1 John 2:6-8
 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.  Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard.  On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining.』
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This is the sixth session of the 1 John Lecture series.
In 1 John 2:5, which I talked about in the last session, I explained that we can dwell in the Lord only when we keep His words and commandments.
The following verse 6 once again emphasizes that point.
It says, “…the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”
It tells us that if we dwell in the Lord, we will do the things that the Lord has done.
To walk as He walked is to practice the word of God.
In order to follow the word of God, we have to have the word in our hearts.
We can act with truthfulness only when we have truthfulness in our heart. We can act humbly only when we have humbleness in our heart.
If we have the word of God in us and if we can practice it, it means the Lord is dwelling in us.
It’s because the Word of God that came down to this earth in human body is Jesus.
For this reason John 6:56 says, “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.”
Conclusively speaking, we can say only those who live in the word of truth dwell in the Lord and the Lord dwells in them.
If we have the Lord in us in this way, namely, if we have the word of God in us, we can also hear the voice of the Holy Spirit clearly.
Then we cannot dwell in darkness.
We will feel so much pain in our hearts if we do anything untruthful for our own benefit.
On the other hand, if we dwell in the truth even though it means we face some loss, we will have joy and peace in our hearts.
We will feel much more full of pain in our heart when we do something untruthful than when we face some material loss.
Those children who have received the Holy Spirit and those who are walking in the right way with the hope of Heaven will naturally feel that way.
But because this world is so full of sins and they do not know the truth, even the believers do not dwell in the Lord.
The Apostle John, who wrote this passage, wanted all the souls to dwell in the light and in the Lord.
So, whenever he met with people or when he wrote one of many other letters, including this book of 1 John, he tried to let them understand the truth.
God revealed to me the prayer of the Apostle John while he was ministering, having such earnest desire.
“Father, Oh Father, My LORD, My Lord, let all the souls feel and understand how happy it is to walk in the light and in the truth, and that it gives us life and hope. Let them understand the will of the Father which is good from the beginning. Let them feel and understand the love that the heavenly Father has.
Guide them to rejoice in acting in the truth. Let them cultivate love before the Father through their deeds of truth.
They are not thirsty for they are given the word of the Father, and with this word, they can follow the way that the Father wants.
Let them feel that this is the love of the Father.
Also, let them understand that to walk in the word and in the truth will make their souls so prosperous and bring down the blessings and grace of the Father on them.
Let them feel and understand this love of the Lord and the love of the Father.
The grace of the Father and the grace of the Lord is in me. The word of truth that the Father is teaching me, the word of the truth that the Lord has given me, and the word of truth that the Holy Spirit taught me with inspiration is in me, and this is so precious for me.
But I don’t want to keep this word to myself, and I want to spread this endless love of the Father, the love of the Lord, the broad heart of the Holy Spirit, and His helping power to as many souls as possible. I want to show the heart of the Father to all the souls, and Father! Help me!
Let them rejoice in having reverence for the Father. Let them feel the love of the Father who is accomplishing everything through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let them feel that the works that are done through the Holy Spirit are true and these are the ways of blessings, so that they can live the kind of lives that the Father desires.
With this word given by the Father, the word that is the light, and with the original love of the Father who existed as the Word since before the ages, let them understand how they can become true children of the Father and how they can live as true children so that they can give glory to the Father.
Let them engrave this word of truth in their heart, and let them engrave the heart of love of the Father who is the light.
Guide them to that light and let them not befriend the darkness. Hold them with the power of light and open the way for them to come forth as true children of the Father.”
The apostle John understood how good it is to live by the word of God.
He experienced so thoroughly how happy and peaceful, and how prosperous and blessed it is.
For this reason he wanted all the souls to know this way of the truth, which is the way of blessings.
We can feel each word of his prayer has such desires of his.
He wants all the souls to understand that to dwell in the light is such a great blessing, it makes us receive so much love of God, and it makes our souls prosperous.
So he prayed that the souls would not befriend the darkness, but rejoice in acting in the truth.
