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1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude

A Daily Bible Study in 7-Day Sections with a Summary-Commentary, Discussion Questions, and Daily Application

Sunday (1 John 1)

The Prologue to the Letter

1:1 This is what we proclaim to you: what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and our hands have touched (concerning the word of life – 1:2 and the life was revealed, and we have seen and testify and announce to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us).

1:3 What we have seen and heard we announce to you too, so that you may have fellowship with us (and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ). 1:4 Thus we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

God Is Light, So We Must Walk in the Light

1:5 Now this is the gospel message we have heard from him and announce to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.

1:6 If we say we have fellowship with him and yet keep on walking in the darkness, we are lying and not practicing the truth.

1:7 But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

1:8 If we say we do not bear the guilt of sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.

1:9 But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness.

1:10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us.

Prayer

Lord, Your apostles testified to You because they wanted others to share their blessings of salvation. May I be as dedicated, sacrificially so - as necessary, to sharing Your blessings with others.

Summary & Commentary

“1:1 This is what we proclaim to you: what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and our hands have touched (concerning the word of life – 1:2 and the life was revealed, and we have seen and testify and announce to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us).”

[Note: John established his first-hand knowledge-credentials. He also affirmed the deity of Christ.]

“... the eternal life that was with the Father [Jesus, the Logos – Word]

“... we have seen with our eyes c the word of life [The Word of Life refers to Jesus.]

“... was revealed to us [The person of the Trinity, Jesus.]

“1:3 What we have seen and heard we announce to you too, so that you may have fellowship with us (and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ). 1:4 Thus we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.”

[Note: The Great Commission was that every believer was to announce to the world what the Lord God has revealed in His Gospel. Because of the Greatest Commandment, we love one-another as believers, and we find joy in adding to the numbers of those who share in that love.]

“1:5 Now this is the gospel message we have heard from him and announce to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.”

[Note: The Gospel message refers specifically to Jesus, and they heard that message directly from Him, and that message announces that the Lord God is light.]

“1:6 If we say we have fellowship with him and yet keep on walking in the darkness, we are lying and not practicing the truth.”

[Note: When we surrender to Christ we are transformed eternally, and we are joined to Him through the Holy Spirit, thus we cannot truly be His and continue to live as if nothing has happened. The fruits of the Spirit must be displayed in and through us or else we do not have the indwelling Holy Spirit and are not saved. To a lesser degree those who try to rationalize certain sinful conduct in any way must know from this text that they are harming their fellowship with their Lord, God – thus they are not in intentional-fellowship at all – even though their salvation may be genuine.]

“1:7 But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”

1:8 If we say we do not bear the guilt of sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.”

[Note: The Holy Spirit makes our understanding clear, if we say that sin is not what makes the salvation of Christ necessary then we do not have the Holy Spirit, and therefore are not saved. In a lesser sense one who suggests that some specific sin does not make us, without Christ, subject to eternal condemnation then they are saying that the Word of God is not true. That is apostasy.]

“1:9 But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness.” 1:10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us.”

[Note: There is no forgiveness and no salvation possible for one who believes themselves without the need for The Savior. Forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration is available to those who acknowledge their need.]

Interaction

Consider

The joy that we share with our Lord, God, is magnified every time just-one-more shares in our fellowship.

Discuss

What are some practical ways to disciple believers to share a powerful desire to find joy in adding to the numbers of those who share in the eternal and saving love of the Lord God?

Reflect

Johns wordsWe have seen and testify and announce to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us.” amplify our confidence in the Word.

Share

What is an example from your fellowship where they celebrate every new believer?

Faith in Action

Prayer:

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you some ways that you may become more attuned to, and excited about, sharing the gospel.

Action:

Today I am choosing to ask a fellow believer to pray in-agreement and to walk with me as I explore the ways of caring and sharing His Gospel with others.

Be Specific ______________________________________________________

Monday (1 John 2)

2:1 (My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.) But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One, 2:2 and he himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for our sins but also for the whole world.

Keeping God’s Commandments

2:3 Now by this we know that we have come to know God: if we keep his commandments.

2:4 The one who says “I have come to know God” and yet does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in such a person.

2:5 But whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of God has been perfected. By this we know that we are in him.

2:6 The one who says he resides in God ought himself to walk just as Jesus walked.

2:7 Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have already heard.

2:8 On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.

2:9 The one who says he is in the light but still hates his fellow Christian is still in the darkness.

2:10 The one who loves his fellow Christian resides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.

2:11 But the one who hates his fellow Christian is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Words of Reassurance

2:12 I am writing to you, little children, that your sins have been forgiven because of his name.

2:13 I am writing to you, fathers, that you have known him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young people, that you have conquered the evil one.

2:14 I have written to you, children, that you have known the Father. I have written to you, fathers, that you have known him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young people, that you are strong, and the word of God resides in you, and you have conquered the evil one.

2:15 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, 2:16 because all that is in the world (the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the arrogance produced by material possessions) is not from the Father, but is from the world.

2:17 And the world is passing away with all its desires, but the person who does the will of God remains forever.

Warning About False Teachers

2:18 Children, it is the last hour, and just as you heard that the antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. We know from this that it is the last hour.

2:19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us, because if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. But they went out from us to demonstrate that all of them do not belong to us.

2:20 Nevertheless you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.

2:21 I have not written to you that you do not know the truth, but that you do know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

2:22 Who is the liar but the person who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This one is the antichrist: the person who denies the Father and the Son.

2:23 Everyone who denies the Son does not have the Father either. The person who confesses the Son has the Father also.

2:24 As for you, what you have heard from the beginning must remain in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.

2:25 Now this is the promise that he himself made to us: eternal life.

2:26 These things I have written to you about those who are trying to deceive you.

2:27 Now as for you, the anointing that you received from him resides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things, it is true and is not a lie. Just as it has taught you, you reside in him.

