Fruit – Week 2 – 9/2/2018

1 John 1:5 – 1 John 2:2

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in him. If we say, “We have fellowship with him,” and yet we walk in darkness, we are lying and are not practicing the truth. 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. If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ the righteous one. He himself is the atoning sacrifice[a] for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world.

 

As Christians, how do we walk in God’s light?  God wants us to know that darkness is the absence of light, and sin is a choice to live in the absence of God!  You’re either in the light, or you’re out of the light.  But even when we do sin, we have an advocate with the Father – and His name is Jesus!  Even though Jesus didn’t sin, all of our sin gets placed on Him as our substitution. (1 Peter 3:18, 2 Corinthians 5:21)

In the end, church memberships and religious affiliations mean NOTHING.  The only thing that matters is – Have you placed your faith in the Son of God?

 

Fruit – Week 3 – 9/9/2018

God’s Commands (1 John 2)

This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commands.The one who says, “I have come to know him,” and yet doesn’t keep his commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, truly in him the love of God is made complete. This is how we know we are in him: The one who says he remains in him should walk just as he walked.

Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old command that you have had from the beginning. The old command is the word you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. The one who says he is in the light but hates his brother or sister is in the darkness until now. 10 The one who loves his brother or sister remains in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.[b] 11 But the one who hates his brother or sister is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and doesn’t know where he’s going,because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

  • A true Christian will walk in God’s light and be full of God’s love.

  • Evidence of truly knowing the Son of God is a desire to obey the word of God!

  • It’s impossible to be in relationship with a holy God while living habitually an unholy life!

  • The problem in much of our society is that, while we believe there is a God, we live like there is no God!

  • Our walk talks and our talk talks, but our walk talks louder than our talk talks.

  • If you’re walking with Jesus, you won’t be sinless, but you will sin less!

  • When we learn to obey God unconditionally, we learn to love sacrificially.

  • It is impossible to know God, and love God, and love what He hates, or hate what He loves.

 

Fruit – Week 4 – 9/16/2018

1 John 2:12-14

12 I am writing to you, little children, since your sins have been forgiven on account of his name. 13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you have come to know the one who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have conquered the evil one. 14 I have written to you, children,
because you have come to know the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you have come to know the one who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, God’s word remains in you, and you have conquered the evil one.

There are three stages of spiritual growth:

  1.  Children in the faith – Even though they have been forgiven of sin’s penalty, they still often live under sin’s power and authority.  They lack the maturity to live obediently of the ability to live consistently in victory, or what Jesus calls “life abundantly.” (John 10:10)  We need to grow in what we know (Ephesians 4:14-15, Hebrews 5:12, 1 Peter 2:2)  We need to take the baby steps of obedience in baptism, giving and serving.

  2. Young adult in the faith – You’re learning how to conquer sin’s power and captivity by living obediently.  You’re full of knowledge biblically  and sealed spiritually.  But at this stage it is more about “what you know” and not yet about “what you are.”  Focus on growing your character qualities spiritually and not just your knowledge biblically.  Biblical knowledge does not automatically equate to spiritual maturity.  They’e never allowed the knowledge in their heads to transform their hearts.  (1 Corinthians 8:1)

  3. Parent in the faith – Young adults reproduce what they know, but parents reproduce what they are. (Galatians 4:19, 2 Timothy 2:2)

 

Fruit – Week 5 – 9/23/2018

1 John 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. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s possessions—is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.

In 1 Kings 16:25-33, we read about 2 kings of Israel, Omri and Ahab.  Then we read in 1 Kings 19:17-21 about 2 prophets, Elijah and Elisha.  Omri taught his son Ahab to love the things of the world…while Elijah mentored, developed, and encouraged Elisha to love doing the will of God.  Each reproduction cycle of generation compounds exponentially.

Today the church is largely marginalized, made fun of, and pushed aside.  This is because the church at some point chose to embrace its comfort instead of embracing her calling.  Her people have become far more concerned about picking up and holding and protecting their rights as Americans and laying down their rights as citizens of heaven!

Here are four things that we to do to reproduce into the next generation a love for doing the will of God:

  1. We need to stop making excuses.

  2. We need to go beyond making excuses and start making moves.

  3. We need to share.

  4. We need to continually believe the best even when we can’t see the best.

 

Fruit – Week 6 – 9/30/2018

1 John 2:18-25

18 Children, it is the last hour. And as you have heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. By this we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. However, they went out so that it might be made clear that none of them belongs to us.

20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.[c] 21 I have not written to you because you don’t know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar, if not the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This one is the antichrist: the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; he who confesses the Son has the Father as well.

24 What you have heard from the beginning is to remain in you. If what you have heard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he himself made to us: eternal life.

There have been many antichrists that have been distorting the gospel.  How can we recognize or know the spirit of the antichrist?  This spirit is seen in:

  1. The defection from the doctrines of the historic Christian faith. (1 John 2:19-21)

  2. The distortion that Jesus is not both fully God and fully man.  (1 John 2:22, Romans 5:12)

  3. The deception that there are others ways to know God apart from the Son of God.  (1 John 2:23, John 14:6, Matthew 7:13-14)

  4. The delusion that all roads lead to God and everyone is going to heaven. ( John 10:9)

The evidence that you really are in the faith is that you stay in the faith.  (1 John 2:20-26, Ephesians 4:30)  Will you say “yes” to Jesus, or “no”?  If you already know Jesus, you ought to be sharing Jesus.