He wanted all the souls to revere God with all their heart, dwell in the love of the Lord, and give glory to God.
Brothers and sisters, I also pray every day like John.
Because I myself experienced how blessed it is to go into spirit, I have always explained to you about it.
In the love of the almighty God, we can receive anything we ask, and we receive the desires of the heart for which we didn’t even ask.
God gives us health, wealth, and fame.
We have Heaven in our heart, so we are always happy, and our families and work receive blessings.
On the other hand, if we do not cast away flesh, we will continue to suffer from tests and trials. We will not have prosperity, and we will not have peace of heart.
We don’t rely on the almighty God, and we have to do everything by our own strength. So how hard it is!
That is why in every sermon I am asking you to cast away meaningless flesh and come into spirit and whole spirit.
Like the confession of the apostle Paul in Philippians 3:1 saying, “To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you,” even though I have to say the same thing hundreds or even thousands of times, I have to do it until you come into spirit.
When I pray also, I earnestly pray that all of you will come into spirit and receive the love of God that I am receiving now.
It is also the desire of the Father God that we all dwell in the truth and live a blessed life.
And how deeply did you engrave such words in your heart?
Did you really try to dwell in the Lord and in His love?
Many of you pray as follows:
“Thank You Lord that You let us dwell in You, and that You protect us.”
“We thank You that the Father is in me and the Lord is in me, and that the Holy Spirit is guiding me.”
But you have so many attitudes, thoughts, words, and actions that are not of the truth.
Of course, I am thankful that most of you are trying to cast away sins and to dwell in the Lord.
But to dwell in the Lord completely, you have to understand yourself more delicately.
You have to be careful about every word and every thought that flashes through your mind even for a second.
Let me give you an example.
Somebody is saying something that is in total disregard for you in front of many people.
Your pride is hurt and your feelings are agitated for a moment.
But to act according to the word of God, you have to humble yourself and become gentle.
As you remember this word of God, you calm down your feelings and you could treat that person with gentleness.
In this situation, you shouldn’t just forget about it because you treated that person nicely.
You have to remember the feelings that you had for a moment.
You have to realize that you still have ill-feelings and anger in you and keep on praying until you pull them out completely.
Sometimes, you don’t mean to do it, but you happen to hurt others’ feelings through your words or actions.
In these cases, you shouldn’t just forget about it thinking you didn’t mean to do it and you can’t help that the other persons’ feelings were hurt.
If you want to say you dwell in the Lord, you have to try to change each of your feelings and words to become gracious and virtuous.
Let me give you another example. You worked hard and made some accomplishments, but your brother is getting all the praises.
You felt disappointed for a moment, but you quickly changed your attitude to give thanks and rejoice.
So, in the end, you thought in the truth. But you have to remember the fact that you initially had the feelings of disappointment and pray about it.
You have to cast it away from inside you so that you will not even have any kind of disappointment at all.
The same principle applies to all things like greed, frustration, adulterous mind, envy, jealousy, boasting, judging and condemnation.
You shouldn’t just dismiss those feelings thinking, “I do not have greed. I am not really envious or jealous. It was just a momentary thought.”
Then, you will just stay at the threshold of spirit for a long time.
You have to have the earnest desire and effort to cast away even the minute forms of flesh.
You have to realize you have such roots of evil in you and fervently keep on praying until you pull them all out.
This way you can go into spirit completely.
Finally, you will be able to confess that the Lord is in you and you are in Him, and receive the blessings of walking with the Lord.
Let us now get into the following verses 7 and 8.
It says, “Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard.  On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining.”
Here, we can find the expressions ‘old commandment’ and ‘new commandment’.
The old commandment is the commandment of the Old Testament and the new commandment, that of the New Testament.
The sons of Israel received the Law that is the commandments given through Moses.
But Matthew 5:17 says, “Do not think that I (Jesus) came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.”
Jesus came to fulfill the Law or the Prophets, namely the old commandment of the Old Testament.
Whether old or new, all commandments are the word of God, and they teach us the will of God.
They tell us that we have to revere God, love our brothers and live in the light following the way of men.
