Authentic Christian Living
I’ve recently been studying the book of 1st John and I thought I would share the truths I’ve been learning. One of the questions I’ve been asking myself these past few weeks is what does authentic christian living look like? What would it look like if my life was truly genuine and honest? And as I’ve been studying the book of 1st John God has been highlighting the areas of His Word revealing what true authentic christian living should look like.
John makes it pretty clear in the first chapter in comparing darkness and light. He talks about how if we are living in the light then we can have nothing to do with darkness and if we do, we are making ourselves into a liar. So as believers, our goal is to “walk” in the light, just as God Himself is the light, to have fellowship with Him.
In chapter 2 John focuses on the fellowship with God. Jesus is the sacrifice which covered all our sin therefore if we truly are keeping His commandments we are revealing that we know Jesus Christ. Those who say they have fellowship with Him but don’t keep His commandments are liars. Those who do walk in Christ and live as He did, will give evidence that they are in Christ.
Next believers are to love on another. If we hate a brother or sister it is not compatible with the fellowship of Christ. If we say we are in Christ but hate our brother or sister, we are living in darkness. Whereas we that love our fellow brother or sister are showing that we are abiding in the light.
Thirdly we are told not to love the things of the world. “The World” is often used to describe the sinful, materialistic thinking of people. Anyone who loves the world more than Christ show the love of Jesus is not in them. We should also be eternally minded. The things of this earth will die away and our earthly bodies will die, but life with Jesus in heaven will be everlasting.
We need also to remember our position which is in Christ. We are to abide in him, refusing to depart so we will not be ashamed when He comes back. Those who do righteousness as He is righteous, are said to be born of Him.
Chapter two John talks about the importance of living as a child of God. In verse 6 he talks about how that if you are abiding in Christ you won’t keep on sinning. So true fellowship with Christ can’t happen with ongoing sin without repentance. If we are truly saved we will experience conviction, which will lead us to God, repentance, and a restored fellowship with the Father.
Chapter 3 John talks about how we should love one another. In verse 16 through 18 he talks about loving one another in action and truth. That if we see a brother or sister in need we should have compassion for them and be willing to lay our life down for them as Christ did for us.
Chapter 4 starts with a command to try (test) any spiritual claims, since there are many false teachers. 1 John 4 verse 2 gives the test in which to discern which spirits are from God. Which are those who acknowledge Jesus’ incarnation.
In verse 4 John adds that believers who are of God will overcome the powers of this world by God’s Spirit living in them.
Next is the idea that God is love. John teaches that true biblical love is a sign of being born of God and knowing Him. John states that just as much as God loves us, we ought also show our love of God by loving one another. Love serves as evidence for the world to see. When we show love to the world, they “see” God, even if they can’t see Him physically.
If anyone claims they love Jesus, they then will prove it by loving one another. John continually states the fact that one can’t say they love God and yet hate another. If we are hating one another then we aren’t abiding in Christ. We as believers are children of God and we are brothers and sisters of another. We should be loving each other as God’s word commands.
Verse 18 shows the relationship between fear and love. The perfect love of God casts out fear of being accepted by Him. Christians who follow the example of His love have no cause to fear that Christ wold never accept them. His perfect love casts out the need for that fear. God is love and shows His perfect love by putting that love in the hearts of those who will believe.
In chapter 5 the idea states that whoever believes in Jesus is born of Him. If we love God we will also have love for our brothers and sisters in Christ. This is how we show love by keeping His commandments. If we are born of God we can overcome the world. As believes we have the power invested in us to overcome temptations and sins the world will throw at us as we have intimacy with God.
In verses 13 through 21 it talks about how we can know and have assurance of our salvation. John’s purpose for this letter is “that you may know you have eternal life.” John talks about the confidence we can have in prayer that “If we ask according to His will, He hears us. Next he talks about helping someone who struggles with a sin in their life. Thirdly he writes that those of us who know God and are born of Him will be guarded against the wicked one. Jesus came to to give us eternal life through Him and we are to keep away from idols, worshiping the one and only true God, Jesus Christ.
“We love because He first loved us.”1 john 4:19