Read - 1 John 20-21
Message - Alan Burke
If you read the devotions on Monday you were confronted with the truth of how this is the 'last hour’ (18a). Time is running out, not only because we age and that our earthly journey will come to an end but also time is running out for the world itself. Sooner or later Christ will return and we should live expecting it for these are the last days, we need to recognise the time that we live in. Then on Wednesday we looked to that warning John gives of the danger that there is for there are ‘antichrist’s’, those who are teaching a load of nonsense (18). John mentioned this not so that we would be trying to identify those who are teaching a false gospel, rather he wants to make believers wise to the danger that is there so that they can be safe, not everything we hear is trustworthy. Now he turns his attention to what we have been given, and how we have been given all that we need, this should give us assurance not in ourselves but in God’s work in us (20-22). For those who have received the truth of the gospel, for the spiritual children that John writes to, and for us what John now says should give us assurance of our standing with God, his care for us.
Paul describes the work of God in the life of the believer in this way, ‘he anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit on our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come (1 Cor 1:2). For if we have received the Holy One of God (20), Jesus Christ, then we have come to know the truth and have the antidote to false teaching of the antichrist’s. It’s as if John is saying, all of you know the truth, if you have been saved, by faith, through the work of God in your life, his Holy One, Jesus Christ, then we have come to know the truth, that is what we need, - there are those out there, the antichrists who spout a whole load of nonsense, but they have no monopoly of truth, for it is the right and privilege of ever true believe to have knowledge from the Spirit.
By nature we do not receive the things of God as trustworthy, we cannot not please God or submit to the God of the bible but by the work of God within us by his Word and Spirit we are changed, and when this happened we cannot be deceived by the lies, by those who declare untruths but we are to be on our guard. We need to examine the scriptures, study them, grow in them, and that will help us in all that we face as the Spirit works in us, applying the truth to our lives. The guiding work of the Spirit within us cannot be separated from the message, the Word of God itself, the scriptures of the Old and New Testament.
John writes so that the church may know the danger that they may be wise to it, likewise for us we need to be ware that not all that we hear is truth and not everyone who is in ministry in the church or in parachurch organisations declares the truth. There are many who tell people what they want to hear because the time has come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear (2 Tim 4:3).
Did our first parents continue in the estate wherein they were created?
Our first parents, being left to the freedom of their own will, fell from the estate wherein they were created, by sinning against God. (Gen. 3:6–8,13, Eccl. 7:29)