Sunday, April 11, 2021

The ultra-traditionalism of chinos at the Eucharist

 The Revd Professor Gerald Bray writes:

"In recent years, some clergy have taken the radical step of returning to New Testament practice where (as far as we can tell) the celebrant(s) wore their ordinary clothes [to preside at the Eucharist], but such is the legacy of controversy within Anglicanism that this very traditionalist solution is regarded as an extremely low-church phenomenon that may even be a provocation to those who are not like-minded." 

Anglicanism, p53


Sunday, April 04, 2021

Ocean of Grace (47 & 48): EASTER SUNDAY – To Wake More Merry (p155ff)

 

Some comments on, jottings arising from, questions, prayers and hymns to accompany:

 

Tim Chester, An Ocean of Grace: A Journey to Easter with Great Voices from the Christian Past (The Good Book Company, 2021)

 

Book available: https://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/an-ocean-of-grace

 

All my jottings were shared at http://marclloyd.blogspot.com/ 08/02/2021-04/04/2021

 

(Comments welcome)

 

Ocean of Grace (47 & 48): EASTER SUNDAY – To Wake More Merry (p155ff)

 

Thank God that Jesus has tamed the old ogre, death. Our enemy has become a servant who ushers our souls into the nearer presence of King Jesus. And meanwhile our bodies sleep in the grave as we await the Resurrection Day. Cemetery means sleeping place or dormitory. And the nap of our bodies until judgement day is nothing to fear. Death has lost his sting.

 

We may think of ourselves clothed now (by grace through faith) not with the fig-leaves (or indeed the filthy rags) of our supposed works righteousness but in the glorious righteousness of Christ.

 

Give thanks that what Adam marred, Christ has mended. Paradise is restored for believers – only better for Jesus will bring us not just back to The Garden but to the glorious Garden City and to the New Creation.

 

Glory, power and praise indeed to Jesus the crucified and risen one.

 

Hymn: Jesus Christ is risen today

 

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMwPEmUMP7U

 

 

Words: https://hymnary.org/text/jesus_christ_is_risen_today_our_tri

 

* * *

 

Some other hymns which I thought of which I’m not sure I got round to using:

 

The King of Love My Shepherd Is

 

The Lord’s My Shepherd

 

O Love that wilt not let me go


Friday, April 02, 2021

Jottings etc. to accompany Tim Chester's, An Ocean of Grace

 

Some comments on, jottings arising from, questions, prayers and hymns to accompany:

 

Tim Chester, An Ocean of Grace: A Journey to Easter with Great Voices from the Christian Past (The Good Book Company, 2021)


available here as a PDF.  


Book available: https://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/an-ocean-of-grace

 

All my jottings were shared at http://marclloyd.blogspot.com/ 08/02/2021-04/04/2021

 

(Comments welcome)

 

Ocean of Grace (46): HOLY SATURDAY – Conquering Love (p152ff)

 Lent Book: https://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/an-ocean-of-grace

 

My jottings:

 

(Comments welcome)

 

Ocean of Grace (46): HOLY SATURDAY – Conquering Love (p152ff)

 

The cross is Jesus’ great victory. And we may think of ourselves and all the redeemed as the spoils of the cross. By his triumph, Jesus wins us. We belong to Jesus both by creation and redemption. We are not our own: we are bought at a price. The cross set us free from slavery to sin and Satan and now we have a new Lord to whom we belong body and soul. He has claimed us. May we be glad to be conquered by Christ and wholly dedicated to his good service.

 

On the cross as Jesus’ triumph, see further Colossians 2:15. Jesus leads us in triumphal procession (2 Corinthians 2:14). Ephesians 4:8 also pictures Christ as the victor giving gifts to his people after his conquest.

 

Spurgeon is surely right that the gospel is endlessly astonishing and marvellous. Let it move us to repentance and to delight in the love of God for us afresh. May this theme never be stale to us.

