A full section on black church history provides a background and understanding that has often been neglected. Recalling experiences in his own evangelical journey, Evans shares kingdom minded approaches for biblical justice and social restoration. To better glorify God and help heal the persistent racial divide, all church members would do well to read and learn from Oneness Embraced. In , Birmingham was torn by racism and hate.
God worked through the Woodlawn high school football team to unite the city and ignite a spiritual awakening. This revival was nothing short of miraculous. Could it happen again? What if that person is you? With teaching by Pastors Dave Stone and Dr. Who Is Your Team? Most of us believe passionately in contributing to our children's physical, social, and intellectual development. We make sure they have clothes and shelter. We try to see that they eat right, get enough sleep, and monitor their friendships.
We also do everything possible to make sure they succeed at school. Featuring the inspiring teaching of Dr. Tony Evans, this six-week study calls and instructs parents to raise God-following children who are also spiritually strong and prepared to take on the assignments God has for their lives. Contains practical examples and illustrations to help parents grow kids' faith, with specific instruction in the power of prayer, wisdom,love of God's Word, getting through trials, controlling the tongue, developing patience, and the surrender of service.
Cultivating A Kingdom A kingdom woman gives the devil as much reason to fear as a kingdom man. She lives confidently in the knowledge that Christ died and rose for her so that she can experience the significance of the destiny to which she has been called. The authors bring insight that encourages women to correct distorted perceptions and understand who they really are in Christ-never setting for less when connected with the One who gives them hope.
All believers are covered by God's covenant with Abraham. Evans and Hurst want women to know these rights and confidently claim and live by them. The new covenant offers more than a life of mediocrity. A kingdom woman is called and empowered to live a life of victory through Christ! When we are passionately pursuing God and when we are seriously hungry for Him, we are going to face some painful challenges. God desires to grow and strengthen the faith of His followers, and the road to mature faith will not always be easy. We can cower at the crises we face and simply hope for the best, or we can face these challenges with purpose and seek to understand what God wants to teach us.
The Pursuit of Spiritual The Petition of Spiritual The Proclamation of Spiritual The Perseverance of Spiritual The Prerequisite of Spiritual The Patience of Spiritual Elijah showed up in Israel because the nation had lost sight of its first love. God sent His prophet to combat the idolatry that had taken worship away from its only rightful recipient.
It may have different names and outlets today, but the same idolatry still plagues out world. Tony Evans teaches through the life of the prophet Elijah to encourage us towards faith, integrity, conviction, restoration, and commitment to God. It may have different names and outlets today, but the same idolatry still plagues our world.
Tony Evans teaches through the life of the prophet Elijah to encourage us towards faith,integrity,conviction,restoration, and commitment to God. Need help call: Work as Worship RightNow Conferences. Twitter Facebook Instagram YouTube. Interested in learning more about RightNow Media? Add to Channel Select the channel that you want to add this piece of content to from the dropdown and click the "Add to Channel" button.
You do not currently have any custom channels. Please visit your custom library to add channels. Add to Channel. If men shut their eyes, and will not receive the rays of this light, their darkness arises not from the fault of the light, but from their own wickedness, inasmuch as they voluntarily deprive themselves of the gift of grace. For grace is poured out upon all; and they, who will not enjoy the gift, may impute it to their own blindness.
1 John 1:8
Or the words, lightens every man, may be understood to mean, not that there is no one who is not enlightened, but that no one is enlightened except by Him. BEDE Including both natural and divine wisdom; for as no one can exist of himself, so no one can be wise of himself. ORIGEN Or thus : We must not understand the words, lightens every man that comes into the world, of the growth from hidden seeds to organized bodies, but of the entrance into the invisible world, by the spiritual regeneration and grace, which is given in Baptism.
