance of keeping the commandments of Jesus
if we are to have fellowship with Him and the Father...
a. John proceeds to discuss one commandment in particular - 1Jn 2:
b. He discusses what can be called "An Old, Yet New Commandment"
I. THE COMMANDMENT ITSELF
A. IT IS AN "OLD" COMMANDMENT (8)
1. He does not write about something totally new to them
2. But something they had heard "from the beginning" (i.e., from
the beginning of the gospel)
B. IT IS A "NEW" COMMANDMENT (9)
1. That is, it is ever fresh; though old in time, it is never
2. It is a commandment that is ever true in Jesus, and it is true
in His disciples
3. It is both true and new because...
a. "the darkness is passing away, and the true light is
b. With the coming of the Messiah (Jesus), light has begun to
C. IT IS THE COMMAND TO "LOVE ONE ANOTHER"
1. How do we know this?
a. It is implied by verses 9-11
c. This command was "from the beginning" (of the gospel) - cf.
2. What does it mean to "love one another"?
a. It is "agape" love that we are commanded to have in this
1) It is also the same kind of love commanded in Jn 13:
2) It is that concern to meet the needs of others that is
best exemplified in the life and death of Jesus - cf.
b. Therefore, to "love one another" is to consider the needs
of one another, and to actively work toward meeting those
needs (i.e., follow Jesus' example!)
18 “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
II. THE EFFECT OF NOT KEEPING THIS COMMANDMENT
- ONE "IS IN DARKNESS" (9) – “Anyone who claims to be in the Light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness
1. When a person claims to walk in the light, but hates his
brother, he is still in darkness!
2. Indeed, he has always been in darkness!
a. Cf. "is in darkness until now"
b. Despite what they may claim, they have not yet passed from
darkness to light!
c. Or as expressed later, they have not yet passed from death
to life! We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 1 John 3:14
B. ONE "DOES NOT KNOW WHERE HE IS GOING" (11) - But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them. 1 John 2:11
1. He may "think" he has fellowship with God, that he is saved,
but he is blind!
2. He fails to realize the absurdity of his claim to know and
love God - cf. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 1 John 4:20
3. Blinded by darkness (hate), he cannot see that he is on the
road to hell!
III. THE EFFECT OF KEEPING THIS COMMANDMENT
A. ONE "ABIDES IN THE LIGHT" (10) - Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 1 John 2:10
1. Meaning that they are in full fellowship with the Father! -
cf. 1Jn 1:7a
2. And they enjoy the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus! -
cf. 1Jn 1:7b
-- So unless we love one another, fellowship and forgiveness is
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
1 John 1:7
B. "THERE IS NO CAUSE FOR STUMBLING" (10b)
1. Abiding in the light, he can see clearly as he walks
2. Fellowship with God makes it possible to "know where he is
going" (unlike the one who hates his brother and is in
3. This does not imply sinlessness
a. Remember 1Jn 1:8,10 - 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:8-10
b. But as one walks in the light (in fellowship with God), he
knows what to do when he sins, and in what direction he
should be headed - cf. 1Jn 1:9
1. This "old, yet new" commandment is very important:
a. If we are not keeping it, we are still in darkness!
b. If we are in darkness...
1) We are not walking in the light!
2) We are not having fellowship with God, and the blood of Jesus
does not cleanse us from our sins!
3) We cannot have that "fullness of joy" of which John wrote in
2. It is only appropriate, then, to close this lesson with the
admonition of John found later in his epistle... Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8
3. For those not yet Christians, I encourage you to seriously consider
the next two verses:
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:9-10