Children of God

2:28 And now, little children, remain in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink away from him in shame when he comes back.

2:29 If you know that he is righteous, you also know that everyone who practices righteousness has been fathered by him.

Prayer

Lord, You have given to us Your light, for this world and for eternity. May I be careful to walk the path You have set-out before me and to avoid those who preach against Your truth and/or those who preach “another Gospel”.

Summary & Commentary

Peter explained that the expectation of the Lord God is not perfection, it is that we be intentional about our effort to keep the commandments, with His Holy Spirit to guide and empower us.

“2:7 Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have already heard.”

[Note: John refers to the prior “Greatest Commandment” of Jesus that believers love one another – one value of which is the evangelically-attractive evidence/witness of our association with Jesus.]

“2:8 On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.”

[Note: John’s “new commandment” added detail to the “old commandment”.]

“2:9 The one who says he is in the light but still hates his fellow Christian is still in the darkness.”

“2:10 The one who loves his fellow Christian resides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 2:11 But the one who hates his fellow Christian is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

[Note: This author considers this to be an unacceptable compromise in the NET Bible, done  for the sake of readability, but at the price of accuracy – implying a meaning completely at-odds with the what appears from this perspective to be the intent of the Lord God. “... fellow Christians” should read “... fellow member of the community”, or the like. The reason is that it is self-contradictory – one may not lack eternal life and be a “fellow Christian”, keeping with the consistent usage of the term in 1 John. This problem with the rendering is acknowledged in the NET Translator’s Notes.]

“2:12 I am writing to you, little children, that your sins have been forgiven because of his name.”

[Note: John was reminding his readers that their salvation was intact because of Jesus and that any suggestion to the contrary was a false teaching.]

“2:13a I am writing to you, fathers, that you have known him who has been from the beginning.”

[Note: John was reminding his readers of the eternal pre-existence of the Son Who is in and poured-out through the man/God Jesus; therefore they should have confidence in His power to save.]

“2”13b I am writing to you, young people, that you have conquered the evil one.”

[Note: John wanted his readers to remember that their salvation represented an eternal victory over the evil one – they need not fear what he could do to them eternally – though he represented a source of harassment in this world.]

“2:14a I have written to you, children, that you have known the Father.”

[Note: John was restating his prior argument for the Trinity, then about Jesus, now about the Father.]

“2:14b I have written to you, fathers, that you have known him who has been from the beginning. 2:14c I have written to you, young people, that you are strong, and the word of God resides in you, and you have conquered the evil one.”

[Note: John repeated himself for emphasis.]

“2:15 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, 2:16 because all that is in the world (the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the arrogance produced by material possessions) is not from the Father, but is from the world.”

“2:17 And the world is passing away with all its desires, but the person who does the will of God remains forever.”

[Note: John wanted his readers to understand that their choice for or against Christ is an eternally binding one.]

“2:18 Children, it is the last hour, and just as you heard that the antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. We know from this that it is the last hour. 2:19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us, because if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. But they went out from us to demonstrate that all of them do not belong to us.”

[Note: The “antichrists” “came out from us” means that they were from the same Jewish heritage and/or the same region, and/or received some of the same teaching but chose to reject Christ and to preach and teach falsehoods. (Judah functioned as a sort of amti-Christ.]

“2:20 Nevertheless you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.”

[Note: Those who are truly saved have the indwelling Holy Spirit may discern true from false teaching.]

“2:21 I have not written to you that you do not know the truth, but that you do know it, and that no lie is of the truth. 2:22 Who is the liar but the person who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This one is the antichrist: the person who denies the Father and the Son. 2:23 Everyone who denies the Son does not have the Father either. The person who confesses the Son has the Father also.”

[Note: Some of the deceivers attempted to claim that they were saved via some direct relationship with the Father, bypassing Jesus; John assured his readers that this was not true. All are saved the same way.]

“2:24 As for you, what you have heard from the beginning must remain in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 2:25 Now this is the promise that he himself made to us: eternal life. 2:26 These things I have written to you about those who are trying to deceive you.”

[Note: The conditional is “If” - “If what you heard from the beginning remains in you” refers to the one who has been saved. One who has not been saved would not retain the teaching as it would not have been kept for them by the indwelling Holy Spirit.]

“2:27 Now as for you, the anointing that you received from him resides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things, it is true and is not a lie. Just as it has taught you, you reside in him.”

[Note: John rephrased and clarified vss 2:24-26]

“2:28 And now, little children, remain in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink away from him in shame when he comes back.”

[Note: John was not placing their salvation in question, merely their sense of dishonor before Christ – if they had failed to live righteously prior to His return.]

“2:29 If you know that he is righteous, you also know that everyone who practices righteousness has been fathered by him.”

[Note: John was exhorting them that righteous living is the expectation of all believers and that any teaching to the contrary is false. There were some who lived and taught that specific sins were acceptable.]

Interaction

Consider

The repeated emphasis of John on righteous living.

Discuss

What are some practical ways that we might live more righteous lives?

Reflect

One problem then, and now, is false teachers who promote(d) the notion that grace allows unrighteous living.

Share

What is an example from your life where your knowledge of the “Greatest Commandment” “... love one another” helped you to resist the temptation of the enemy to act in unloving ways toward a fellow believer?

Faith in Action

Prayer:

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you an area in your life where you have made excuses for unrighteous behavior.

Action:

Today I agree to partner with the Holy Spirit, with accountability from a prayer partner, to repent of my unrighteous behavior, to reconcile my behavior with the Word of God, and to be restored to a closer daily walk with my Lord, God.

Be Specific ______________________________________________________

Tuesday (1 John 3)

3:1 (See what sort of love the Father has given to us: that we should be called God’s children – and indeed we are! For this reason the world does not know us: because it did not know him.

3:2 Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that whenever it is revealed we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is.

3:3 And everyone who has this hope focused on him purifies himself, just as Jesus is pure).

3:4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; indeed, sin is lawlessness.