Those then the true Light lightens, who come into the world of goodness, not those who rush into the world of sin. Or thus : The intellect which is given in us for our direction, and which is called natural reason, is said here to be a light given us by God. But some by the ill use of their reason have darkened themselves. Bibliography Aquinas, Thomas. The sense of this verse, which in itself, under divine teaching, is as plain as any portion of the word of God, by the perversion or ignorance of men, is brought forward to strengthen the opinion of those who profess that all men are endued with an inward light, which, they say, is sufficient for all the purposes of religion.
And this they advance in direct opposition to what the Lord Jesus himself hath said, that the light which is in a man may be altogether darkness. And in consequence hath left upon record this solemn precept, Take heed therefore, that the light which is in thee be not darkness! Matthew ; Luke But John's account of Christ in this verse is both plain and obvious.
If we accept the words as referring to mere natural light, nothing can be more true than that Christ, as the Great Creator and Author of nature, lighteth every man that cometh into the world with all the understanding which in nature that man hath. And if we refer the expression to the light of grace, equally certain it is, that every man that cometh into the world who is enlightened by grace, must derive it wholly from Christ. So that Christ is the Author and Giver of both.
And it is clearly in this sense the Apostle meant it. For it should be observed, that the Evangelist is here advancing the glory of Christ, and not of the glory of man. Bibliography Hawker, Robert, D. Such an original was the Light here spoken of;—but John was only a derived light,—not lumen illuminans , but lumen illuminatum. The construction of this verse has been much disputed. But it is very questionable whether John ever speaks thus. Certainly he does not, in any of the passages commonly cited to defend this rendering, ch. Bibliography Alford, Henry. Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary.
AS in the material world there is but one source of light to all the heavenly bodies; so in the spiritual world there is one Sun of Righteousness, that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. There are other lights: John himself was a burning and a shining light. But he, and all the rest, shined with a borrowed lustre.
Christ is the only true source both of light and life; as St. John has told us; and as I propose in the present discourse to shew. He was the only true light previous to his incarnation—. Men, the lower order of beings, he endued with reason and conscience; distinguishing them by these faculties from the brute creation, which possess only that which we call instinct. When man had fallen, and lost, to a considerable degree, the faculties with which he had been invested, the Lord Jesus, agreeably to the covenant he had entered into with the Father, undertook to restore to man such a measure of light as his necessities required.
This he did,. By the republication of his law—. By a long train of prophecies—. And thus, with progressive clearness, was the mind of God revealed, relative to the restoration of fallen man. Whatever was made known respecting the Father and his eternal councils, it was all declared by the Lord Jesus Christ [Note: ver. No information on these inscrutable subjects ever proceeded from any other quarter: all the light that was in the world emanated from Christ alone; and was confined to his chosen people.
All the rest of the world were left in the grossest darkness that can be imagined [Note: Isaiah He was the only true light, also, during his sojourning on earth—. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have the light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light [Note: John He is the only true light at this day—.
Paul has testified respecting him [Note: Acts What other source of light has any man but the written word, which our blessed Lord has inspired? What light you have received from the Lord Jesus Christ—. How far you are reflecting around you the light you have received—. Bibliography Simeon, Charles. Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. There is such a thing as a solemn redundance, and that we have here, an epic fulness of words. Hauff in the Stud. Bleek in the Stud u. John ; John , John , John , John See, generally, Schott, Opusc.
It is not this, however, that is expressed, but the essential relation as it exists on the part of the Logos. Colossians ; Romans John , and see on John Bibliography Meyer, Heinrich. The Effect shows the Subject, to whom the name of Light is most applicable [whose attributes entitle Him best to the name. This forms an antithesis to John, [who was only] a lamp, a witness. It enlightens , the Present, in relation to the time, in which He came , as opposed to the former time, John The singular number here has great force.
Colossians [Warning every man and teaching every man, and that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus] Romans [Let God be true, but every man a liar]. Not even one is excluded. John was but a man , John The Light, so far as it is light, is contradistinguished from man. Among the Hebrews it is a frequent periphrasis for a man. For He was, even before that He came. Thus evidently the phrase is applied ch. John , Light is come into the world: ch. John , I am come a light into the world. Presently after this John , succeeds the mention of the world and of His coming, repeated, John The Son is also said to be sent by the Father, but not in the same way, as John is said to have been sent.
