1 John: Jesus, Our Savior, Lord, Example-08/23/20

Message Series ‘The new kind of life in Jesus’

Message Title: ‘Jesus; Our Savior, Lord, Example’    

Text: 1 John 2:1-6

Introduction: Kathy and I have 4 grandchildren. We are so blessed. And I have to say that the birth of our grandchildren has brought about a dramatic change in my life.

Because I decided that I wanted to live long enough to see my grandchildren grow up, I’ve been able to maintain a 40lb weight loss and walk around 4-5 miles a day… for over 2.5 years. 

You see, I’m taking God giving me grandchildren, as an opportunity to live a new; healthier, kind of life, with the family He’s given to me.

And I’m encouraged by 2 Corinthians 5:17 that tells me it’s not only possible with my grandkids but also in my life as a follower of Jesus Christ.

So, I have chosen to live differently as a grandparent, for the better, I hope.

Well, the Book of 1 John is all about that very same thing, for those of you who have given your life to God through faith in Jesus.

The Apostle John is saying, look, yes, you’ve sinned, yes, you’ve lived in a way that has not been pleasing to God… but… you can choose not to continue to live that way.

In fact, you can choose to live a new kind of life thorough faith in Jesus that give you the opportunity to glorify Jesus in every part of your life. (I think that’s our Pioneer Girls aim) It should be ours as well.

Transition: So, open your Bibles to 1 John 2:1, or use your Worship Resource Insert.

1. 1 John 2:1-2  Jesus: Our Savior

If you remember from last week, I used an analogy of what an eye doctor uses to help you get a clearer focus with your eyes. I looked it up and if I’m pronouncing it correctly, it’s called a phoropter

In 1 John 1:7 we read:

Then in 1 John 1:9 we read:

Well, that sounds really great right? But… how does that happen? How is my sin forgiven and cleansed?

The apostle John is taking a spiritual phoropter and helping us focus in on some exciting truth…

Listen to what John wrote:

A. 1 John 2:1 Advocate

John begins by recognizing that we are, in some ways, like little children, who need the help and guidance of a wise and loving parent. And he tells us that he’s writing this letter so that we might not choose to sin.

And because John’s wise and loving, because he knows the kind of damage choosing to sin can bring to our lives, he lovingly encourages us, to choose not to sin.

But, because while still here on earth we will choose to sin, John adds one of those HUGE but’s in God’s Word, the Bible.

BUT… for the times we do choose to sin, this BUT is huge…

OK, what’s an advocate? I think it’s fairly simple. Here’s the picture:

As our Advocate, Jesus pleads our case to God when Satan accuses us of sinning against God. But here’s the most amazing thing:

Jesus puts in a plea for mercy, for grace, for forgiveness, for reinstatement into fellowship with Him and with other Christians. Listen:

What’s that?

I want you to note that John refers to Jesus by name: And His name means Savior. In Matthew 1:21 we read:

And listen, the reason Jesus qualifies to be our Advocate, the reason He can die on the cross and His shed blood pay the penalty for our sin, is because Jesus is righteous.

Because… Jesus took our punishment for sin, He and only He can be our Advocate.

B. 1 John 2:2 Propitiation

That leads us to verse 2.

OK, there’s a word we never hear today, even in the church ….Propitiation. So let’s start with defining that. Don’t tune me out, I promise not to use big theological words or concepts. John meant this to be the simple truth of the Gospel.

So let me start by saying, yes friends, God is a God of Love, but He’s also a Holy God who hates sin and who will one day exercise His wrath against all sin. Romans 1:18 tells us:

Propitiation means to remove God’s wrath for sin committed against Him.

You see, the reason Jesus can be our Advocate is because He was the one who, by His life and death took upon Himself, God’s wrath for us.

One last thing before I move on. John writes

Does that mean that Jesus’s death satisfied the wrath of God against everyone’s sin, every single person who ever lived? Even those who reject Him?  Does it mean that in the end it doesn’t matter how I lived, I’ll still go to heaven? No, absolutely not. 

Jesus, Himself, said in John 10

Even the Apostle John, later in Revelation 5:9, clarifies this.

John doesn’t say Jesus ransomed everyone in every tribe, language and people, but people from every tribe, language and nation.

We know from the Bible that unfortunately not everyone will be forgiven, saved, and go to heaven when they die.

Look, this is how I see it…

So, let’s get this message of new life in Jesus to every nation, every language, and to every tribe all around the world.

