Walking Like Our Father (1 John 2:1-14)
June 23, 2018, 1:36 am
Filed under: Searching for our Savior in His book
Walking Like our Father (1st John 2:1-14)
“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who 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 the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, because you have known the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men,
because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you,
And you have overcome the wicked one.”
My son has three sons, in whom I see so much of their father at their age. Except for the time my son is working, he wears a baseball cap. He has always loved to wear caps; I do as well. But my son has a unique way of wearing his cap and each of his sons copy his style when they wear their caps. Baseball caps have a flat bill and my son leaves it flat. There used to be a style associated with shaping the bill of a cap with just the right curve, but my son leaves his bill flat. So, do each of his sons. It is normal for children to copy their parents, so when John writes to his “little children” he is trying to get them to focus on being like and walking like our Father. Our Father doesn’t sin, so John writes don’t sin and break God’s law. He wants us to copy our Father in how we live in this world.
But notice that John, after his plea not to sin, also wants to encourage those who fail at attempting to walk like our Father. If we sin, we have an Advocate with the Father. An advocate is one who stands up for me and intercedes when I fail. His name is Jesus Christ, the One Son of God who always conforms to the Father’s will in everything and in every way. Jesus, my lawyer, pleads with God to hold back the punishment and judgment that should come my way. Jesus does this because He is the Propitiation for my sins because He is the atoning sacrifice that satisfies the wrath of God that should be directed at me because of our sinful nature, our worldliness, our lifestyle, our choice to sin rather than to obey.
John doesn’t stop the plea to walk like the Father at this point. Please don’t take this to mean “walk like your Father but you won’t so God provided a payment to take pay for failure. John tells us to walk like our Father and at those time when we fail, don’t give up because God, our Father, took the responsibility to take care of that failure. John encourages us to examine our walk to see if we truly have a relationship with God as our Father. So, how do you know if your relationship with God exists? What is the guiding principle for how you live? John tells us that we keep His commandments which according to the language used means that we habitually focus on God’s standards and obeys them as a habit in life. If I have a relationship with God, I need to walk by His standards and live and conduct myself the way He walked and conducted Himself while on earth. John tells us that we can walk like Jesus walked by doing one simple thing, live like Jesus lived in loving others. Jesus always put the needs of others before His needs. He was God, left the beauty of Heaven to live on sin-cursed earth, walked away from the constant praise of angels into an earth filled with hatred and rejection because He put my need of salvation first. I understand that God was doing what He planned and that the act of redemption demonstrated the amazing God He was, is today, and forever will be. John is telling us that God made living for Him simple. We are enabled the indwelling Holy Spirit to do God’s will and all that we must do is live by two simple standards. Love Jesus so much that you always strive to do what makes Him happy in everything and love others so much that you always put them before you. A true relationship with God will be seen in this attitude. But because I have a sinful heart, I might fail and do something selfish and self-centered. God has a plan to deal with that. Admit the failure, let God deal with it, and go back to loving Him in all you do, and loving others more than you love yourself. John calls a life lived this way a victorious life.

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