We learned last lesson about Overcomers. Overcoming the world involves several things:
- Rising above the world's thinking and habits- Having a Christian worldview can be difficult in this day and age.
- Persevering in freedom in Christ, separate from the world- Staying God's word will assist us in staying strong when tempted by the world.
- Rising above circumstances of this world- Paul learned to be content in whatever state he was in. Following Christ means we abide with Him no matter what is happening to us in present times.
By remembering that we are Overcomers now....it will help us to be Overcomers then when the things of this world turn against us and it gets ugly toward us in this country.
1 John 5:6-
"This is He who came by water and blood- Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth."
We looked at our faith and how it has overcome the world. We looked at who overcomes the world: he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
Now John wants us to know who this Jesus is; He who came not only by water, but by water and blood.
Many believe this verses speaks of how Jesus was born of a woman (from water) and died in His blood (John 19) at the crucifixion. and many commentators believe this verse is speaking to John 19:34 when Jesus was pierced and blood and water flowed from His side.
Remember to whom John is writing: New believers among false teachers.
The Gnostics and Docetists were misleading new Christians into thinking Jesus was only a Spirit. He was not a man who "died" physically, so He did not die for our sins.
But John, a viable witness, saw Jesus live and breath and eat like a man. He also saw Jesus bleed and die as a man dies....so he can write that Jesus came by both water and blood.
So, in learning last time that those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God are overcomers, we read here that we must truly believe that Jesus came as a man and was also God:
It is by faith that we believe this about Christ.
Jesus came in flesh and died a horrible death of blood on the cross for us. Now we are reconciled. John urgently wants us to remember that our Savior was both man and God and the Spirit bears witness.
The Greek word for witness is martureo meaning: one who remembers or who has knowledge of something by personal experience. It is used nine times in 1 John 5. This word is used in legal matters.
You can see how urgent John is when using this word. He calls himself a witness. Now he says it is the Spirit that bears witness to God.
In the New Testament, we read about God, Son, and Spirit:
2 Cor 13:14
God bore witness to His Son-
We will learn more about "witness" in the next lesson. But here we must remember that John bore witness to Christ here on earth, and he points out how God bore witness, as well as the Spirit, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
To believe this means we will overcome the world.
(The Epistles of John, 2006, pp.184-1992)
Memorials are very important to people of all religions and races. It is obvious that we were created in God's image since He Himself commanded His people to create memorials. All the books of the Bible were written as memorials, not as dictation while events were happening.
If memorials are important to God, it is because He wants us to remember things: things that He did for His people, His works, His wonders.
And that's just some of the verses regarding memorials! There are many more....
My family is getting ready to head to Washington DC where our country's memorials and monuments stand. I can hardly wait for our son to see these memorials and monuments because it is good for him to learn to remember.
John wrote his epistles so that Christians would remember and memorialize all the works of the Lord.
1 John 1:1-4
Why? So that our lives would be full. Nothing is better for the Christian than to know our Lord God, the Creator of the Universe. Not food, water, clothing...nothing is better for us than to know our Creator. That is why He instructed His people to build memorials...so they would remember. When times got hard, they could look at those memorials and remember how it was God who got them through the hard times. It was God who set them free. It was God who crushed their "enemies.
It is our doom when we forget all that God has done for us. That's when we replace His memorials with our own.
Remember not to forget.
Until next time....
"This is the blessed promise to the saints, that they shall see God (Matthew 5:8). They who see God cannot but praise Him. He is a Being of such glory and excellence that the sight of this excellence of His will necessarily influence those who behold it to praise Him. Such a glorious sight will awaken and rouse all the powers of the soul, and will irresistably impel and draw them into acts of praise. Such a sight enlarges their souls and fills them with admiration, and with an unspeakable exultation of spirit."
-Jonathan Edwards 1703-1758 (Altogether Lovely, 1997, p. 222)