Will You Walk With Me?

Sunday, August 11, 2013, 8:38 p.m. – I sat down with pencil and music score paper, thinking that perhaps the Lord Jesus had another song he wanted to give to me to write, but the only tune that kept coming out was to the song “Do You Love Me?” So, I scrapped the idea of writing another song for right now, and I opened up my Bible to hear what my Lord Jesus had for me. Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 1 John 2:1-17 (ESV): http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20John%202&version=ESV

If You Should Sin

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. ~ 1 John 2:1-2

John wrote this as a word of encouragement to those who were truly in Christ, who were walking in the Spirit - walking in the light - who had confessed their sins, and who were no longer living (walking) in darkness (in continuous sinful passions and selfish desires). He wrote to them in the hope that they would not sin, yet if they did, he wanted to encourage them that Jesus Christ, because of his blood offering for our sin, would be their advocate, speaking to the Father on their behalf. In other words, we don’t lose our salvation every time we sin. Jesus stood in the gap for us. He took our sins upon himself so that our sins would no longer be charged against us. He does not placate sin nor does he overlook our sinful choices, as though sin no longer matters to God. It does. But, because Jesus died for our sins, if we are truly in relationship with him, he pardons and forgives us our sins.

How We Know We Know

As soon as John had made the statement about Jesus Christ being our advocate and the satisfaction for our sins, he immediately went into a discussion on the subject of how we know we have come to know Christ/God. This is very important that we understand this. Although Jesus Christ died for the sins of the entire world, not everyone knows Christ/God, and thus not everyone has an advocate in Christ to the Father when they sin. I see here that John described at least four ways in which we know that we have truly come to know God; that we have come to know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior of our lives:

We Obey Christ & His Commandments

And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. ~ 1 John 2:3-5a
We have already established that even true believers in Jesus Christ will still, on occasion, sin, though we should no longer be involved in slavery to sin or in living sinful lifestyles. So, not one of us will do any of this with absolute perfection. Yet, that should never be an excuse for willful sinful practices. The goal of our lives now should be to please our Lord Jesus in everything that we do, to walk in his love, to obey his teachings, to follow him wherever he leads us, and to daily die to sin and to self, putting on the full armor of God.

To keep Christ’s commandments (to obey them) is not speaking of us following a list of rules and us, in our own flesh, trying to be good or trying to earn favor with God. The scriptures are real clear in defining the difference between us just doing for God what we think would please him, and us truly listening to him and obeying him in doing what he says, in going where he says to go and in saying what he wants us to say. He is not interested in all our sacrifices which we might make of our own choosing, thinking we are somehow in good graces with God. What he wants is our all on the altar of sacrifice laid, our hearts controlled by the Spirit of God, and us yielding to God in mind, soul and body, and fully surrendered to his will, his work and his purposes, plan and calling for our individual lives. I am his and he is mine! My life is no longer my own. I was bought with a price.

So, we know that we have come to know Christ Jesus as our Lord and Savior if we listen to him, we obey him and his teachings, and we follow him wherever he leads us (Cf. Jn. 10). If we say we know him, and yet we choose, by our lifestyles, to not listen to him and to not obey, then we are liars.

We Walk with Jesus

By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. ~ 1 John 2:5b-6

We know we are in Christ and that we are truly abiding in him if we walk (live daily in word and in deed) in the same way (manner; characteristic way of behavior) as Jesus walked. So, how did Jesus walk when he lived on this earth? He was tempted of Satan, but he did not give in to that temptation, but he refuted Satan with the word of God. He gave God the Father all the glory for everything that was accomplished in and through his life and ministry. He healed the sick, raised the dead, comforted the hurting, and he preached freedom to those held captive by sin. He sacrificed his own life for us, not just when he went to the cross, but daily he gave of himself to minister to the legitimate needs of others. And, then he ultimately laid down his life for us that we might go free from slavery to sin; free from eternal damnation; and free to walk in his truth, righteousness and holiness.

So, we need to follow that pattern (model; manner) of how Jesus lived his life on this earth. We, too, should resist Satan and flee temptation and draw near to God in full assurance of faith. We should daily put on the armor of God with which to fight off the devil’s schemes which would come against us. We should honor our God in all that we do and say, giving him the glory and praise and adoration he deserves, submitting ourselves to his will and purposes for our lives, and showing him enormous respect by obeying his commands.

We should be healers. The Bible speaks of gifts of healing. There are many ways in which we can bring healing to others – through touch, affection, nurturing, caring, loving, prayer of faith, anointing, encouragement, giving of hope, telling the truth, and sharing the gospel, etc. Nonetheless, Jesus never sacrificed truth, never told a lie, never placated or overlooked sin, and he never used flattery, trickery or manipulation in order to bring “healing” to someone. He always told the truth in love, he confronted sin, he forgave sin, and he told people to “go and sin no more.” He didn’t water down the gospel in order to make people feel good, either. He spoke the truth plainly and told it like it was. He told people the cost of following him, which is why many deserted him and never followed him again.

We should preach freedom to the captives instead of just laughing with them, being entertained by them, or just ignoring their sin or their lack of true relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus didn’t just make nice with everyone so they would like him. He didn’t hang out with people and do what they did and not talk with them about their relationships with God and of what God requires of them in thought, word and deed. He talked about sin, and he talked about what he came to do in dying for our sins. He talked about forgiveness, but he also talked about the cost of being one of his followers. He didn’t just give people a pat on the back and let them go on in their sin. He told them the way out, he provided the way out, and he led them to freedom. Yet they, and we, have to individually choose that freedom, and we have to walk in his light and his truth and no longer in darkness.

We Don’t Hate – We Love

Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. 1 John 2:7-11

Since hate is the opposite of love, and since love is action not just words, then hate is not just an emotion or a feeling of repulsion, but it involves actions of hostility and ill will towards others, resulting in aggressive behavior, resentment, anger, bitterness and opposition; persecution, false accusations, gossip, slander, quarrels, murder, malice, adultery, and the like. If we are actively involved in this kind of behavior toward others, then the bible says we are still walking in the darkness, and we don’t know Christ. Yet, to walk in the light involves loving others as Christ loved (and loves) us, and selflessly gave himself up for us to meet our legitimate needs, in particular our need for freedom from sin.

We Do Not Love Worldliness

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. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. ~ 1 John 2:12-17

Since love involves passion, desire, longing, emotion, and affection as well as our actions, honor, praise, adoration, time, commitments, allegiance, faithfulness and loyalty, etc. then to love the things of this world and the sinful world system is to give of our hearts, minds, bodies, emotions, affections, time, adoration, praise, et al to what is earthly, of this world, and which has no eternal value and/or is evil and sinful. This is a big problem here in America for the church. So many who profess to be followers of Christ are truly followers of humans and the things of this world, for that is what they give their time, allegiance, heart and emotion and affections, praise and adoration to more so than they do to Christ, or in place of Christ altogether. So, we need to ask ourselves the question: “What or who gets most of our attention, affection, heart, passion, and commitment, etc.?” Is it the things of this world, or is it Christ? – What is going to pass away, or what has eternal value?

Do You Love Me? / An Original Work / July 24, 2013

Do you love Me now?
Will you seek My face?
I have given you
My love and My grace.
Will you walk with Me
Ev’rywhere I lead?
Will you find in Me
All of what you need?

Won’t you meet with Me
Down upon your knees?
Will you obey Me,
And do what I please?
Will you hear My voice
Speaking now to you?
I am couns’ling you
To abide in truth.

I have died for you;
Taken all your sins –
Crucified with Me,
You have been forgiv’n.
I have set you free
From your slavery,
So that you can now
Live in victory.