Confidence in Living God's Love

The First Letter of John

1-2 Life and Truth

1:1-1:4 Truth lives with us

The eternal and ineffable Word has become visible and physical, seen and touched. We who live in the flesh and know by our senses gain confidence by the testimony of one who has known Jesus through sight and sound and touch. The truth is that God came to share our life with us. Now we are invited to share life with God, who is the source of life.

1:5-2:11 Walking in the light

Walking in the dark is never walking with God. Self-righteousness is not truth. To deny our failure to give testimony is to close our eyes to the truth and to create darkness for ourselves. On the other hand, when we recognize that we don't define God's truth, Christ will purge away our failed testimony and put truth back into our lives.

Living as Jesus taught; living as Jesus lived: This is the way to know that God is living in me. Then the love for God bears fruit.

There is nothing new in God's command; it is the same law we have always had. The difference is that now God's command is visible in Christ's life and now in our lives also. It is the love we show to others which sheds light in the world. Without that, human life is dark and human beings blind.

2:12-2:14 Hymn of confidence

We see this love living in us. Therefore, we can sing with confidence of our victory.

Children! Your lack of testimony is left behind.
Fathers! You know the one who is from the origin.
Youth! You have defeated what is evil.

Little children! You know the father.
Fathers! You know the one who is from the origin.
Youth! You are strong, God's word remains in you, and you have defeated what is evil.

2:15-2:29 Living in the truth

What is love? There is worldly love and there is love of God. There is the desire of the body, the desire of the eyes, the pride of living. Then there is what God wishes: all else fades and only that remains.

We are among the Annointed. We already know what is good. The spirit in us is God's Spirit, and God's Spirit teaches us the truth. The truth is that Jesus is the Annointed One. Real life means to dwell in him. In this we have unity not only with Christ but with the Father.

So there is no need to be deceived by anyone. We have the true teaching and we live in Christ. There is no need to be ashamed. Everyone who does what is right is somebody!

How to Live

3: Life as God's Children

We are God's children now. We want to be like Christ; we want to be pure. Whenever there is a lack of testimony there is a failure of discipline, but everyone who does right is right. All of us who have been made somebody in God no longer fails in testimony because God's seed is planted in us.

We know the message: Love each other. What this love shows is that we have passed over from death to life. To hate is to kill – and to kill is the contrary of life. Life is exemplified by the love that Jesus showed when he presented his physical life for us. We should be willing to give our physical lives, too. You may have a living from the world, but if you lock up your true self and don't take action to help your siblings, you don't have a real life or real love for God.

How can we stand before God without fear? Our own hearts might condemn us! But God is greater than our hearts and so we are able to have confidence. We know that we are in the truth because we believe in Jesus and because we show love to each other. This shows that we live in God and that God lives in us.

4: The Life of Love

People will say all kinds of things, most of them not true. These people may be "full of spirit", but they are not full of God's Spirit unless they say that Jesus Christ came in the body. This is the character test for spiritual testimony.

If people speak from a worldly point of view, then the things they say will make sense to the people who belong to the world. But if we speak from a Godly viewpoint, people who know God pay attention to the things we say. We are with God, and so the spirit in us outmatches whatever spirit inspires worldly people.

The spirit that God put in us is the spirit of love. God defined what love is by loving us and by sending Jesus. We ought to emulate God's love with our love for each other. In this way, the love that God loves bears fruit.

The life lived in God's spirit is the proof of our union with God. This is how all of us can see and testify that the father sent his son Jesus to rescue the cosmos. The love which is living in us justifies our confidence. Our love for God is visible when we see Christ's love for our siblings being lived through us.

5 Conquering the Cosmos

5:1-5:12 The power the to conquer

Everyone who has been made somebody by God conquers the world. Everyone who believes that Jesus is God's son is also God's child. Those who love God love God's children. We can conquer the world through our faith in Jesus.

Jesus came with water and with blood, with baptism and with mortality. This is the true testimony: Eternal life is in the son. Hold onto the son and life will live in you forever.

5:13-5:21 Living in confidence

This letter is written to give you confidence.

This is the true God and eternal life. Be on watch against false gods.

April, 2000
August, 2001

Pivot Rock Ensign