Love’s Restraint

FIRST JOHN: TRUTH IN A WORLD OF DECEPTION “Love’s Restraint” By Mark E. Hardgrove, PhD Text: 1 John 2:15-17, NKJV 15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the...

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Pause for a Praise

John is very clear about his motives. Eight times in this epistle John says “I write” or “I have written.” For example, in chapter 2 verse 1, he says, “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” In chapter 5 verse 13, he says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” In our text, four times he says, “I write to you … because” and two more times he says, “I have written to you … because.”

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Let the Love Light Shine

FIRST JOHN: TRUTH IN A WORLD OF DECEPTION “Let the Love-Light Shine” By Mark E. Hardgrove, PhD Text: 1 John 2:7-11, NKJV 7 Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. 8 Again, a...

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Light in the Darkness

In verse 5 John refers to “the message,” from the Greek anggelia, meaning “announcement, information, or message.” He says they received the message, the information, from Jesus and they were declaring it without distortion or apology. What is the message? It is “that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” God is pure light, meaning there is no impurity or imperfection in God. It is this message, this light from God, that exposes the lies, the falsehoods, and the deception of the heretics and opens the door for people of faith to have fellowship with one another.

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The Truth and Nothing But the Truth

One of the reasons I love the First Epistle of John, is because of the opening verses of the Epistle. Look at them with me. They are so powerful in the way the apostle asserts the truth of Jesus Christ. Notice the way John repeats himself to powerfully argue the empirical nature of the evidence. What John has to say is not hearsay; it is not some philosophical treatise or mere speculation based upon some vague vision or hysterical reports of the woman who came running to them from the tomb.

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The Fate of the Fruitless

THE FATE OF THE FRUITLESS By Mark E. Hardgrove, PhD Text: Mark 11, Read vv. 1-11, NKJV 1 Now when they drew near Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples; 2 and He said to them, “Go into the village opposite you; and as soon as you...

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More About Jesus

MORE ABOUT JESUS By Mark E. Hardgrove, PhD Mark 6-10, Read 8:27-33, NKJV 27 Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, “Who do men say that I am?” 28 So they answered, “John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and...

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The Role of Radical Faith

What do you have faith for? Do you have faith for God to heal a headache? Do you have faith for God to supply the funds you need to pay a bill? Do you have faith for God to provide employment? We talk about having faith and we say we believe, but there will be times when our faith is tested, and this is part of the process by which God works in us to “purify” our faith (1 Pt. 1:6-9), to take us from shallow faith concerned only about our own wants in the moment, to larger concerns that comprehend the implications of eternity in all that we do, or think, or believe. It is through this process that we become mature believers who endure to the end, who remain faithful when the pressure is on, and who learn patience when everything in us is crying for Jesus to do it now (Ja. 1:3).

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Jesus Became Flesh to Die for Our Sins

When we look at the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew, we find that it goes back to Abraham, who is the ancestral father of the Jewish race. However, Luke goes all the way back to Adam, the origin of the human race. Luke ends his genealogy in chapter 3 verse 38 with the words, “the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.” Luke understood that the story of Jesus begins with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Sin created the need for the ultimate sacrifice, and only God can be the perfect sacrifice ... but God can't die. So God became flesh, fully man and yet fully God and Jesus died "once for all."

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Jesus Became Flesh to Reveal the Father

General revelation notwithstanding, fallen humanity cannot ascend into the heavens and unveil a holy God. The scientists cannot prove God in a test-tube or expose Him through a powerful telescope. The philosophers cannot reveal God through their “philosophizing.” The poets cannot reveal God through their rhymes, nor the writers through their rhetoric. The finite mind of humanity cannot pull back the veil and reveal God. Only God can reveal God, so “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” “The only begotten God, the One being in the bosom of the Father, that One declared Him.” When I could not go to where He was, He came to me and said, “Here I am!”

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