3:5 And you know that Jesus was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.

3:6 Everyone who resides in him does not sin; everyone who sins has neither seen him nor known him.

3:7 Little children, let no one deceive you: The one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as Jesus is righteous.

3:8 The one who practices sin is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was revealed: to destroy the works of the devil.

3:9 Everyone who has been fathered by God does not practice sin, because God’s seed resides in him, and thus he is not able to sin, because he has been fathered by God.

3:10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are revealed: Everyone who does not practice righteousness – the one who does not love his fellow Christian – is not of God.

God Is Love, So We Must Love One Another

3:11 For this is the gospel message that you have heard from the beginning: that we should love one another, 3:12 not like Cain who was of the evil one and brutally murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his deeds were evil, but his brother’s were righteous.

3:13 Therefore do not be surprised, brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.

3:14 We know that we have crossed over from death to life because we love our fellow Christians. The one who does not love remains in death.

3:15 Everyone who hates his fellow Christian is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.

3:16 We have come to know love by this: that Jesus laid down his life for us; thus we ought to lay down our lives for our fellow Christians.

3:17 But whoever has the world’s possessions and sees his fellow Christian in need and shuts off his compassion against him, how can the love of God reside in such a person?

3:18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue but in deed and truth.

3:19 And by this we will know that we are of the truth and will convince our conscience in his presence, 3:20 that if our conscience condemns us, that God is greater than our conscience and knows all things.

3:21 Dear friends, if our conscience does not condemn us, we have confidence in the presence of God, 3:22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do the things that are pleasing to him.

3:23 Now this is his commandment: that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he gave us the commandment.

3:24 And the person who keeps his commandments resides in God, and God in him. Now by this we know that God resides in us: by the Spirit he has given us.

Prayer

Lord, You dwell in us through Your Holy Spirit, and His fruits are poured-out through us as love given sacrificially to fellow believers who share Your Holy Spirit. May I be found a willing and useful vessel of Your love to my brothers and sisters in-Christ.

Summary & Commentary

“3:1 (See what sort of love the Father has given to us: that we should be called God’s children – and indeed we are! For this reason the world does not know us: because it did not know him. 3:2 Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that whenever it is revealed we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is. 3:3 And everyone who has this hope focused on him purifies himself, just as Jesus is pure).”

[Note: When the Lord God prepared him to write Revelation John was given a glimpse of Heaven, and some of what he saw he was told not to record. The Lord did not want us to be distracted by that but rather to attend to the business of purifying ourselves.]

“3:4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; indeed, sin is lawlessness. 3:5 And you know that Jesus was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 3:6 Everyone who resides in him does not sin; everyone who sins has neither seen him nor known him.”

[Note: This does not mean that we are expected to be sin-free, it means that we do not ‘practice’ sin; meaning, we do not repeat the same sin over and over - without regret.]

“3:7 Little children, let no one deceive you: The one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as Jesus is righteous. 3:8 The one who practices sin is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was revealed: to destroy the works of the devil. 3:9 Everyone who has been fathered by God does not practice sin, because God’s seed resides in him, and thus he is not able to sin, because he has been fathered by God. 3:10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are revealed: Everyone who does not practice righteousness – the one who does not love his fellow Christian – is not of God.”

[Note: John repeated himself to be certain that his point was made. Just as we are not expected to be sin-free we are also not expected to be perfectly righteous – we are to demonstrate an intentional effort to seek righteousness in partnership with the Holy Spirit.]

“3:11 For this is the gospel message that you have heard from the beginning: that we should love one another, 3:12 not like Cain who was of the evil one and brutally murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his deeds were evil, but his brother’s were righteous.”

[Note: As we read in Ecclesiastes “There is nothing new under the sun.” The confrontation between good and evil has been long and continuous, as first recorded in the third chapter of the Creation narrative in Genesis.]

“3:13 Therefore do not be surprised, brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. 3:14 We know that we have crossed over from death to life because we love our fellow Christians. The one who does not love remains in death. 3:15 Everyone who hates his fellow Christian is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. 3:16 We have come to know love by this: that Jesus laid down his life for us; thus we ought to lay down our lives for our fellow Christians. 3:17 But whoever has the world’s possessions and sees his fellow Christian in need and shuts off his compassion against him, how can the love of God reside in such a person?”

[Note: This author considers this to be an unacceptable compromise in the NET Bible, done for the sake of readability, but at the price of accuracy – implying a meaning completely at-odds with the what appears from this perspective to be the intent of the Lord God. “... fellow Christians” should read “... fellow member of the community”, or the like. The reason is that it is self-contradictory – one may not lack eternal life and be a “fellow Christian”, keeping with the consistent usage of the term in 1 John. This problem with the rendering is acknowledged in the NET Translator’s Notes.]

“3:18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue but in deed and truth. 3:19 And by this we will know that we are of the truth and will convince our conscience in his presence, 3:20 that if our conscience condemns us, that God is greater than our conscience and knows all things. 3:21 Dear friends, if our conscience does not condemn us, we have confidence in the presence of God, 3:22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do the things that are pleasing to him.”

[Note: It may be helpful to substitute “soul” for “conscience” since the text is speaking of the nexus of our intellect and emotions where we are assured or uncertain of our salvation and our right standing before God.]

“3:23 Now this is his commandment: that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he gave us the commandment. 3:24 And the person who keeps his commandments resides in God, and God in him. Now by this we know that God resides in us: by the Spirit he has given us.”

[Note: This latter affirms the Holy Spirit is a member of the Trinity.]

Interaction

Consider

The Bible tells us the history of good versus evil; Cain harbored unrighteous attitudes and sinned against his brother Abel, who sought to be righteous.

Discuss

What are some practical ways to resist sin and to pursue righteousness?

Reflect

How does the commandment that “... we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another” and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit is God residing in us help when we are struggling with hard-to-like/love fellow believers?

