BOOK ENDS. Seraphim, April 2009.
JB 1 JOHN Chapter 1
THE FIRST LETTER OF JOHN
The incarnate Word
1:1 Something which has existed since the beginning, that we have heard, and we have seen with our own eyes; that we have watched and touched with our hands: the Word, who is life-this is our subject.
1:2 That life was made visible: we saw it and we are giving our testimony, telling you of the eternal life which was with the Father and has been made visible to us.
1:3 What we have seen and heard we are telling you so that you too may be in union with us, as we are in union with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
1:4 We are writing this to you to make our own joy complete.
- WALK IN THE LIGHT
1:5 This is what we have heard from him, and the message that we are announcing to you: God is light; there is no darkness in him at all.
1:6 If we say that we are in union with God[*a] while we are living in darkness, we are lying because we are not living the truth.
1:7 But if we live our lives in the light, as he is in the light, we are in union with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
First condition: break with sin
1:8 If we say we have no sin in us; we are deceiving ourselves and refusing to admit the truth;
1:9 but if we acknowledge our sins, then God who is faithful and just will forgive our sins and purify us from everything that is wrong.
1:10 To say that we have never sinned is to call God a liar and to show that his word is not in us.
JB 1 JOHN Chapter 2
2:1 I am writing this, my children, to stop you sinning; but if anyone should sin, we have our advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, who is just;
2:2 he is the sacrifice that takes our sins away, and not only ours, but the whole world’s.
Second condition: keep the commandments, especially the law of love
2:3 We can be sure that we know God only by keeping his commandments.
2:4 Anyone who says, ‘I know him’, and does not keep his commandments, is a liar, refusing to admit the truth.
2:5 But when anyone does obey what he has said, God’s love comes to perfection in him. We can be sure that we are in God
2:6 only when the one who claims to be living in him is living the same kind of life as Christ lived.
2:7 My dear people, this is not a new commandment that I am writing to tell you, but an old commandment that you were given from the beginning, the original commandment which was the message brought to you.
2:8 Yet in another way, what I am writing to you, and what is being carried out in your lives as it was in his, is a new commandment; because the night is over and the real light is already shining.
2:9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the dark.
2:10 But anyone who loves his brother is living in the light and need not be afraid of stumbling;
2:11 unlike the man who hates his brother and is in the darkness, not knowing where he is going, because it is too dark to see.
Third condition: detachment from the world
2:12 I am writing to you, my own children, whose sins have already been forgiven through his name;
2:13 I am writing to you, fathers, who have come to know the one who has existed since the beginning; I am writing to you, young men, who have already overcome the Evil One;
2:14 I have written to you, children, because you already know the Father; I have written to you, fathers, because you have come to know the one who has existed since the beginning; I have written to you, young men, because you are strong and God’s word has made its home in you, and you have overcome the Evil One.
2:15 You must not love this passing world or anything that is in the world. The love of the Father cannot be in any man who loves the world,
2:16 because nothing the world has to offer-the sensual body, the lustful eye, pride in possessions-could ever come from the Father but only from the world;
2:17 and the world, with all it craves for, is coming to an end; but anyone who does the will of God remains for ever.
Fourth condition: be on guard against the enemies of Christ
2:18 Children, these are the last days; you were told that an Antichrist must come, and now several antichrists have already appeared; we know from this that these are the last days.
2:19 Those rivals of Christ came out of our own number, but they had never really belonged; if they had belonged, they would have stayed with us; but they left us, to prove that not one of them ever belonged to us.
2:20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and have all received the knowledge.
2:21 It is not because you do not know the truth that I am writing to you but rather because you know it already and know that no lie can come from the truth.
2:22 The man who denies that Jesus is the Christ-he is the liar, he is Antichrist; and he is denying the Father as well as the Son,
2:23 because no one who has the Father can deny the Son, and to acknowledge the Son is to have the Father as well.
