1 John 3

1 John 3: We Shall be Like Christ

                John opens with a very powerful explanation of the Love of God, more specifically the love that God has for us; “…what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the Sons of God… now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:1-3) Isn’t this powerful? We are literally God’s offspring, making us the sons and daughters of the God the Eternal Father! John explains that when we see Him, we shall be LIKE HIM! After all we were made in His image. This means that we have UNLIMIMITED potential!

John also explains that; “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin…” (1 John 3:9) Therefore little children cannot sin. This means that little children do not need to be baptized, for baptism is for the remission of sins.

As followers of Christ we will often be ridiculed, but John says; “Marvel not, my brethren, If the world hate you.” (1 John 3:13) It is inevitable, if you are following Jesus Christ, the world WILL hate you. If we follow God and His commandments then “…whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.” (1 John 3:22) Beyond loving Jesus Christ, we also need to love our fellow man, this combined with the keeping of the commandments will ensure that we have His spirit with us always.

James 2

James 2: Salvation Gained by Keeping the WHOLE Law

James explains that those who treat the rich man better than the poor man; “…have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.” (James 2:1) James explains that we are not in a position to judge others for God created all men equal and does not view them in measure of their worldly possessions but rather their wealth of faith. James urges people to treat the rich and poor equally; “If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:” (James 1:8)

James goes on to explain that we must follow all the laws of God, for; “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; whatdoth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” (James 2:14-18)

Essentially James explains that we need to not only have faith and preach good, but also do good. If we are to believe that God exists, we should understand His power, for even the devils; “…also believe, and tremble.” (James 1:19) No one is perfect, but if we work hard to do what we preach we will be filled with faith, justified by good works.

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 1:26)

1 Thessalonians 4

1 Thessalonians 4: The Dead Shall Rise

                Paul urges the members of the Church in Thessalonia to follow in their footsteps, even as they (The Apostles) follow in the footsteps of Christ. Paul promises that if they do, they will be blessed;

“…as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.” (1 Thessalonians 4:1)

Paul goes on to remind them of the importance of having sexual relations in the bounds of marriage; “… this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3)

Paul reminds them to not defraud their brother, and to the importance of loving on another and treating one another as you would want to be treated;

“…no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter… ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.” (1 Thessalonians 4:6,9)

Paul writes and tells them that they need to “…study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands…” (1 Thessalonians 4:11) In other words, study hard, strive to do good in your own business and with your own hands. You should obtain skills, education, etc. You should not lie, cheat or steal from others.

Paul ends his letter to the Thessalonians  by telling them to keep their heads up and not worry about those who will die without Christ;

“…I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13)

He then goes on to explain the Second Coming of Jesus Christ;

“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:1-18)

Galatians 5

Galatians 5: The Fruits of the Spirit

                “STAND fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1)

                Paul makes a very bold statement in declaring that we are free in liberty when we follow the commandments of God. However, if we get entangled in the evils of the world we will be in bondage. Paul goes on to say that in the “…Spirit [we] wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” (Galatians 5:5) We are not always going to have signs or wonders performed in front of our eyes for us to believe in Jesus Christ, or His doctrine and commandments. We walk by faith and by that faith we serve one another. “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Galatians 5:14)

Paul gives the Galatians a great piece of advice, which can be applied to everyone: “…Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16) Paul explains that lust pulls away from the Spirit, those who are led by the Spirit have no need for the law… because the Spirit will guide them in the ways of the law.

Paul explains the works of the flesh: “…Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness [lustful], Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance [contention], emulations [rivalry, self-seeking], wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings… they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21) Those who follow after the desires, and lusts of the world will not inherit the kingdom of God.

                Paul goes onto explain that those who follow the Spirit will feel something different than those who are following after the flesh. For “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance; against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

                Those who are filled with the Spirit and fight against the lusts of the world are filled with the joy of the Spirit. Those who rid themselves of those evils, have participated in their own crucifixion of the evil and have been Spiritually reborn and symbolically resurrected of their old ways. “…they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” (Galatians 5:24-26) Paul urges the Galatians (and the reader) to walk by the Spirit and love one another.