 

Hymn: Low in the grave he lay

 

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0arouoCJ8es

 

Words: https://www.jubilate.co.uk/songs/low_in_the_grave_he_lay

Ocean of Grace (45): GOOD FRIDAY – Our Greatest Glory (p149ff)

 Lent Book: https://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/an-ocean-of-grace

 

My jottings:

 

(Comments welcome)

 

 

Ocean of Grace (45): GOOD FRIDAY – Our Greatest Glory (p149ff)

 

The cross is indeed a glorious meeting of mercy and justice. This is captured in Psalm 85v10:

 

You, Lord, showed favour to your land;
    you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
You forgave the iniquity of your people
    and covered all their sins.[
b]
You set aside all your wrath
    and turned from your fierce anger.

Restore us again, God our Saviour,
    and put away your displeasure towards us.
Will you be angry with us for ever?
    Will you prolong your anger through all generations?
Will you not revive us again,
    that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your unfailing love, Lord,
    and grant us your salvation.

I will listen to what God the Lord says;
    he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants –
    but let them not turn to folly.
Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,
    that his glory may dwell in our land.

10 Love and faithfulness meet together;
    righteousness and peace kiss each other.

11 Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
    and righteousness looks down from heaven.
12 The Lord will indeed give what is good,
    and our land will yield its harvest.
13 Righteousness goes before him
    and prepares the way for his steps.

 

As Romans 3 argues, the cross is God’s just way of justifying (declaring righteous) the unjust (sinners) by faith in Jesus (the righteous one). (See especially v26). See also Romans 4v5: God justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness (justification / justice).

 

We may glory / boast / delight in the cross of Christ (Galatians 6:14). Its surprising hidden glory re-writes all our notions of greatness and power. What looks like humiliation and shame is victory. As Jesus is degraded, he is exalted. Here is the glory of the crucified God! It turns out that self-sacrificial service, self-giving, pouring out your life and rights for the sake of others, is the most glorious God-like thing you can do.  

 

Hymn: I will glory in my redeemer

 

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR4wRqL0Cn0

 

Words: https://sovereigngracemusic.org/music/songs/i-will-glory-in-my-redeemer/

Thursday, April 01, 2021

How to read the Psalms

 

We’ve said before that there are a number of ways or levels on which to read the Psalms.

 

First, the Psalmist often wrote about his own experience.

Sometimes we don’t know exactly what his situation was, or what he was going through.

But it’s worth at least thinking about the original intended meaning of the Psalmist as best we can.

What did the Psalmist mean?

We can assume that God has given us all the details we need to understand the Psalm adequately, and that he has preserved it for our learning.  

What does the Psalmist’s experience teach us?

 

But second, these Psalms became the prayers and hymns of the church.

They weren’t just private.

There’s more here than the experience of one individual.

All God’s people would have read and prayed and sung these Psalms.

The Psalms belong to us and to the whole church down the ages, and God means us to take them on our lips.

Sometimes the general nature of the Psalms allows us to apply them to a whole variety of different situation.

We might find in one of the Psalms something that is a perfect fit for us.

The Psalms are public prayers and they should teach us how to pray and sing in a way which is pleasing to God.

These are human words, yes, but they are also God’s words which he has given us to say back to him.

 

And, third, Jesus would have prayed and sung these Psalms.

He’s the ultimate person of God, the Man of God, the faithful Israel.

He’s great king David’s greater Son.

He’s the anointed Messiah, the long promised rescuer king.

He fulfils the pattern we often see in the Psalms of innocent suffering followed by vindication and deliverance.

All the Scriptures are ultimately about Jesus so the Psalms lead us to him.

The Bible often takes the Psalms are prophecies about Jesus.

So this is probably the most important question to ask when we come to the Psalms: how does this Psalm lead me to faith in Jesus that I might have life in him?

What difference does it make if we think of Jesus as the one speaking in the Psalms?

It’s at least a way of reading the Psalm which is worth trying out.  

 

And lastly, we are in Christ. 

So if this is Christ’s song, it is our song too.

We want to think about how this Psalm applies to us as believers and as in Christ.

Ocean of Grace (44): THURSDAY – Mental Anguish (p146ff)

 Lent Book: https://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/an-ocean-of-grace

 

My jottings:

 

(Comments welcome)

 

Ocean of Grace (44): THURSDAY – Mental Anguish (p146ff)

 

Reflecting on Jesus’ experience in the Garden of Gethsemane on this Maundy Thursday evening might complement our reading from John 12. See Matthew 26:36ff / Mark 14:32ff / Luke 22:39ff. Jesus goes willingly to his agonising death because he knows it is the only way for him to save his people. He chooses to drink the cup of God’s wrath to the dregs so that we don’t have to.

