1 JOHN 2
1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
God heareth not sinners, but he hears Christ, and through him, will forgive unto life eternal. We are, therefore, says Paul, having such an High Priest (one who sympathises with our infirmities, from having tasted them), to
"come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."-(Heb. 4:16.) "He ever liveth to make intercession for us."-(Heb. 7:25),
and he intercedes for those who come to avail themselves of his intercession, but none else. It was only for those transgressors who brought the typical sacrifice to the priest at the door of the tabernacle that the priest interceded. So it is only for those who make confession in prayer, and supplicate the divine forgiveness in the name of Jesus, that Christ's mediatorial function will be exerted.
Israel did not worship the High Priest: they sought the Increate God of their fathers, through the High Priest, worshipping without, while he interceded within; so the people of Christ worship not Christ, but, in the name of Jesus, worship God; and Jesus, in the presence of God, maketh intercession, and God hears him, and through him-by the means of his personal will-vouchsafes the blessings sought.
There is nothing in all this to clash with the fact that God is gracious to our worthless race. His love is shown in establishing an arrangement by which we have access to His favour and life for evermore. His love could not be allowed to violate any other attribute of His being; it must work in harmony with all His rules and methods of operation; and this is what it does in the work of Christ.
God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, but the method of reconciliation was by sacrifice and mediation. God advances to us through Christ, but yet His advance takes the form of appointing a mediator
"to make intercession according to His will."
It need not be urged that the present forgiveness of sins interferes with the operation of the judgment seat. If we were now made immortal in answer to our prayers for forgiveness, such a reflection might arise, but all that is done is the obliteration of our offences from the divine mind. If they were not so obliterated, they would be disclosed against us at the judgment seat to our condemnation.
Unpardoned sin will be fatal, and the pardon is to be sought now in daily prayer without ceasing. Yet practically, the judgment seat will witness and administer the results of prayer. We know not till then if our prayers are heard. God knows now. He knoweth them that are His, but it is not permitted to us to know the secrets of His counsel towards ourselves until the Day which he hath appointed for the disclosure of them by the mouth of Jesus Christ, whom He has constituted judge of the quick and the dead.
It would be a fatal mistake to overlook the priesthood of Christ, as now accessible to his household by prayer. The truth would be of no use to us if we did. The intercession of Christ is necessary to our salvation: and we can only set it in motion in our individual behalf by individual prayer.
Ambassador of the Coming Age, Jan 1869
5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
A Higher Love
Now, love in the truth is a very different affair from all these [The World's Love Ephemeral] ; it is quite a higher thing, in every respect; higher in the conditions it requires for its activity-higher in the nature of its action. It is at once a more delicate and more enduring thing, more refined, and more tough.
It lays hold of, and has relation to, a much higher aspect of being. It deals with higher things. It mounts to God, stretches to futurity, and strikes root deeply into the very foundations of being while the love of the world ignores God, fixes on the present only, and has relation to the mere surface of things.
Bro Roberts- Exhort 6.
13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.
John speaks of children, young men, and fathers in Christ. The matter is one admitting, in the same discipleship, of great variety of mental relation to it -- the utmost profundity of understanding on the one hand, and the simple exercise of child- like and uncomprehending faith on the other.
Yet these varying conditions in believers have a common basis -- faith and obedience. They all believe the testimony of God, and are all distinguished by "the doing of His commandments." This is the family likeness.
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
Love in the truth must start with the truth; it cannot make a beginning without it. You will find, as a matter of religious experience, that our love is bounded by the truth. It cannot be bestowed in a very warm form where the truth is unknown, and still less where it is opposed and rejected.
Where the truth is received there is a starting point; but even after that, the degree of its intensity is determined by conditions. Personal love will exist in the ratio of the love existing for the truth itself. You have only to pass in review the different classes of people professing the truth to see the truth of this.
Bro Roberts- Exhort 6.
