1 John 2:11

But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

John 2:11 (ESV)

In verse 11 John offers the contrast to his statement in verse 10 with what it looks like to walk in darkness rather than walking in the light with the preposition but. He leads again with whoever and now tells us those us he is speaking of those who hate his brother. Hate is the Greek word miseó and is often used to express hate, to detest, love less, or esteem less. it is not just to detest but also to place a lesser value on someone or something else. In this case John is talk of our brothers. This is one who is also a fellow-Christian. God is their Father also, so what he is saying if you hate your brother you are in darkness. The Greek word here again is scotia which is not only a literal darkness but a spiritual darkness which leads to sin.

The next statement is joined with the use of and, which is a simultaneous effect. This is the statement, does not know. This is the Greek word eidó which helps explains as follows:

1492 eídō (oida) – properly, to see with physical eyes (cf. Ro 1:11), as it naturally bridges to the metaphorical sense: perceiving (“mentally seeing“). This is akin to the expressions: “I see what You mean”; “I see what you are saying.”


1492 /eídō (“seeing that becomes knowing“) then is a gateway to grasp spiritual truth (reality) from a physical plane. 1492 (eídō) then is physical seeing (sight) which should be the constant bridge to mental and spiritual seeing (comprehension).

https://biblehub.com/greek/1492.htm

This in essence is failure to understand what God truly says. We are to love our brothers as God clearly tells us over and over. Jesus is our model to what this love looks like.

The next phrase is where he is going. The where John is speaking of is the Greek word hupagó and is translated as he is going. It is also used in the sense of to go away, depart, begone, or die. This is because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Blinded here is the Greek word tuphloó which is to blind or make blind physically or mentally. This is akin to having a cloudy perspective or clouded vision which causes spiritual blindness. And again John is here referring to the mind’s eye. It is essentially the fact of knowing.

Observation: John is again repeating the themes he has built upon. He has told us what it means to walk in the light and is here telling us what it means to walk in darkness. He tells us that this person has spiritual
blindness and is walking in sin. This because he does not value his brother equally. It is a place of pride to think more of yourself and can cause you
to see with clouded vision. God does not give us shades of grey, but rather is clear on these matters. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. We are to walk in love and not in hate, lest we lose our way and fail to follow our
Lord and Savior. He loved in the ultimate way, laying down His life for
you and I. If we know this, see this and understand this how can it not
cause a heart changed and a love overflowing from gratitude.

Father, we humbly ask that You would remove an darkness form our eyes and gives us clarity. Clarity of who You are and what You have called us to do. In Christ we are a family of Your children. We often see each other through our own perceptions and our own understanding, but we need to see each other as You see us. We are all fallen sinful creations redeemed by the Your mercy and grace. You have began a good work in us and will finish what you have started. Holy Spirit fill us with mercy and grace and let us be overflowing vessels of that grace and mercy. That as God is shaping us we would be tools in His hands to help build and shape one another in truth and love. Father forgive us when we think more of ourselves than we ought to and less of our brothers. May we never forget the cost of our redemption. The blood shed by your only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. May we live for Christ’s sake and to Your glory, amen.

God bless you,

Steadfast

1 John 2:10


Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.

1 John 2:10 (ESV)

John here continues speaking now of those who love their brother. Here again just uses love as a verb and is referring to his brother as a member of the family of God. To not treat them as less but to treat them as equals. To not place your interest above theirs.

Now John continues of his use of abide. This is the idea of remaining, or persevering. We are to abide in the light. This is staying in a place of understanding. It is to act morally acceptable to God.

The last phrase in this sentence is, “in him there is no cause for stumbling”. In him is the Greek word esti, which can also be translated as are, belong, call, come or consist. It is something which the individual posses as well something which they belong to. And what is the subject of this statement?