 

Hebrews 12:1-4 is also relevant as we think about how Jesus contemplated the cross. He endured the agony for the joy set before him.

 

* * *

 

For the early church fathers, the full and true humanity of Jesus, along with his divine nature, was essential to our salvation. They often appealed to the principle Cyril sets out here: “for that which has not been taken into your nature has not been saved”.

 

Gregory of Nazianzus said the same thing about Jesus’ true humanity: “For that which He has not assumed He has not healed”.

 

https://earlychurchtexts.com/public/gregoryofnaz_critique_of_apolliniarianism.htm

 

Hymn: From heaven you came helpless babe … The Servant King

 

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0FSZ_iSYO8

 

Words: https://www.worshiptogether.com/songs/the-servant-king-graham-kendrick/

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Ocean of Grace (43): WEDNESDAY – All Things Applaud You (p143ff)

Lent Book: https://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/an-ocean-of-grace

 

My jottings:

 

(Comments welcome)

  

 

Ocean of Grace (43): WEDNESDAY – All Things Applaud You (p143ff)

 

It is perhaps not too fanciful to see the pattern of death and resurrection as written in to creation in the form of night and day (sleep is a picture of death followed by resurrection) and winter followed by spring.

 

The continuation of the seasons is a sign of God’s faithfulness and kindness to humanity (Genesis 8:22).

 

Jesus himself frequently drew upon creation in his teaching, not least when he spoke of his body as a seed which must die and be buried in the earth that it might produce a harvest of life (John 12:23-25).

 

Jesus means to redeem and renew the whole cosmos and bring in a new creation. His own resurrection body provides a kind of pattern for the renewal of all things. The same body rose from the tomb but it arose a spiritual body, transformed, renewed, glorified. Similarly creation will be renewed. See e.g. Romans 8; 1 Corinthians 15; Revelation 21. Our hope is not just for a disembodied “spiritual” heaven, but for resurrection bodies and New Creation (the renewal of all things). God’s plans for this creation will not be thwarted by sin. He means for his kingdom to come on this earth in all its fulness. He will take the world he has made from one degree of glory to another.

 

Jesus’ resurrection is a kind of first fruits of the resurrection. His rising from the grave proves that death is defeated and a great harvest is coming. Jesus is like the first bluebell of spring. Soon there will be a great multitude that no one can number. 

 

Hymn: How Great Thou Art

 

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cc0QVWzCv9k

 

Words: https://hymnary.org/text/o_lord_my_god_when_i_in_awesome_wonder

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Ocean of Grace (42): TUESDAY – Resurrection Sweetness (p140ff)

 Lent Book: https://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/an-ocean-of-grace

 

My jottings:

 

(Comments welcome)

 

Ocean of Grace (42): TUESDAY – Resurrection Sweetness (p140ff)

 

Reflect on how and why God loved us (Romans 8:37). How was that love demonstrated and proved? Give thanks that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:35). We are secure because our salvation does not depend on our performance but on God’s grace, his undeserved love for us, and all that he has done for us in Christ. God promises to keep all his people and to bring us safely to glory. We may have real assurance, which is not presumption or self-confidence, as we trust in Jesus. We depend on God and his promises and nothing could be more sure.

 

Notice the unbroken golden chain on Romans 8:28-30. The point here is that none are lost at any stage. God’s people are called, foreknown, predestined; predestined, called, justified, glorified. God’s foreknowledge is not mere prediction or anticipation nor merely an operation of his omnipotence (he knows in advance that we will believe). It is something much more active and personal. God foreknows his people. It is relational as when Adam knew Eve. It speaks of God’s sovereign choice.

 

We are glorified spiritually speaking in Christ (we are joined to him by faith in the Spirit) in the heavenly realms and we will be glorified. Our future glorification is so certain it can be spoken of as a past event which is already accomplished in Christ. Now it is a reality already in Christ; one day we will have the full enjoyment of it when sorrow and sin are ended.

