[SW301] 10/20/2017 message notes by
Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017
To Walk As Jesus Walked
When you are filled with God’s actual love, you are empowered to walk as Jesus walked. The purpose of it all? That many come to salvation because they see Jesus in you!
All my relatives, including me, have a distinct gait — we fling our feet off to the side and throw our heads back. I can identify my relatives from a mile away, just by their walk!
It is the same with Jesus. If we are His, we walk with His unique gait — His character, His love, His ways. You can see Jesus in us from a mile away!
Here’s what the Lord wants me to point out in these verses —
#1 — There are stages in the Christian walk
— We all begin as infants in Christ, when we repent and believe into Jesus Christ. The moment we are saved, we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit gives witness that we are children of God (see Romans 8:15). We know Him as our Father, but we don’t walk like Jesus yet.
— But then, we must grow! We become young adults in Christ who have overcome the evil one (Satan). We are strong, and the Word of God abides in us. We know it, and we know the Father better because of it. But we don’t walk like Jesus yet.
— Finally, we must become fathers and mothers in the faith, and that happens when we are filled with the Holy Spirit and the very love of God fills our hearts. It is then that we are empowered to walk as Jesus walked. We have His “gait,” His desires, His character, His selflessness — all the hallmarks of Jesus. You can see Him in us from a mile away!
#2 — The word “know” in these verses is always ginosko, a kind of “knowing” that happens when we connect with God and begin to experience Him, from our first “Abba! Father!” through our young adulthood in the faith, and finally in our maturity, when we are filled with the Holy Spirit and have the full knowledge of the Son of God because He has filled us with Himself.
And even fathers and mothers continue to learn His truth more deeply, as we walk as He walks in this world.
#3 — The word “love” in these verses is always agape, the actual love of God — divine love, not human love. It is the same love that the Father has for the Son (see John 17:26)!
It is selfless love, beloved. Your motive is no longer self interest, but your life’s purpose is to be His servant and His witness so others come to Christ!
Oh, to have His love, to be empowered with His power, to see with His eyes! Then you become His witness here!
#4 — God’s charge to the leaders of the church is to equip the saints for the work of service (by being filled with the Holy Spirit) until we all attain to unity of the faith (His divine nature in us) and of the full knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, even to the stature of the fullness of Christ (being filled with Him). As a result, we are no longer to be children, but grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ. (See Ephesians 4:12-14.)
No longer children, no longer young adults, but ones who are filled with the Spirit, fully knowing Jesus, and walking with His gait, so people see Him in us from a mile away!
Text: 1John 2:1-14
Verses 1-2 — “Little children” means “infants” in the original Greek. These are saved, but they still disobey God because they are not yet filled with the Holy Spirit, His love and His power. [NOTE: In 1Corinthians 3:1, Paul addresses the Christians at Corinth as infants in Christ.]
But if these infants sin, Christ serves as their Advocate before their Father in heaven. He intercedes for them. So, if they truly repent, confessing and turning away from that sin, their Father in heaven will forgive them.
Truly, Jesus is the propitiation for every human being’s sins . . . He was the perfect Son that satisfied God’s requirement for sacrifice for our sin. And it wasn’t just our sin, but the sin of the whole world, for whoever will believe into Jesus Christ. Oh, the kindness and mercy of God is repentance!
Verse 3 — How can you tell if a Christian has come to fully know Him, beyond experiencing Him in the way infants in Christ and young adults in Christ experience Him?
That one continuously keeps His commandments. It is because that one is filled with God’s Holy Spirit and now has a pure heart filled with God’s actual love.
So what are His commandments?
Jesus tells an expert in the Law of Moses, who was also a Pharisee —
Matthew 22:37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 “This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 “ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
Again, this is agape — God’s actual love! It is to love with His love! It is selfless love! That is what happens when you fully know Him!
And it is the maturity to which the leaders of the church are charged to bring all believers.
Verse 4 — If you say, “I have come to know Him” — that is to know Him fully — and do not keep His commands, you lie, and the truth is not in you. Why? Because those who are filled with God’s actual love do not disobey God.
How do I know that?
Verse 5 — Whoever keeps His word, in that one, the love of God has truly been perfected (completed, finished, fulfilled). Do you see it? The one who obeys God has been filled with God’s actual love.
We obey because His love has filled us! We are filled with the Father, Son and Spirit! Our hearts are purified! The sin nature is crucified and we become partakers of His nature! We have Jesus’ gait — you can see it from a mile away!
