Listen to: WYTI Radio – Rocky Mount, VA - 8:00 AM – Sundays -- 1570 AM / 104.5 FM,
The Believer’s Rule of Life – 1 John 2:3-6 - From Henry Mahan’s commentary
Throughout this earthly journey believers struggle with inward sin, doubts, fears, trials and attacks from Satan, and often are heard to say with Newton,
‘Tis a point I long to know,
Oft it gives me anxious thought
Do I love the Lord or no, Am I his or am I not?
John says, ‘This is how we discern daily by experience that we are coming to know him: if we bear in mind, observe and practice the teachings precepts and words of our Lord Jesus’ words and commandments of Christ in regard to faith, love, forgiveness, humility, works of charity, kindness, giving, witnessing and all that relates to our daily walk’ (1 John 5:3). The love of Christ and the words of Christ are our rule of life.
v.4. The person who says, ‘I know and am acquainted with Christ in a saving interest,’ but has no love for his teachings and commandments, is not telling the truth, and the truth of the gospel is not in him. For if any man be in Christ, he is a new person. He is a bondslave of Christ and his whole life and desire is to become more deeply and personally acquainted with him. This is done through his words and teachings (1 Peter 2:1, 2).
v.5. He who treasures the word of Christ, who bears in mind the precepts, who observes his message in its entirety, in him has the love of God and for God been established and it is reaching maturity. This is the way we know that we are in Christ: we love him, his word, his will, his presence. You cannot separate Christ and his teaching, or Christ and his commandments.
v.6. He that says that he and Christ are one ought to walk as Christ walked, love as Christ loved, forgive as Christ forgave and be humble as Christ was humble! (John 15:4, 5.)
Sin cannot be subdued in any other way – by J.C. Philpot
"The life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God." Galatians 2:20
There is no way except by being spiritually immersed into Christ's death and life—that we can ever get a victory over our besetting sins. If, on the one hand, we have a view of a suffering Christ, and thus become immersed into His sufferings and death—the feeling, while it lasts, will subdue the power of sin. Or, on the other hand, if we get a believing view of a risen Christ, and receive supplies of grace out of His fullness—that will lift us above sin's dominion. If sin is powerfully working in us, we need one of these two things to subdue it. When there is a view of the sufferings and sorrows, agonies and death of the Son of God, power comes down to the soul in its struggles against sin and gives it a measure of holy resistance and subduing strength against it. So, when there is a coming in of the grace and love of Christ—it lifts up the soul from the love and power of sin into a purer and holier atmosphere. Sin cannot be subdued in any other way. You must either be immersed into Christ's sufferings and death—or you must be immersed into Christ's resurrection and life. A sight of Him as a suffering God—or a view of Him as a risen Jesus—must be connected with every successful attempt to get the victory over sin, death, hell, and the grave. You may strive, vow, and repent— and what does it all amount to? You sink deeper and deeper into sin than before. Pride, lust, and covetousness come in like a flood—and you are swamped and carried away almost before you are aware! But if you get a view of a suffering Christ, or of a risen Christ—if you get a taste of His dying love—a drop of His atoning blood—or any manifestation of His beauty and blessedness— there comes from this spiritual immersion into His death or His life a subduing power—and this gives a victory over temptation and sin which nothing else can or will give. Yet I believe we are often many years learning this divine secret— striving to repent and reform, and cannot—until at last by divine teaching we come to learn a little of what the Apostle meant when he said, "The life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God." And when we can get into this life of faith—this hidden life, then our affections are set on things above. There is no use setting to work by 'legal strivings'—they only plunge you deeper in the ditch. You must get Christ into your soul by the power of God—and then He will subdue—by His smiles, blood, love, and presence—every internal foe.