Share

What is an example of your “conscience” or “soul” convicting you of a predilection (predisposition) toward sin rather than toward righteousness. How did you respond to that conviction?

Faith in Action

Prayer:

Ask the Holy Spirit to identify an area of your life where you tend to press closer and closer to the “fire” of sin, for the sake of temporary gratification, rather than striving to stretch out toward the blessing of greater righteousness.

Action:

Today I am choosing to partner with the Holy Spirit, and an accountability partner, to reverse direction in the less-righteous area(s) of my life.

Be Specific ______________________________________________________

Wednesday (1 John 4)

Testing the Spirits

4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses Jesus as the Christ who has come in the flesh is from God, 4:3 but every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God, and this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming, and now is already in the world.

4:4 You are from God, little children, and have conquered them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

4:5 They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world’s perspective and the world listens to them.

4:6 We are from God; the person who knows God listens to us, but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit.

God is Love

4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been fathered by God and knows God.

4:8 The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

4:9 By this the love of God is revealed in us: that God has sent his one and only Son into the world so that we may live through him. 4:10 In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

4:11 Dear friends, if God so loved us, then we also ought to love one another.

4:12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God resides in us, and his love is perfected in us.

4:13 By this we know that we reside in God and he in us: in that he has given us of his Spirit. 4:14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

4:15 If anyone confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God resides in him and he in God.

4:16 And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has in us. God is love, and the one who resides in love resides in God, and God resides in him.

4:17 By this love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, because just as Jesus is, so also are we in this world.

4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears punishment has not been perfected in love.

4:19 We love because he loved us first.

4:20 If anyone says “I love God” and yet hates his fellow Christian, he is a liar, because the one who does not love his fellow Christian whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.

4:21 And the commandment we have from him is this: that the one who loves God should love his fellow Christian too.

Prayer

Lord, You give us love to test our hearts and the hearts of those who would lead, so that we might know who has Your indwelling Holy Spirit and who does not. May I be careful who I trust as a leader and that my heart is always Yours when I lead.

Summary & Commentary

“4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses Jesus as the Christ who has come in the flesh is from God, 4:3 but every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God, and this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming, and now is already in the world.”

[Note: John wanted his readers to be keenly aware of the spiritual battle that rages all around them.]

“4:4 You are from God, little children, and have conquered them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 4:5 They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world’s perspective and the world listens to them. 4:6 We are from God; the person who knows God listens to us, but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit.”

[Note: We should not fear the deceiving spirits as we have “... conquered them”, and we continue to do so since we are Children of God. We should also not be surprised when people in the world believe lies instead of the truth as lies are the common-ground among those in rebellion.]

“4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been fathered by God and knows God. 4:8 The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 4:9 By this the love of God is revealed in us: that God has sent his one and only Son into the world so that we may live through him. 4:10 In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 4:11 Dear friends, if God so loved us, then we also ought to love one another. 4:12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God resides in us, and his love is perfected in us. 4:13 By this we know that we reside in God and he in us: in that he has given us of his Spirit. 4:14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.”

[Note: John re-emphasized love for one-another (believers) as evidence of the indwelling Holy Spirit, which is evidence of salvation, which itself comes only from confessing (believing and surrendering to ) Jesus Christ as Lord.]

“4:15 If anyone confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God resides in him and he in God. 4:16 And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has in us. God is love, and the one who resides in love resides in God, and God resides in him. 4:17 By this love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, because just as Jesus is, so also are we in this world.

[Note: “Perfected” refers to the Lord God’s love leading us toward and guaranteeing us entry to Heaven.]

“4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears punishment has not been perfected in love.”

[Note: A truly saved person should never doubt their salvation because the evidence of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, pouring out His love in and through us, should be obvious.]

“4:19 We love because he loved us first. 4:20 If anyone says “I love God” and yet hates his fellow Christian, he is a liar, because the one who does not love his fellow Christian whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 4:21 And the commandment we have from him is this: that the one who loves God should love his fellow Christian too.”

[Note: John drew a powerful contrast; if one sees (in his spirit) a genuinely saved believer – who must be filled with the love of God because he/she has the indwelling Holy Spirit of God – and hates them, then that person cannot him/herself have the Holy Spirit (they have the spirit of the enemy) and they therefore cannot be saved.]

Interaction

Consider

Do you understand the spiritual nature of the battle for truth? Are you in prayer and preparation putting on the “full armor” daily?

Discuss

What are some practical ways to recognize the presence of the Holy Spirit in a person, and ways to recognize a deceiver?

Reflect

The unsaved are vulnerable to deceit and that creates a challenge for evangelistic-missions.

Share

What is a practical example of someone who claimed Christ but who acted unrepentantly-hateful toward a believer (one whose faith-relationship with Christ was obvious to others)?

Faith in Action

Prayer:

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a process of spiritual maturity to make you more sensitive to deception.

Action:

Today I am choosing to improve one area of my daily walk so that I may protect myself against deception and I will also become more intentional in the outward expression of love for fellow believers.

Be Specific ______________________________________________________

Thursday (1 John 5)

5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been fathered by God, and everyone who loves the father loves the child fathered by him.

5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God: whenever we love God and obey his commandments.

5:3 For this is the love of God: that we keep his commandments. And his commandments do not weigh us down,

5:4 because everyone who has been fathered by God conquers the world.

Testimony About the Son

This is the conquering power that has conquered the world: our faith.

5:5 Now who is the person who has conquered the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

5:6 Jesus Christ is the one who came by water and blood – not by the water only, but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.

5:7 For there are three that testify, 5:8 the Spirit and the water and the blood, and these three are in agreement.

5:9 If we accept the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, because this is the testimony of God that he has testified concerning his Son.

5:10 (The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has testified concerning his Son.)

5:11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

5:12 The one who has the Son has this eternal life; the one who does not have the Son of God does not have this eternal life.