And we have no other desire but to bring others to salvation and baptism with the Holy Spirit, so they may join us as witnesses of Jesus Christ. That is His selflessness.
Verse 6 — The one who remains in Him, who stays and continually dwells in Him, walks in the same manner as Jesus walked.
When the divine nature is in us, and His love has filled us, everything that we do is powered by His love and nature. You can see it from a mile away! Is that Jesus? No, it’s one who walks like Him, though!
Go to the gospels, and see how Jesus walked on the earth — the compassion for sheep without a shepherd, boldly calling out the false shepherds, healing, casting out demons, cleansing, raising from the dead, and most of all — selflessly dying on a cross for you and for me.
Verse 7 — John is not writing a new commandment. The first one was the one I read just now, from Matthew 22:37-40. That commandment has always been God’s commandment. It is the word you have heard, even from the beginning. It is to love God and love your neighbor as yourself. It is to love with His actual love!
Verse 8 — But there is a new commandment, which Jesus asks the Father to do in human hearts, in John 17:26 — that Your love be in them, Father, and I in them! He wouldn’t have prayed it if we already had it!
Jesus speaks this new commandment in John 13:34 and 15:12. “Love with My love!” This commandment is truth, to Jesus Christ, to the disciples at Pentecost, and also to you when you have your own personal Pentecost. His Light has come, His Spirit has been poured out so we may be filled with His Spirit and His love.
Verses 9-11 — If you say you are in the light and yet hate (detest) your brother, you are still in the darkness of sin. You hate because you have your self interest in mind, and when someone doesn’t meet your needs, you hate them. That is evidence of the sin nature, not of God’s nature. You don’t walk like Jesus.
If you love your brother with God’s actual love, you dwell in God’s Light — it is in you, because God is in you! There is no hate in you anymore! You walk like Jesus! You have His gait, and you can see it from a mile away!
But if you hate (detest) your brother, you walk in the darkness, and you are blinded by that darkness and have no idea where you are going. Jesus says it best —
Matthew 6:22 “ The eye (sight) is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear (single, fixed on God alone), your whole body will be full of light. 23 “But if your eye is bad (evil), your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”
Verses 12-14 — Infants in Christ have their sins forgiven because they belong to Christ. They disobey God. They are yet slaves to sin. They do not yet have His actual love in them. Their sin nature has yet to be crucified.
Who are the young men in Christ, then? Young adults in Christ overcome Satan. They are strong, and the word of God dwells in them. They fight against the sin nature that is in them, and keep themselves from sinning by actively combatting it, through prayer and knowing God’s Word.
They are not free of sin’s power because they do not yet have God’s divine nature in them. They are not yet filled with the Holy Spirit.
Fathers and mothers are mature in the faith. They are baptized with the Holy Spirit. The Father and the Son permanently dwell in them, and their hearts have been filled with God’s actual love and power.
Their sin nature has been crucified. They have God’s divine nature in them, though they remain fully human. They do not willfully disobey God. They have the fullest and most mature experience of God that a believer can receive — God Himself is continually dwelling in them!
These have the stature of the fullness of Christ. They have stayed and waited, as Jesus commands, for every believer. These are His witnesses here. They have His gait, His character, His nature, His ways. You can see it from a mile away!
So, are mature Christians carbon copies of Christ?
They are like Him in this world (1John 4:17). They are not Him. He was fully God AND fully man. They remain fully human. But they are freed from the power of sin and filled with God’s actual love and power.
Why did John write this? Why do I speak of it today?
Because in today’s church, even in the early church, this truth is constantly diluted or denied. God help us, but we have a form of religion but deny its power, just as Paul warns Timothy in 2Timothy 3:5. They do not answer the call to bring the church to maturity, to the stature of the fullness of Christ. They will be held accountable by the Lord.
Therefore, many Christians remain infants for their whole lives. They never have Jesus’ gait, His character, His nature, His love. Jesus cannot be seen in them. They are not filled with His Spirit. They COULD learn the truth, though, if they sought the Lord on their own. So they will be held accountable by the Lord.
Today, Jesus Christ wants you to know the truth, because the truth with lead you to maturity, to the stature of His fullness. Jesus will free you from slavery to sin, and His baptism with the Holy Spirit will fill you with the actual love of God — His selfless love — and His power. You will have His gait, and others will see it from a mile away!
It is not for you that He does this great heart work, though you will rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory! But it is for the salvation of many! I pray you would see it today! Amen!