Faith at Newtown Blog

Components of Christianity (1 John 2)

The Bible is God’s love letter to all believers.  It is filled, not only with instruction that provides us with all the help we need for today, but also with all the hope that we need for tomorrow.  In chapter 2 of First John,  the Apostle John instructs us on what a true believer is and what a true believer does.  

There are three components to being a true believer in Christ.  

First is a “Moral Component.”  (1 John 2:3-5)

The genuine and true believer, obeys God’s commandments. They avoid what God hates, and they validate their belief by obeying his command. God clearly states in v.4 that the one who professes Christ Jesus, keeps his commandments.

 

The second component of a true believer a “Social Component.” (1 John 2:6-11)

The disciple of Christ will love the brethren! We live in a world on intolerance. A follower of Jesus loves the family members.  each other, even when we are unlovable!  Whereas the world is constantly looking out for themselves, believers look out for each other. Love naturally flows out of us. Disciples of Christ love God and love others! 

 

The third component is an “Integrity Component.”  (1 John 2:15-17)

Walking in the light means genuine and legitimate.  If you love the things of the world, then God’s love cannot truly be in you. (1 John 2:15) 

 

Do you confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Your lifestyle will exemplify the walk of a genuine disciple of Christ.

Jesus Our Advocate 1 John 2:1-2

We all sin.  No-one is deserving of salvation or eternity in heaven. One sin makes us a sinner. God, because of his holiness, justice and righteousness, cannot allow sinfulness to enter heaven. Matthew 5:48 points to God’s standard for entrance. When the believer sins Satan accuses us before God. If he can’t keep us out of heaven, he is out to destroy or ruin us. But for believers, we have an advocate, a defense lawyer, ready to defend us against the accuser. Jesus is the propitiation for our sins. Scripture tells us that the penalty for sin is death, and that blood must be shed for the forgiveness of sins (Romans 6:23, Hebrews 9:22). Jesus paid this penalty with his own blood.

As snowfall covers the earth, hiding the dead leaves and broken branches beneath a pristine blanket of white, so too does the precious blood of Christ cover our sins. A sinner can be righteous through the blood of Jesus. A holy God can declare us right, through the shed blood of his Son. We have an advocate, who intercedes for our sin.

Are you “in Christ?” Do you have forgiveness of your sins?
What a great and loving God to send his Son!
What a great and loving Savior to willingly pay the penalty for our sin!
What a great salvation!
(Hebrews 2:3) “How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? …”

Paradoxes of Scripture

Webster’s dictionary defines paradox as “a person having seemingly contradictory qualities.” As true believers in Christ we should be a paradox to the world. Our lifestyle should be contradictory to the lifestyle of non-believers.  As true believers, our lives should be lived in stark contrast to the world. We do this by conforming to God’s standards, not the world’s. We should live according to the Spirit of God and not the flesh. We need to understand, live and practice paradoxical principles!  God states that his ways are higher than our ways. (Isaiah 55: 8-10). God’s word gives five paradoxes. Let them be your guide for living.

1.  To receive you must give.
2.  To advance you must lose.
3.  To live you must die.
4.  To be exalted you must humble yourself.
5.  To be strong you must become weak.

The world should see a difference in you. You are not of this world but made for another. (John 17:16)

The Brevity of Life – Psalm 90

There is one certainty in life and that is death. Death comes to all. It is inevitable, no one escapes it. Life is short. Scriptures tell us “…you are a mist that appears for a little time then vanishes” (James 4:14); and “…in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:16). One life is all you have to offer God. One life to serve him and live wisely. One life to love, cherish, help and serve others. Each minute lived never returns. You must ask God as the psalmist said, “…teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). Do not waste the moments you have been given. Anchor your life to God’s word. Wisdom is skillful living. Skillfully live by his word no matter how long or short you may have.