Treasures New and Old
Elkmont Baptist Church
I would like to encourage you to dig deep into the letter of 1 John. This was written to encourage the believers throughout Asia Minor during some very difficult times, and at a time when different voices were confusing the gospel with doctrinal lies and mistruths (a truth that sounds right, but is off in some seemingly minor point - and, in reality, corrupts the truth tremendously). These lies can be summarized as:
1 John: Sin, Things to Know, Light and Dark, and Maturity
- Perfectionists: "I have no sin because I have no sin nature - it was done away with"
- Antinomians: "I am not under the Law - it has
been done away with"
- Losers: "We can lose our salvation - must be saved all over again." John tells us that these have "went out from
So while John is addressing these three major doctrinal lies, he does so by encouragement with five "knowable" things. He wrote this letter that "we may know"!
"That ye may know" five things:
- 1 John 1:4 - "We enter into Christ's joy"
- 1 John 2:1 - "We can have victory over sin"
- 1 John 2:26 - "How to identify false teachers"
- 1 John 5:13 - "We have eternal security in Christ"
- 1 John 5:18 - "That we may have fellowship with one another"
Please note that there is a significant difference between sins we commit, confess, and forsake (1 John 1:9), and those that hold on to their sin and revel in them (1 John 3:9). Note the difference in the two Greek grammar verb tenses:
verb is punctilliar present active: a single point in time, one time occurrence,
happening now, and actively being participated in by the subject (Zodhiaties, 1991, pp. 786, 860-862, 864, 866). This is an action we have taken, and under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, we confess and forsake.
verb is a linear present active imperative: a continuous habit of sinning over
and over actively by the subject, and is an imperative (Zodhiaties, 1991, pp. 791, 860-862, 864, 866) - that is - the subject can't stop himself/herself - they have no power over sin - the sin has power over them. Without Christ in our lives, we, indeed, have no power over sin - sin controls us.
1 John compares two life styles/natures:
John also compares the differences between the new man and the old man - the carnal man. They can be summed up in the chart that follows this paragraph. I submit that most Christians today try to live as much as they can in the Gray without crossing over into the Dark. Why? Dear reader - run, do not walk, to the Light of Christ, and make it your purpose in your walk with Christ to dwell only in the light, rejecting not just the Dark, but the Gray as well.
|TWO NATURES |
New man (Spiritual)
Old man (Carnal)
- Obeys Word
- Looks for God's wisdom
- Walks by faith
- Loves the Lord
- Breaks strongholds
- Casts down imaginations
- Casts down
- Brings thoughts into captivity
- Double-minded - many masters
- Loves and creates lies
- Worldly -
rejects the Word
- Does his/her own thing
- Walks by sight
- Loves the world
- Bound by lust of the flesh
- Enjoys lust of the eyes
by pride of life
- Gives unto every thought
1 John writes of three levels of maturity in Christ:
John is unique in that he has distinguished between three maturity levels for the Body of Christ that he is writing to. Age is not relevant - maturity is. Which maturity level are you? If a child - how long have you been one?
- They have learned that their sins are forgiven
- They now know about the Father
Children: They need to be nurtured.
Young men: They need to fight the good fight
- They have overcome Satan
- They are strong in the faith
- The Word abides in them
Fathers: They need to train the young men and nurture the children
I would encourage you to dig into the Apostle John's letters. They are short, but really rich in doctrine and encouragement.
May God richly bless!
The Complete Word Study New Testament.
Zhodiates, Dr. S. (Ed.). (1991).
Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.