Bibliography Bengel, Johann Albrecht. That was the true Light: true is sometimes opposed to what is false, Ephesians ; sometimes to what is typical and figurative, John ; sometimes to what is not original, and of itself: in opposition to all these Christ is the true Light; he who alone deserved the name of light, having light in himself, and from himself, 1 John , and shining more gloriously than the prophets or apostles.
Which lighteth every man that cometh into the world; he lighteth not the Jews only, as the prophets of old , but both the Jews and Gentiles. Some understand this of the light of reason; but besides that reason is no where in holy writ called light, neither did this illumination agree to Christ as Mediator. It is rather therefore to be understood of the light of gospel revelation, which Christ caused to be made to all the world, Matthew Mark Those who interpret it of the more internal illumination by the Holy Spirit of God, by which Christ is not revealed to us only, but in us, say, that Christ hath done what lay in him as a Minister of the gospel so to enlighten all that came into the world; and that Christ is said to enlighten every man, because none is enlightened but by him, and that some of all sorts are by him enlightened; in one of which two latter senses the terms all and every man must be interpreted in a multitude of texts in the Gospel.
So John , I am come a light into the world. And it is by some observed, that the phrase cometh into the world, doth not barely signify a being born, but being sent into the world by the Father, being sanctified, as in John Bibliography Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John ". Lighteth every man ; the meaning is, that all true knowledge is from Christ. As Jesus Christ is the light of the world, all who reject him walk in spiritual darkness, while those who follow him have the light of life.
God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, shines into their minds, and gives them the light of the knowledge of his glory in the face of Jesus Christ; and in his light they see correctly spiritual things. Bibliography Edwards, Justin. American Tract Society. There is yet a third way; There was the true Light, which lighteth every man, by coming into the world. All words about truth are characteristic of S. The Light illumines every man, but not every man is the better for it; that depends on himself. God deals with men separately as individuals, not in masses.
Bibliography "Commentary on John ". The best commentators render this verse,. That was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlighteneth every man. The true Light —In opposition to John, whom some supposed to be the true light; and in opposition to every false light.
Coming into the world —For the Evangelist now traces, as before said, the Logos as coming by the incarnation into the living human world. Every man —Every child of Adam. Every human being is endowed by the Logos with a preparatory light, so that he need not be in that darkness which comprehends not the light.
See note on John Bibliography Whedon, Daniel. There are two possible interpretations of this verse. One is that the true Light enlightens every person who comes into the world Gr. The other is that the true Light comes into the world and enlightens everyone Gr. The second option seems preferable since the Incarnation is so much in view in the context. The point is that Jesus as the Light affects everyone. Everyone lives under the spotlight of God"s illuminating revelation in Jesus Christ since the Incarnation cf1John1. His light clarifies the sinfulness and spiritual need of human beings.
Those who respond to this convicting revelation positively experience salvation. Those who reject it and turn from the light will end up in outer darkness. They will experience eternal damnation. The Quakers prefer the first of the two interpretations above. They use this verse to support their doctrine of the "inner light. A person can elicit that revelation by meditation.
This is not general but special revelation. Their view is very close to the belief of some charismatic Christians that God gives new revelation today. Non-charismatics see no basis in Scripture for this view. We believe that while God now illuminates the revelation that He has previously given He does not give new revelation now, though He does give guidance and illumination. The word "true" is one that John used repeatedly in this Gospel. John did not mean that Jesus was "truthful" Gr.
Jesus was not only a genuine revelation from God, but He was also the ultimate revelation cf. John ; John ; John ; John ; Hebrews John usually used the word "world" Gr. It does not refer to this planet as a planet but to the inhabited earth fallen in sin and in rebellion against God. It is the world of humanity darkened by sin. Bibliography Constable, Thomas. Thomas Constable". There was the true Light, which lighteth every man, coming into the world. This almost literal rendering of the Greek will show how it is that these simple words have been so variously explained. What has been said above of the general structure of the Prologue has shown that, as yet, the full presence of the Word personally come is not before us.
