“An Old Commandment Which Is New? The Test of a real Christian“
This message is An Exposition of the Book of 1 John.
In part 2 we will be covering from chapters 2:5-2:17, and considering the affects of the fellowship of the Father and the Son upon the child of God who is in fellowship with the Eternal Godhead.
We will also dwell a great deal on the Law of Brotherly Love and the proof test of a a true Christian.
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Compiled by JS LOWTHER
An Exposition of the Book of 1 John
“An Old Commandment Which Is New?
The Test of a real Christian”
Delivered on 3-15- 2021 / grego. 7-14-2021
Some points which we had covered last sabbath…
John started this epistle with a declaration which was 2 fold in its application and we must keep that message with us in all that we read in the letter,
1. “That which was from the beginning”
This is the total emphasis of the epistle, it is literally a statement that confirms these particular truths which John is expressing as eternal truths, as all these truth are rooted in nutrient dense soil of the Eternally of God- YHWH- backwards and forwards
The second point made was
2. the Word
and that the word is ‘a word of life’
The Greek language place Eternity past at the forefront of this letter, and then quickly says ‘He and the others alive in the time of the manifestation of the Word of Life, handled this person who is ‘the life’ and who also is ‘the Eternal life’ 1Jn 1:2
So the first fold of ” the Word of life ” Is That which was… from the beginning… Who was the life manifested, who was that eternal life, which ‘was’ with the Father (not after), and that Eternal life was manifested unto John as the Son Jesus Christ.
And this is the fellowship of YHWH, The Father and the Word, this is a Father and an Eternal Son
And this is the fellowship we might have with YHWH as well, and that is simply as we will discuss more in this study message, that as says 1Jn 2:3 we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. this is to further show a more intimate fellowship as 1Jn 1:6-7 says If we say that we have fellowship with him, we walk not in darkness but in the light, and this is that we have fellowship one with another as well. So because God given us te light of the Word of Life, the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin, we have ability to confess our sin in not having proper fellowship by not keeping or heeding the Commandment and Word of God.
So this is the natural progression the knowledge of the Eternality of the Godhead.
We understand this YHWH is Eternal, the Eternal is God, the Eternal God has a Word And what ever is stated by that Eternal Word is Life and that light is expressed by Him, and therefore the fellowship of the Word with his people is a hearing, seeing and handling of the Word.
To handle the word is to come into fellowship with the Son, the Son as WORD has been in fellowship with the Father in all eternity.
The belief of this fact establishes the Word of God as word of life, a command of living, the Holy Scriptures as the word are part to the Peron of Christ and are of the Eternal truth.
This message is of the Word of Life, the Word of God.
What we read in Genesis 1:1-3 contain the Words and declarations of God who precedes light in this world, and brings light into the material world by his Spirit’s movement uttering the Word of Life.
And from Genesis 1:1-3 onward through out the Scriptures we have the record of the word of God, the voice of the word speaking every word of YHWH God the giver of all light to darkness and form to void, life from inexistence and death.
And the Word of life is good.
And so the second fold is tied to that emphasis:
2. the Word of Life encompasses all that God hath ever spoke since the beginning, this includes
- the Covenants of Grace proclaimed before the world was between father and son,
- this includes the promise of dominion given to the Son, the Word of Life to reign over the world in righteousness,
- this includes the Eternal Law of God as expressed from YHWH to Moses in all things spoken to him and shown in the patterns of heaven on the mount,
- this is every commandment of God whereby sin and righteousness is determined
And this true for the blessed man given life by God the Father through the Spirit of his Word.
Everything in the Word of God, in the Holy Scriptures is a word of Life to him who hears the message of the word of God and follows the Word into fellowship with Father. The Son is in the light where he walks, and in this light we are truly recipient of this message if our joy be full in hearing the Word of God:
To hear it declared, hear it in our hearts or read with our eyes, and of course by handling the Word by use of our sense to express our fellowship which we have with God in our life.
This fellowship with light does not say “we have no sin”.
To not continue in repentance of sin in life, is self deception, but rather we know by being true to God and His word that we must confess our sins as darkness, as non-fellowship with God’s truth And therefore come further into the life and expose our evil deeds.
