1 John 1:3, "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."
Last week we looked at John’s introduction and discussion of the conditions for ‘fellowship’. In the course of the next few weeks we want to look at a number of things about ‘fellowship’. Tonight we will look at what the conduct in fellowship should be.
I. The Character of Our Conduct. v3-11
A. Obedience. (3-6)
1. Knowledge of God is proved by our obedience to His commandments.
2. Assurance of our relationship to God is proved by our obedience to His Word.
3. Note the contrast between "He that saith" and "He that keepeth".
4. Verse 6 emphasizes the importance of a walk that is consistent with our talk.
B. Love. (7-11)
1. The Old Commandment. v7
a. De. 6:5, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."
b. Lev. 19:18b, "thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the Lord".
c. This wasn’t something that was new to them, to love God and to love others has always been a standard of conduct for God’s people.
2. The New Commandment v8
a. Jn. 13:34, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."
b. The old command had been brought to a greater clarity now through Jesus Christ.
c. His death was the greatest possible demonstration of His love.
John 15:13, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
d. This principle of love is true in Christ and ought to be in His disciples because the darkness is past and we are in the True Light.
3. The commandment should be exempli- fied in our lives. v9-11
a. "In the light" = in fellowship with God.
b. Once again John brings back the importance of our talk or our profession being consistent with our actions.
c. The contrast is further seen by a lack of direction on the part of the one in darkness and the clear path for the one who is abiding in the light.
II. The Commandment for Our Conduct. v12-17
A. In light of our spiritual condition. (12-14)
1. Note our position before God.
a. Our sins are forgiven.
b. We have overcome Satan.
c. We are strong because the Word of God abides within us.
2. Note: He addresses all believers by using the terms ‘little children’, ‘young men’, and ‘fathers’.
3. Regardless of our maturity level in Christ: our forgiveness, strength, and victory is in Christ for His name’s sake!
B. In light of the world’s allurements. (15-17)
1. Love not the world. v15
a. ‘world’ = used here not as a reference to people, but to a philosophy of life which is contrary to God.
b. ‘neither the things’ = material things (although not necessarily evil in themselves) and our attitude toward them and our abuse of them.
2. The world’s characteristics. v16
a. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
b. Compare Ge. 3:6 with Lu. 4:1-13
1) flesh / food / bread
2) eyes / pleasant / kingdoms
3) pride / like gods / prove it
c. This is not of the Father.
3. The world’s prospect. v17
a. It will pass away along with all of its desires.
b. But, He that does the will of God will remain forever!
III. The Creed for Our Conduct: "We Know the Truth" v18-27
A. About antichrists which will come. (18-19)
1. John states that they have heard that antichrist will come (ie. THE BEAST).
2. But he says that there are now many antichrists or Christ opposers.
3. This indicates the end times.
2 Timothy 4:3-4, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."
B. About the anointing of the Holy Spirit. (20-21)
1. The Gnostics claimed to have a special anointing which gave them enlight- enment.
2. John states that our anointing is from God and we can know or discern all things.
3. We know the truth, therefore, we can discern a lie.
C. About those who deny Christ. (22-23)
1. The supreme liar is the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ.
2. Those who would deny Christ are anti- christs or Christ opposers.
3. To deny the Son is to deny the Father Jn. 10 30, "I and my Father are one."
4. Many groups seek to acknowledge the Father while denying Jesus, but you cannot have one without the other! (NOTE: Some Jesus-only teaching denies the Father which is also wrong)
D. About eternal life. (24-25)
1. ‘That which Ye have heard’ = the gospel message.
2. Jn. 8:31, "If Ye continue in my Word then are ye my disciples indeed."
3. Note v14, "Ye are strong , and the Word of God abideth in you and Ye have overcome the wicked one."
4. The promise of His Word is eternal life.
E. About false teachers. (26-27)
1. Believers are indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God.
2. He is our teacher and guide. cf. Jn. l6:13
3. Through Him we can discern the truth from lies.
4. We abide in Him!
True fellowship has two important conditions which must be met: conformity to a standard (Jesus Christ) and confession of sin. As we have seen this evening, the character of our conduct involves obedience and love. Are you enjoying true fellowship with God and others? If not, you are missing out on one of the greatest blessings of salvation!