Through Sanctification

1Peter 1:1-2 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. 

‘Peter’ he was one of the 12 apostles (1Pet. 1:1; Matt. 10:2); called Simon and Cephas (John 1:42); a native fisherman of Bethsaida (Matt. 4:18; John 1:44. Peter was a married man (Matt. 8:14; 1Cor. 9:5). He ministered primarily to Jews (Gal. 2:7) and was an elder among many others (1Pet. 5). Peter went east and wrote an epistle from Babylon. Nothing is given of his death other than what is given in John 21:18-19. The theme of this epistle is to exhort believers to stand true in all kinds of suffering, and to set forth the true grace of God (1Pet. 5:12).

‘An apostle of Jesus Christ’ the Greek word apostolos meaning a delegate, one sent with full power of attorney to act in the place of another, the sender remaining behind to back up the one sent. In the case of Christians it means God sends them to do what He, Himself would do if He went.

There are twenty-four apostles recorded in the Word: Simon Peter and his brother Andrew (Matt. 10:2); James, son of Zebedee and John his brother (Matt. 10:2); Philip and his brother Bartholomew (Matt. 10:3); James, son of Alphaeus and Judas his brother (Luke 6:16) and Matthew, son of Alphaeus, perhaps brother of James and Judas (Mark 2:14; Luke 6:15); Thomas Didymus [twin] (Matt. 10:3; John 11:16; 20:24; 21:2); Simon Zelotes, brother of James and Judas, according to tradition (Luke 6:15); Judas Iscariot (Matt. 10:4); Matthias (Acts 1:26); Barnabas (1Cor. 9:5-6; Acts 13:1-3; 14:4, 14; Gal. 2:9); Andronicus (Rom. 16:7); Junia (Rom. 16:7); Apollos (1Cor. 4:6-9); James, the Lord’s brother (Gal. 1:19; 2:6; Jas. 1:1); Silas (1Thess. 1:1; 2:6); Timothy (1Thess. 1:1; 2:6) Titus (2Cor. 8:23); Epaphroditus (Php. 2:25); Paul (Gal. 1:1; 2:8); Jesus Christ (Heb. 3:1). Lists of the twelve apostles are given in Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:14-16; Acts 1:13, 26.

‘Strangers’ the Greek word parepidemos. They were Jews of the dispersion (Jas. 1:1). They were the elect or converted Jews (1Pet. 1:2).

‘Pontus’ an ancient kingdom of Asia Minor, originally part of Cappadocia, between the Black and Caspian Seas and south to Armenia (Acts 2:9). ‘Galatia’ a province in Asia Minor west of Cappadocia and south of the Black Sea (Acts 2:9). ‘Cappadocia’ a province east of Galatia and south of the Black Sea (Acts 2:9). ‘Asia’ in some places refers to the whole of Asia Minor, but here it no doubt means the province of Asia Minor with Ephesus as its capital. ‘Bithynia’ an ancient kingdom of Asia Minor south of the Dead Sea and west of Pontus (Acts 16:7).

‘Elect’ the Greek word eklektos meaning to be picked out, chosen. Four elects’ of God are mentioned: Christ (Isa. 42:1; 1Pet. 2:6); all Christians (Rom. 8:33; Col. 3:12; Tit. 1:1; John 15:16; Eph. 1:4; 2:10; 2Thess. 2:13; 2John 1:1, 13); Israel (Isa. 45:4; 65:9, 22; Matt. 24:21-31; Mark 13:22, 27; 1Pet. 1:2); and angels (1Tim. 5:21). Anyone chosen of God at any time, Jew or Gentile, is the elect of God (Rom. 9:11; 11:5, 7, 28; 1Thess. 1:4; 1Pet. 5:13; 2Pet. 1:10). All men are called to become God’s elect or chosen ones and can be if they will choose God (Matt. 11:28-30; 20:16; John 1:12; 3:16-20; 6:37; Eph. 1:4; 2Thess. 2:13; Jas. 2:5; 1Tim. 2:4; 2Pet. 3:9; Rev. 17:14; 22:17).