The noun or subject here is cause for stumbling. This is the Greek word skandalon. This can be translated as a snare, stumbling-block, cause for error. Helps explains skandalon as follows:


4625 skándalon – properly, the trigger of a trap (the mechanism closing a trap down on the unsuspecting victim); (figuratively) an offense, putting a negative cause-and-effect relationship into motion.
4625 /skándalon (“the means of stumbling”) stresses the method (means) of entrapment, i.e. how someone is caught by their own devices (like their personal bias, carnal thinking).
[“4625 (skándalon) is the native rock rising up through the earth, which trips up the traveler, hence, of Jesus the Messiah, to the Jews who refused him” (Souter); “properly, the bait-stick of a trap, a snare, stumbling-block” (Abbott-Smith); “the stick in the trap that springs and closes the trap when the animal touches it” (WP, 1, 46).]

https://biblehub.com/greek/4625.htm

This idea of cause for stumbling is the opposite of selfless love but rather a selfish motive at the expense of others. It is to place something in their way which is meant for harm.

Observation: John seems to be saying here, if you are one of Christ’s children, live in this understanding. The understanding of who God is and what he has done for you. In this understanding it should translate as loving your brother. Not meaning to cause harm, but rather to build them up, encourage, support them in their time of need. We are not to be a people of selfish motive but a people who out of God’s selfless act of love and mercy towards us, act out of selfless love and mercy towards our brother’s and sister’s in Christ. This is a statement of what the church should look like.

Father, forgive us for we are a selfish people. We need only to look inwards and realize this. You call us to look inward only after we have looked outward towards You. Seeing ourselves through the lens of your eyes. Using the mirror to not recognize ourselves but who we are in the image of God. That is to be what we reflect. Help us today to look to Your word and be conformed to your image. Seeing less of us and more of you. That it is not just our image that bears resemblance but our hearts and minds as well. For Christ’s sake, amen.

God bless you,

Steadfast

1 John 2:9


Whoever says he is in the light and )hates his brother is still in darkness.

1 John 2:9 (ESV)

John starts his next sentence with whoever says. This is an affirmation by the one speaking. John is laying down the basis for the next argument. He is reminding us of the state of understanding. He here returns to the metaphor of light and dark. They are not equal forces and one is superior to the other.

Light is the Greek word phós, and is translated as light, a source of light or radiance. It is more than simply an understanding of truth. It is what is sometimes called an ascension to truth. It is an illumination brought about by the Holy Spirit. It is God’s saving truth that has been placed within us.

Darkness once again is the Greek word scotia and is translated as darkness but it also figurative for spiritual darkness. It is a lack of faith in Christ. One who is in Christ is in the light and those who are not are in a state of darkness.

John gives us the test for this argument and that is to hate his brother. Hate in this context is a verb which Websters 1828 edition defines as follows:

1. To dislike greatly; to have a great aversion to. It expresses less than abhor, detest, and abominate, unless pronounced with a peculiar emphasis.

2. In Scripture, it signifies to love less.

http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/hate

It is not to dislike, it is to love less. Love is John’s argument in his gospel. It is God’s plan of salvation, the love of Christ.

A brother is a member of our family and in this instance John is referring to God’s family. If we are in Christ we have the same Father.

The last part of this sentence is still, negates the affirmation of the individual. However this is in regards to the present. This does not mean they will not be in the light, but at the moment, they are not.

Observation: John likes to give clear cut argument. It is things like truth and lies or light and dark. He wants us to see, it is not enough to know something but that the knowing has in fact changed us. Only God changes the heart, and apart from Him, we cannot love as we ought to. We love ourselves first and our neighbor less. Christ calls us to the Lord our God first and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. He puts ultimate importance on loving God and equal importance on loving our neighbors. If we just look at those around us at this exact moment, how many of those can we say we love that much? What would we sacrifice for our own selfish motives and what would we sacrifice for them? This picture of brotherly love is for those who are in Christ and it is how we grow. We lay down our lives for the ones we love.

Father, love is so often misquoted and misrepresented as being a feeling. But your word says love is a verb. It is an action demonstrated on the cross for sinful man. Hate is so often used as a feeling and expressed as the opposite of love, but it also a verb and it means to love less. Forgive us Lord for we do not love as we ought to, and we are act with apathy to those around us. We do not care for them as we ought. We may tell them we will pray for them in their times of trouble, but often we simply offer no more words than that. We may see a need which may cause us to stretch, and instead we stay within our boundaries or we may even look the other way. Lord fill us with your love as we head into Easter weekend. Remind us of Your love for us. Teach us to love as Christ loved the church, that we may bear the fruit of love. For Christ’s sake, amen.

God bless,

Steadfast

1 John 2:8


At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.