If we do not confess our sins before God, who knows the darkest parts of us, by the forgiveness which comes from Jesus Christ’s covenant of grace to his Son- which is his Word we are in darkness still.
Those in fellowship must believe that God is faithful and just to forgive confessing sinners and to forgiveness from all sin by the revelation of his light.
To deny sin in our life or that there is no sin at all is to deny God says John 1Jn 1:10.
To know God has spoken by his Word is to know declared sin, and Declared righteousness, God’s Sob speaks as the Word of God in eternity past, in the beginning snd has by his Word declared life in himself alone, even eternal life for all those who have true fellowship with He and His Father by terms of atoning pitiful Grace.
So again, we establish the need for as we say it plainly: the Law and the Gospel of Grace.
So plainly, therefore John expressed in 1Jn 2:1-2 … sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the pity for our sins…
That is He is the covering that protects us from the wrath of God for sin.
1Jn 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him and his advocacy his atonement..
if we keep his commandments.
1Jn 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
1Jn 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
And so in concluding this recap of these 2 important 2 fold points :
The man who acknowledges the Word of Life that has been since the beginning, in the spoken word of God and the person of the Son, manifest as John heard, handled and saw in the man Jesus Christ, will acknowledge the life and light of God’s word, a word which expels darkness and a light that forgives sins of that darkness, a word of life that commands the keeping of the commandments of God as the truth of a life which loves God.
Simply put, the fellowship of a Christian life is of truth, a confession of sin, an acknowledgment of forgiveness and a renewed desire to have better fellowship in keeping the words of God as commandments for life.
And so today I wish to elaborate only the next verses as the prior recap should shed more light on these statement in terms of fellowship with the God head, as well as where the Commandments of God steer a Christian in the bonds of Love, and this will be elaborated more in the chapters and verses to come:
1Jn 2:6 says ‘ He that saith he abided in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.’
So one that loves God walks as Christ walks these a again fellowship terms, and those regularly used in the law of God, to keep or heed YHWH’s Law, his word was to walk with him, while to walk contrary to him was disfellowship to a point of vengeance, that is those who walk contrary to the Commandments of God willfully are enemies of God.
‘ to walk, even as he walked.’
We know Christ was Christ because in the fleshly manifestation he walked perfectly, a point John makes clearly.
In our experience as men, we can not say we’ve always walked as Christ walked, Christ was never in darkness, nor was he ever in need to ‘come into the light’.
So this statement is one of confession of sin, and renewing of our walk to be more like Christ as a desire, that is as the love of God perfected in the life of a converted sinner desiring more fellowship with God :
1Jn 2:7 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.
1Jn 2:8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.
And so what does John say here?
Is it a new commandment or an old one?
is it an old testament commandment or a new one?
“The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.”
- older than time,
- spoken to Adam,
- written by Moses,
- reveled to the apostles and prophets.
This is the oldness of the letter.
- Yet the eternality of the God Head, which is as fresh 1000 years from now as it was 10’000 years ago can be by God renewed at any time by his word
John is telling us of the truth of confession and the abilities of light to convert.
When God has shed light upon the old letters of His eternal word in your life, and to you because of what he has done for you in the life of Jesus Christ and his atonement – the darkness passes away, vanish away. The covenant and commandment attached to that covenant are new to you because you have fellowship with the eternality of God.
This is the affect of the renewal by the Spirits work in fellowship and confession:
Regeneration, revelation, darkness passed, light shining, life from the dead, sin forgiven in Jesus blood, a veil taken away in turning unto him, a newness of life:
2:7 “The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.”
1Jn 2:8 a new commandment which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.
But, as is natural in the progression of all law, this is but the foundation of the next application.
So, in this second set of verses and beyond, John ties the 2nd of the greatest proto commandments, which is Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thy self’.
when he says
1Jn 2:9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
1Jn 2:10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
And so after you recognize you have fellowship in the Word of life, the commandment from the beginning, and you acknowledge that the keeping of the commandments of God’s Word, his Holy Law is not an old thing of condemnation but a New thing in you and to you because Jesus, this should swiftly transfer from the general keeping of the Law of God, to loving your brother who also has passed from death to life and darkness to light.