The manifestation is in its initial stage, not yet complete. The latter verse chap. This word is, in the New Testament, almost confined to the writings of John. Of twenty-eight passages in which it occurs, nine are found in this Gospel, four in the First Epistle, ten in the Revelation. Three of the remaining five passages are as might almost have been foreseen in the Epistle to the Hebrews. The other examples of the word in this Gospel will be found in chaps, John ; John , John , John , John , John , John , John , and in most of these the reader will easily trace the idea. So here we read of the archetypal source of light, the light which alone is real and perfect.
John , and of the gift of His Son that the world may be saved through Him. If the thought of evil and alienation is brought out in the following verse, it is most important to observe that this verse speaks of the illumination of every man. No man belongs to the world that is given up to darkness and impenitence, unless he, through resistance and choice of evil, have made the light that was in him to become darkness comp. Ephesians Bibliography Schaff, Philip. The light was not …: the light was … In this verse the light is also further contrasted with John.
This designation occurs nine times in John, never in the Synoptists. It means that which corresponds to the ideal; true not as opposed to false, but to symbolical or imperfect. This is the text on which the Quakers found for their doctrine that every man has a day of visitation and that to every man God gives sufficient grace. The R. Bibliography Nicol, W.
Robertson, M. The Expositor's Greek Testament. Render: [He] was the true or very Light, that which, coming into the world, lighteneth every man without distinction. We should connect this "coming" with "the Light " with Revised Version : because "coming into the world" is continually associated with the Lord. Note esp. John and John Many lamps found in the tombs at Gezer 1 Kings have inscribed on them "The light of Messiah shines for all".
Greek alethinos. A characteristic word of this Gospel. See note on p. Not collectively, but individually and personally. For centuries Israel only had this light, and Gentiles were the exception. Henceforth there was to be no dis tinction. Gentiles were to be blessed with Abraham"s seed in the days of Messiah. Compare Genesis Romans A characteristic word in this Gospel. Bibliography Bullinger, Ethelbert William.
Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". But "coming into the world," besides being rather a superfluous, is in Scripture quite an unusual, description of "every man. In this view of the words the sense will be, 'That was the true Light which, coming into the world, lighteth every man,' or became "The Light of the World. It would, probably, give a better sense to translate it, The true Light which lighteth every man was coming into the world, i. John , Note. The meaning of the Greek is quite clear. The difficulty arises from the fact that in English there is but one word to represent the two ideas.
John, but is naturally of very frequent recurrence in his writings. The adjective is used nine times in this Gospel, and not at all in the other three. A comparison of the passages will show how important it is to get a right conception of what the word means, and will help to give it.
2 John Commentaries & Sermons | Precept Austin
Bibliography Ellicott, Charles John. Bibliography Torrey, R. This was the real light. See John God's final message to the world is through the Son Hebrews Bibliography Ice, Rhoderick D. College Press, Joplin, MO. In vers. In the New Testament also this would be the only instance. On the other hand, such a paraphrase of the imperfect has numerous analogies in its favour in the New Testament. A sufficient reason for this here would be the breadth peculiar to the Prologue, which retains the reader, as it were, in these lofty truths, and invites him to reflection and meditation. Yet another explanation offers itself with some plausibility,—viz.
The great "Coming One" of Malachi was in the mouth of all. The expression, come into the world, is set apart, as it were, by John for the advent of Christ in the flesh. It is used by the people, John , John ; by the Baptist, John ; by Christ, John , John , John ; by the Evangelist, John , Even this extended use leads to an Old Testament foundation, as the phrase is not sufficiently significant to explain of itself such an extended use.
The reference to Malachi , "The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in; behold. He shall come, saith the Lord of hosts," is the more apparent, since the word "come" is emphatically repeated here, and recurs once again in ver. For him, this passage was, as it were, the basis of his existence, the programme of his appearance, the defining of his position with respect to Christ.