2:24 Keep alive in yourselves what you were taught in the beginning: as long as what you were taught in the beginning is alive in you, you will live in the Son and in the Father;
2:25 and what is promised to you by his own promise is eternal life.
2:26 This is all that I am writing to you about the people who are trying to lead you astray.
2:27 But you have not lost the anointing that he gave you, and you do not need anyone to teach you; the anointing he gave teaches you everything; you are anointed with truth, not with a lie, and as it has taught you, so you must stay in him.
2:28 Live in Christ, then, my children, so that if he appears, we may have full confidence, and not turn from him in shame at his coming.
2:29 You know that God is righteous – then you must recognise that everyone whose life is righteous has been begotten by him.
JB 1 JOHN Chapter 3
- LIVE AS GOD’S CHILDREN
3:1 Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us, by letting us be called God’s children; and that is what we are. Because the world refused to acknowledge him, therefore it does not acknowledge us.
3:2 My dear people, we are already the children of God but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed; all we know is, that when it is revealed we shall be like him because we shall see him as he really is.
First condition: break with sin
3:3 Surely everyone who entertains this hope must purify himself, must try to be as pure as Christ.
3:4 Anyone who sins at all breaks the law, because to sin is to break the law.
3:5 Now you know that he appeared in order to abolish sin, and that in him there is no sin;
3:6 anyone who lives in God does not sin, and anyone who sins has never seen him or known him.
3:7 My children, do not let anyone lead you astray: to live a holy life is to be holy just as he is holy;
3:8 to lead a sinful life is to belong to the devil, since the devil was a sinner from the beginning. It was to undo all that the devil has done that the Son of God appeared.
3:9 No one who has been begotten by God sins; because God’s seed remains inside him, he cannot sin when he has been begotten by God.
Second condition: keep the commandments, especially the law of love
3:10 In this way we distinguish the children of God from the children of the devil: anybody not living a holy life and not loving his brother is no child of God’s.
3:11 This is the message as you heard it from the beginning: that we are to love one another;
3:12 not to be like Cain, who belonged to the Evil One and cut his brother’s throat; cut his brother’s throat simply for this reason, that his own life was evil and his brother lived a good life.
3:13 You must not be surprised, brothers, when the world hates you;
3:14 we have passed out of death and into life, and of this we can be sure because we love our brothers.
3:15 If you refuse to love, you must remain dead; to hate your brother is to be a murderer, and murderers, as you know, do not have eternal life in them.
3:16 This has taught us love – that he gave up his life for us; and we, too, ought to give up our lives for our brothers.
3:17 If a man who was rich enough in this world’s goods saw that one of his brothers was in need, but closed his heart to him, how could the love of God be living in him?
3:18 My children, our love is not to be just words or mere talk, but something real and active;
3:19 only by this can we be certain that we are children of the truth and be able to quieten our conscience in his presence,
3:20 whatever accusations it may raise against us, because God is greater than our conscience and he knows everything.
3:21 My dear people, if we cannot be condemned by our own conscience, we need not be afraid in God’s presence,
3:22 and whatever we ask him, we shall receive, because we keep his commandments and live the kind of life that he wants.
3:23 His commandments are these: that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and that we love one another as he told us to.
3:24 Whoever keeps his commandments lives in God and God lives in him. We know that he lives in us by the Spirit that he has given us.
JB 1 JOHN Chapter 4
Third condition: be on guard against the enemies of Christ and against the world
4:1 It is not every spirit, my dear people, that you can trust; test them, to see if they come from God, there are many false prophets, now, in the world.
4:2 You can tell the spirits that come from God by this: every spirit which acknowledges that Jesus the Christ has come in the flesh is from God;
4:3 but any spirit which will not say this of Jesus is not from God, but is the spirit of Antichrist, whose coming you were warned about. Well, now he is here, in the world.
