Bible Study of 1 John: Day 31
Light and Darkness
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Debbie Holt
Thank you for the cross and the blessed hope of Your return. Help me to see truth today as I study Your Word. Amen.
1 John 1
Once again, just as corruption had infiltrated Jewish Temple worship, it now was corrupting Church worship. You can see the beginnings of this shortly after Pentecost, even in the infancy of the Church during John’s lifetime. As we learned earlier, Gnosticism had slowly and quietly crept in. John began to see this and was led by the Holy Spirit to address this gnostic thinking in this letter… life in Christ that is real and true was his theme.
There had become an “easy familiarity” with Christianity by this time. Many of the believers were children and grandchildren of the very first “Christians”. Unfortunately, the thrill and glory of the first days had faded. Remember that this letter was written while John was in Ephesus, just a few years before he was exiled to Patmos.
If you look at Revelation, the book that was given later to John to write, it includes the letter Jesus sent to the Church in Ephesus. In that letter, Jesus said “But I have this against you, that you have left your first love”. (Rev. 2:4) It was just as Jesus had warned during His earthly ministry, “Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold”. (Matt. 24:11-12)
The Ephesians’ devotion and dedication to Christ was at a low ebb. The high calling of true Christianity made Christians “different”. And the children and grandchildren of the first Christians did not want to be different! The Ephesians had begun the worldliness of compromise.
In Ephesus, persecution was not the enemy of Christianity. The real danger to the Ephesian Church was not persecution from the outside but compromise from the inside. Christianity was not in danger of being destroyed; it was in danger of being changed by the popular philosophy of the Roman Empire, which was the Gnosticism we looked at in the first day of this study. That is the reason John begins this letter with the strong contrasts you were to look for yesterday……
Contrast #1: Light and Darkness
- God is light (v.5)
- Fellowship with the Father and the Son (v. 3, 6)
- Is a way of life, a “walk” (v.7)
- Fellowship with one another (v.7)
- Blood of Jesus cleanses from all sin (v.7)
- No part of God (v. 5)
- Is a way of life, a “walk” (v.6)
- A liar that does not practice the truth (v.6)
You will add to your list of contrasts as we go through each chapter.
You also were to look at the definitions of sin and fellowship……
Sin: #266 in Strong’s concordance-in Greek: harmartia
Sin, missing the true end and scope of our lives, which is God. An offense in relation to God with emphasis on guilt. Aberration from the truth; error. Aberration from a prescribed law or rule of duty. Spoken of particular sins, it is a defection from the gospel of Jesus Christ.
(from The Complete Word Study Dictionary of the New Testament by Dr. Zhodiates)
Sin will be part of your study in I John, so make a sheet with the facts as you learn them so you can add to it daily.
Fellowship: #2842 in Strong’s concordance-in Greek: koinonia
Participation, communion, sharing in common, partnership. Sharing in the resurrection life possessed in Christ, and so therefore with the Father and the Son (I John 1:3,6-7)
(from the Complete Word Study Dictionary of the New Testament by Dr. Zhodiates)
As you can see, our fellowship with one another is only possible through our alignment with the cross! You will find that when you are properly aligned with the cross of Jesus, you will have love for others that are likewise aligned with the cross! Also, by obeying His commandment to tell others the good news of the cross, the gospel, you are providing the opportunity for others to join this fellowship.
Today you are to look at a few other Scriptures that talk about light and darkness.
Read each one and note anything you would like to add to your list of light and darkness.
John 1: 4-9
John 3: 19-21
I John 2:7-11
I thank You Lord for the opportunity You have given me to tell others the good news of Your gospel. Open my eyes today that I may see the blessed opportunity that you send my way. Amen.
What is God showing you through this study? We’d love to know. Leave us a comment below.
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