1 John 

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Dr. Gregory Maddox is pastor of the First Baptist Church of Baltimore, Md. He is a great pulpiteer. Hear ye him.

1 John


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Chapter 3: 2

1 John 3:2 "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."

This text explores the future state of those who are called the "sons of God."

John, writing his first epistle about 57 years after the resurrection of Christ, explains to believers the nature of the Christian relationship to God. He explains first that we who are believers are the sons of God. We are the sons of God; not in the same sense that Christ was the only begotten son, but in the sense that we have been adopted into the family of God, through the blood of Jesus Christ. Being a part of the family of God has its advantages and its disadvantages. Because we are believers we tend to be stigmatized and ostracized as was Christ himself. "The world knoweth us not, because it knew him not" refers to the infamiliarity of the world with the nature of the Christian's life.

John, speaking to believers in this text, affirmed that while believers were certain of their relationship as "sons of God," not everything is known about what we shall be in our future state. What is known is that believers will:

--Have a body that is similar to the glorified body of Christ's, able to be recognized, be touched, and to eat and drink. After his resurrection, Christ gave his disciples, and through them the whole world, a sneak peek at a glorified body. While they were locked in a closed room, Christ appeared to them in the flesh. He ate fish and bread and even gave permission for Thomas to touch him, proving that he was not a spirit. While his body was physical, it was also spiritual because it was able to materialize itself through the closed doors. We are promised a glorified body just like his. (.Phil 3:21 "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body...")

--Everyone will have his own body, with its distinct characteristics of color and features, with the exception that the glorified body will be a spiritual body with the look and feel of the natural body. The natural body ages, deteriorates and changes for the worse. However, while the spiritual body will have the look of our natural bodies it will not be susceptible to the frailties of this body, ie rheumatism, arthritis, heart trouble, cancer, high blood pressure, Sickle Cell Anemia, Lukemia, AIDS, and a plethora of other maladies (1 Cor 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body...")

Chapter 5: 4,5, 14, 15

5:4-5"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

Saint John, in his epistle, identifies those who are guaranteed the victory. Generally, those individuals that are "born of God" are the victorious. To be born of God is to have the mysterious rebirth that Christ spoke of to Nicodemus as he reminded him that to enter the kingdom of God he must be "born again."

According to John, those who are born into the kingdom of God by faith in Jesus Christ, are those who are guaranteed the victory.

5:14-15: "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."

This text reminds believers that requests made of God, that are according to his will for us will be accomplished. For example, the way of the cross was not what Jesus wanted. He did not want to die on cross. That fact is evidenced in Matthew 26:39 "And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." A second time he made the same request: Matthew 26:42 "He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done." Although the cross is not what Christ wanted for himself, he lost himself in the will of God.

Being totally submerged in the will of God, he was confident that God would help him achieve his purpose, according to his will. The key phrase is to note that what we ask, must be according to his will. If what we ask is according to God's will, it does not matter how improbable or unlikely it may seem to others, if it is according to God's will it can be accomplished. Mat 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

This texts represent the preponderance of New Testament teaching on the subject. A request, if it is in line with God's will, is possible. Our quest is to follow the example of Christ and lose ourselves in the complete will of God. Once that happens there is no limit to our abilities.

Where the will of God exists...there is a way.

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