1 John 2:8 (ESV)

John here is expounding upon the fact that this is nothing new, but at the same time it is. New is the Greek word kainos which can also be translated as fresh. It is also used in a way to speaks to that which was recently made is superior to what it succeeds.

John once again is stating this is true what I am telling you, and it is true in him, Christ. Once again if we look at the preposition in, it is to be inside or to be the state from which it operates. This commandment is a fresh look at the law of God because we can see the fulfillment of it in Christ and that is where it comes from.

The next statement is the argument or proof for what John has stated. The Greek word for because is hoti, which can also be translated as since or that. John once again brings us to the usage of light and dark.

Here John speaks of the darkness as passing away. Darkness is the Greek word scotia which HELPS explains this way:


Cognate: 4653 skotía (a feminine noun) – darkness, a brand of moral, spiritual obscurity (i.e. which blocks the light of God when faith is lacking). See also 4655 /skótos (“darkness”).

https://biblehub.com/greek/4653.htm

Passing away is the Greek word paragó which can also be translated at to pass by or depart.

John uses the term light, reiterating the truth of this light. He had given us a description of this light on John 1:4:


In him was life,a and the life was the light of men.

john 1:4

Already or édé in Greek, has a couple different meanings. HELPS offers to explain it as follows:


2235 ḗdē (a temporal adverb) – already now, even now, referring to what is not yet strictly present but already (now) impacts the present (= “already now”).
[2235 (ḗdē) is “a point of time preceding another point of time and implying completion – ‘already'” (L & N, 1, 67.20). It often factors in something strictly future, but can include anything that is not strictly present.]

https://biblehub.com/greek/2235.htm

Phainó can be translated as to bring to light or to cause to appear. It is that something has become clear or visible.

Observation: John wants his readers to understand and to be convinced that what he is telling them is true. He builds upon language which he established in his Gospel account of Jesus. He uses the term truth over and over and he uses the parallel of light and dark. He wants us to see, and for us to understand that we can see evidence of the work of Christ in men. It is evident. The darkness is passing away and the light is being revealed. This was first seen in Christ and is now seen in those who put their faith in Christ.

Father, we as a people love the darkness more than the light. We desire change under our pretenses. We are willing to when we are willing to. We feel entitled and our sin clouds our vision. Lord we ask that the light of Christ would break through the darkness within us, and you Lord would search us know us. Help us Lord to see ourselves in relation to who You are. Lord forgive us for desiring the darkness. Forgive us for avoiding Your light. Grant us faith that we would desire Christ and that our lives would be transformed, seen in a new light as it were. Thank You Lord for you are faithful. In Jesus Name, amen.

God bless you,

Steadfast

1 John 2:7


Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard.

1 John 2:7 (ESV)

John start’s this next sentence addressing the Beloved. Beloved is the Greek word agapétos which is defined as beloved. What does it mean to be beloved? It is from the Greek word agápē and it refers to those who have experienced God’s agape love or to be divinely loved.

He next tells us that this command he is writing is not new, but something that was there all along. The word for beginning is arché and it is the beginning or origin. HELPS explains it like this:


746 arxḗ – properly, from the beginning (temporal sense), i.e. “the initial (starting) point”; (figuratively) what comes first and therefore is chief (foremost), i.e. has the priority because ahead of the rest (“preeminent”).

https://biblehub.com/greek/746.htm

Command comes from the Greek entolé and is an injunction or order. In this context it is meant of the ethical or moral precepts of Christ and the apostles. These commands were from the Old Testament and it was taught and lived amongst the people of Israel. It was observed by Christ in perfection.

John uses the word akouó which is translated as hear. It is not just to hear but to comprehend. It is an understanding which is taught from the teacher or narrator.

Observation: John wants us to understand he is giving us something new from God. This is something inspired by the Spirit and at the same time it is nothing new at all. It is the same yesterday, today and forever. God does not change. Though it may be new from a time standpoint, this commandment is what was given at the very beginning of time. If we are truly in Christ, we know this.

