The Heart and Mind of One

Posted on August 26, 2018 by

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   In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways,  but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also He made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word.  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and He dwelt among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.  God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship Him in Spirit and in truth, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set us free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering, and so He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.  The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.  We write this to make our joy complete. This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.  If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin. All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.  For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son also to have life in Himself. And He has given Him authority to judge because He is the Son of Man. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God –  not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.  For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which He has given about His Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made Him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about His Son.  And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

To all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.  For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out His commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep His commands. And His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.  For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed – a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,  just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

   There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. The people living in darkness have seen a great light.

(John testified concerning Him. He cried out, saying, “This is the One I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because He was before me.’”)  Out of His fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.  For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.  No one has ever seen God, but the One and only Son, who is Himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made Him known.  The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.  He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. The law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love  he predestined us for adoption to Son–ship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will—  to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us.

Grace and peace to you from Him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before His throne,  and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father – to Him be glory and power forever and ever! Amen.