The mere coming is expanded into coming into the world, in intimation that in Malachi the covenant Angel had a heavenly existence prior to His advent into the sublunary world: it is the Lord of heaven who comes to the covenant people as to His own. The true Light: Christ is so called, not so much in opposition to a false as to an imperfect light, such as was John the Baptist. But Christ is the Light, which shines of itself; for the whole world is irradiated by its brightness, so that there is nowhere any other origin or cause of the radiance.
He therefore calls that the true Light whose nature it is to shine. How, then, can it be said of Christ as the Light, that He lighteth every man, in face of the fact, that the darkness did not comprehend the Light, ver. Luther says: "I preach to you all here at Wittenberg; but how many are there among you who will be better for my preaching, and will receive the blessed Light with faith, that they may be enlightened by it? Truly the lesser part believe my preaching. Still, I am and remain the teacher and preacher of you all.
So, though all do not indeed believe the preaching of Christ, this does not take away His office. He is and remains equally the Light which lighteth all men. He is the true Light from the beginning to the end of the world; that is, whatever men have come or shall yet come into the world and be enlightened, they have had, and shall still have, no other Light or Saviour than Christ.
In fine, the Evangelist will allow no other means by which people can be enlightened and blest; all the world is to have this light alone, or to remain eternally in darkness. Bibliography Hengstenberg, Ernst. Sign out. Not a member? Color Scheme. Bible Tools Search. Interlinear Search. Lexicon Search Greek Hebrew Aramaic. Writings Search. Before Christ Edersheim Flavius Josephus more.
Illustrations Search. The Quotation Archive Add a Quotation. Parallel Search. Tozer Charles Spurgeon Voice of the Lord more. Miscellaneous Bible Maps. Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic. There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. Adam Clarke Commentary Which lighteth every man - As Christ is the Spring and Fountain of all wisdom, so all the wisdom that is in man comes from him; the human intellect is a ray from his brightness; and reason itself springs from this Logos, the eternal reason.
The Gayatri, or holiest verse of the Vedas, i. That it is provided for all and offered to all. This is seen when we reflect that 1. The arrival of the Light I. Set forth 1. The true Light I. Joy is especially produced on great occasions. Many things may yield pleasure, peace, and comfort — but very few things afford us joy; for that is the overflowing of the heart.
Great was the joy. John had great cause for joy; he properly estimated it, and "rejoiced greatly. His joy was like that of the father of the prodigal. Luke , It was akin to the joy of angels. Luke , People in the morning of life, who, on that account, were calculated for longer and more effective service, than one converted in middle or advanced life. The conversion of any sinner is cause for joy, but the conversion of some is more especially so, and the amount of joy is also proportionate. The conversion of an aged sinner affords joy, chiefly on his own account; to see him plucked as a brand, etc.
The powers of his soul are wasted and destroyed. His body is a worn-out instrument in the service of sin. But when "children" begin to walk in the truth, they consecrate to Christ the first-born of their days; the first-fruits of their reason and affections. They give him the prime of their being — the strength and energy of youth. They were the children of a friend whom he loved. Verse 1. John "rejoiced with her that rejoiced. We think how it will minister to their comfort; how it will disappoint their fears; from what evils they will be preserved, etc.
What delight can equal that which a parent feels in seeing his children rising up intelligent and amiable, and pious and useful; approved of God, and useful to man! If there be a sight on earth sufficient to arrest the flight of an angel in his passage to Heaven! It is a father and mother surrounded with the pledges of their mutual affection, endeared by grace, as well as by nature, rising up, and calling them blessed!
On account of the blessedness which the truth confers. The soul is more valuable than millions of worlds. Sin has ruined it, and exposed it to perdition. The Gospel saves it, enriches it, and fills it with the hope of immortality. Those who walk in the truth enjoy all the privileges and promises which that truth records.