2. 1 John 2:3-5a  Jesus: Our Lord

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.

I’ve titled this section Jesus: Our Lord. And yes I know the word Lord is not mentioned here. But it’s definitely implied.

It’s evident that these verses are about obedience to God; to His commandment and to His Word. The word keeps, here means to observe, to hold to. In other words to obey.

If Jesus is your Savior, then you’ve placed your trust in Him and have submitted to His lordship over your life. Paul tells us about that in Romans 10:9

That makes you His servant… a slave of Christ.

The key word in Greek for servant, bondservant or slave is doulos. In its ordinary use, it describes those who were legally bound to serve/obey their masters until their release.

OK, all of that to say that as followers of Jesus Christ, we have the obligation to continually, to always obey Him, His commandments and His Word.

You see, in verses 3-5 John was again confronting a heresy of his day (Gnosticism) that taught it didn’t matter how you lived, they believed it only matter that you know and believe in Jesus. That you can be in close fellowship with God and not obey Jesus’ teachings.

Now, I shouldn’t have to go to great lengths to prove that we are obligated as followers of Jesus to obey Him, His words and commands. Yet, far too many Christians choose to live disobedient lives.

Well, John is verses 3-5 is telling you… No, not really. That’s a bold face lie. There’s more..

I talked about this last week so I don’t want to belabor the point today. But understand the point is HUGE

To obey God means to relinquish what we want and choose to do what God wants. And that flies in the face of what the world around us says. Is it any wonder that even in Jesus’ day He had to say:

Look around at the ‘church world’ today.

Listen to what God’s Word, the Bible, has to say:

  • All Scripture is breathed out (inspired) by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness
  • (2 Timothy 3:16)
  • But He (Jesus) said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:28)
  • And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. (1 Thessalonians 2:13)
  • for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you. (1 Peter 1:24–25)

Friends, the apostle John is telling us that this new kind of life through faith in Jesus is marked by obedience to God, and to His Word… all of it.

3. 1 John 2:5b-6 Jesus: Our Example

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.

ILL: Pastor David Nolte tells the following story:

  • A little girl was going outside with her father to build a snowman.
  • As they walked, the little girl said, “Look, Daddy! I can step in your footprints and not get snow on my boots!”
  • She walked where Daddy walked.

The Apostle John tells us that to live this new kind of life through faith in Jesus we need to follow His example.

Now, this doesn’t mean we do the same things Jesus did… but it means we act from the same principles he did, relate to the Father and to others the way He did.

Look, I acknowledge that we all have areas of weakness and moments when we struggle, but the faithful follower of Jesus will strive to reflect their Savior. It will be evident for others to see.

One more thing,. The word ought, refers to an ongoing obligation. So that means we continually walk the way Jesus did… not just pick and choose the times it’s convenient or easy.

OK, God’s Word, the Bible, has given us a very clear picture of how Jesus lived so we can walk in His godly footsteps.

First, to pick up on John’s last point of obedience to God, we find in the Bible that Jesus set the example of always being obedient to God the Father.

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.” (John 4:34)

Second, we should follow Jesus’ example of complete dependence upon God.

So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of His own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. (John 5:19a)

Third, we should follow Jesus’ example of being a place of help, of peace, rest and acceptance for others. Jesus said:

Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light. (Matthew 11:28–30)

This is so desperately needed today

Fourth, we should follow Jesus example of being compassionate to others, understanding and helping those who are confused, anxious, scared, reckless perhaps… lost.

When He (Jesus) saw the crowds, He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (Matthew 9:36)

Considering all that’s going on around us in our world today, we must follow Jesus’ example of showing compassion.

Fifth, we should follow Jesus’ example of service to God and others.

even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, (Matthew 20:28a)

Look, Christian should be known for serving one another. I think we’ve forgotten that.

You see, this new kind of life through faith in Jesus is a life lived so that others will see Him in us, and turn to Him for grace, mercy, forgiveness and love.

Friends, there is so much revealed about Jesus in God’s Word the Bible… read it, obey it, follow His example.

Conclusion: So, here’s John’s bottom line for our text this morning.

A changed life results in changed behavior.

To put it another way:

The new kind of life through faith in Jesus demands a new way of living.

John gave us three ways to do that in our text this morning:

  • Accept Jesus as Savior. Obey Him as your Lord.

Follow, every day, His example.