Title: Ruth 4:8-12. Final chapter - Our home with Christ in the word “abide” - the home has the divine nature and is filled with righteousness.
This study has come from the blessings bestowed upon Boaz from the court.
RUT 4:9 Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, "You are witnesses today that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon.
RUT 4:10 Moreover, I have acquired Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, to be my wife in order to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance, so that the name of the deceased may not be cut off from his brothers or from the court of his birth place; you are witnesses today."
RUT 4:11 And all the people who were in the court, and the elders, said, "We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built the house of Israel; and may you achieve wealth [chayil: strength, excellence, valor - used in PRO 31:10] in Ephrathah and become famous in Bethlehem.
RUT 4:12 Moreover, may your house be like the house of Perez whom Tamar bore to Judah, through the offspring which the Lord shall give you by this young woman."
This led me to a study on the home of the virtuous woman in Pro 31, but with a “brief” break to examine the home that our Lord has prepared for us.
PRO 31:10 An excellent wife, who can find?
PRO 31:27 She looks well to the ways of her household
Ruth was prepared for this by God. The death of her husband, her striving with Naomi, the hard work of gleaning, and most of all, learning and loving the ways of the God of Israel, or as Isaiah so often calls Him, the Holy One of Israel.
God not only has made the home, but He has made you for the home and is constantly molding you into a position of comfort.
When God is readying you for His purpose, He will break you in ways you never imagined in order to shape you into who He wants you to be.
I heard this anonymous poem today:
When God wants to drill a man,
And thrill a man,
And skill a man
When God wants to mold a man
To play the noblest part;
When He yearns with all His heart
To create so great and bold a man
That all the world shall be amazed,
Watch His methods, watch His ways!
How He ruthlessly perfects
Whom He royally elects!
How He hammers him and hurts him,
And with mighty blows converts him
Into trial shapes of clay which
Only God understands;
While his tortured heart is crying
And he lifts beseeching hands!
How He bends but never breaks
When his good He undertakes;
How He uses whom He chooses,
And which every purpose fuses him;
By every act induces him
To try His splendor out-
God knows what He’s about.
Your learning begins in the classroom, but it doesn’t end there. Sometime you may leave Bible class with more questions than when you came in, the fault may be the immaturity of the teacher or of yourself, or it may be that you have learned a great deal, but one thing we both know for sure, God is going to teach us His word.
1JO 3:6 No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.
1JO 3:7 Little children, let no one deceive you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous;
1JO 3:8 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
1JO 3:9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
Many attempts have been made at clarifying this passage in light of the fact that we know that we are sinners and continual sinlessness is not an option for any believer this side of heaven. But is John talking about continual sinlessness? No one reading this letter in the second century would take his words to mean that.
1JO 3:9: “he cannot sin” is a present tense (not able) with a present infinitive (to sin) = clearly speaks of continuous action. John could have easily used an aorist infinitive if he was referring to the action itself.
The one born of God is fully empowered to perform righteousness. He is righteous in Christ and his fruit is the fruit of the Spirit.
The verbs (practices righteousness, practices sin, and cannot sin) all indicate continuous action. It would be easy for John to write “we never sin,” but instead he writes that we are not continuously practicing it.
The divine nature abides in every believer. Because he is changed, he cannot practice sin like an unbeliever.
To the believer, because he is God’s offspring, sin is not entirely absent but it becomes unnatural.
He is not sinless, and when he fails, due to the divine nature within, he does so with the conviction of wrongdoing and, if necessary, with divine discipline. It is the divine nature that makes us desire righteousness.
Regeneration is just that. Our entire being changes. It would seem that some Christians do not want to embrace the change when they come to learn more about it and, if they are Christians, they are fools for doing so and they will greatly struggle in life.
We would conclude that those who choose not to abide in Christ, as commanded by God, would struggle and suffer much more with sin than the believer who abides in Him. Just analyzing the difference between the letters to the Corinthians and the Philippians would show us that clearly.
Asking how much a believer can sin is a stupid question. Why are we asking it? It’s like asking what kind of screwdriver I need to hammer a nail. It’s not made for that, and we are not made for sin. Some think they need to know so they can determine who is an unbeliever. You and I cannot see the spirit of a man. We may suspect, and that’s as far as we can go. Since we are the light of the world we always reveal the gospel of Christ to the world.
We are instructed not to associate with any “so-called brother if he should be an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler — not even to eat with such a one.” (1CO 5:11)
1JO 3:10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.
1JO 3:11 For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another;
1JO 3:12 not as Cain, who was of the evil one, and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous.
1JO 3:13 Do not marvel, brethren, if the world hates you.
1JO 3:14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.
1JO 3:15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
“hates” - present participle referring to a life of inner hatred, always lying in wait. Given the right circumstances he will murder.
Again, we have a present tense. The verb hate is a present participle and would refer to a persistent life of hatred. The one who perpetually harbors hate in his heart, or even the spontaneous potential for it, would only need the right circumstances to behave like Cain and murder his brother. Hence the hater is the murderer.