They are engaged in an honorable service — and they shall be honored by Christ. My Father will honor the one who serves me! It is an answer to numerous and importunate prayers. How often have parents prayed, "O that Ishmael might live before you! How painful is it to run in vain — to see an object of peculiar solicitude and attention, baffling every effort and disappointing every expectation! Some godly parents have warned and instructed their children, prayed for them, and perhaps departed to glory, and left them unconverted.
In many instances the dying bed has been made uneasy by the thought of leaving their children Christless in the world! Their hearts have been full of hope, with respect to themselves, but not so of their children.
Sometimes however they see their prayers answered, and then their joy is great. Sometimes their supplications are answered long after their departure to Heaven, and others live to see their children converted; and to them it gives joy. Because it is beneficial to both the Church and to the world. We see in such characters, the pillars of the Church, and in some of them the angel face of some future eminent minister of the Gospel, to save souls from death. They become the salt of the earth, and the lights of the world. Ungodly parents need not be surprised at the impiety of their children, and their dreadful end!
Beloved Children, The book from which my text is taken, is the shortest in the Bible. Look at it, when you go home, and you will find it so. It has only thirteen verses. But, as short as it is, it is full of important things, and I think the verse I have just read is one of them. This book is an Epistle, or Letter, written by the Apostle John. He wrote it to a good Christian lady, whom he knew. This lady had children, and some of them were the children spoken of in the text. It seems that John found some of this good lady's children at a place where he happened to go; and you see how well he found them behaving.
Now, dear children, there are only two things I want to tell you about out of this text. Secondly, I shall try to show you—what were the reasons that made the Apostle John rejoice so greatly. Dear children, let me ask you all one favor—let me ask you all to try to pay close attention. I shall not keep you long. Come then, and listen to what I have to tell you.
May the Holy Spirit open all your hearts, and bless what I say. I told you I would first try to show you this—"When can it be said that children walk in truth? What does "walking" mean here? You must not think it means walking on our feet, as you have walked here tonight. And shall I tell you why the Bible calls this "walking. Life is a journey from the cradle to the grave, and a person's manner of living is, on that account, often called his "walk. It means walking in the ways of true Bible religion, and not in the bad ways of this evil world. The world, I am sorry to tell you, is full of false notions and untruths, and specially full of untruths about religion.
They all come from our great enemy, the devil. The devil deceived Adam and Eve in Eden, and made them sin, by telling them an untruth. He told them they would not die if they ate the forbidden fruit—and that was untrue. And the devil is always at the same work now. He is always trying to make men, and women, and children have false notions about God and about religion.
He persuades them to believe that what is really evil is good; and what is really good is evil—that God's service is not pleasant—and that sin will do them no great harm. And, I grieve to say, vast numbers of people are deceived by him, and believe these untruths. But those people who walk in truth are very different. They pay no attention to the false notions there are in the world about religion.
John 15 Bible Study
They follow the true way which God shows us in the Bible. Whatever others may do—their chief desire is to please God, and be His true servants. Now this was the character of the children spoken of in the text. John writes home to their mother, and says, "I found them walking in truth. Dear children, would you not like to know whether you are walking in truth yourselves? Would you like to know the marks by which you may find it out? Listen, every one of you, while I try to set these marks before you in order. Let every boy and girl come and hear what I am going to say.
What is sin? To break any command of God, is sin. To do anything that God says ought not to be done, is sin. And God is very holy, and very pure; and every sin that is sinned displeases Him exceedingly. But, in spite of all this, most people in the world, both old and young, think very little about sin.
Some try to make out they are not great sinners, and do not often break God's commandments. Others say that sin is not so terrible a thing after all, and that God is not so particular and strict as ministers say He is. These are two great and dangerous mistakes. Children who walk in truth think very differently. They have no such proud and high feelings. They feel themselves to be full of sin—and this grieves and humbles them.
