- Evil suspicion, accusations and bias are the evil fruit of envy (1-2; Mat 27:18; 1Ti 6:4; e.g. disliking a country or sports team b/c they are more successful/blessed than yours).
- God has been known to cause the deeds of the wicked (against the faithful) to backfire and instead increase their blessings (3-9; Gen 50:20; Psa 37:1-27; e.g. Jesus’ murder by Satan and the Jews = Jesus accomplishes redemption and re-energizes the church – e.g. Peter, Mat 26:33-34, 69-74 w/Act 4:19-21).
- God knows and cares about the evil done against us (10-13, 38-42; Psa 9:9-12, 10:12-18, 22:24-26, 103:6, 146:5-7; 1Pe 4:6-10).
- Selfish parents (7, 14-15, 31, 39-41) often suffer the consequences of resentment, deceit, anger and separation from their kids (14-55).
- Danger and distress (1-7a), discouragement and desperate measures (7b-23) – even the damages associated w/battle (24-32), can be a part of God’s great plan for us and necessary to receiving His continued blessings and deliverance (1-32).
- One of the keys to overcoming trials is taking council from God’s promises and not our fears (9-12; Stonewall Jackson).
- A great name is a far better blessing than a great body (26-32 – Jacob walked w/a limp but went from being known as “trickster” [Jacob] to “champion” [Israel]).
- Getting a great name often requires suffering thru God’s righteous pain (24-31 – The righteous pain of doing things God’s way versus giving into compromise or appeasing the world. This is how you prevail over the traps of tricksters and deceivers and become known as a champion).
- The trials God uses to test and take us to greatness can be (and often are) culturally relevant to our time of existence (24 – “wrestled”; Wrestling was used in ancient cultures to demonstrate a person’s worthiness to receive honor or be placed in an important position in society. It wasn’t about winning but not giving up/giving in [v26]; e.g. getting a degree in college is largely about your ability to be committed to something/to hang on until you have rec’d its benefit/blessing).
- Having God on our side, should make us gracious (versus cocky) w/those who do not (1-11).
- Time and a right attitude toward those we have wronged, can foster forgiveness and future peace (1-20).
- Only those who strive to live (every day): 1) w/o sinning (1-2), 2) faithful to Jesus’ commandments (3-5), 3) in the same way Jesus did (6), have truly perfected God’s love and possess Jesus as their divine advocate and propitiation for sins (5 -“we are in Him”, 1-2 – “we have an advocate w/the Father…He is the propitiation for our sins”).
- Through the ages, God has commanded (and expects) all Christians (no matter their age), to possess supreme love for/loyalty to all other Christians (no matter their age) (7-8, 12-14) since this is an important key to: 1) abiding in the light (or maintaining fellowship w/Christ, the Father and one another as well as receiving forgiveness for our sins – 1:5-7) (10), 2) avoiding the darkness that blinds and leads us away from fellowship w/Christ, the Father and one another (9-11), 3) overcoming the temptation to possess supreme love for/loyalty to the world (i.e. “the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life” that are “not from the Father”, 15-16).
- Those who seek “the world… along w/its desires” (i.e. to possess supreme love for/loyalty to the world) versus to build deep, God-honoring relationships w/other Christians (i.e. to possess supreme love for/loyalty to their bros/sis in Christ) are not doing the will of God and therefore will perish like this world versus abiding forever in heaven (17).
- There are many antichrists in the world (18).
- There is no salvation outside the church (19).
- You know you are an antichrist when: 1) you leave the church but still think you are a Christian (19), 2) you reject Jesus as the divine Christ (or Son of God) (20-23), 3) you think you don’t need to maintain thru faithful abiding what you gained (“from the beginning”) thru belief in order to be saved (24-27).
- Our baptism (“anointing by the Holy One” – 20) was based on a gospel of gain and maintain (or “abide in Him” – 27).
- Having confidence on J-Day requires that those anointed by/born of Christ are practicing righteousness as the means to abiding in Him (28-29).
- If you are truly one of God’s children then you: 1) are the lucky recipient of God’s special love (1a), 2) should expect to be at odds (or out of place) w/the world (1b), 3) are focusing on being “pure”(holy) now so that we wb selected by Him – versus rejected by Him, at His glorious return (2-3; 2Co 11:1-2).
- The definition of sin is any action in violation of God’s Law (“sin is lawlessness” versus lawfulness). Therefore, it is impossible to: 1) reject the Law and still claim to be a person who can abide or be faithful to Jesus, 2) reject the Law and deny that a person is practicing sin (4).
- Jesus was not an antinomian and came to earth to condemn antinomians (5).
- No one who truly abides in Christ is an antinomian – or practicing sin (6).
- Those claiming to be Christian yet practicing sin or antinomianism (rejection of the Law, lawlessness) are : 1) deceived (7a), 2) children of the devil (8, 10), 3) not born of God or no longer have God’s seed (thru spiritual birth) abiding in them (9).
- True Christians are identified by practicing the Law (i.e. practicing righteousness) and loving supremely (showing supreme loyalty to) their bros/sis in Christ (7, 10-15; Joh 13:34-35).
- The world will hate us (especially our physical family) b/c of our supreme love/loyalty to our Christian bros/sis (13; Mat 10:34-36, 12:46-50).
- The supreme love/loyalty we possess toward our Christian bros/sis must be committed to: 1) extreme sacrifice/dying for one another (16 = extreme sacrifice), 2) giving of our material wealth/possessions to cover their needs (17-18a), 3) speaking the truth even when it hurts (18b).
- Another way of assuring ourselves that we still exist in a saving relationship w/God is thru our supreme love/loyalty to our Christian bros/sis (19-21).
- God answers the prayers of those who keep His commands – including the command to trust Jesus and demonstrate supreme love/loyalty to our Christian bros/sis (21-23).
- God abides thru His Spirit in those who abide in (i.e. are faithful to) Him (24).