It is clear that being born again, regenerated, changes a person. He cannot live in perpetual hate or any other sin. The seed within loves righteousness and hates sin. The carnal believer is heavily convicted within. The life that is in him revolts. This is something to rejoice in. It is not revealed to us so that we would doubt our transformation or to judge the people of the world.
Darkness, lying, hatred, murder, lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, boastful pride of life, deceiving, lawless, closed heart, fearful are the words John uses to describe the false teachers.
Think about what a life filled with these is like? Every believer has been delivered from all of it. Eternal life has no part with it. It is asinine for any believer to not take advantage of their freedom in Christ.
In contrast to this, think of the fruit of the Spirit. The above are the deeds of the flesh, but if we walk by means of the Spirit, we will not carry out the deeds of the flesh.
Eternal life abides in every believer and is waiting to be cultivated so that it may burst out in bloom.
John makes this clear near the end of his epistle, that eternal life is given to all who believe in the name of the Son of God.
1JO 5:10 The one who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the witness that God has borne concerning His Son.
1JO 5:11 And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
1JO 5:12 He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.
1JO 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.
As in vv. 6-9, people tend to use these verses as dipsticks for measuring who is a believer and who is not. Its purpose is not for us to go around measuring people, but to know who we are in Christ. Because we are regenerated and in Christ we have a nature that loves the other members of His body.
You don’t have to be told to love your biological brother, on some level you always do just by the fact of who you both are by birth. The divine nature loves in a similar way all those who are of the new birth.
You are to know that you are a son of God through the Spirit who is in you. Now that you are a new creature in Christ, you have a divine seed within you, a divine nature that loves other members of the body of Christ.
John is protecting his flock from false teachers. Anyone who hates the brethren is not to be heard. Believers love one another, and because we do, we know that we have passed out of death and into life.
1JO 3:16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
1JO 3:17 But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?
They are called the world’s goods because they are of the earth, food, clothing, money, shelter, etc. What is of God is the love. Certainly, God owns all of the world’s goods, but they are all destined to perish.
As the Lord said, food goes into the body and is eliminated. He said this in reference to the truth that is not what goes into a man that defiles a man, but what comes out of his mouth, for what comes out of his mouth comes from his heart. The Pharisees were upset that the disciples were not following their hand washing rituals before they ate.
Goods are from the earth and subject to decay and destruction, but the heart belongs to God. He demands that it has His love.
In this passage, the one without the love of God, closes his heart, and so the love of God is not in his heart. That defiles the man.
1JO 3:24 And the one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And we know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
The Holy Spirit bears witness with our Spirit that we are children of God.
The principle of this section is self-explanatory.
1JO 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1JO 4:12 No one has beheld God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.
Now that Christ sits in heaven, God is revealed through the love of believers.
No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
Christ is still explaining Himself, but now He is doing so through the church, through each individual believer. We are witnesses of Him and ambassadors for Him.
The love of God displayed in His people is the strongest apologetic that God has in the world. If they are perfect as their heavenly Father is perfect, MAT 5:48 (extraordinary in the love of God), then they are the revealers of God.
1JO 4:13 By this [our love for one another] we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
1JO 4:14 And we have beheld and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
1JO 4:15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
1JO 4:16 And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
God’s love for us supplies the motive and the power to love one another. We are to be holy as He is holy, merciful as He is merciful, and love as He loves. Jesus Christ gives us this power through His own love for us and the Holy Spirit within.
Concerning the love of God in us as revealing the Father to the world, I quote C.H. Dodd:
“John makes use of the strongest expressions for union with God that contemporary religious language provided, in order to assure his readers that he does seriously mean what he says: that through faith in Christ we may enter into a personal community of life with the eternal God, which has the character of agape, which is essentially supernatural and not of this world, and yet plants its feet firmly in this world, not only because real agape cannot but express itself in practical conduct, but also because the crucial act of agape was actually performed in history, on an April day about AD 30, at a supper-table in Jerusalem, in a garden across the Kidron valley, in the headquarter of Pontius Pilate, and on a Roman cross at Golgotha. So concrete, so actual, is the nature of the divine agape; yet none the less for that, by entering into the relation of agape thus opened up for men, we may dwell in God and He in us.”
Summary of “abide” in 1Jo:
Him (2:6, 24, 28; 3:24)
The light (2:10)
Abide in you:
The beginning doctrines (2:24)
Baptism of the Spirit (2:27; 3:9, 24)
Eternal life (3:15)
The will of God abides forever (2:17)
False teachers did not abide with us (2:19)
He who abides in Him cannot continually sin (3:6)
He who doesn’t love his brother abides in death (3:14)
If we love and keep His commands He abides in us (4:12, 15-16)
Jesus used the word abide identically.
JOH 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him.”
His home is filled with peace, …
JOH 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
produces a wonderful crop (fruit), …
JOH 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
Think of an agricultural society.
is in open communication with his Lord (prayer without barriers of selfishness or fear), …