They believe that sin is the abominable thing which God hates. They look upon sin as their greatest enemy and plague. They hate it more than anything on earth. There is nothing they so heartily desire to be free from, as sin. Dear children, there is the first mark of walking in truth.
Look at it. Think of it. Do you hate sin? There are few men and women who do not feel they need in some way to be saved. But, alas! They trust rather to their own prayers, or their own repentance, or their own church-going, or their own regular attendance at sacrament, or their own goodness, or something of the kind. But these things, although useful in their place, cannot save any one soul from Hell. These are false ways of salvation. They cannot take away sin. Nothing can save you or I but Jesus Christ, who died for sinners on the cross.
Those only who trust entirely to Him, have their sins forgiven, and will go to Heaven. This is the true way to be saved. Children who walk in truth have learned all this, and if you ask them what they put their trust in, they will answer, "Nothing but Christ! And they love Him, because they read in the Bible that He loved them, and gave Himself for them.
Little children, there is the second mark of walking in truth. Do you love Christ? Many do so. They will say beautiful prayers with their lips, and yet not mean what they say. Bad children, I am sorry to say, are often guilty of this sin. They will say their prayers regularly, when their parents make them—but not otherwise. They will seem to attend in church when the parent's eye is upon them, but not at other times.
Children who walk in truth are not so. They have another spirit in them. Their desire is to be honest in all they do with God, and to worship Him in spirit and in truth. When they pray, they try to be in earnest, and mean all the words they say. When they go to church, they try to be really serious, and to give their minds to what they hear. And it is one of their chief troubles—that they cannot serve God more heartily than they do.
Little children, there is the third mark of walking in truth. Is your heart false or true? I tell you, for a last thing, that children who walk in truth, really try to do things right and true in the sight of God. God has told us very plainly what He thinks is right. Nobody can mistake this who reads the Bible with an honest heart. But it is sad to see how few men and women care for pleasing God.
Many break His commandments continually, and seem to think nothing of it. Some will tell lies, and swear, and quarrel, and cheat, and steal. Others use bad words, never pray to God at all, and never read their Bibles. Others are unkind to their relations, or idle, or gluttonous, or bad-tempered, or selfish. And all these things, whatever people may choose to think, are very wicked and displeasing to the holy God.
Where are we?
Children who walk in truth are always trying to keep clear of bad ways. They take no pleasure in sinful things of any kind, and they dislike the company of those who do them. Their great wish is to be like Jesus—holy, harmless, and separate from sinners. They endeavor to be kind, gentle, sincere, obedient, honest, truthful, and good in all their ways. It grieves them—that they are not more holy than they are. Little children, there is the last mark I shall give you of walking in truth. Are your doings right or wrong? Children, you have now heard some marks of walking in truth.
I have tried to set them plainly before you. I hope you have understood them. Knowing the truth about sin—loving the true Savior, Jesus Christ—serving God with a true heart—doing the things true and right in the sight of God. There they are, all four together. Think about them, I entreat you, and each ask yourself this question, "What am I doing at this very time—am I walking in truth? I dare be sure that many boys and girls here know well what answer they ought to give. Why should you not walk in the truth? Thousands of dear children have walked in truth already, and found it pleasant.
The way is trodden by many little feet before your own. Thousands of boys and girls are walking in truth at this moment—and there is yet room. And now I will go on to the second thing I promised to speak of. Let me set about it. The text says, "I rejoiced greatly. There must have been some good reasons. John was not a man to rejoice without cause.
Listen, dear children, and you shall hear what those reasons were. All good people like to see others walking in truth, as well as themselves. I dare say you have heard how the angels in Heaven rejoice when they see one sinner repenting. Some of you, no doubt, have read it in the fifteenth chapter of Luke. Well, good people are like the angels in this—they are full of love and compassion, and when they see anyone turning away from sin, and doing what is right—it makes them feel happy.
Good people find walking in truth so pleasant, that they would like everybody else to walk in truth too.