Assurance of Eternal Life

5:13 I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

5:14 And this is the confidence that we have before him: that whenever we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

5:15 And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, then we know that we have the requests that we have asked from him.

5:16 If anyone sees his fellow Christian committing a sin not resulting in death, he should ask, and God will grant life to the person who commits a sin not resulting in death. There is a sin resulting in death. I do not say that he should ask about that.

5:17 All unrighteousness is sin, but there is sin not resulting in death.

5:18 We know that everyone fathered by God does not sin, but God protects the one he has fathered, and the evil one cannot touch him.

5:19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us insight to know him who is true, and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This one is the true God and eternal life.

5:21 Little children, guard yourselves from idols.

Prayer

Lord, You have assured us of salvation and warned us of the danger or idols. May I be watchful to avoid anything that may be an idol, stealing Your rightful place as Lord of my life.

Summary & Commentary

John emphasized his prior point that a saved person has the indwelling Holy Spirit of God as “... the testimony in himself”.

“5:13 I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

[Note: Here is another affirmation of our assurance of salvation.]

“5:14 And this is the confidence that we have before him: that whenever we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 5:15 And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, then we know that we have the requests that we have asked from him.”

[Note: This has nothing to do with the all-too pervasive ‘name it-claim it’ philosophy that has infiltrated many Christian and quasi-Christian fellowships. John is not asserting that the Lord God ‘... is a cosmic vending machine’, as one has put it, (this is clear from the text immediately following). ‘The phrase ... according to His will’ presumes a sensitivity to the priorities of the Lord and not the world in-rebellion, thus the expectation is of the things for which Jesus expended ‘heavenly energy’, rather than the things of the world He discouraged as a distraction - displacing the more-important.]

“5:16a If anyone sees his fellow Christian committing a sin not resulting in death, he should ask, and God will grant life to the person who commits a sin not resulting in death.”

[Note: This is the qualifier for verses 5:14-5:16a. This is also, unfortunately, another case where “... fellow Christian” is the improper translation (which, oddly enough, the NET translator’s notes acknowledge – yet they still used it!) In this case, as in more than one previous, the more-correct phrase would be “... fellow members of the community”. This is apparent because a Christian does not need to pray for another Christian for their sins to be forgiven such that they will not fall into an unsaved condition – only an unsaved person could benefit from the prayers of a saved one in this manner. Job was asked to pray for his troublesome friends so that they would be blessed (or not punished) by God due to His good-will toward Job. We are asked to consider praying that God will stay His hand of judgment upon our unsaved friends (and family members) despite their sin – witness Jesus and Stephen “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.”]

“5:16b There is a sin resulting in death. I do not say that he should ask about that. 5:17 All unrighteousness is sin, but there is sin not resulting in death.”

[Note: We know from elsewhere in the NT that “... blaspheming the Holy Spirit” has been identified by most scholars as ‘The unforgivable sin.’ This, of course, makes sense as it is only the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit which confirms ones salvation “... the first downpayment of our salvation” as the apostle Paul phrased it.]

“5:18 We know that everyone fathered by God does not sin, but God protects the one he has fathered, and the evil one cannot touch him.”

[Note: John was, of course, speaking of “... a sin resulting in (eternal) death” – such is impossible for a truly saved person as they no longer own their free will – they surrendered it at the moment of salvation and the Lord God will never return it as we would only do something dumb with it!]

“5:19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us insight to know him who is true, and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This one is the true God and eternal life. 5:21 Little children, guard yourselves from idols.”

In the Notes section of Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller has included a helpful list of idol categories:

Theological idols – Doctrinal errors that produce such distorted viewsof God that we end up worshipping a false god.

Sexual idols – Addictions such as pornography and fetishisms that promise but don’t deliver a sense of intimacy and acceptance; ideals of physical beauty in yourself and/or your partner; romantic idealism.

Magic/ritual idols – Witchcraft and the occult. All idolatry is in the end a form of magic that seeks to rebel against the order of transcendent reality rather than submitting to it in love and wisdom.

Political/economic idols – Ideologies of the left, right, and libertarian that absolutize some aspect of political order and make it the solution. Deifying or demonizing free markets, for example.

Racial/national idols – Racism, militarism, nationalism, or ethnic pride that turns bitter or oppressive.

Relational idols – Dysfunctional family systems of codependency; “fatal attraction”; living your life through your children.

Religious idols – Moralism and legalism; idolatry of success and gifts; religion as a pretext for abuse of power.

Philosophical idols – Systems of thought that make some created thing the problem with life (instead of sin) and some human product or enterprise the solution to our problems (instead of God’s grace).

Cultural idols – Radical individualism, as in the West, that makes an idol out of individual happiness at the expense of community; shame cultures that make an idol out of family and clan at the expense of individual rights.

Deep idols – Motivational drives and temperaments made into absolutes: a. Power idolatry: “Life only has meaning/I only have worth if – I have power and influence over others.” b. Approval idolatry: “Life only has meaning/I only have worth if – I am loved and respected by __________.” c. Comfort idolatry: “Life only has meaning/I only have worth if – I have this kind of pleasure experience, a particular quality of life.” d. Control idolatry: “Life only has meaning/I only have worth if – I am able to get mastery over my life in the area of __________.”

Source: http://blogofdan.co.uk/?p=3385

Interaction

Consider

Verses 5:19-21 are a summary of the rest of Chapter 5 – we have salvation and the guidance of the Holy Spirit so that we may discern truth from lies – but we are responsible to leverage the discernment and wisdom of the Holy Spirit to keep us from drifting into the many forms of idolatry that are so common of the world.

Discuss

What have you been taught about the phrase “... a sin resulting in (eternal) death”? How does this study of this chapter assist your understanding?

Reflect

The Lord God's affirms your salvation through His Holy Spirit.

Share

What an example of the Holy Spirit guiding you away from sin into which you might otherwise have slipped?