‘Foreknowledge of God the Father’ the Greek word prognosis meaning to have a perceiving beforehand. Here and in Acts 2:23 refers both to God seeing ahead that He would have to send a Saviour to redeem man from the fall (Rom. 8:29-30). No single individual is chosen, elected, foreknown, or predestined to be saved or lost without his personal choice and responsibility in the matter (John 3:16; 1Tim. 2:4; 2Pet. 3:9; Rev. 22:17). It would be cruel impartiality – an unjust regard for one and an unjust disregard for another – and not divine justice for one to be chosen by God to be saved and another to be damned. God offers grace to all alike. His invitations, promises, provision, and warnings of punishment are general. All people are invited to choose life and are warned of eternal punishment if they do not do so. It is inconsistent with man’s probation for God to elect some to be saved and some to be lost.

‘Sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ’ Three ways to become God’s elect: Through sanctification of the Spirit; through obedience to the gospel and through the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. All three things take place at once – when we get salvation. This is plainly taught here and in 2Thessalonians 2:13. God has from the beginning chosen us to salvation through the sanctification of the Spirit and to believe in the truth (John 17:17). No man can receive salvation except through these two things. It is folly to claim salvation without sanctification and belief in the truth.

‘Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied’ we are constantly warned to be diligent that we may be found of Jesus Christ in peace, without spot, and blameless, and to beware that we, like the backsliders of 2Peter 2:1-22, who are being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from our own steadfastness and that we might grow in grace, and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ (2Pet. 3:14, 17-18).

The Last Time

1John 2:18-21 Little children, it is the last time: and as you have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. But you have an unction from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written unto you because you know not the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. 

‘Little children’ a term used nine times in this epistle (2:1, 12, 13, 18, 28; 3:7, 18; 4:4, 21). It is used elsewhere only in John 13:33 and Galatians 4:19. There are four stages of Christian experience: infants; newborn (1Jn. 2:12); little children; those able to walk and talk (1Jn. 2:13); young men; those grown to the prime of life and no longer tossed about like children by fallacies (1Jn. 2:13-14); fathers; those who are matured in the Lord (1Jn. 2:13-14).

‘The last time’ this is an end-time expression that refers to times just before the rapture through the tribulation, the Millennium, and the last dispensation to follow. There are various such statements that cover these periods: Latter times (1Tim. 4:1); latter years (Ezek. 38:8, 16); latter days (Num. 24:14; Deut. 4:30; 31:29; Jer. 23:20; 30:24; 48:47; 49:39; Dan. 2:28; 10:14; Hos. 3:5); latter day (Job 19:25); last days (Gen. 49:1; Isa. 2:1; Dan. 8:19; Mic. 4:1; Acts 2:16-21; 2Tim. 3:1; Heb. 1:1-2; Jas. 5:3; 2 Pet. 3:3; Jude 1:18); last day (John 6:39, 40, 44, 54; 11:24; 12:48); last times (1Pet. 1:20); last time (1 Jn. 2:18; 1Pet. 1:5).

‘And as you have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time’ this is the 2nd New Testament prophecy in 1John unfulfilled. Antichrists refer to anyone against Christ. In this sense, there are many (1Jn. 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2Jn. 1:7), but the one referred to here is yet to come.

Many titles are given of the Antichrist: the Assyrian (Isa. 10:20-27; 30:18-33; 31:4-32:20; Mic. 5:3-15); the King of Babylon (Isa. 14:4); the spoiler and extortioner (Isa. 16:4); Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal (Ezek. 38:2-3); the little horn (Dan. 7:8, 24; 8:9, 23): the king of fierce countenance (Dan. 8:23); the prince that shall come (Dan. 9:26-27); the King of the north (Dan. 11:5-45); that man of sin (2Thess. 2:1-12); the son of perdition (2Thess. 2:1-12); the wicked (Isa. 11:4); that wicked (2Thess. 2:8-12); the beast (Dan. 7:11; Rev. 13:1-18).