- John Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
- Bible Study Guide: 1 John, 2 John, 3 John | Resources | American Bible Society;
- 1 John 5 Bible Commentary;
They do not wish to keep all this pleasantness to themselves, and to go to Heaven alone. They want to see all around them loving Jesus Christ, and obeying Him—all their relations, all their neighbors, all their old friends, all their young ones, indeed all the world. The more they see walking in truth, the better they are pleased. Children, John was a good man, and full of love to souls, and this was one reason why he rejoiced.
Dear children, I am very sorry to tell you, there are many bad boys and girls in the world. Too many are careless, thoughtless, self-willed, and disobedient. Nobody can rejoice over them. I hear many fathers and mothers complaining about this. I hear many school teachers speak of it. I am afraid it is quite true. There are many children who will not give their minds to anything that is good.
They will not do what they are told. They like to be idle, and to have their own way. They do things which God says are wicked and wrong, and are not ashamed. And all this is very sad to see. John, you may be sure, had found this out, for he was an aged man, as well as an Apostle, and had seen many things. He knew that even the children of good people sometimes turn out very badly.
I dare say he remembered Jacob and David, and all the sorrow their children caused them. I do not at all wonder that he greatly rejoiced. For another thing, John rejoiced because he knew that walking in truth would make these children really happy in this life. John was not one of those foolish people who do not like much religion, and imagine that it makes people unhappy. John knew that the more true religion people have, the more happy they are.
John knew that life is always full of care and trouble, and that the only way to get through life comfortably, is to be a real follower and servant of Jesus Christ. Dear children, remember what I say this night: If ever you would be happy in this evil world—you must give your hearts to Jesus Christ, and follow Him. Give Him the entire charge of your souls, and ask Him to be your Savior and your God; and then you will be happy. Have no will of your own, and only try to please Him; and then your life will be pleasant. Trust all to Christ, and He will undertake to manage all that concerns your soul.
Trust in Him at all times. Trust in Him in every condition—in sickness and in health, in youth and in age, in poverty and in plenty, in sorrow and in joy. Trust in Him, and He says Himself, "I will never leave you nor forsake you. He will make your cares more light, and your work easier. He will comfort you in time of trouble. Christ can make those happy who trust in Him.
Christ died to save them, and Christ ever lives to give them peace. Dear children, John was well aware of these things. He had learned them by experience. He saw this lady's children likely to be happy in this world—so no wonder he rejoiced. Many people seem only to care for what happens to them in this life. But they are sadly mistaken. This life is very short—it will soon be over. The oldest man will tell you, that it seems only a few years ago, that he was a child. The life to come is the life of real importance—it will have no end. Oh, what a serious thought that is! Children, I doubt not that John was thinking of the life to come when he rejoiced.
Our Lord Jesus Christ had often told him of the glorious rewards prepared for those who walk in truth. John thought of the rewards laid up in Heaven for these children, and was glad. I doubt not John looked forward in his heart to that day when Jesus shall come again.
I dare say he saw in his mind's eye, these dear children clothed in robes as white as snow, having golden crowns on their heads, standing at Jesus Christ's right hand, enjoying pleasures forevermore. He saw them and their beloved mother meeting again in Heaven—meeting in that blessed place where parting and sorrow shall be known no more.
Dear children, these must have been sweet and pleasant thoughts. I do not wonder that John rejoiced. And now I have finished what I have to say about our text. I have done what I promised. Let me now wind up all, by saying something which, by God's help, may fasten this sermon in your minds. Alas, how many sermons are forgotten!
I want this sermon to stick in your hearts, and do good. Ask yourselves then, everyone, "Would John, if he knew me at this time, rejoice over me? O children, children—do not neglect this question. This is no light matter. It may be your life. No wise man will ever rejoice over bad children. They may be clean and pretty, and have fine clothes, and look well outwardly—but a wise man will only feel sad when he sees them—he will feel they are wrong inwardly.
Believe me, it is far better to be good—than to be handsome boy. It is far better to have grace in your hearts, than to have much money in your pockets, or fine clothes on your backs.