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Knowing God is Loving Your Brother (1 John 2:6-8)
Sermon Notes
Sunday, 23 June 2013 00:00

Last Sunday we looked at 1 John 2:6-8

6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
John’s use of the word “abide” (meno) represents 55% of the New Testament usage of the word; 40 times in the Gospel of John, 24 times in 1st John, and 3 times in 2nd John according to the Majority Text. The verb was omitted at the end of 1st John 4:16 by the edition of the Textus Receptus from which the KJV and NKJV was made. 1 John 4:16 would thus read ~ And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

The claim that someone abides in Christ can be validated only by a Christ-like life. The verb “abide” describes the life of Christian discipleship (cf. John 15:4-7). The words of 1 John 2:5 about being “in Him” are equivalent to the idea of “abiding” in Him. The next few verses explain how to do this.
7 Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning.
The old commandment is the one the believers had from the beginning of their Christian experience. It is the commandment spoken by Jesus in John 13:34. The memorable “new” commandment was now old for John’s readers because they had received it from the beginning, from the very earliest period of their Christian lives. This is the only reasonable sense for the phrase “from the beginning.” There exists an implicit connection between 1 John 1:1 and 2:7, since John is concerned in this letter with the original truth of Christianity in contrast with the spurious “new truth” evidently being promoted by the false teachers. Perhaps these false teachers reinterpreted the meaning of the commandment to love one another. This John would not allow. The old commandment still had the same content as before (the word which heard from the beginning).
8 Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

From another point of view (Again,) the commandment John spoke about in verse 7 as being “old” can be called a new commandment. This is because it belongs to the new age (the coming kingdom of Christ, the world to come) that was dawning.
The word translated “is passing away” (parago), occurs only here and in 1 John 2:17, where John says that “the world is passing away” (as in 1 Cor 7:31, “the form of this world is passing away”). By this John is affirming that the “old” moral situation of the world is temporary and destined to pass from the scene. The “new” reality that will replace it, “the true light,” is already shining. It was revealed fully in Christ’s love for the world (John 3:16), and is being revealed in Christians’ love for one another. A day will come when this love will shine forth in unhindered brilliance (2 Peter 3:13).

So then, the new and old commandment is referring to the same commandment that Jesus had given. This commandment is OLD in the sense that they have heard it from the beginning (meaning that they had received it from the beginning, that is, in the very earliest period of their Christian lives). But this commandment to love one another is also NEW, not in the sense of time, but in the sense of its freshness in light of the world to come.
By this all men will know we are His disciples (John 13:35) in the sense of being fully devoted followers of Jesus in our experience, in our living out of the Christian life), if we have love for one another.
This is the life we “ought” to be living every day (2:6), yet sadly believers are occasionally guilty of the things John will now move on to discuss in 1John 2:9-11, “The Darkness of Hate,” which we will consider next Sunday. As we will see then, this lack of love for a Christian brother is the biggest barrier to fellowship with God.

 

 

 

 

 

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