REAL CHRISTIANITY

 

1 John 2:7-11

TWO POSSIBILITIES

Real Christianity - #6 in study of 1 John

 

In the passage before us, 1 John 2:7-11 we are faced with two possibilities, hatred or love.  Paraphrasing from an old saying about a wedding bride’s attire (“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.), I have outlined this passage as,

   

SOMETHING OLD – Vs. 7

SOMETHING NEW – Vs. 8

SOMETHING BLINDING – Vss. 9, 11

SOMETHING TRUE – Vs. 10

 

SOMETHING OLD – Vs. 7

 

Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.

 

The old commandment to love referred to here had been around for a long time.  It began as an Old Testament truth. Leviticus 19:18

 

The commandment to love was also old in the sense that anyone hearing the Gospel message over any length of time would have been confronted with his command to love. Matthew 2:37-40, John 13:34-35

 

From the beginning the disciples were confronted with this command to love on a higher level.  They were called upon to love each other as much as Jesus had loved them. 

 

We are called upon to love one another as much as Jesus loved us.   

How much did Jesus love us?

V     He loved us enough to leave the splendors of Heaven where He reigned with the Father to come to earth and become a man like us.

V     He loved us enough to endure 33 years of life among them that were vastly inferior to Himself.

V     He loved us enough to die on the cross of Calvary, paying for the sins that you and I have committed. This love not only came from God the Son, but from God the Father as well.

        1 John 4:10

V     He loves us enough to offer forgiveness and eternal life to all who will believe on Him. John 3:16

V     He loves us enough to continue to intercede for us at the right hand of God.

 

Jesus says to you and me, “I want you to love each other as much as I have loved you.  If you do this, the world will know that you are my disciples.”   

   

Jesus calls it a “new commandment”.  John called it an old commandment, but only in the sense that those John was writing to had heard it since the beginning of their contact with the Gospel of Christ. It was old in time but new in vitality.  

 

SOMETHING NEW – Vs. 8

 

Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.

 

How can something be old and new at the same time?

Let me give you an example.

 

We are grandparents.

For us this is not new.  We have been grandparents for almost seven years.

But each time a grandchild is added to the family it is “new”.  There is a new life, a new baby which gives us a new joy and excitement each time it is experienced.

 

The commandment to love on a higher level was true in the Lord Jesus.  He went to the cross for us.

But even now, He is still loving us. The extent of his love continues to increase. The intensity of his love continues to increase.

His love is new in extent and intensity every time He saves a soul.   

His love is new in extent and intensity every time He extends forgiveness to a believer.

His love is new in extent and intensity every time He answers a prayer.

His love is new in extent and intensity every time He talks to God in our behalf.

The new commandment to love is true in Him.

 

And the new commandment to love is true in us as well if we are truly born again. 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

There is new joy and intensity each time we help someone out of love for Christ.

There is new joy and intensity as we forgive someone out of love for Christ.

There is new joy and intensity as we bond together in fellowship with other Christians.   

There is a new joy and intensity when we win someone to Christ.

 

Now why is this new commandment to love possible?

Because the darkness is passed! Ephesians 2:1

 

Why is this new commandment to love possible?

Because the darkness is passed and the true light is now shining!   

 

The true light is now shining in our hearts. John 8:12

And my friend the light of life is a light of love. The more we allow Jesus’ light to shine through us, the more our love increases in joy and intensity.

The commandment to love is new in another sense.

Each day Jesus finds new ways to love us. 

Each day we should find new ways to love each other. Love is not to be stagnant.  It is to grow.

 

SOMETHING BLINDING – Vss. 9, 11

 

1 John 2:9 - He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.

 

There are people who claim to be saved, to have been born again.  And yet these people’s lives are filled with hatred.

 

Sometimes they hate people of another race.

Sometimes they hate people of another nationality.

Sometimes they hate people who have hurt them.

Sometimes they hate people who have hurt those they love.

Sometimes they hate other Christians because they have hurt them, or a loved one, or because they have become jealous of that other Christian.

Sometimes they hate practically everyone. 

 

The person who hates his brother is in darkness.

The person who hates his brother may claim to be walking in the light of the Lord, but the facts convict Him.

 

1 John 2:11 - But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

   

Now we can rationalize this hatred.  We can call it something other than hatred.

   

·        “Oh I don’t hate him. I just don’t want to be around him.”

·        “Oh I don’t hate her. I just can’t listen to him teach knowing what he has done to me.”

·        “Oh I don’t hate her. I just can’t forget how she’s hurt me.

 

We know of people who have been “blinded by hatred”.

We know of people who have blown up buildings and killed innocent people out of hatred.

We know of people who have murdered or harmed family or friends in the rage of hatred.  It’s in the news all the time.

   

And we don’t think that hatred effects us.

If we maintain animosity towards another

If we fail to forgive

If we harbor a grudge

If we have something against someone else

We are walking in darkness and we can’t think clearly because we are deceived.

 

Hebrews 12:15Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

   

When we fail to forgive we are not allowing God’s grace to control us.

When we hate we are not allowing God’s grace to control us.

When we have something against someone, we are not allowing God’s grace to control us.

We have failed of the grace of God.

A root of bitterness can spring up and trouble us.

It makes us miserable and we fail to think of act clearly because we have been blinded.

And the worst part of it is, many others are defiled by our bitterness.

 

They are hurt by our bitter words and actions and can become bitter themselves.

They can inherit our bitterness towards others.

Many a son or daughter, husband or wife, brother or sister can become bitter against someone else because the bitterness of a family member.

Many a friend can become bitter because of the bitterness of another family member.

   

I want you to stop and think for a minute.

Have you been blinded by bitterness or hatred?   

 

SOMETHING TRUE – Vs. 10

 

1 John 2:10 - He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.

 

We already saw that Jesus is the light of the world.

If we abide in that light, we will allow Jesus to shine through us.   

When we abide in the light, Jesus controls us through His Spirit.

When we abide in the light, we allow Jesus to cleanse us from all sin.

When we abide in the light Jesus loves others through us.

 

And we love others we will not stumble in darkness.

But more important than that, others will not stumble over us! We will not cause others to trip over us.

If Christians only realized how their own bitterness makes others to stumble!  They’d be more willing to let Jesus change them.

 

Don’t be a stumbling block.

Walk in the light!

Love instead of hate!

This is true!

 

The two possibilities are love and hate.

 

SOMETHING OLD – Vs. 7

SOMETHING NEW – Vs. 8

SOMETHING BLINDING – Vss. 9, 11

SOMETHING TRUE – Vs. 10