‘Unction’ the Greek word chrisma meaning anything smeared on; a scented unguent or ointment of a thicker consistency than sweet oil or perfume. The ointment here refers to the Holy Spirit from who flow all the gifts and graces of the body of Christ. He is typified in Exodus 29:7; 30:23-25 (cp. Ps. 45:7).

‘You know all things’ all things necessary to salvation and the Christian life in general, so you do not need the so-called superior knowledge of the Gnostics and others who seek to deceive you (1Jn. 2:26-27). When you read the Word of God yourself, no one can deceive you as the Holy Spirit will work this knowledge into you as living waters. When we allow others to teach us the Word of God, seducing spirits will bring us the doctrines of devils that will seduce us and eat away the Truth as a canker (1Tim. 4:1; 2Tim. 2:15-17).

‘I have not written unto you because you know not the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth’ John wrote to confirm the truth that is already known, and to warn us against those who will seduce us given any chance (1Jn. 2:26-27).

New Commandment

1John 2:7-14 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shines. He that says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loves his brother abides in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hates his brother is in darkness, and walks in darkness, and knows not whither he goes, because that darkness has blinded his eyes. I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers, because you have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because you have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because you have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one. 

‘New’ the Greek word kainos meaning renewed or fresh. This new commandment is an old one renewed and made complete in meaning by Jesus Christ (1Jn. 2:7-8; Lev. 19:18 with John 13:34). We see this commandment in Leviticus 19:18 “…but thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD” and John 13:34: “A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

‘He that says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness even until now’ no man professing a Christian experience who hates his brother has received a saving knowledge of the Truth (1Jn. 2:9, 11).

‘He that loves his brother abides in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him’ a man that truly loves his brother has proof of his Christian experience, and if he continues to love he will not stumble over his brethren.

‘Stumbling’ for those abiding in the light, there will be no possibility of stumbling away from the Truth.

‘Little children’ a term used nine times in this epistle (2:1, 12, 13, 18, 28; 3:7, 18; 4:4, 21). It is used elsewhere only in John 13:33 and Galatians 4:19. There are four stages of Christian experience: infants; newborn (1Jn. 2:12); little children; those able to walk and talk (1Jn. 2:13); young men; those grown to the prime of life and no longer tossed about like children by fallacies (1Jn. 2:13-14); fathers; those who are matured in the Lord (1Jn. 2:13-14).

‘Abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one’ this is the secret of victory over sin. As long as one remains in harmony with the Word of God he cannot sin (1Jn. 3:9). Keeping God’s commandments is the only guarantee of constant abiding (John 15:10). Abiding is the condition of fruit-bearing (John 15:4, 7). If one does not abide he is cut off and destroyed like a branch (John 15:6).

Our Advocate

1John 2:1-6 My little children, these things write I unto you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that says, I know him, and keep not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keeps his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that says he abides in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. 

‘Little children’ a term used nine times in this epistle (2:1, 12, 13, 18, 28; 3:7, 18; 4:4, 21). It is used elsewhere only in John 13:33 and Galatians 4:19. There are four stages of Christian experience: infants; newborn (1Jn. 2:12); little children; those able to walk and talk (1Jn. 2:13); young men; those grown to the prime of life and no longer tossed about like children by fallacies (1Jn. 2:13-14); fathers; those who are matured in the Lord (1Jn. 2:13-14).

‘You sin not’ this is the purpose and demand of the gospel (Matt. 1:21; Rom. 6:16-23; 8:1-13; Gal. 5:16-26; Col. 3:5-10; Tit. 2:11-12). Even though man was born into sin, he has no excuse to continue therein. For those who claim ‘we are all sinners,’ the Word calls those who chose to follow Christ, as the Word commands (1Pet 2:21-23) ‘saints,’ ‘holy,’ ‘children of God,’ ‘brethren,’ ‘children of obedience’ and ‘… of righteousness,’ etc.

