SHARPER THAN A SWORD

SERMONS

Hebrews 4:12-13 "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

"The Love of God Perfected in Us!"

The purpose of the first letter of John was to write to Christians and warn them of false teachers, to exhort them to hold fast, and to charge them to fulfill conscientiously the duties of a Christian in love.

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The threat lies in all those who would be anti-Christ, which is simply described as anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ, note:

1 John 2:22  “Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.”

 

Even we as Christians can be guilty of being anti-Christ if we deny Him in our day to day behavior and lives (not near as mystical or magical as men would teach this today!).

These false teachers who are being described as anti-Christ claim to be knowledgeable, however:

1 John 2:4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

 

Even though they claim to be knowledgeable, they deny Jesus is the Christ or the Son of God as stated in the above verse (2:22), in contrast to what John says should be the disposition of those who claim to be of Christ, note:

1 John 4:15 “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.”

1 John 5:5 “Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”

 

They would even deny that Jesus came in the flesh, which is mirrored in the teaching of John by the necessity of Christians to confess that He has come in the flesh, note:

1 John 4:1-2 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God”

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All this describes in detail the threat to the church late in the first century, of Gnosticism! Believed to be connected to the doctrine of the Nicolatians, which is severely spoken against by the Lord to the churches of Asia (see: Revelation 2:6; 2:15). Gnosticism was founded on Docetism (Greek, “to seem”); the belief that Jesus physical body and the crucifixion itself were an illusion. They also taught that matter is inherently evil, so God would not take a physical body. Because they stated that the body is inherently evil and the spirit of man was good regardless of actions; they preached the concept of antinomian, “right conduct is unnecessary”.

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Knowing then the threat these Christians must face, John sets out to establish just how it is that the love of God is perfected in His children. He would initially state that we must walk in light, note:

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

 

To walk in the light as He is in the light is a definition of the subject of righteousness. Righteousness is first and foremost an attribute of God:

Romans 3:25-26 “whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

 

As Paul would describe, God sent forth His Son to fulfill all that God had said concerning the work of the Messiah on our behalf. As the Christ completed the work God gave Him to do, it demonstrated God's righteousness, which is the very concept of “to be right with”, the definition of righteousness (He said it, He did it!).

Likewise, to you and me, to walk in light or righteousness describes everything that God has appointed for man to both acknowledge and obey. This will be illustrated in the next section in knowing how the love of God is perfected in us.

 

We should also understand that to “walk in the light as He is in the light” is not completed in unerring service. As John states that this is an impossibility, note:

1 John 1:8 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

 

Here, John is setting forth something that the Apostle Paul has already written to Christians and that is the difference between Christians and sinners. A Christians can sin and fall short; however, we must make sure that we understand that the blood of Christ cleanses us from our sins when we confess our sins to Him (not to men), which describes the fact that Christians do not serve sin (the definition of a sinner), note:

Romans 6:15-18 “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”

1 John 1:9-2:2 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

2:1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

 

So, to “walk in the light as He is in the light”, is to acknowledge and obey everything God has revealed to us through Christ Jesus our Lord and when we fall short, acknowledge out fault and reject that master and through Christ as our Advocate re-establish our walk with God.

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With this understanding, we can now take a test to see if the Love of God is perfected within us! Are you ready? Ok, here we go!

 

Test:

1 John 2:3-6 “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”

 

Easy you say?

 

•  In order to keep His commandments, one must know what they are! Do we know the commandments of God? ____

1 John 3:4 “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.”

 

•  In order to keep the commandments of God, you must not love the world! Do we love the world? ____

1 John 2:15-17 “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”

 

•  In order to keep the commandments of God we must love our brethren! Do we love our brethren? ____

1 John 3:16-18 “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”
 

•  In order to keep the commandments of God we must seek to be obedient without restraint or out of burden! Do we serve our God out of love? ____

1 John 5:3 “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”
 

•  In order to have the love of God perfected within us, we must keep ourselves! This teaches us that God is not going to do it for us! However, note:

1 John 5:20 “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.”

This understanding is all things that pertain to life and godliness in the knowledge of Him – II Peter 1:3 , through the scriptures that can complete the man of God – II Timothy 3:16-17 .

 

Are we keeping ourselves? ____

1 John 5:18  “We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.”
There are many with Christian backgrounds who in some way or another deny Jesus as the Christ! They degrade the doctrine that Christ died to bring us, they are popular to emotionally driven people that have not developed a love for the truth, and they stimulate greed to attract followers.
 The true love of God is perfected in knowing and obeying all that our Creator has given us for our benefit! Righteousness!
1 John 4:17-19 “Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.”

Let the Love of God be Perfected in Us!