It’s suddenness (vv 1-11). Christ’s return is certain, but the day and the hour are not known, as Jesus said again and again (Matthew 24:36;42-43; 25:13; Mark 13:32-37; Luke 12:39, 46; 21:25-35). However, signs will precede His coming (Luke 21:25-35), so that patient believers may sense that it is near. But even those who are watching are warned to stay alert and self-controlled, lest they be caught off guard.
Believer was one day stand before Christ and be held accountable for how they have lived (2 Corintians 5:10). Apparently, believers in the first century trembled at the thought of such a judgment. Truly the thought of such a judgment. Truly the thought is sobering. Yet John shows how we can drive such fear of it from our lives.
The Jews believed that God sometimes sent angels in disguise to test whether people were obeying the law of hospitality. They knew that this had happened to Abraham (Genesis 18:2-13) and to Gideon (Judges 6:17-22), and they believed therefore that the same thing might happen to them (Hebrews 13:2). This style of thinking gave rise to problems as well as opened the way for revelation. Many Jews thought that if they were in the house of God then they would be under God’s protection, and as a result tended to be careless in their daily living (Jeremiah 7:14). They did not realize that the glory of God had departed from the Temple and that it was no longer, therefore, the house of God (Ezekiel 11:23).
Terms noticeably used in tandem in the NT to contrast diametrically opposed lifestyle. The term “flesh” is often ascribed the connotation of an ungodly lifestyle of selfishness and sensual self-gratification. The term “spirit” signifies the opposite characteristics. One who walks by the Spirit lives with a conspicuous God consciousness that directs his or her dispositions, attitudes, and actions.
Any priest could offer incense accompanied by some of the grain offering on the altar of incense. It is possible that priests offered incense by itself, although there are no clear indications for this practice (Leviticus 10:1-3; Numbers 16:16-18; Deuteronomy 33:10; 1 Samuel 2:28; Ezekiel 8:10-11).
In the work of creation, God the Father brought the universe into being out of nothing by the agency of His Word and His Spirit. In the first chapter of Genesis, one reads, “God created the heavens and the earth (Gen 1:1). The unformed and uninhabited earth is covered by darkness and water, but the Spirit of God is “hovering” over the waters of the earth, ready to bring form to the earth so it can be inhabited. God then speaks: “Let there be light” (Gen 1:3). Throughout the works of creation, God the Father speaks forth His Words (i.e. the Son), and the unformed
John wasn’t always known as “the disciple Jesus loved,” Jesus called him and his brother the “Son of Thunder” (Mark 3:17), likely because of their fiery tempers. Fits of temper occasionally landed John in trouble, such as the time he wanted to call down a fiery judgment from heaven on a Samaritan village that refused to welcome Jesus (Luke 9:51-56).
No doctor operating on a patient has ever discovered an organ called the soul, yet we have no better term to describe what distinguishes human beings from every other part of God’s creation. Only people have the unique gift of self-consciousness, the ability to reflect on their own experience, to interpret it to others, and then to speak about it. A famous professor once said, “Dogs bark, but dogs never bark about barking.” Continue reading WHAT IS A SOUL “3 JOHN 2”→