And so John says this plainly and cuttingly, dividing the wheat from the chaff:
1Jn 2:11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
Here is the primary and primitive test of a converted Christian:
Brotherly Love expressed in 2 ways correspondent one to the other:
1. you don’t hate your brother
2. you love your brother
the apostle says ” He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.”
What does this mean?
one who says they are in fellowship with Jesus Christ the Son, the Word of Life, and the Father, even by keeping the commandments that correspond to us loving God, that is laws and commandments that express our love for God perfected, life:
saying there is one God YHWH
abhorring image worship and advocating against idolatry and idealism
disavowing the use of YHWH’s name in vain
Keeping the Sabbath day in rest and worship to God
and not coveting
and this could transfer into many things, such as how we worship, or have our diet structured, or how we even advocate for the Kingdom of God, and preach the gospel message
even in all that light, here is what John says, “He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.”
One can advocate for God, and the Law of God, and the Kingdom of God and the Gospel message itself as a declaration, and sadly still be in darkness. And we know this simply by the way one hates or loves his brother.
I asked an Elder brother a question, a few months ago, it was a time when I was considering all the fake Christians the dead letter Christians he called them in the world and even those I’ve interacted with.
They do Christian things, they ‘give to the poor’ even build churches and schools, keep commandments and so on, and I asked this brother “How do you really know who is a real Christian?”
And so what I wanted to know from his elderly perspective is what in your aged life of ministry is the mark of a truly converted heart?
I mean I know it’s not prayer, or ‘saying they believe, I know its not a baptism, or a keeping of the lord’s supper, nor of Sabbath keeping or church attendance, nor even of doing general Christian things titled as ‘charitable’.
And this was his answer to me.
After I asked him I felt a little foolish to have asked, but this old though I knew became new in me, and this old commandment became fresh in my ears, eyes and hands as I begun to consider the so called Christians in my life.
That is look for those who hate their brothers in the flesh and spirit.
1Jn_2:11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
This man/ woman has no joy fulfilled in forgiving his own family foremost, and no place to forgive those covenantal brethren those neighbors who dwell in the light of Christ with him and bask in atonement.
There are those who Hate and those who just don’t love brethren and those two things are different.
A hater will hurt, harm and kill his brother like Cain did Able, willfully he will harm his brother physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually antagonistically, what ever form of hate he can exact upon a ‘brother’ that dark person will attempt to do.
And yet to Love thy brother, is the total opposite, and it is far beyond sitting idle too.
One who loves his brother does what is needed to to the opposite of hate:
help instead of hurt
health instead of harm
offer life instead of death
always promote light to darkness by love.
Share the commandments as a way of life from the word of life, rather than kill by a word of judgment and death, seek with Christ to save that which was lost of you brothers of the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
To love is not to sit still and do nothing or to do the minimal amount to say you’ve done something for your brother, to Love is to give your life and all you are able to you brothers in flesh as well as in the fellowship of Christ, and especially those who are both knit in flesh and Spirit as we are to be Holy Nation.
And so Let me emphasis this and propound what John is saying by the force of Law of God:
Jesus Said in Mark 12:29-31 that Deuteronomy 6:4-5 was the greatest of all commandments is:
Hear, O Israel;
The Lord our God is one Lord:
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God
With all thy heart, and with all thy soul,
and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength:
And so here is the Point of John, a Child of God Loves the Word of Life, both in the manifestation of the Son of God in the man Jesus Christ, but also in the life by the Word, and this is Love perfected:
- hereby we do know that we know him, we are sure that we knowe him… if we keep his commandments.
- whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 1Jn 2:3-5
A very literal translation of the Greek says this:
But who ever should heed of his word, truly in this one the love of God has been perfected. By this we know that [in him we are.]
And in the progression of how Jesus Spoke, so also does John:
Directly after the Love of God in heeding the commandments of God by the word of God in general love and piety which is the first command to our heart, soul, mind and strength of life is the second Greatest commandment of Leviticus 19:13:
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
And this is the desire of brotherly Love
This is the fellowship of the congregation of Israel in Christ, this is the fruit which binds a nation together in bonds of creedal brotherly love- There is none other commandment greater than these.
So, what does “love thy neighbour as thyself” looks like as John applies it to loving thy brother?
1Jn 2:12 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.
1Jn 2:13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.
1Jn 2:14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
1Jn 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
1Jn 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
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