We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.–1 John 1:3 NLT
WE HAVE ACCESS TO THE FATHER
Imagine having free access to God, the Creator of the Universe! In Christ, that very God of all has become our Father! And access to Him is available to all who are in Christ. The Apostle John is inviting his Jewish brothers to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is showing them (and us!) that it is Jesus who brings us into fellowship with God the Father and with all other believers. This fellowship is nothing superficial. It is a deep, heart to heart closeness and partnership that we can share with God Himself, and with those who love Him. This fellowship is saturated with the Father’s love for us and it brings freedom. The freedom in knowing that you are so loved is evidenced by a supernatural joy!
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have touched, concerning the Word of life—the life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and announce to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was revealed to us—we declare to you that which we have seen and heard, that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things to you so that our joy may be complete.— 1 John 1:1-4 MEV
ACCESS COMES THROUGH THE BLOOD OF JESUS
Coming into fellowship with Jesus and with the Father begins by believing with the heart, and confessing with the mouth. (The Greek word for confess is “homo-geleo” meaning to agree with God or to say the same thing he does.) When we choose to believe and trust in Jesus, and confess our need for His lordship in our lives, we are agreeing with God that we are sinners in need of a Savior. When we acknowledge Jesus as God’s only provision for the forgiveness of all of our sin, we come into fellowship with Him! The blood that Jesus shed for us on the cross cleanses us completely from sin—past, present, future. What was standing between us and God has been removed. We are free! Free to run to God as our Father and live in the light of His love!
But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.— 1 John 1:7-9 MEV
JESUS IS OUR ADVOCATE WITH THE FATHER
Fellowship with Jesus will produce a desire in us to please our Heavenly Father and to no longer live in sin. But what happens if we do sin? We are assured that we have an advocate with the Father. Our Advocate Jesus doesn’t just stand for us when we initially come to Him. He will always be there for us! The One who died for us will be right there, an everpresent reminder to all heaven and earth that the price has been paid for that sin, whatever it may be!
My little children, I am writing these things to you, so that you do not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.—1 John 2:1-2 MEV
KEEPING GOD’S COMMANDMENT OF LOVE STARTS WITH FORGIVENESS
We will discover the depths of God’s love by embracing the love commandment Jesus gave us. It is an absolute necessity to walking in freedom. But it all starts with forgiveness. We first receive forgiveness from Jesus. Then we forgive ourselves. And then we forgive those that have offended us whether past or present. Learning to walk in love and be free from offense, ill will, and unforgiveness is a huge key to walking in freedom. Jesus taught His disciples to pray that God would “forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.” Matthew 6:12. And this forgiving love working in our lives is proof that we know God.
By this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. Whoever says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word truly has the love of God perfected in him. By this we know we are in Him.— 1 John 2:3-5 MEV
LOVE IS THE PATH TO SPIRITUAL MATURITY
Learning to walk in love and be free from offense is also evidence that we are growing closer to God and maturing spiritually. The key to walking in love toward others is intimacy with The Father and with Jesus. Worshiping God, keeping Him first place in our lives, and experiencing more and more of His love for us, is what will produce spiritual growth. The reality of God’s love for us is what propels us into loving others the same way. Living out that love and that willingness to forgive is what develops maturity. Maturity means freedom!
“By this we know the love of God: that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. Whoever has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, but closes his heart of compassion from him, how can the love of God remain in him? My little children, let us love not in word and speech, but in action and truth. By this we know that we are of the truth, and shall reassure our hearts before Him.” 1 John 3:16-19 MEV
LOVING GOD MEANS TURNING FROM THE WORLD & THE FLESH
Every believer has a choice to grow and mature spiritually and become more like Jesus. He wants us to develop our spiritual lives—His character and His power in us. There are two paths set before us: loving the Father which leads to freedom; or loving the world which leads to bondage. There are two types of Christians: spiritual and carnal. Spiritual believers love the Father first and most. Carnal believers love the world more. If we love the Father, we will demonstrate our love for him by seeking His will in all things and turning a deaf ear to the flesh. Here are three things every believer must overcome: 1) The lust of the flesh, 2) The lust of the eyes, 3) The pride of life. These three things seek to entrap us in sin.