Faith in Action

Prayer:

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you someone for whom he wants you to pray.

Action:

Today I will pray a request that the Lord God withhold His judgment upon one who has sinned against me - as an act of mercy.

Be Specific ______________________________________________________

Friday (2 & 3 John)

2 John

Introduction and Thanksgiving

1:1 From the elder, to an elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth (and not I alone, but also all those who know the truth), 1:2 because of the truth that resides in us and will be with us forever.

1:3 Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

1:4 I rejoiced greatly because I have found some of your children living according to the truth, just as the Father commanded us.

Warning Against False Teachers

1:5 But now I ask you, lady (not as if I were writing a new commandment to you, but the one we have had from the beginning), that we love one another.

1:6 (Now this is love: that we walk according to his commandments.) This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning; thus you should walk in it.

1:7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, people who do not confess Jesus as Christ coming in the flesh. This person is the deceiver and the antichrist!

1:8 Watch out, so that you do not lose the things we have worked for, but receive a full reward.

1:9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not remain in the teaching of Christ does not have God. The one who remains in this teaching has both the Father and the Son.

1:10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house and do not give him any greeting, 1:11 because the person who gives him a greeting shares in his evil deeds.

Conclusion

1:12 Though I have many other things to write to you, I do not want to do so with paper and ink, but I hope to come visit you and speak face to face, so that our joy may be complete.

1:13 The children of your elect sister greet you.

3 John

Introduction and Thanksgiving

1:1 From the elder, to Gaius my dear brother, whom I love in truth.

1:2 Dear friend, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul.

1:3 For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, just as you are living according to the truth.

1:4 I have no greater joy than this: to hear that my children are living according to the truth.

The Charge to Gaius

1:5 Dear friend, you demonstrate faithfulness by whatever you do for the brothers (even though they are strangers).

1:6 They have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God.

1:7 For they have gone forth on behalf of “The Name,” accepting nothing from the pagans.

1:8 Therefore we ought to support such people, so that we become coworkers in cooperation with the truth.

Diotrephes the Troublemaker

1:9 I wrote something to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not acknowledge us.

1:10 Therefore, if I come, I will call attention to the deeds he is doing – the bringing of unjustified charges against us with evil words! And not being content with that, he not only refuses to welcome the brothers himself, but hinders the people who want to do so and throws them out of the church!

1:11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is bad but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does what is bad has not seen God.

Worthy Demetrius

1:12 Demetrius has been testified to by all, even by the truth itself. We also testify to him, and you know that our testimony is true.

Conclusion

1:13 I have many things to write to you, but I do not wish to write to you with pen and ink.

1:14 But I hope to see you right away, and we will speak face to face. Peace be with you. The friends here greet you. Greet the friends there by name.

Prayer

Lord, You have called us to love and to receive and support one-another, but to resist and to refuse any partnership with those who reject You. May I be confident in You, cautious about humankind, and in all things committed to the guidance of Your Word.

Summary & Commentary

“1:1 From the elder, to an elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth (and not I alone, but also all those who know the truth), 1:2 because of the truth that resides in us and will be with us forever. 1:3 Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Son of the Father, in truth and love.”

[Note: “Elect” here refers to one who has met the Lord God’s often-stated requirement of surrender to the Lordship of Christ and accepted His gift of salvation. The common English usage of “elect” may refer to one who has been met the legal requirements for office both under the law and the results of the ballot box and now awaits the proper moment to assume the responsibilities of that office. We also have met the Lord’s requirements and we also are heavens-elect in-waiting. There is considerable debate as to the identity of the “lady and her children”; this writer takes it to be yet another feminine pronoun applied to The Church (assembly of believers) with the children those whom they have received as new believers.]

“1:4 I rejoiced greatly because I have found some of your children living according to the truth, just as the Father commanded us.”

[Note: It is instructive that John referenced “... some of your children” as opposed to “... your children” or “... all of your children”. John was rejoicing for those who are “... living according to the truth” – the text does not tell us if he knew that some were not or was uncertain and wanted to be sure of the others.]

“1:5 But now I ask you, lady (not as if I were writing a new commandment to you, but the one we have had from the beginning), that we love one another. 1:6 (Now this is love: that we walk according to his commandments.) This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning; thus you should walk in it. 1:7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, people who do not confess Jesus as Christ coming in the flesh. This person is the deceiver and the antichrist! 1:8 Watch out, so that you do not lose the things we have worked for, but receive a full reward.”

[Note: John wanted her (the local “Church” to be certain that her (their) lifestyle and faith are right before the Lord and that she (they) are (were) teaching the same to her children. We are assured elsewhere that in the latter days of the end times the deceivers will be so effective that they would deceive to the point of drawing people away to destruction “... even the very elect, were that possible” – so we know that those who are truly saved may lose only their blessings in this world and not their salvation. It is reasonable, however, to postulate that John was referring to her (the believers) desire that her entire family (the whole community) would be saved and if her (their) role model and teaching was defective - to that degree her (their) “... full reward” could be “lost.”]

“1:9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not remain in the teaching of Christ does not have God. The one who remains in this teaching has both the Father and the Son. 1:10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house and do not give him any greeting, 1:11 because the person who gives him a greeting shares in his evil deeds.”

[Note: John repeated a common NT teaching that believers must never provide aid or comfort to one who teaches a false gospel.]

“1:12 Though I have many other things to write to you, I do not want to do so with paper and ink, but I hope to come visit you and speak face to face, so that our joy may be complete. 1:13 The children of your elect sister greet you.”

[Note: John, still imprisoned on the Island of Patmos, sounded a great deal like the apostle Paul in his preference for in-person communication and in his faithful desire to one day receive the freedom to do so.]

3 John

“1:1 From the elder, to Gaius my dear brother, whom I love in truth. 1:2 Dear friend, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul. 1:3 For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, just as you are living according to the truth. 1:4 I have no greater joy than this: to hear that my children are living according to the truth.”