 

* * *

 

We rightly emphasise the centrality of the cross. But all Christ’s saving work incarnation-birth-life-death-resurrection-reign-return etc. really belongs together. We sometimes concentrate on the importance of the historical evidence for the resurrection: we want to show that the tomb was empty, and that’s vital. But we would also do well to reflect on its significance. Jesus was raised from the dead. So what? Certainly the resurrection proves that Jesus was who he claimed to be and that the cross worked, but the Bible has much more to say about why the resurrection matters and what it means for us.

 

You might find something in the following notes useful (which I think are based on Sam Allberry’s book, which I highly recommend):

 

Why the resurrection matters (1 Cor 15)

 

The meaning / significance on the resurrection

So what? What the resurrection can do for you:

 

Sam Allberry, Lifted: Experiencing the resurrection life (IVP, 2010) 144 pages ISBN: 9781844744237 £6.99

 

(1) ASSURANCE

 

(a) The resurrection assures us that Jesus was who he claimed to be

 

(b) The resurrection assures us of what Jesus has done

 

Rm 4:25; 1 Cor 15:17

 

“the resurrection is the consequence and demonstration of our salvation because death is the consequence and demonstration of our sin.”

 

Death as the wages of sin Gen 2:17; 3:2-5, 19; Rm 6:23

 

(2) TRANSFORMATION

 

Spiritually raised now (Col 3:1), physically raised at Final Day (Rm 8:23)

 

God gives life & new life - Rm 4:17; 1 Sam 2:6; Ez 37; Ps 16:10; Phil 2

 

(a) New life - Eph 2:1-10

(b) New perspective - Col 3:1-4

(c) New conduct - Eph 5:8, 11-14 Col 3:5, 8–10; Acts 4:32–35

(d) New power - Rom 8:9–11; Rom 6:5–14

(e) New ambition - Phil 3:10-11

 

(3) HOPE

 

Mistake 1: The mistake that the resurrection has already taken place (2 Tim 2:17-18)

 

(a) Wrong to think: We have it all now

 

 

 (b) Wrong to think: This is all there is

 

Mistake 2: There is no resurrection of the dead (1 Cor 15:12)

 

Jesus is the first of many - Rm 8:11

 

Look at nature:

(i) put death in, get life out - 1 Cor 15:36

(ii) what you get out wasn’t what you put in - 1 Cor 15:37-38

(iii) God is, of course, able to give things the appropriate kinds of bodies - 1 Cor 15:39-41

 

Look at the risen Jesus:

1 Cor 15:49; Phil 3:21

 

Continuity & discontinuity - 1 Cor 15:42–44

 

Resurrection hope for creation - Rev 21:1, 5; Is 65:17; 11:6–9; Gen 9:11; Mt 19:28; 1 Cor 15:58

 

“God says, ‘I will make all things new’, not ‘I will make all new things’.”

 

Frustration & Promise - Rm 8:19-22

 

(4) MISSION

 

Acts 17:30-31

 

The exaltation of Jesus - Phil 2:5-11

 

The reality of judgement - Rm 1:3-4; Dan 12:2; John 11:25; Acts 4:1-2

 

The necessity of mission - Mt 28:19-20

 

 

 

Hymn: Love’s redeeming work is done

 

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzmjFmXZVo8

 

Words: https://www.jubilate.co.uk/songs/loves_redeeming_work_is_done_jubilate_version

Monday, March 29, 2021

Easter Video for Children and Families

On the Warbleton Parish Church Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/WarbletonParishChurch/posts/3959562294081835

And on the Warbleton Parish Church You Tube Channel: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADFR3ywW--U&t=76s

Benefice Holy Week and Easter Services 2021

All welcome (with social distancing and the usual Covid precautions such as face coverings)

 

7:30pm Maundy Thursday (1st April) Joint Benefice Service of Holy Communion at Warbleton*

 

10am Good Friday (2nd April) An Hour at the Cross at Bodle Street Green

 

12pm Good Friday (2nd April) An Hour at the Cross at Dallington

 

3pm Good Friday (2nd April) An Hour at the Cross at Warbleton*

 

(There will be no Easter Egg Hunt at Warbleton this year but please see our online video for children and families on Warbleton Parish Church Facebook Page and You Tube Channel)

 

9:30am Easter Day (Sunday 4th April) All Age Family Service with Holy Communion at Bodle Street Green

 

11am Easter Day (Sunday 4th April) All Age Family Service with Holy Communion at Warbleton*

