Sunday May 13, 2018 (Mother's Day)
Title: Ruth 4:8-12. Final chapter - Our home with Christ is a clear conscience.
John was protecting his flock from false teachers while simultaneously reminding them of the wonderful world of abiding in Christ.
1JO 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;
1JO 2:2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
1JO 2:3 And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.
1JO 2:4 The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;
1JO 2:5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:
1JO 2:6 the one who says he abides in Him [remains at home with Him] ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
John uses the verb abide (meno = to abide) in this epistle 24 times. It means to remain, to reside and not leave.
Before we look at them, first an illustration:
Jean Valjean stood in the shadow, crowbar in hand. Before him lay the sleeping bishop who had pitied him and invited him into the hospitality of his home. The villain, bent on an act of despicable evil and cowardice, paused as he watched the holy man sleep with an unmistakable look of satisfaction, benevolence, and peace. A moonbeam passing through the tall window illumed the sleeping man’s face as if God Himself were smiling down on it as the man slept in comfort and security. Such was the fictional depiction of Victor Hugo in Les Miserables.
“The moral world has no greater spectacle than this, a troubled, restless conscience, which is on the point of committing an evil deed, contemplating the sleep of a good man.” [Victor Hugo]
F.W. Boreham, a wonderful Christian writer from a hundred years ago, uses this quote in his essay, The Golden Milestone, in which he turns our hearts to the peace and blessing of a pure conscience.
John writes, 1JO 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;
Christ’s home is a place of peace and blessing. The ugliness of sin, and all of it is ugly, pulls our eyes off of that blessed place and has us contemplating and imagining dark worlds ruled by dark lords; worlds from which we have been delivered by our Lord, the light of the world who went into every single dark world and offered Himself in our stead, vanquishing all princes of darkness.
The false teachers were convinced that darkness could be light if it was given the right spin, using the loom that skillfully spins the knowledge of man, especially ancient man. Man finds something magical in ancient knowledge, as when Plato and Aristotle were rediscovered in Europe in the early Dark Ages, dusted off and thought to be the salvation of men’s minds. “Yet the scriptures are old as well,” some argued, to which much of that world replied, “It was only valuable in another time.” The darkness of evil and sin does not even recognize the most obvious contradictions.
Boreham then leaves the illustration from Victor Hugo’s fiction and uses one from English history. “An hour or two before the execution of the Earl of Argyle, one of the traitor lords came to the castle and asked to see his lordship. He was told that he was asleep. The visitor thought this was subterfuge, and insisted on entering. The door of the cell was softly opened, and there lay Argyle on the bed, sleeping, in his irons, the placid sleep of infancy. The conscience of the renegade smote him. He turned away sick at heart, ran out of the castle, and took refuge in the dwelling of a lady of the family. There he flung himself on the couch, and gave himself up to an agony of remorse and shame. His kinswoman, alarmed by his looks and groans, thought that he had been taken with some serious illness, and begged him to drink a cup of sack. “No, no,” he said, “that will do me no good.” She prayed him to tell her what had disturbed him. “I have been,” he said, “in Argyle’s prison. I have seen him, within an hour of eternity, sleeping as sweetly as ever a man did! But as for me - ”
fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.
To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient, and worthless for any good deed.
The Greek word pure (katharos) means to be free from blemish or spotless. Jesus used the word saying, “You are clean through the word I have spoken to you.” When Peter asked Him to wash his head and hands, Jesus said, “He who has bathed is already clean.” Paul uses it for the conscience and the heart. He used the verb to the Corinthians, saying, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2CO 7:1) In John’s Revelation, it is used of the white robes worn by the bride of Christ as well as the composite material of the New Jerusalem, being made of pure gold, like unto pure glass.
It is going to be an awful long and difficult job to get people like us to be clean and pure. Likely, only a few of us will be able to pull it off. Well, in fact, it is impossible for the best of us. The good news, the gospel, is that we are all made clean and pure in Christ. His blood has cleansed us fully, and it is a gift by faith and not of works. This is certainly good news. It should be spread all over the world.
Every believer is made pure, cleansed, and holy and so all of us can approach with a clear conscience. If our conscience is defiled then we have believed a lie, in fact, this is true of all men.
HEB 10:15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,
The following is the New Covenant stated to Israel by the prophet Jeremiah.
HEB 10:16 "This is the covenant that I will make with them
After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws upon their heart,
And upon their mind I will write them,"
He then says,
HEB 10:17 "And their sins and their lawless deeds
I will remember no more."
After saying this to the prophet, the Spirit witnesses to us:
HEB 10:18 Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.
HEB 10:19 Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,
HEB 10:20 by a new and living way which [entrance] He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,
The word order in the original has the “which” referring back to the entrance. “We have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, which He inaugurated for us, a road, new and living.”
The road is said to be new, but it is the oldest road there is, it is the life of God, eternal life. It is new to mankind because it was not available until He came and accomplished the defeat of all enemies. God has given life in Him. All who believe in Him have this life.
The life is so precious and amazing that the simplicity of salvation throws man for a loop, but how else could it be? What could man do for his salvation? If it is by works it is not of grace.
The fact that a man could be given this entrance and therefore full access to the road of life and then not seem to have that life in and through him is astounding, and I quite agree, but what I don’t agree with is lordship salvation or salvation by works or Calvinism’s hand-picking by God. I don’t understand myself when I don’t walk on the road of life. I often wonder how I can be so stupid and how I could have seemed to have missed the most obvious things in the past, but if I wasn’t a saved man back then, than I am not today, and never will be. Just because these thing are hard, nay impossible for us to understand, doesn’t give us the right to complicate the simplicity of the gospel.
but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
Salvation is by faith only and through that faith in Christ, the most amazing life is imputed to that man through the grace of God. Any Christian who fails to abide in Christ and walk in that life in a manner consistent with it, is a blind fool!