1 John 2:3-29
Obeying Godís commands is something that we would think would come naturally to everyone who claims to be born again, but sadly it doesnít seem to be the case when we look around the world.
We have to go no further than to look at Genesis 1 to confirm this fact, which should include all the Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, because this chapter of the Bible is part of each of these religions.
God charged us with caring for and protecting the whole of His creation, which includes every human being, all the other animals, and the environment in which we all live, and we are not doing this; just look around the world at all the warring madness, the violent killing, and the pollution of our environment, and we, as a society, can plainly see that we are not doing it.
And still in chapter 1 of Genesis, we are commanded to eat only the plant foods that God created for us to eat, and that neither we nor the animals were to eat each other.
Obeying Godís commands means that we are to have peace on earth as it is in heaven, where there is no pain, or suffering, or death that most humans continue to cause, beginning with what they put on their plates.
We are to be filled with heavenly love, compassion, and empathy for the benefit of the whole of Godís creation.
With these things in mind, letís see what else the Bible teaches us.
Letís start by looking at Acts 4:32-37 where we are told about those who truly believed that Jesus was the Son of GodÖ
32. All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.
In other words, they truly cared about one another, and probably believed that Jesus was going to shortly return, which He hasnít done for the past 2000 years.
33. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.
This is the way that God deals with all believers, but that should not stop here; we are also to be obeying Godís commandsÖall of them.
34. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales
35. and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
This is wonderful, but we are not told what happened to them when Jesus didnít return, and the money ran out.
36. Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement),
37. sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles' feet.
Barnabas was also a traveling companion of Paul.
And we know that he and others in the group became evangelists, but from what we are told in the Bible, they didnít seem to be obeying Godís commands in every aspect of their lives.
We should follow the way they lived as far as it goes, but we are also to be following and obeying Godís commands, all of them.
Now, letís look at 1 John 2:3-29, and see if we can learn more about obeying Godís commandsÖ
3. We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.
This is a very important aspect of our belief and faith, because if we donít obey Godís commands, it shows that we donít really know and love God.
From what we have seen and heard, we believe that there are many more people who claim to know God than there are who are obeying Godís commands, and most of these people are in churches and include some clergy.
If people donít live Godís commands, it shows that they donít really know Him.
4. The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
This is a pretty condemning statement, and it seems to apply to most people in the churches, including the clergy.
5. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him:
This is something that each and every one of us needs to self-analyze in ourselves.
6. Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
And this is visible to everyone.
7. Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard.
And we believe that this goes all the way back to the first chapter in the book of Genesis.
8. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.
Darkness is really the absence of light.
In this case the light is the spiritual light that Jesus shined upon us.
It is the light that shines upon the darkness of this corrupt world.
9. Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.
And not just his brother, but really the whole of Godís creation, which includes every other human being, every other animal, and the environment in which we all live.
10. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble.
We donít believe that this means a sibling brother, but it includes a lot more, and as we said above, it extends to the whole of creation.
11. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.
If people would learn to love instead, we would eliminate all our world problems and never have any more wars, or hunger, or homelessness, and would return to eating only the plant foods that God commanded us to eat in Genesis 1:29.
12. I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.
If we turn from our wicked ways, and truly seek to be the children of God, our sins will all be forgiven.
13. I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, dear children, because you have known the Father.
And these are all the peacemaking children of God, who live in His heavenly will.
14. I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
Again, this is speaking to the truly born again people who are filled with the Holy Spirit and who are obeying Godís commands.
15. Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
Just remember that violence, pain, suffering, and death are prevalent all over the world including what most people put on their plates.
16. For everything in the world-the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does-comes not from the Father but from the world.
We see these things in everyone who eat animals and their byproducts.
17. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
In other words, the people who live in and follow the corrupt and evil ways of this world will die in it and not be with the Lord forever.
Most people in this world really need to wake up, or they will pass away with the desires of this world.
18. Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.
And remember that this is a very long hour, for we still have the same problems today, some 2,000 years later.
19. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
And as we said above, most of the worldís people have left the heavenly will of God to follow the corrupt and violent ways of this world that are responsible for the suffering and death of millions of human beings and billions of animals every year.
We need to be obeying Godís commands and not the ways of this world.
20. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.
We believe that just about everyone really knows the truth, but they suppress it in favor of the corrupt ways of this world.
21. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth.
This is an important thing to remember, for when we encounter people who lie or rely on conspiracy theories and alternate ďfacts,Ē know that they are not of God, no matter what they might say to the contrary.
22. Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist-he denies the Father and the Son.
And we also need to remember that some people hide these things by saying things about God outwardly, but inwardly they are one of the antichrists.
23. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
This is true, but it also must be seen consistently in their life, for if it is not, then the person is most likely of this corrupt world.
24. See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.
And we need to make sure that we have heard the truth and not a lie from the beginning, for the lie is more popular than the truth.
25. And this is what he promised us-even eternal life.
This is the key to living in the heavenly will of the Lord and obeying Godís commands.
26. I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray.
And most of the people in the world are trying to do this.
Just remember that if anything is not based on unconditional heavenly love, compassion, and empathy, it is not from God.
Or putting it another way, if anything involves violence, pain, suffering, or death it is not from God.
27. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit-just as it has taught you, remain in him.
In other words, we always have to remain on the alert to make sure that the things we encounter are from God, and if they are not, we need to reject them immediately.
28. And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.
This is good advice for any true believer.
29. If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.
This is really the only way we can truly tell when another person is born of the Lord, and such people will also be obeying Godís commands, just as we should be doing.
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