 

11am Easter Day (Sunday 4th April) Holy Communion at Dallington

 

* We are aiming to live stream all the services from Warbleton to the Warbleton Parish Church Facebook Page and upload them later to the Warbleton Parish Church You Tube Channel

 

facebook.com/WarbletonParishChurch

 

youtube.com/channel/UCPBFrhqP5nL6QnmkZKfP5yw

Ocean of Grace (41): MONDAY – Our Phoenix Rises (p137ff)

 Lent Book: https://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/an-ocean-of-grace

 

My jottings:

 

(Comments welcome)

 

Ocean of Grace (41): MONDAY – Our Phoenix Rises (p137ff)

 

Chester describes something of the already-not yet tension of the Christian life. Theologians sometimes call this inaugurated eschatology in contrast to a hope that is entirely in the future or overly realised in the present. Eschatology is the Christian doctrine of the last things – the Second Coming of Christ, the final judgement, heaven, hell and the new creation and so on. We call the Kingdom of God inaugurated in Christ (it really has begun in a new way through Jesus) but it has not yet come in all its fulness (sin and death remain).

 

Jesus has won the decisive victory by his cross and resurrection, but sin and Satan have not yet finally entirely given up the fight. Though they are defeated, they still mount a desperate last resistance and whilst they cannot win, they can do much harm. The power of sin is broken in our lives, but it often still feels rather powerful to us! We continue to mess up, often again and again in the same way. And the battle will carry on until glory. Sin will be a constant presence until Jesus calls us home. There are many real blessings to the Christian life here and now, but the best is yet to come. All things are ours now in principle in Christ, but we don’t yet have the full enjoyment of them.

 

* * *

 

It is an interesting point that Christians transferred the Sabbath from a Saturday (the last day of the week) to a Sunday (the first day of the week, resurrection day, representing a New Creation). Each Lord’s Day is a celebration of Easter and the Resurrection when the risen Jesus meets his people to bless them and renew covenant with them. We work from rest, not to achieve it by our work. The week begins with the gift of Sunday, new life day.

 

* * *

 

On the Jubilee Year see Leviticus 25:8ff. It was a year of liberty, the cancellation of debts and sabbath rest. It required trust in God and his provision. It’s not hard to see how this provides a picture of the gospel and cultivates gospel faith.

 

In a way we might think of the New Creation as an eternal Sabbath rest, though I suspect there’ll also be work to do (without toil or curse).

 

Hymn: Hail the day that sees him rise

 

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7b_ODz_jgTs

 

Words: https://hymnary.org/text/hail_the_day_that_sees_him_rise

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Ocean of Grace (40): PALM SUNDAY – We May Lift Him Up In Our Hearts (p134ff)

 Lent Book: https://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/an-ocean-of-grace

 

My jottings:

 

(Comments welcome)

 

Ocean of Grace (40): PALM SUNDAY – We May Lift Him Up In Our Hearts (p134ff)

 

There is a real irony in the gospel accounts of Holy Week as we see Jesus The Judge on trial. In fact, it is humanity which is on trial. The reactions of the disciples, the religious leaders, Herod and Pilate and all the others to Jesus reveal the state of their hearts: they incriminate themselves. Jesus is condemned, but he alone is the Innocent One. Jesus was silent before his accusers, but one day he will speak words of judgement or acquittal to all who must stand before the court of heaven. Left to ourselves, we are all guilty. Humanity’s sinful instinct is to crucify God. But Jesus offers us his pardon. His innocent death is salvation for the guilty who will put their trust in him.

 

* * *

 

In a sense those responsible for the crucifixion did not know what they were doing – at least not with great clarity or to its full extent. (cf. Luke 23:34)

 

The Apostle Paul can say: “we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (1 Corinthians 2:7-8)

 

(If I hadn’t suggested it earlier, I might have chosen My Song Is Love Unknown as the suggested hymn here. Its one of my favourites.)

