Sunday, August 18, 2013

1 John 4.13-21 Notes

Read chapter 4 in groups. 
How many times do you see the word? 
What does it mean in this chapter?  (one sentence)

13 By this we know [PrAI] that we abide [PrAI] in Him, and He in us, 
because He has given [PerAI] us of His Spirit.  

What does it mean "of" [ek] His Spirit?
"The genitive of his Spirit here, like the phrase in 3:24, probably reflects a partitive nuance, so that the author portrays God as ‘apportioning’ his Spirit to individual believers. This leads to the important observation that the author is not particularly interested in emphasizing (1) the ongoing interior witness of the Holy Spirit (which is what the passage is often understood to mean) but is emphasizing (2) the fact that God has given the Spirit to believers, and it is this fact that gives believers assurance of their relationship to God. In other words, it is the fact that the Holy Spirit has been given to believers, rather than the ongoing interior testimony of the Holy Spirit within the believer, which is the primary source of the believer’s assurance."  --NET Bible study notes

It is God's action (not our own) here that gives comfort.
I. Our Confession
14 And we have seen [PerMI]  and testify [PerMI] that 
the Father has sent [PerAI] the Son as Savior σωτήρ of the world.  

  • Who is the "we": John and Apostles or John and the recipient?  
  • "The primary reference of "we" in 4:14 ("we have beheld") is apostolic; fwe if any of the readers would have viewed Jesus in his earthly days."  --Yarbrough in BECNT
  • These wording reminds us of 1 John 1.3 seen (handled, eyewitness) and declared.
15 Whoever confesses ὁμολογέω [AorASub] that Jesus is the Son of God
God abides [PrAI] in him, and he in God.  

  • The verb is in the aorist tense, making the act of confession a definite one, and the classification, constative aorist, speaking of the fact that that confession is a life-time confession, and represents the sustained attitude of the heart.   --Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader
  • The effect of the is statement is to affirm that "fellowship with God depends on the historical fact of the incarnation..."  --Yarbrough in BECNT  

A. The Father sent the Son
Note that this statement is distinctively Trinitarian.
Note that it reinforces the character of the Father to sent His son and the character of the Son who came from the Father.
B. The Son is the savior of the world
John 4.41
40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word. 
42 Then they said to the woman, "Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world."
  • "In this context the expression 'Savior of the world' carries the sense that Jesus is the Saviour of the Samaritans as well as Jews."
  • Here is 1 John the emphasis seems to be on the fact that the whole world had sinned needed a savior. 

C. Jesus is the Son of God

What does it mean to confess Jesus is the Son of God?  Note these contrating "confessions:
1. The demons know Jesus is the Son of God: “Whenever the evil spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, ‘You are the Son of God’” (Mark 3:11).
2. Thomas testified after Jesus rose from the dead: “
Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said to him, "We have seen the Lord." 

So he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe." 
26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace to you!" 27 Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing." 
28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" 
29 Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. (John 20:24-31).         

II. Our confidence
16 And we have known and believed [PerAI] the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides μένω [PerAI] in love abides μένω [PerAI] in God, and God in him.  

  • Note whose love it is being talked about here, God's.
  • God is love:  This is a key statement in this section that gives application meaning to the statement that Jesus is sent by the Father (who is love), is the savior of the world, and is the Son of God (who is love).  If we believe that God is love, it will affect what it means to abide in Him.
  • "The effect of 4:16 is to ground the Christiological affirmation of 4:15 in the eternal divine character of the Father and to pave the way for the commendation of love that is set forth in 4:17-21."   --
1. Boldness before God
  • Christ is my propitiation.  I am not earning God's favor. 
  • " When Christ died on the cross he took the guilt of our sins on Himself and restored a relationship to God and made God favorable to us again by offering Himself.  That's what it means when it says He is a propitiation.  God was angry, but because Christ offered Himself He is now for you.  God is for you."  --Jim Johnston (8.11.13PM)
  • This love is His work in me.
  • 1 John 2. 28  And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. 
  • 1 John 3.21  Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.
 17 Love has been perfected [PerPI] among us in this: 
that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; 
because as He is, so are we in this world.  

  • perfected  Strong's G5048 - teleioō: to complete; to bring to the end (goal) proposed; to accomplish
  •  Notice the passive voice.  It is not our effort of perfecting some kind feelings of love in ourselves.
  • It is God's love accomplishing it's work in me.
  • Strong's G3954 - parrēsia: freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech
  • "Happy they who shall have holy boldness before the Judge at that day, who shall be able to lift up their heads, and to look him in the face, as knowing he is their friend and advocate."    --Matthew Henry
  • "He is in heaven representing us before the Father, and we are on earth representing Him before sinful men. As long as He is there in heaven, we have nothing to fear. Do we do as good a job here on earth as He does in glory?"  ---Warren W. Wiersbe, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the New Testament  
18 There is no fear in love
but perfect love casts [PrAI] out fear, because fear involves torment. 
But he who fears [PrMPart] has not been made perfect [PerPI] in love.  

John is not rejecting the concept of the fear of the Lord.
The same fear of the Lord that causes the demons to dread and tremble, gives strong confidence to believer for who Christ is a propitiation.
Pro. 14.26-27
In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge. 
The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death.
2. Love for God
19 We love [PrAI] Him because He first loved [AorAI] us.  
comp. vr. 10 -  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 

Closed fist - open hand illustration 
Which hand is ready to give. 
Before God's love does its work in our life,
we are closed up
             inward focused
             acting only in self-interest
 When we get a sense of
             Christ being the savior of the world,  me and the person next to me
             God's love for me before I had any love for Him
             Christ becoming the propitiation for me, 
             God is for me
             and I the open generosity of His love for me is perfected
Then I am able to open up in love toward Him. 
             Mared by my foibles and hurts, but growing and being completed.

20 If someone says, "I love God," and hates [PrASub] his brother, he is a liar; 
for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen
how can [PrMI] he love God whom he has not seen?  

"To live up above with the saints that we love, oh, that will be glory!
  To live down below with the saints that we know, oh, that's another story."

21 And this commandment we have from Him
that he who loves God must love his brother also.

In what sense can you command someone to love another?  Love is something you DO.
Illustration of Daughn's challenge at the men's retreat?  

Application for parents:  
Why do your children need to obey and reverence you? To practice to do the same for God.
Why do your children need to learn to obey others.  To start learning how to love God.