New commandments are not something that didn’t exist before. It’s not something completely different from old commandments.
It’s just that, in the view of love and justice, love is emphasized more in the New Testament whereas justice is emphasized more in the Old Testament.
In the Old Testament, when one committed a sin, he had to offer a sacrifice of an animal to be forgiven of his sins.
However, in the New Testament, we can be forgiven of our sins when we believe in the Lord and repent.
Also, deeds were emphasized more in the Old Testament while heart and attitude are emphasized more in the New Testament.
Especially, it cautions us about hypocrisy, not to pretend to be holy just on the outside while we have so much evil in heart.
So, some people misunderstand that the commandments of the Old Testament and New Testament are different from each other.
They think the deeds are only for the Old Testament, and we can be forgiven of our sins just by believing in Jesus in heart in the New Testament.
But as Jesus clearly stated, He did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it.
He is giving us His grace so that we will not just turn from sins in deeds, but our heart can also change and depart from sins completely.
Let me give you an example. In the Old Testament, when a person did an evil act to his neighbor, he was to be paid back in the same way.
According to the Law, he had to pay an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, and a life for a life.
But Matthew 5:38-42 says something that seems to be the opposite of this commandment.
It says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’  “But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.  “If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.  “Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.  “Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.”
Now, is it the opposite of the old commandment? It is not.
God’s original will is love, and He doesn’t want us to pay back evil with evil but with goodness.
He wants us to understand, forgive, and show mercy to each other.
But for sinners, it is difficult for them to obey such commands even if they hear it.
Even though God says ‘Love your enemies,’ those who have evil in them cannot even understand what it means.
They will just consider it so natural to pay back evil with evil when others do evil things to them.
Also, if they do not have the fear of getting punished when they commit sins, they will go on and commit sins as much as they want.
They still did evil to their neighbors even with the commandments, and if they didn’t have them, how many more sins would they have committed?
Also, in the view of the victim, if they do not have any guidelines concerning revenge, they would want to exact vengeance as greatly as possible.
If they are struck once, they will not just strike back once but they will try to hit twice or even ten times according to how angry they are.
Had the commandments not been given by God, people would have stored up sins and fallen into hell through the judgment.
So, according to the justice, God had to give them clear standards in judging, saying an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
The reason why God gave such commandments is that people would be afraid to commit sins, so they wouldn’t go the way of death.
Therefore, the Law of the Old Testament also originated from the love of God.
But what God really wants is not to suppress the evil on the basis of being afraid of the punishments.
It is the will of God for us to cultivate goodness and love itself in our heart and dwell in the light.
Also, He doesn’t want us to pay back according to the Law. He wants us to love and forgive others just as Jesus showed us the example of love.
It was difficult for those in the Old Testament times to understand the true will of God in the commandments.
But we are different from them because we have received the Holy Spirit.
Once we realize the love of the Lord in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we are more than able to understand the word of God telling us to love our enemies.
We wouldn’t pay back an eye for an eye, but we can give the other cheek when we are struck on one of our cheeks.
We wouldn’t do that feeling forced, but we can follow the will of God by cultivating His love in us through the power of the Holy Spirit.
For this reason God gave us the new commandments of the New Testament to those children of God who received the Holy Spirit.
Just as Jesus showed us the example of perfect love and fulfilled the old commandments, God wants us to act with love.
I will continue to talk about the new commandments that fulfilled the old commandments from the next session.
In today’s reading passage verse 7, the apostle John started the verse with the ‘Beloved’.
God has mercy on even sinners, and He loves all children of God who have accepted the Lord.
But God loves with a greater magnitude of love those who love God with all their heart.
If God says, ‘My dear son, My dear daughter,’ it means they keep the commandments of God with their utmost love for God.
They are the ones who can confidently say that they are dwelling in the Lord and the Lord in them.
John 15:7 says, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
I hope all of you who are listening to this message will dwell in the Lord and the word of truth so that you will be loved by God.
In doing so, I pray in the name of the Lord that the great love and grace of God who answers all your desires will be overflowing in your lives.