 

Hymn: All Glory Laud and Honour

 

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHN8UAk6Yow

 

Words: https://hymnary.org/text/all_glory_laud_and_honor

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Ocean of Grace (39): SATURDAY – The Altogether Lovely (p130ff)

  

Lent Book: https://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/an-ocean-of-grace



My jottings:



(Comments welcome)



Ocean of Grace (39): SATURDAY – The Altogether Lovely (p130ff)

 

For the Ancient Greeks (Plato etc.), truth, goodness and beauty are a classic triad. Perhaps we tend to neglect beauty. We might do well to dwell on the attractiveness of Jesus’ person, character, words and actions – his beauty.

 

Has Jesus stolen your heart?

 

What can you say about his loveliness?

 

What do you admire in him / find pleasing / fitting / appropriate?

 

What captivates you about him?

 

Why are you passionate about him?

 

Do you have a sense of his longing and affection for you?

 

Jesus desires us and in our right minds we desire him. He is the Desire of the Nations (Haggai 2:6-7), although of course we don’t always realise it is Jesus we want and need. Oh for a fresh vision of his beauty and how we might be satisfied in him.

 

Hymn: Beautiful One

 

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAPHq-q1vgQ

 

Words etc.: https://www.worshiptogether.com/songs/beautiful-one-tim-hughes/

Friday, March 26, 2021

Ocean of Grace (38): FRIDAY – Medicine For The Soul (p127ff)

 Lent Book: https://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/an-ocean-of-grace

 

My jottings:

 

(Comments welcome)

 

Ocean of Grace (38): FRIDAY – Medicine For The Soul (p127ff)

 

Everything is really grace, undeserved gift, all the way down, for how could we ever deserve or merit favour from God? Our existence, our creation, is a matter of grace. What do we have that we did not receive as sheer gift? Some theologians have sometimes contrasted “nature” and “grace”. Our human nature is certainly fallen and corrupt, but in a way we might say nature is grace. Certainly creation is a free undeserved gift of the overflowing abundant generosity of God. Praise Him!

 

* * *

 

And we should not think of grace as a thing as if it were a substance or a force. It is good to remember that grace is the kindness and generosity of God Himself towards us. It is love to undeserving sinners. It is personal and relational: God relating and acting towards us on the basis of his character not our merit.

 

* * *

 

If grace is “love with stoop in it”, condescension, the love of a prince for a pauper, the rich for the poor, the full for the empty, the Lord for the beggar, the judge for the criminal, consider the grace of Christ, the eternal Son to us sinners. There could be no one fuller, richer, kinder. He gives and gives and gives and never runs out.

 

* * *

 

Christ is honey, cordial for the heart, the concentrated essence of the gospel, for he came from the hive of sweetness to conquer obstinacy with kindness. (After Thomas Watson)

 

Hymn: Wonderful grace of Jesus

 

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsPc-Ix3_ow

 

Words: https://hymnary.org/text/wonderful_grace_of_jesus

Thursday, March 25, 2021

1 John 2 homegroup notes

 Anyone wanting to review our Bible study from yesterday or get ready for the next study on Wed 14th April 7:30pm via Zoom may find this helpful:

Homegroup Leaders Notes (2) 1 John 2:1-14

 

“Dear children” (vv1, 12, 13) seems to be John’s way of referring to all his readers.

 

How do these verses encourage or comfort those who are fearfully conscious of their sins?

If we sin, Jesus speaks to the Father in our defence (v1). He turns aside God’s wrath from us (v2). See also v12.

What reassurances are there in verses 12-14?

They genuinely know God, have already been forgiven, overcome the evil one (Satan) etc.

 

Why is Jesus such a good advocate for us?

He is the Righteous One (v1). He has no sin of his own. God delights to hear him. (As the God-man he is also our ideal mediator / go-between). He is able to plead his own all-sufficient sacrifice (v2).

What do you think Jesus says in our defence?

Jesus doesn’t pretend we’re innocent (1:8, 10) or make excuses / pleas in mitigation / extenuating circumstances. Verse 2 might give the content of the defence Jesus makes of us: he died on our behalf and satisfied God’s just wrath. “Atoning sacrifice” (v2) is “propitiation”: the turning aside of God’s wrath.

How do these verses support the claim in 1:9 that God is “just” to forgive sin? Has God simply turned a blind eye to sin?

God has punished our sins in Jesus. Justice has been done. It would be unjust for God to punish Christians since our sins have already been punished when Jesus died in our place.