“1:5 Dear friend, you demonstrate faithfulness by whatever you do for the brothers (even though they are strangers). 1:6 They have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. 1:7 For they have gone forth on behalf of “The Name,” accepting nothing from the pagans. 1:8 Therefore we ought to support such people, so that we become coworkers in cooperation with the truth.”

[Note: John was asking Gaius to provide some practical resources to “... the brothers”.]

“1:9 I wrote something to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not acknowledge us. 1:10 Therefore, if I come, I will call attention to the deeds he is doing – the bringing of unjustified charges against us with evil words! And not being content with that, he not only refuses to welcome the brothers himself, but hinders the people who want to do so and throws them out of the church! 1:11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is bad but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does what is bad has not seen God. 1:12 Demetrius has been testified to by all, even by the truth itself. We also testify to him, and you know that our testimony is true.”

[Note: Diotrephes’ oversized ego, and his unloving reaction to John (and those whom John addressed his letter), may cause a reader to interpret that Diotrephes was in eternal mortal jeopardy. He was, at least, facing some severe chastising from the Lord.]

“1:13 I have many things to write to you, but I do not wish to write to you with pen and ink. 1:14 But I hope to see you right away, and we will speak face to face. (1:15) Peace be with you. The friends here greet you. Greet the friends there by name.”

Interaction

Consider

Merely because a person has heard the truth does not mean they will accept it, nor that once accepting it, that they will consistently obey it.

Discuss

Do we have practical ways to support those who travel on behalf of the Lord – those who lack sufficient means of support – without taking from the needs of the local fellowship?

Reflect

How do we deal with the problem of leaders who seem to desperately need constant attention?

Share

What are some examples of conflict, which involves gossip or unloving attitudes, and how was that resolved?

Faith in Action

Prayer:

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you someone in leadership for whom He wants to to pray because they are so desperate for attention that they push away others who have been sent by God to serve alongside them, they distort priorities and/or the Word of God to draw attention, and/or they ill-treat those who try to lovingly make them away of legitimate Biblical concerns.

Action:

Today I will pray in-earnest for the leader whom the Holy Spirit has directed me. I will make this a priority not only for the leader but for the harm that an unrestored right-relationship with the Lord God can do to many with whom he/she interacts in a role of authority.

Be Specific ______________________________________________________

Saturday (Jude)

Salutation

1:1 From Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and brother of James, to those who are called, wrapped in the love of God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ.

1:2 May mercy, peace, and love be lavished on you!

Condemnation of the False Teachers

1:3 Dear friends, although I have been eager to write to you about our common salvation, I now feel compelled instead to write to encourage you to contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.

1:4 For certain men have secretly slipped in among you – men who long ago were marked out for the condemnation I am about to describe – ungodly men who have turned the grace of our God into a license for evil and who deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

1:5 Now I desire to remind you (even though you have been fully informed of these facts once for all) that Jesus, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, later destroyed those who did not believe.

1:6 You also know that the angels who did not keep within their proper domain but abandoned their own place of residence, he has kept in eternal chains in utter darkness, locked up for the judgment of the great Day.

1:7 So also Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring towns, since they indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire in a way similar to these angels, are now displayed as an example by suffering the punishment of eternal fire.

1:8 Yet these men, as a result of their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and insult the glorious ones.

1:9 But even when Michael the archangel was arguing with the devil and debating with him concerning Moses’ body, he did not dare to bring a slanderous judgment, but said, “May the Lord rebuke you!”

1:10 But these men do not understand the things they slander, and they are being destroyed by the very things that, like irrational animals, they instinctively comprehend.

1:11 Woe to them! For they have traveled down Cain’s path, and because of greed have abandoned themselves to Balaam’s error; hence, they will certainly perish in Korah’s rebellion.

1:12 These men are dangerous reefs at your love feasts, feasting without reverence, feeding only themselves. They are waterless clouds, carried along by the winds; autumn trees without fruit – twice dead, uprooted; 1:13 wild sea waves, spewing out the foam of their shame; wayward stars for whom the utter depths of eternal darkness have been reserved.

1:14 Now Enoch, the seventh in descent beginning with Adam, even prophesied of them, saying, “Look! The Lord is coming with thousands and thousands of his holy ones, 1:15 to execute judgment on all, and to convict every person of all their thoroughly ungodly deeds that they have committed, and of all the harsh words that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

1:16 These people are grumblers and fault-finders who go wherever their desires lead them, and they give bombastic speeches, enchanting folks for their own gain.

Exhortation to the Faithful

1:17 But you, dear friends – recall the predictions foretold by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1:18 For they said to you, “In the end time there will come scoffers, propelled by their own ungodly desires.”

1:19 These people are divisive, worldly, devoid of the Spirit.

1:20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith, by praying in the Holy Spirit,

1:21 maintain yourselves in the love of God, while anticipating the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that brings eternal life.

1:22 And have mercy on those who waver;

1:23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; have mercy on others, coupled with a fear of God, hating even the clothes stained by the flesh.

Final Blessing

1:24 Now to the one who is able to keep you from falling, and to cause you to stand, rejoicing, without blemish before his glorious presence,

1:25 to the only God our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time, and now, and for all eternity. Amen.

Prayer

Lord, You have warned us of the self-centered, self-worshiping, self-promoting people who will pretend to speak for You but who rather disrespect You and draw others into their sins. May I be alert to deceivers and frauds and bold to call them out according to the text of Jude and others in Your Word.

Summary & Commentary

“1:1 From Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and brother of James, to those who are called, wrapped in the love of God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ. 1:2 May mercy, peace, and love be lavished on you!”

[Note: Jude chose phraseology that was very flamboyant; clearly, the joy of the Lord is right where it should have been, at the center of his heart. When he used the term “called” he referred to those who, like men qualified for military service, were “called” by the Lord God to salvation – not due to any works or individual righteousness (as we have read previously) – but because they, by faith, had surrendered to the Lordship of Christ.]