It can surely be only those whose consciences are not void of offence toward God and men, who contemplate their appearance in His presence with affright. They are, doubtless, conscious of disaffection and disloyalty to the truth ; of not walking worthy of the vocation wherewith they are called ; of conformity to the world upon the things of which their affections are placed, and of glorying in pursuits of which they ought rather to be ashamed.
Professors who are making for themselves a record of this sort, have reason to be affrighted ; for, " if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him " ; and the world's friends are God's enemies (1 John ii. 15 ; James iv. 4) ; hence, for such, the expectation of standing before Christ in full angelic assize, is " a certain fearful looking-or of judgment and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries " (Heb. x. 27)...
...If it be His purpose to demand account from every one, of himself, before he confers upon him, through the Spirit, life everlasting, that purpose will assuredly stand. And that it is His pleasure so to do, is emphatically and explicitly taught in the word. Paul, who testifies it among others, did not view it with dismay, although he says that evil as well as good is then to be dispensed. He was conscious of having done well, and he knew that such would be accepted (Gen. iv.7).
...Surely, they who are keeping the faith, and earnestly desiring " the appearing of the glory of the great God and Saviour Jesus Christ," may view the judgment of that day, now so close at hand, as cheerfully.
It is only evil doers that have reason to be afraid.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
... that is, these sentiments are not such as the Father approves as the motives of action in those whom He has formed in His own image.
...When we attain to any growth in Christ, we see this clearly, and more clearly every year. At first, to youth and inexperience (and always to the carnal mind, whether old or young) it seems not so bad. Things seem fair and harmless, and the apostolic portraiture overdrawn, and the scruples of such as are guided by the apostles over strong.
But at last, with maturer judgment of all things and enlarged appreciation of things that are truly "good," the world looks all that it is, and if we are wise, we stand aside as God's friends have always stood aside from the enemy of God. We get to see that the world in all its ways is wrong, at the root. What root is that? God.
The world sprang from God; and in a right state of the world, God would be its highest honour, its highest concern, its highest pleasure. But in the actual state of the world, God is not there at all.
He is unknown, unregarded where professedly recognized, sneered at where not actually denied in words -- blasphemed everywhere in the actions of men. His Word neglected where admitted, dispised where not avowedly cast out, spurned and denounced where the carnal mind openly unfurls the flag of its rebellion.
Bro Roberts - Danger, Seasons 37.
There is no sin in desire or lust itself; it can be good or bad. The sin is in what is desired and why.
The reason why the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life are of the world and ungodly is because they are all aspects of selfishness -- desires to get, and to gratify self.
We must get at the root of the desire. Is it a desire to GET, or a desire to GIVE? -- a desire to gratify ourselves or a desire to please God?
We must desire to give: seek opportunity to give, center all our pleasure and satisfaction in giving; be thankful of any opportunity, however small and insignificant, of giving, for -- said Jesus -- it is more blessed, more happy, more satisfying, more enjoyable to give than to get.
We must put aside all desire to get as evil, deceptive, self-destroying misdesire. Temptation, if traced to its roots, always works through the desire of getting something -- wanting something -- not being satisfied -- not being willing in thankfulness to accept God's way and God's provision.
-Strong crying and tears.
18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
"THE MAN OF SIN, the Son of Perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself over every one called god, or an object of fear" -- sebasma -- into the Lawless One, ho Anomos, who, Daniel was informed, would "think to change times and laws;" and "whom the Lord will consume with the Spirit of his mouth, and destroy in the manifestation of his presence" -- te epiphaneia tes parousias autou (2 Thess. ii. 3,4,8).
This lawless deity of the court, who sets himself above all law even in his decrepitude, while he has to be supported upon his tottering throne against "the Earth" by French bayonets, claims to be the successor of the apostle Peter, and Vicegerent of Jesus Christ -- in other words, THE ANTICHRIST -- anti, instead of, christos, Christ.
19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.
25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.
26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.
27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.