‘If any man sin’ we do not sin if we walk in the light (1Jn. 1:7, 1:9), but if one does fall into sin he still has hope: he can confess sin and be cleansed again (1Jn. 1:9; Gal. 4:19).

‘Advocate with the Father’ Christ is three things to believers: a Helper; Advocate (note, John 14:26); the Righteous One, having suffered, the just for the unjust (1Jn. 2:1; 1Pet. 3:18; 1Cor. 1:30; 2Cor. 5:14-21); the atoning sacrifice for sins (1Jn. 2:2; 4:10).

‘Not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world’ not for the apostles or the Jews only, but also for Gentiles (Eph. 2:11-18; 2Cor. 5:14-21; John 3:16).

‘Hereby we do know that we know him’ the ‘hereby’ reasons ‘we do know that we know Him’ can be summarized as follows: By personal fellowship (1:3-7; 2:13); in fullness of joy in the heart (1:4); in keeping His commandments (2:3; 3:22); when walking even as He walked (2:6; 1Pet. 2:21-23); in love of the brethren (2:9-11; 3:10-19, 23; 4:7-21; 5:1); overcoming the world and satan (2:13-14; 5:4, 18); in the hatred of the world (2:15-17); being one with Christians (2:19); in Holy Spirit anointing (2:20-27); knowing the truth that sets free (2:21; John 8:32-36); acknowledging God and Christ (2:22-25); doing righteousness (2:29; 3:7-10; 5:1-4, 18); by purifying ourselves (3:3); being born again (2:29; 3:9; 5:1-18); cleansing from sin (1:7-9; 3:5-10); in freedom from condemnation (3:20-24); the indwelling Spirit (3:24; 4:4, 13); in faith (2:23; 5:1, 10); by confessing Christ (4:14-15); and receiving Him (5:10-13; John 1:12); through answered prayer (3:21-22; 5:14-15).

‘If we keep his commandments’ to be saved one must keep His commandments; not merely start keeping them, but continue in keeping them. If the condition is to keep them, then upon this basis only will God bless and save people (Rom. 1:5; Jas. 1:22-25; 1Pet. 1:2).

‘He that says, I know him, and keep not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him’ if any man professing to be saved does not keep the commandments he is a liar (2:4-5). This is a death blow to the claim of those who live in sin and say the blood of Christ covers their ungodliness.

‘He that says he abides in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked’ everyone who makes a Christian profession ought to walk as Christ did (2:6; 3:1-10; 4:17; 1Pet. 2:21-23). To be in Christ means that one is a new creature and that affections and lusts of the flesh have been crucified (2Cor. 5:17; Gal. 5:16-26; Rom. 8:12-13; Col. 3:5-10).

‘Abides in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked’ there are many proofs given in 1John of abiding in Christ: to walk as Christ walked (2:6; 1Pet. 2:21-23); love of the brethren (2:10; 3:14-15); God’s Word abiding within (2:14); doing the will of God (2:17); permission of the individual (2:24-25); continued anointing (2:27); freedom from sin (3:6); keeping commandments (3:24; John 15:10); the indwelling Spirit (3:24) and fruit-bearing (John 15:4, 7).

 

God is Light

1John 1:5-10 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanse us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 

‘This then is the message which we have heard of him … God is light, and in him is no darkness at all’ This is the chief message Christ came to deliver, of which John can testify in person, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. Neither Moses nor the prophets ever gave the fullness of this message (John 1:16-17). Christ Himself is the chief manifestation of God’s light to men (John 1:1-9; 3:16-20; 8:12; 12:35-36).

‘God is light’ God is a person and dwells “in the light that no man can approach unto; whom no man has seen (in all His glory) nor can see” (1Tim. 6:16). The phrase “God is light” does not constitute the being of God. It must be understood in the same sense that we understand God is love, God is good, God is a consuming fire, and other statements about Him. In the same sense, we understand that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, or the door (John 10:9; 14:6). These expressions don’t do away with the reality and personality of God and Christ.