4:4 Children, you have already overcome these false prophets, because you are from God and you have in you one who is greater than anyone in this world;
4:5 as for them, they are of the world, and so they speak the language of the world and the world listens to them.
4:6 But we are children of God, and those who know God listen to us; those who are not of God refuse to listen to us. This is how we can tell the spirit of truth from the spirit of falsehood.
III. LOVE AND FAITH
4:7 My dear people, let us love one another since love comes from God and everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
4:8 Anyone who fails to love can never have known God, because God is love.
4:9 God’s love for us was revealed when God sent into the world his only Son so that we could have life through him;
4:10 this is the love I mean: not our love for God, but God’s love for us when he sent his Son to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away.
4:11 My dear people, since God has loved us so much, we too should love one another.
4:12 No one has ever seen God; but as long as we love one another God will live in us and his love will be complete in us.
4:13 We can know that we are living in him and he is living in us because he lets us share his Spirit.
4:14 We ourselves saw and we testify that the Father sent his Son as saviour of the world.
4:15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him, and he in God.
4:16 We ourselves have known and put our faith in God’s love towards ourselves. God is love and anyone who lives in love lives in God, and God lives in him.
4:17 Love will come to its perfection in us when we can face the day of Judgement without fear; because even in this world we have become as he is.
4:18 In love there can be no fear, but fear is driven out by perfect love: because to fear is to expect punishment, and anyone who is afraid is still imperfect in love.
4:19 We are to love, then, because he loved us first.
4:20 Anyone who says, ‘I love God’, and hates his brother, is a liar, since a man who does not love the brother that he can see cannot love God, whom he has never seen.
4:21 So this is the commandment that he has given us, that anyone who loves God must also love his brother.
JB 1 JOHN Chapter 5
5:1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ has been begotten by God; and whoever loves the Father that begot him loves the child whom he begets.
5:2 We can be sure that we love God’s children if we love God himself and do what he has commanded us;
5:3 this is what loving God is-keeping his commandments;
5:4 and his commandments are not difficult, because anyone who has been begotten by God has already overcome the world; this is the victory over the world-our faith.
5:5 Who can overcome the world? Only the man who believes that Jesus is the Son of God:
5:6 Jesus Christ who came by water and blood[*a], not with water only, but with water and blood; with the Spirit as another witness-since the Spirit is the truth-
5:7 so that there are three witnesses,
5:8 the Spirit, the water and the blood, and all three of them agree.
5:9 We accept the testimony of human witnesses, but God’s testimony is much greater, and this is God’s testimony, given as evidence for his Son.
5:10 Everybody who believes in the Son of God has this testimony inside him; and anyone who will not believe God is making God out to be a liar, because he has not trusted the testimony God has given about his Son.
5:11 This is the testimony: God has given us eternal life and this life is in his Son;
5:12 anyone who has the Son has life, anyone who does not have the Son does not have life.
5:13 I have written all this to you so that you who believe in the name of the Son of God may be sure that you have eternal life.
Prayer for sinners
5:14 We are quite confident that if we ask him for anything, and it is in accordance with his will, he will hear us;
5:15 and, knowing that whatever we may ask, he hears us, we know that we have already been granted what we asked of him.
5:16 If anybody sees his brother commit a sin that is not a deadly sin, he has only to pray, and God will give life to the sinner – not those who commit a deadly sin; for there is a sin that is death, and I will not say that you must pray about that.
5:17 Every kind of wrong-doing is sin, but not all sin is deadly.
Summary of the letter
5:18 We know that anyone who has been begotten by God does not sin, because the begotten Son of God protects him, and the Evil One does not touch him.
5:19 We know that we belong to God, but the whole world lies in the power of the Evil One.
5:20 We know, too, that the Son of God has come, and has given us the power to know the true God. We are in the true God, as we are in his Son, Jesus Christ. This is the true God, this is eternal life.
5:21 Children, be on your guard against false gods.
END OF JB 1 JOHN [5 Chapters].