Commentary on "John's Letter to the Chosen Lady"
Day 7: Friday, September 18, 2009
I want to provide some relevant scriptures and comments for the discussion questions.
Doctrine is extremely important. Truth sets us free, and lies put us in bondage.
John 8:31-32: So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.
1 Timothy 4:16: Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.
Remember that John’s word “commandments” does not refer to the Ten Commandments, but rather to Jesus’ commandments to us as believers (see the commentary from Monday, September 14).
In light of this clarification, how does love for Jesus Christ and obedience to Him result in love for others? What effect does alienation for Jesus have on our ability to love?
1 John 3:16-18: By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
John 15:1-5: I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Pilate asked Jesus the question “What is truth?” but received no answer.
John 18:33-39: So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, "Are you the King of the Jews? Jesus answered, "Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?" Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?" Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world." Then Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world--to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice." Pilate said to him, "What is truth?" After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, "I find no guilt in him.But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?"
What effect does the attitude of our hearts have on our ability to know truth?
Matthew 11:25: At that time Jesus declared, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children.
Matthew 7:7-8: "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened."
Here are a few relevant passages:
Matthew 18:15-17: If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
1 John 5:16-17: If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life--to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death.
1 Corinthians 5: It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father's wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.Lord Jesus, Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people--not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler--not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. "Purge the evil person from among you."
If there is a problem in a church with a fundamental lack of hospitality, I would question whether the people in that church areabiding and trusting in Jesus. “Apart from me you can do nothing,” he said, and “If you abide in me, you will bear much fruit” (See John 15).
We can certainly encourage hospitality, but trying to fix things on the outside will not help if the problem is on the inside.
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