‘Darkness’ as the source of wisdom, knowledge, holiness, and truth, God cannot have the least degree of ignorance, imperfection, sinfulness, and darkness. God is to man what the sun is to our world, hence the importance of the message that God is light and no darkness at all.

‘If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie’ there are 5 “If’s” of Human experience given: The hypocrite – (1:6) if we say we know God and still walk in darkness, our sins prove we are liars. The Christian – (1:7) if we walk in the light, we have fellowship with the Father and the Son (1:3) and the blood of Jesus Christ keeps us cleansed from all sin. The self-deceiver – (1:8) if we say we have no sin to confess, that is, we are not sinners, we deceive ourselves because we know better, and we lie. Gnostics and other heretics deny that they are sinners and that Christ’s death atones for sin. The penitent sinner – (1:9) if we confess our sins, that is, if we will be honest and acknowledge we are sinners (Rom. 3:23), God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. The wilful rebel against God – (1:10) if we say that we have never sinned, we make God a liar and His Word is not in us. In 1John 1:8 the idea is of contending that we are not guilty before God; here it is that we were never guilty.

‘Blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanse us from all sin’ we are cleansed from all sin from the time of confession of sin (1:9) and as long as we walk in the light (1:7).

‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’ if we do one thing – confess our sins – God will do four things: Be faithful to us; be just with us; forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Fellowship

1John 1:3-4 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that you also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. 

‘Fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ’ four persons with whom to have fellowship: God the Father (1:3-7; Isa. 57:15; John 14:23; 17:21-23; 1Cor. 6:13); God the Son (Matt. 18:20; John 14:23; 15:1-8; 1Cor. 1:9; 10:16); God the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9; 1Cor. 3:16; 2Cor. 13:14; Php. 2:1); other Christians (Acts 1:14; 2:1, 42-47; Eph. 5:19; Php. 2:1-2).

Scriptures warn against fellowship and friendship with non-believers: not to get counsel from the ungodly, or to follow in the same ways as sinners or workers of iniquity, or to sit with those who mock the Word of God, those who are vain or wicked (Ps. 1:1-6; 6:8; 26:4-5; 1Jn. 2:15-17) and not to go in with dissemblers [hypocrites]. Not to cast your lot with criminals and sinners when they entice you to follow in their wicked ways (Pro. 1:10-15). We are warned to stay away from foolish and angry people and not to be friends with them (Pro. 9:6; 14:17; 22:24); to stay away from backslidden Christians and those who walk disorderly (Matt. 18:15-17; 2 Thess. 3:6; 2Jn. 1:9-11) and those that cause divisions and offences (Rom. 16:17). We cannot listen to false teachers’ teachings and think we will afterwards understand God’s Word at all (1Tim. 4:1-2; 6:3-5; 2Tim. 2: 16-17; 2Jn. 1:10). We cannot have company with those who do not obey God’s Word (2Thess. 3:14-15); be in business, friendship or fellowship with unbelievers or those who live in unrighteousness and darkness (2Cor. 6:14-18). We cannot keep company or eat with fornicators, covetous, heady and high-minded people, idolaters, railers, drunkard, or extortioners (1Cor. 5:9-11). Stay away from those who are lovers of themselves; boasters; proud, unthankful, unholy people; blasphemers; disobedient to parents; those without natural affection; trucebreakers; false accusers; incontinent; fierce people, despisers of those who are good traitors, those who love pleasure more than God and the hypocrites – those who have “a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof” (2Tim. 3:2-5).

‘That your joy may be full’ to live in peace, harmony and love we have to follow God’s instruction on fellowship otherwise we allow other’s consequences for sin into our lives as well as give our approval to their sinful natures and habits.  Listen to His commandments if you want to stand in Truth and against the wiles of the devil (Eph. 6:10-18).

