Bible Study of 1 John: Day 20
Friday, May 26, 2017
Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Debbie Holt
I love You Lord. I come confidently before Your throne today as a willing servant of all You have ordained for me today. Amen.
I John 4
Hate. Such a strong word that evokes strong reactions!
It’s not a word we generally look up in Bible study, but today we want to take a look at this real thing called “hate”.
(It is #3404 in the Strong’s numbering system.)
The Greek word is miseo and immediately you can see a connection to our English word misery! This word includes an active ill will in words and conduct, and a general persecuting spirit. It is the opposite of agapao (#25) – to love. It is equivalent to not loving, loveless, to slight, detest, and abhor; to withhold.
Read 1 John 2:9
Read 1 John 2:11
Read 1 John 3:13
Read 1 John 3:15
Read 1 John 4:20
What did you notice?
These statements are to BROTHERS! This letter was written to believers. So…is it possible for a believer to harbor hatred in his heart toward another believer?
These warnings are clearly intended for Christians as the words “his brother” plainly show. If John thought that no Christian could hate another Christian, there was no need to personalize the relationship with the word “his”. But the opinion that a true Christian could never hate another Christian is naïve and contrary to the Bible and experience. Even King David was guilty of murder, which is the final expression of hate.
John was warning his readers against a spiritual danger that is all too real. And he was affirming that a Christian who can hate his fellow Christian has not genuinely escaped from the darkness of this present passing Age. To put it another way, he has much to learn about God and cannot legitimately claim an intimate knowledge of Christ. If he really knew Christ as he ought, he would love his brother.
A Christian who harbors hatred for a fellow Christian has lost all real sense of direction and effectively is simply wandering around in the dark! And Jesus Himself equated being angry with a brother as being like murder in his heart in the Sermon on the Mount.
I can’t help but wonder how many times we short-circuit the flow of the Holy Spirit in our lives (“quench the Spirit”) with hatred.
This is a strong teaching here in I John and we dare not gloss over it! In verse 3:15, John does not say that someone who hates his brother does not possess eternal life, but rather that he does not have it abiding (present active) in him. Sorry to get so technical, but it is critical to what the Holy Spirit is saying in this passage. I HAVE eternal life already, but here in this world I don’t always ABIDE in that eternal life. Anytime I am living “in the world” as the rest of the world does, I rob myself of the blessing of living in the reality of eternal life now!
Intimacy with Christ requires that I abide in Him!
What did you learn about confidence? Well, you will see that it ties in with what you’ve just seen concerning love of the brethren. In order to be confident before the Lord, you must abide (present active) in Him.
Read 1 John 2:28
I can have confidence before God in reference to Jesus’ return if I abide (present perfect) in Him.
Read 1 John 3:21
I can have confidence in my prayer life if I love one another. (3:11-24)
Read 1 John 4:17
As I abide in God, I will abide in love and love casts out fear; I am confident before Him because He has perfected me in love.
Read 1 John 5:14
Abiding in Him gives me confidence in my prayers to God.
Confidence is # 3954 = parresia: boldness; the absence of fear in speaking boldly, hence, cheerful courage; freedom and frankness in speaking.
How can a believer know that his love for the Father is being perfected?
He grows in his confidence toward God. We have confidence in reference to judgment – Jesus paid our penalty and there is no fear that His payment was sufficient. An immature Christian is tossed between fear and love; a mature Christian rests in God’s love.
A growing confidence in the presence of God is one of the first evidences that our love for God is maturing and that we are abiding in that love!
So far you’ve seen that righteousness, obedience, abiding, knowing, and loving the brethren are sign posts for you to examine yourself. That’s your assignment for the weekend.
Think about what you’ve seen so far in this little, but powerful, letter from John….straight from the Father’s heart!
Read through chapters 1 through 4 as often as you can this weekend to prepare yourself for the final chapter next week.
And don’t forget to fellowship with the brethren this weekend at Church….it’ll do you good!!
Lord, I want to thank You for drawing me out of the darkness, and bringing me into the Light. The light of Your unconditional love. Please soften the places in my heart where I’m harboring any feelings that are not from You. May I, through Your Spirit within me, always be a reflection of Your light and Your love to a world consumed by darkness. I pray my actions will always be directed by Your perfect love and not my feeble, fleshly emotions. For it’s in Your Son’s name I pray these things. Amen!
What is God showing you through this study? We’d love to know. Leave us a comment below.
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