Monday, December 7, 2020

100. First John (Thru the Bible #56)

First John (Thru the Bible #56) J. Vernon McGee. 1979. 164 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: 

I am reading the Bible in 2020 using the daily M'Cheyne (Robert Murray M'Cheyne) plan. I thought it would add a layer of substance to in addition to the four chapters a day, to also read commentaries for those chapters. For that I am using Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible. But the plan goes through the New Testament (and Psalms, I believe) twice. So now that I've finished Henry's commentary for the New Testament, I am tackling the New Testament commentary section of J. Vernon McGee's series.

This is not my first time reading J. Vernon McGee. I've read probably thirty or so of his commentaries. Most recently 2 Peter.

I really am LOVING McGee. This has been the best idea--to correspond my Bible reading with commentary reading. 

  • Some expositors consider the epistles of John to be the final books written in the Bible. Certainly John’s epistles are the last which he wrote.
  • Persecution was not the enemy of Christianity. The danger to the Ephesian church was not persecution from the outside but seduction from the inside.
  • Christianity was not in danger of being destroyed; it was in danger of being changed. The attempt was being made to improve it, give it intellectual respectability, and let it speak in the terms of the popular philosophy.
  • “In the beginning was the Word” means that you can go back in the past as far as you want to, put down your peg anywhere, and Christ comes out of eternity to meet you. That is big stuff; it is bigger than my little mind can comprehend.
  • “The eternal life that John is talking about is none other than Jesus Christ. If you want a definition, eternal life is a Person, and that Person is Christ. It is so simple that even you can grasp it. You either have Christ, or you don’t have Christ. You either trust Christ, or you don’t trust Christ. If you do trust Christ, you have eternal life. If you don’t trust Christ, you don’t have eternal life. Now, since that’s eternal life, do you have eternal life?”
  • If you want to know the truth, I am totally depraved. Without the grace of God for salvation, I would be nothing in the world but a creature in rebellion against God, with no good within me at all. God has made it very clear that He finds no good within man.
  • My friend, whom do you think you deceive when you say that you have no sin? You deceive yourself, and you are the only person whom you do deceive. You don’t deceive God. You don’t deceive your neighbors . You don’t deceive your friends. But you sure do deceive yourself.
  • After we confess our sins, what does God do? He cleanses us. In the parable, the Prodigal Son came home from the far country smelling like a pigpen. You don’t think the father would have put a new robe on that ragged, dirty boy, smelling like that, do you? No, he gave him a good bath. The Roman world majored in cleanliness, and I am confident that the boy was bathed before that new robe was put on him. The next week he didn’t say, “ Dad, I think I will be going to the far country and end up in the pigpen again. ” Not that boy.
  • Sin is a terrible thing. God hates it and now you hate it. But confession restores you to your Father.
  • We cannot add anything to a finished work. What Christ has done is all we need for salvation.
  • Well, commandments are the Word of God, but the Word of God is not all commandments. It is more than that. I hope you see the distinction. There are commandments in the Word of God, but the Word of God is not only, commandments. The Word is the expression of the will of God, either by commandment or otherwise. In the Word of God you have His complete revelation to us about His will for our lives.
  • The written Word reveals the living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, and He is the Bread of Life and the Water of Life. We will famish if we don’t feed upon Him.
  • If you are going to be able to defend yourself against the Devil, you will have to have a good knowledge of the Word of God. The reason so many believers are succumbing to the sins of the world is that they are not studying the Word of God. You eat three times a day — you need physical food to be strong — and, believe me, you need spiritual food to be strong also.
  • God’s child must hate sin. This light view of sin which we have today is simply something that is not quite scriptural. I am afraid that there are many church members who are just taking it for granted that they are children of God because they are as active as termites in the church — and they have just about the same effect as termites.
  • All I have ever emphasized in my ministry is the Word of God. I just have one tune that I play — I just have one message that I give. I hope it doesn’t get too monotonous but, my friend, the Word of God is the only thing which can clean up your life even as a believer , and it is the only thing which will keep it clean. This is something very important to know.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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