We have clear instructions not to allow those who live in sin and don’t follow in Christ’s footsteps (1Pet. 2:21-23) into our lives from 2John 1:9-11: “Whosoever transgress, and abide not in the doctrine of Christ, has not God. He that abide in the doctrine of Christ, he has both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that bid him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”

Eternal Life

1John 1:2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us) 

These are the facts given by John of eternal life: People can have it by believing on Christ and God (John 3:15-16, 36; 5:24; 6:40, 47). It becomes a well springing up in the soul (John 4:14). People must gather fruit unto life eternal (John 4:36). It comes through searching the Scriptures (John 5:39). People must labour for it (John 6:27). It comes by drinking of (i.e., partaking of) the benefits of the blood of Jesus Christ by faith (John 6:54). Christ has the words of eternal life (John 6:68). Christ gives eternal life to His own who meet the conditions (John 6:27, 10:27-29). God commands people to get it (John 12:50). God sent Jesus to give it to all who come to Him through Christ (John 17:2). To know or to experience God and Christ is eternal life (John 17:2-3). Jesus Christ is that eternal life (1:1-3). This eternal life has actually been seen, heard, and handled (1:1-3). People must not only meet the conditions of eternal life of John 6:27, but they must let (permit) it to remain in them after they get it (2:24). If people do permit (let) it to remain in them, then they will continue in the Son and in the Father (2:24). Eternal life is promised to all (2:25), but it is given only to those who meet the conditions of receiving and keeping it (John 6:27). No one who hates his brother has it (3:15). It comes from God (5:11) and it is only in God’s Son (5:11). All people may know they have it (5:13, 20; John 3:16; 5:24; 17:2-3).

We get eternal life now and keep it forever if we meet the following conditions: Come to Christ (John 6:37, 44, 45, 65); know God and Christ (John 17:2-3); cause no offense (Matt. 18:8-9); forsake all (Matt. 19:27-29; Mark 10:28-30); overcome sin (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21); live free from sin (Rom. 5:21; 6:16-23; 8:1-13; Tit. 2:11-14); fight the good fight of faith; lay hold on it (1Tim. 6:12, 19); be sober and hope to the end for it (Tit. 1:2; 3:7; 1Pet. 1:5, 9, 13); endure temptations (Jas. 1:12); love everybody (1Jn. 3:14-15); keep yourself in the love of God, looking for eternal life (Jude 1:20-24); be faithful unto death (Rev. 2:10; Heb. 12:14-15); believe and obey the gospel (John 3:15-19, 36; 4:14; 5:24; 6:40, 47, 54; 2Cor. 5:17; Rom. 1:5); be born again, hear Christ, and follow Him (John 3:1-36; 10:27-29).

BUT eternal life does not become an unforfeitable eternal possession until we enter into it (Matt. 7:13; 18:8-9; 19:17; Rom. 6:22); receive it (Rom. 6:23; Jas. 1:12; 1Pet. 1:13; Rev. 2:10); reap it (Gal. 6:7-8); and inherit it in the world to come (Matt. 19:27-29; Mark 10:28-30; Luke 18:28-30), and at the end of this life (Rom. 6:22).

The Word of Life

1John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life 

‘That which was from the beginning’ that glorious and wonderful person, Jesus Christ the Lord (1:1, 3-4).

‘From the beginning’ ten things concerning Jesus Christ: He is from the beginning (1:1; John 1:1-2); from everlasting (Micah 5:1-2; Heb. 1:8); we [the disciples] have heard Him with our ears (1:1); we [disciples] have seen Him with our eyes (1:1); our [disciples] hands have handled Him (1:1); He is the Word of Life (1:1; John 14:6); we [disciples] bear witness of this Life (1:2); He is that eternal Life (1:2); He is not the Father, but was with Him from all eternity (1:2; John 1:1-2); He was manifested to us [disciples] (1:2); we [disciples] declare Him to you for two reasons: (1) That you may have fellowship with us, with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ (1:3); (2) That your joy may be full (1:4).