“1:3 Dear friends, although I have been eager to write to you about our common salvation, I now feel compelled instead to write to encourage you to contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. 1:4 For certain men have secretly slipped in among you – men who long ago were marked out for the condemnation I am about to describe – ungodly men who have turned the grace of our God into a license for evil and who deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”

[Note: Jude affirmed their salvation as a way to remove it, as a concern, from the discussion.]

“1:5 Now I desire to remind you (even though you have been fully informed of these facts once for all) that Jesus, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, later destroyed those who did not believe.”

[Note: Jude said it was Jesus who called Moses and caused the Jews be freed and punished those among the Egyptians and Jews who continued to rebel. The OT describes the One who did this as God – therefore this is another confirmation of the Trinity. Jude could have meant this as a rhetorical flourish, referring to the salvation provided by Jesus, but the text does not support that interpretation.]

“1:6 You also know that the angels who did not keep within their proper domain but abandoned their own place of residence, he has kept in eternal chains in utter darkness, locked up for the judgment of the great Day.”

[Note: Jude was painting a word-picture of the battle in the spiritual realm and he was also reminding his readers of last days prophesy.]

“1:7 So also Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring towns, since they indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire in a way similar to these angels, are now displayed as an example by suffering the punishment of eternal fire.

[Note: The text of Jude does not require us to take the meaning that the conduct of the fallen angels was the same as that of the humans in Sodom and Gomorrah. Perhaps a better understanding of Jude’s texts is a parallel illustration; in this case the emphasis is on their wanton rebellion, rather then upon the specific form of their sin, while they were in the state of rebellion.]

“1:8 Yet these men, as a result of their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and insult the glorious ones.”

[Note: The phrase “... their dreams” refers to their selfish desires for importance, lust, and power.]

“1:9 But even when Michael the archangel was arguing with the devil and debating with him concerning Moses’ body, he did not dare to bring a slanderous judgment, but said, “May the Lord rebuke you!”

[Note: The faithful angels knew their place and did not pretend to speak for the Lord God. Judgment and vengeance belongs to our Lord alone.]

“1:10 But these men do not understand the things they slander, and they are being destroyed by the very things that, like irrational animals, they instinctively comprehend. 1:11 Woe to them! For they have traveled down Cain’s path, and because of greed have abandoned themselves to Balaam’s error; hence, they will certainly perish in Korah’s rebellion. 1:12 These men are dangerous reefs at your love feasts, feasting without reverence, feeding only themselves. They are waterless clouds, carried along by the winds; autumn trees without fruit – twice dead, uprooted; 1:13 wild sea waves, spewing out the foam of their shame; wayward stars for whom the utter depths of eternal darkness have been reserved.”

[Note: Jude again painted a powerful portrait of the impact of sin run-wild, using examples from the OT with which his readers would have been familiar.]

“1:14 Now Enoch, the seventh in descent beginning with Adam, even prophesied of them, saying, “Look! The Lord is coming with thousands and thousands of his holy ones, 1:15 to execute judgment on all, and to convict every person of all their thoroughly ungodly deeds that they have committed, and of all the harsh words that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 1:16 These people are grumblers and fault-finders who go wherever their desires lead them, and they give bombastic speeches, enchanting folks for their own gain.”

“1:17 But you, dear friends – recall the predictions foretold by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1:18 For they said to you, “In the end time there will come scoffers, propelled by their own ungodly desires.” 1:19 These people are divisive, worldly, devoid of the Spirit.”

“ 1:20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith, by praying in the Holy Spirit, 1:21 maintain yourselves in the love of God, while anticipating the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that brings eternal life. 1:22 And have mercy on those who waver; 1:23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; have mercy on others, coupled with a fear of God, hating even the clothes stained by the flesh.”

[Note: Jude challenged the believers to reach out to the lost, while they were to avoid any participation in sin which might cause even their “... clothes (to be) stained by the flesh.”

“1:24 Now to the one who is able to keep you from falling, and to cause you to stand, rejoicing, without blemish before his glorious presence, 1:25 to the only God our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time, and now, and for all eternity. Amen”

[Note: Jude’s benediction matched the rest of his writing – emotively powerful.]

Interaction

Consider

Do we have the energy of Jude – clearly one who is listening to the Holy Spirit?

Discuss

What are some practical ways to balance outreach to the lost while keeping oneself from sin?

Reflect

Jude’s observation was that it was Jesus who led Moses in leading His people into freedom from captivity in Egypt. Even if you take Jude to intend a rhetorical flourish, as to the reach of His saving work on the Cross and beyond, it is a powerful piece of text.

Share

What is an illustration of your understanding of the spiritual battle and the parallels between angelic and human rebellion?

Faith in Action

Prayer:

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you a fellow believer who would be blessed to share with you the teaching of the book of Jude.

Action:

Today I will be as excited and expressive as Jude as I communicate the amazing blessings of the Lord God, and His warning to be cautious as to whose teaching to trust, to a fellow believer – as an encouragement to them, as a warning in-love, and as a shared act of celebration for me.

Be Specific ______________________________________________________

All Bible text is from the NET unless otherwise indicated - http://bible.org

Note 1: These Studies often rely upon the guidance of the NET Translators from their associated notes. Careful attention has been given to cite that source where it has been quoted directly or closely paraphrased. Feedback is encouraged where credit has not been sufficiently assigned.

Note 2: When NET text is quoted in commentary and discussion all pronouns referring to God are capitalized, though they are lower-case in the original NET text.

Commentary text is from David M. Colburn, D.Min. unless otherwise noted.

Copyright © 2012 by David M. Colburn. This is a BibleSeven Study – “1, 2, 3 John, Jude” – prepared by David M. Colburn and edited for bible.org in May of 2012. This text may be used for non-profit educational purposes only, with credit; all other usage requires prior written consent of the author.