Father, thank you for you are unchanging and trustworthy. We can depend on You to do what you have said. Your instruction for our life is for our own benefit. That we may live a life pleasing to you and glorify you in the process. In this we have hope. You show us how man was intended to live and any of us, believers or unbelievers if we look at this, something inside knows it to be true. Lord let us understand and comprehend with our hearts and our minds. Let us walk us Christ walked. Loving You and loving our neighbors. In Jesus Name, Amen

God bless you,

Stedfast

1 John 2:6

whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

1 John 2:6 (ESV)

This statement actually ties into what John previously said in verse 5:

“By this we may know that we are in him:”

1 John 2:5 (ESV)

This is a test for believers. Whoever says he abides in Him, ought to. The Greek word for ought to is the word opheiló and is actually defined as I owe. HELPS gives us further insight as follows:


3784 opheílō (a primitive verb, NAS dictionary) – to owe, be indebted, i.e. obliged to rectify a debt (“ought”).
3784 /opheílō (“owe”) refers to being morally obligated (or legally required) to meet an obligation, i.e. to pay off a legitimate debt.
[3784 (opheílō) “originally belonged to the legal sphere; it expressed initially one’s legal and economic, and then later one’s moral, duties and responsibilities to the gods and to men, or to their sacrosanct regulations. . . . opheílō expresses human and ethical responsibility in the NT” (DNTT, 2, 662.663).]

https://biblehub.com/greek/3784.htm

The subject of what we ought to do is to walk in the same way. Walk is not simply to put one foot in front of the other but it is how we should conduct ourselves. It is how we regulate our lives. The word same here is used in the as according to the manner in which. The person referenced here is Christ.

Observation: God desires something of us. He has paid our debt and we can never repay it. However we can live in a manner worthy of our Savior. Jesus paid it all, and in that way we owe our lives to Him. Should we not live from that gratitude? Should we not give everything we have to Him? If we are indebted to Him, how come we cannot simply operate from His grace, instead of living as if our lives are our own. John says to walk as He walked. Our eyes are to be fixed on Christ, our minds captive to His ways, our hearts surrendered to Him. Let us not glance at Jesus, but seek Him with all of our hearts, mind and strength, so we may follow in His steps. This is our responsibility to Christ.

Father, thank you for your Word. There are days where it can be confusing and there are days when it is simple as can be. Lord enable us, empower us, give us everything we need in order that we may walk as Christ walked. That we would have grateful hearts surrendered to the one who has bought us. Praise be to you. In Jesus name, amen.

God bless you,

Stedfast

1 John 2:5

but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:

1 John 2:5 (ESV)

In 1 John 2:5, the Apostle is telling us how we can recognize those who are in Christ. How is this done? “Whoever keeps his word”. Keep is the Greek word téreó which comes from the word tēros. This literally means one who guards, observes or watches over. And what is it that is kept but the Word of God.

“In him truly the love of God is perfected.” In Greek truly is aléthós, and is a fact, it is to be demonstrably valid and therefore genuine. In other words it is reality. And as for perfected; the word teleioó means to bring to an end, complete or to perfect. Thayer’s defines it as follows:

to complete (perfect), i. e. add what is yet lacking in order to render a thing full:

https://biblehub.com/greek/5048.htm

The last statement tells us “By this we may know that we are in him:” And again John uses the word ginóskó which is to come to know, to recognize or to perceive. What is it that we recognize? That we are in Him. To be in Christ, is to be inside or in the condition in which something operates.

Observation: John wants us to see that if we are in Christ, there will be evidence. This evidence is a keeping of God’s Word. Not that we keep it in perfection, but rather our very nature has been changed that we no longer hate the light. We are now operating out of a desire to live as Christ lived. The love of God is in us, it has been added to our very being by the work that Christ accomplished on the cross. His death and resurrection has allowed us to see and to know the love of the Father. Our very lives our now changed and this is demonstrated by our changed lives. How can we say that God’s love is in us if we do not live from the very relationship that we have been restored to. Our relationship with God?

Father, let our lives be evidence of your good and perfect work. Let our lives be changed and our very desires be transformed. You say that for those of us that are in Christ, we have all that we need. It is finished, it has been accomplished. Lord the Holy Spirit empowers us to walk out the faith imparted to us. Lord let us operate out of this faith and let this cause our faith to grow. That we might glorify You with our lives and serve or King as we serve those around us. This we ask in Jesus name, amen.

God bless you,

Stedfast