‘We have heard, which we have seen with our eyes’ the disciples had absolute certainty of the reality of what they proclaimed. They have actually heard, seen, and touched Christ, not transiently, but frequently. They lived with Him daily for years. They heard His teaching and saw His divine works (1:1-3; 2Pet. 1:16; Acts 5:31; 1Cor. 15:1-8).

‘Looked upon’ the Greek word theaomai, gazing with a purpose; see with desire; regard with admiration. Related to theoreo, to gaze at, as a spectacle. It is used of physical sight and the actual presence of the object on which the gaze is fixed. It means a prolonged and continued gaze.

‘Word of life’ the Word was made flesh and dwelled among men so that they would have as much proof of His personal existence, as they had of any other person in their midst (John 1:1-2, 14; 1Tim. 3:16). ‘Word’ the Greek word logos which refers to Christ (John 1:14; Rev. 19:13) and proves His pre-existence (Micah 5:1-2; Rev. 1:8, 11; 2:8; 22:13-16). He is an eternal Being as are also the Father and the Holy Spirit (Psa. 90:1-2; Heb. 9:14). They make the Divine Trinity (1Jn. 5:7).

Crucified

John 19:23-30 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which said, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did. Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he said unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then said he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. 

Jesus was crucified on the Wednesday during the Lord’s Passover (Lev. 23:4-8) which fell on the 15th of Nisan [April]. From the fact that He was fully three days and three nights in Hell while His body was in the tomb (Matt. 12:40; Eph. 4:7-11; Ps. 16:10) and that He rose early the first day of the week, which was after sunset on the Saturday (Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:1-2; Luke 24:1-6; John 20:1-10). Jewish days are from 6pm to 6pm, not like our 12 am to 12 am. If He had been buried on the Friday He would have been in the grave only one night and one day and this would make Jesus Himself a liar, for He said He would be there three days and three nights. This proves that He was crucified on Wednesday and was put in the tomb before sunset that day, for Jews always buried on the same day of death. He remained dead Wednesday night, Thursday, Thursday night, Friday, Friday night, and Saturday. He was resurrected soon after sunset Saturday, for He had been resurrected before early morning of the first day, Sunday.

‘Four parts, to every soldier a part’ Four soldiers were employed in nailing Him to the cross. These were the military guards – the executioners mentioned in Matthew 27:36 that sat down and watched him, for their duty was to watch the person crucified lest his friends should rescue him.

‘Coat’ the Greek word chiton, a tunic or inner garment which was worn next to the skin. It usually had sleeves, and generally reached down to the knees and sometimes to the ankles. Wearing two of them was for luxury, so they were forbidden to the disciples (Matt. 10:10; Mark 6:9; Luke 3:11; 9:3). When a person had on no other garment but this, he was said to be naked (1Sam. 19:24).

‘They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots.’ This is the 12th Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in John that was given in Psalm 22:18. One of 333 prophecies given of Christ’s first coming.

In Luke 23:34 we read that Jesus prayed to the Father to forgive these soldiers; for they didn’t know what they were doing when they parted His raiment by casting lots and in verse 36 they were mocking Him. This could be expected of heathen soldiers out of contempt for the Jewish nation and loyalty to their emperor, whose sovereignty they thought was insulted by the Lord’s claim of being born King of the Jews. One would not expect religious leaders to be so hardhearted as these, regardless of how just their cause might seem to be at the time.

Also omitted by John are the two thieves that were crucified with Christ (Matt. 27:38). There is some evidence that two malefactors were led with Him to be crucified with Him (Luke 23:32). Then later two thieves were brought and were crucified (Matt. 27:38). No scripture says that only two men were crucified with Him. It is said that both robbers reviled Him (Matt. 27:44; Mark 15:32), while only one of the malefactors railed on Him (Luke 23:39-40).