 

Of course v2 does not mean that Jesus actually paid the price for every individual (which would mean that everyone would be saved). But Jesus died for our wicked world and his death is infinitely valuable. It is effective for anyone who puts their trust in Him.

 

If we’re forgiven by trusting in Jesus, does that mean sin doesn’t matter / we can live as we like?

John is writing that we might not sin (v1). Sin is totally inconsistent and inappropriate for the Christian (1:5-6; 2:3ff)

 

What false claims do these verses counter?

V4 – the claim to know God, but not obey his commands. V9 – the claim to be in the light but hate fellow Christians.

 

How do these verses suggest we can know if we are true Christians?

If we obey God’s commands (v3) and walk as Jesus did (vv5b-6). And if we love our fellow Christians (v10). It is clear from what John has already said (e.g. 1:7, 9, 2:1-2; see also e.g. 2:22) that trusting in Jesus is essential (it is how we become Christians) but our faith must also impact our lives.

 

How do these verses challenge those who are complacent about their sins?

Genuine Christians will / must obey God’s commands (v3; cf. John 14:15), walk as Jesus did (v5b-6) and love fellow Christians (v10).

 

V5 – “God’s love is made complete in him” probably in the sense that it fulfils its purposes.

 

What guidance about how to live does verse 6 give us?

What Did Jesus Do (v6) is a good ethical test for what we should do.

Can you think of examples of ways in which we should “walk as Jesus did”? What might this look like in practice?

Loving one another. Humility. (See John 13:1, 15). Obedience to God’s word and will. Obviously Jesus was unique – we are not meant to be like him in every respect – e.g. we don’t give our lives as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world!

 

What commandment does John seem to have in mind? (v7)

It involves being like Jesus (v6) and loving our brothers in Christ (v10) Cf. 3:11; 2 John 4-6.

The command to love is a very old one. See Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:37-40; Galatians 5:14.

 

In what sense is John writing a new commandment? (v8)

The commandment is newly demonstrated in Jesus (see John 13:34), and indeed by other Christians. Jesus shows a new standard (“as I have loved you”). The commandment is also lived out in the new context of Jesus the Light having come. The command is for us to take up anew for the whole new age which Jesus has brought.

 

Are there practical ways we could demonstrate love for one another?

 

“Fathers” (vv13, 14) may refer to literal fathers, those who are older, more mature Christians or perhaps Elders. They may include those who knew Jesus in his earthly ministry. Likewise “young men” may be newer Christians / the next generation. Women should probably be included too!

 

Summary Points / Prayer / Praise / Application

Praise God for Jesus’ atoning death. Give thanks that Jesus perfectly meets our needs, that we know God, that we have overcome the evil one.

Pray for God’s help to obey God’s commands, walk as Jesus did and love fellow Christians.


Homegroup Leaders Notes (3) 1 John 2:15-27

 

In this section John contrasts the world and the Christian (vv15-17) and antichrists and the Christian (vv18-27).

 

What does John mean when he tells us not to “love the world” (v15)? (How does this fit with verses such as John 3:16, which speak of God’s love for the world?)

See James 4:4. 

How does John describe “the world”? How would you put these attitudes and activities in your own words? Can you think of examples of worldly thinking or behaviour?

V16.

Why is worldly thinking inappropriate for the Christian? How does John encourage us to avoid it?

vv15-17

The term “antichrist” is unique to John’s letters (see also 4:3; 2 John 7). The man of lawlessness (2 Thessalonians 2) may be the same figure. The antichrists are probably the same people as the false prophets on 4:1.

 

Specifically what do the false teachers seem to have been denying?

V22 –  (See also 4:2-3; and 2 John 7 for what they might have taught (cf. v4).

 

How does verse 19 suggest we can spot false teachers / teaching? What do false teachers characteristically do?


Can you spot a repeated word or idea in vv19, 24 and 27? What is the contrast here?

 

Why is it important that what we have heard from the beginning remains in us? (v24)

See also 1:3.

How can we make sure what we have heard from the beginning remains in us? (v24)


 

What helps us to remain in the truth? V27

See also v20


Does v27 mean we don’t need Bible teachers?


 

Summary Points / Prayer / Praise / Application

Don’t love “the world” / think in worldly ways.

Stick with the Jesus of the Bible and the Apostles’ teaching about him. Don’t be lead astray by false teaching.