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 lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father, but is of the world. The world and its desires are passing away, but the one who does the will of God lives forever.—1 John 2:15-17 MEV
LOVING GOD MEANS YIELDING TO THE ANOINTING WITHIN
We do live in this world, and it really is under the influence of an anti-Christ spirit. So that means we need strength and focus to live in freedom and be true overcomers. But God has given us Jesus’ own anointing—the Holy Spirit who indwells us and empowers us to live for Christ. He is the spirit of truth who always magnifies Jesus Christ. Living in freedom requires us to yield to the Holy Spirit (the anointing) as our teacher and guide. As we yield to the anointing, our confidence and boldness in our relationship with God increases, and our desire to live pure lives increases as well. God’s love holds us and helps us as we follow that anointing within. As we yield to Him we find strength to forgive – to be better, not bitter.
But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things… But the anointing which you have received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. For as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and just as it has taught you, remain in Him.—1 John 2:20,27 MEV
ABIDING IN THE FATHER’S LOVE BRINGS HOLINESS
Remember that we are the children of God. We have the divine nature of our heavenly Father! He has given us a supernatural hope that we will be just like Jesus in the resurrection when he returns for us. This hope should produce a desire to live a life of holiness now. Holiness simply means living in his presence every day. Holiness means living “wholly” for God! When we believe the love He has for us, and we commit ourselves to living that same love toward others with the Holy Spirit’s help, that love acts as a purifying influence in us. We become more Christlike. We begin to develop in His holiness now…and this assures us of great eternal rewards in the future!
And now, little children, remain in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him when He comes. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who does righteousness is born of Him.— 1 John 2:28-29 MEV
Consider how much love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God. Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now are we children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.— 1 John 3:1-3 MEV
LOVE IS THE WAY TO OVERCOME SIN, THE WORLD AND THE DEVIL
The phrase ‘children of God’ means we are born of God and actually carry God’s spiritual DNA – love! To be born of God is to be born of love because God IS love. Those who are are born of God have the ability to overcome!
We can overcome the power of sin!
Whoever has been born of God does not practice sin, for His seed [divine nature] remains in him. And he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.—1 John 3:9 MEV
We can overcome the spirit of antichrist!
You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.—1 John 4:4 MEV
We can overcome the spirit of fear!
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. Whoever fears is not perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.— 1 John 4:18-19 MEV
We can overcome the world!
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves the one born of the Father… Whoever is born of God overcomes the world, and the victory that overcomes the world is our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world, but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?—1 John 5:1,4-5 MEV
We can overcome the wicked one!
We know that whoever is born of God does not keep on sinning. But whoever has been born of God guards himself, and the wicked one cannot touch him.—1 John 5:18 MEV
LOVE IS THE WAY TO ANSWERED PRAYER
Being established in God’s love builds a foundation for answered prayer. God’s love sets us free from the spirit of fear that is in the world. It inspires boldness and confidence in prayer. I can tell my Father anything because I am secure in His love!
This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. So if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have whatever we asked of Him.—1 John 5:14-15 MEV
The 1st letter of John is an invitation to come into fellowship with the Father and receive and grow in the revelation of His love for us. We can have this amazing relationship with God our Father because of the Blood of Jesus. Every sin is forgiven and nothing stands between us and God. Jesus is our constant Advocate. He guarantees our ongoing forgiveness and cleansing when we stumble and sin as we in turn forgive others who sin against us. God’s love in us empowers us to love others the same way. God’s love strengthens us to say no to the flesh and yield to the Holy Spirit instead. God’s love makes us overcomers!
- What did Jesus do to give us access to the Father? Why is the blood of Jesus so powerful in making us clean and acceptable to the Father?
- What happens if/when we sin? Advocate means someone who takes your side and speaks for you, like an attorney. Who is our Advocate and attorney before God? How does this guarantee that our case will be heard and resolved as not guilty?
- What happens when we confess our sin according to 1 John? What does it mean to confess sin?
- How do we practically love those around us with God’s love?
- Are there relationships in your life that pose difficulties in forgiveness, not becoming offended, and staying out of strife? Discuss how you can grow in love, and how you can help one another overcome these difficulties.
- What does it mean to yield? What does it mean to abide?
Next Step: Read the book of 1 John this week for yourself.
Prayer: Father I am so thankful for all that Jesus has done for me. Because of His shed Blood, my sins are forgiven and I have open access to You my Father! Thank you for complete and total forgiveness. I choose to forgive others when they hurt or offend me. I refuse to be offended, carry a grudge, or harbor any un-forgiveness. Your amazing love for me gives me security and strength to forgive, to walk in love and to say no to the flesh in Jesus name!