We see the contrasts between the two dying criminals in Luke 23:39-43. One mocked Christ, demonstrating utter lack of reason (23:39) and the other demonstrated the highest type of intelligence in 8 ways (23:40-43): by fearing God (23:40); rebuking another for not fearing God (23:40); acknowledging his own condemnation and helpless state (23:40) as well as justice for crime committed (23:41); confessing faith in the innocence of Christ who had been cleared by all civil rulers of any wrongdoing and who was being crucified solely because of religious jealousy and malice, as could be seen by all men (23:41); confessing Jesus as Lord (23:42) and faith in the eventual triumph of Christ’s kingdom (23:42); asking mercy and forgiveness of Jesus Christ (23:42).

Jesus answered him: “Verily I say unto thee, Today shall thou be with me in paradise.” (Luk 23:43) This is the 52nd New Testament prophecy in Luke fulfilled when Christ and the penitent criminal went to paradise in the lower parts of the earth (Eph. 4:8-10; Psa. 16:10; Matt. 12:40; Heb. 2:14-15). The rebellious one went to hell where the rich man was (Luke 16:19-31). The paradise here is the one in the lower part of the earth and was later moved next to the third heaven (2Cor. 12:1-3).

‘Cleophas’ he was called Alpheus (Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; 24:18), he was the father of James the Less, and husband of Mary, the sister of Mary (Luke 24:10, 18; John 19:25).

‘Disciple standing by, whom he loved’ John (13:23; 21:7, 20, 24). Christ wanted His mother cared for and trusted John to do so. Joseph was now dead and His brethren were not yet convinced that He was the Messiah (Luke 8:19-21).

Jesus Delivered

John 19:16-22 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. Pilate answered, What I have written I have written. 

‘Delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified’ Pilate now surrendered to the pressure of facing Tiberius in the trial for not yielding to the Jews to crucify their King. He delivered Jesus to their will (Luke 23:25). Thus the Jews are accused of crucifying the Messiah (Acts 2:23). The Romans merely carried out the will of the Jews, Pilate having pronounced no sentence but having washed his hands of the whole affair (Matt. 27:24). John omits the insults of the soldiers (Matt. 27:26; Mark 15:16).

‘He bearing his cross’ He bore the cross at first until He could no longer carry it alone, then Simon was forced to help Him (Matt. 27:32). ‘Skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha’ the skull: called calvaria, a skull (Luke 23:33), a place outside Jerusalem (Heb. 13:12). Origen (185-253 A.D.) refers to a tradition that Christ was crucified where Adam was buried and where his skull was found.

In Luke 23:27 we read of a great company of people that followed Jesus, of whom were mostly women, which also bewailed and lamented Him in His sufferings. These women that were of the sex that first sinned now stayed more true to the Saviour than those of the sex which chose to sin without being deceived (1Tim. 2:14).

Jesus responded saying: “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me …” with the 51st New Testament prophecy in Luke that was fulfilled in 70 A.D., when Jerusalem was destroyed. These women were of Jerusalem. They were told to weep for themselves and for their children. Christ foresaw their terrible sufferings about 40 years later when many in this same crowd perished in the horrible carnage which took place on the capture of the city.

‘Pilate wrote a title’ John alone mentions that Pilate wrote it Himself. Much controversy has raged over the differences of what was written on the cross, as all four gospels have different wording. Mark and Matthew mention “the accusation” which might be different from the “title” of John 19:19. The accusation in Matthew and Mark is identical except Mark omits “This is Jesus.” He only gives part of it while Matthew gives the whole. They do not say the writing was in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, as in Luke 23:38 and John 19:20. Different wording could be in these three languages and this could explain the difference.

‘Place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city’ probably just outside the north wall between the Damascus and the Herod gates, near the so-called “grotto of Jeremiah,” about half a mile from the Praetorium.

‘The chief priests of the Jews’ this expression is used only here. They were no longer God’s priests.

‘What I have written I have written’ Roman laws forbade the sentence to be altered when once pronounced. The inscription named the only crime for which He was crucified. It was a true statement, for He was and will always be King of the Jews, and will be so acknowledged by them at the second coming (Matt. 23:39; Isa. 9:6-7; Zech. 12:10-13:1; Rev. 1:7).