1 John 1&2

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

Three times in these two chapters John used the word liar and the word lie one time. John is referring to a person who is saying they are something that they are not. In this case they are saying they are Christians but their actions are saying something else.

It is said that excuses only work for the one who is giving them. That cannot be said for a lie. Back in Luke 22 we read the account of Peter denying Jesus three times. Jesus said Peter would do this. Peter told Jesus He was wrong, Peter said he would go to prison or to his death before he would do such a thing. In essence Peter was saying Jesus was wrong and what he said to Peter was not true. This is what John was talking about in 1 John 1:6, 8&10. In 1 John 2: 4&22 we see that one who denies Christ by their actions yet claims to be a believer is a liar.

This was the case with Peter when he was confronted and denied the Lord three times. In Luke 22:56 we read that a servant girl had seen Peter with Jesus. Peter lied again saying he did not know Jesus.  Two verses later another one accused Peter of being with those who were with Jesus earlier. Again Peter lied claiming he was not with them. In verse 59 he was confronted a third time by a man accusing Peter of being with Jesus. He said Peter was a Galilean just like Jesus. Again Peter lied but when the cock crowed, what Jesus had told him would happen, hit home and when Peter realized what he had done. He went out and wept bitterly. Verse 62

Peter had set himself up by boasting he was able to stand with Jesus no matter what. The only problem was he didn’t know what “no matter what” meant. Peter did draw His sword when Jesus was arrested and cut a man’s ear off. But Jesus stopped Peter and Jesus was taken away. Even though Jesus had explained what was going to happen Peter didn’t really understand and so he acted on his own and things went from bad to worse. He was alone and confused. Soon, Peter found out that one lie led to another lie and another and another. This is a very common problem with lying especially when fear is involved, as was the case when he denied the Lord.

Peter’s denial of Jesus is recorded in all four of the Gospels. In Matthew and Mark we read that when Peter said he would stand with Jesus even if no one else did, the disciples said the same thing. This is the danger that comes with lying. Other people can be swept up in the lie and end up acting on it. The lie is far more convincing when the one lying believes their lie. Instead of standing with Jesus as the disciples boasted they scattered just as Jesus said they would.

John is writing this to warn the church that there are those who are trying to deceive them with their words but their actions are telling another story. When the words say one thing and the actions say another the actions are more likely to tell the truth because actions come from what a person really believes.

John knows that there will be those in the Church who will mislead and deceive. Jesus told a parable about the kingdom of Heaven. It is like a mustard seed that sprouted and grew so big it was a tree that birds of the air could nest in. John is warning that there will be strange birds trying to take up residence in the Church. We read of several in our journey through the book of Acts. Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 come to mind. They were found lying to the Holy Spirit. Simon in Acts 8 was another “strange bird” that believed and was baptized yet was motivated by money and power and had to be dealt with.

John lays out the common signs starting with a true believer’s response to sin in Chapter 1. In Chapter 2 he deals with the response to the Lord’s command to love one another. How one responds to these two will reveal what is in the heart. As always there are counterfeits in the world. Love of the world and the things of the world are one of them. One dead giveaway is boasting and pride. Another counterfeit comes from those who are against Christ. They will work their way into the Church and spread their teachings and lies, corrupting the Church. Peter spoke of them in 2 Peter and John will point out others in Revelation 2&3.

We are not left to fend for ourselves, however. God has given us the Holy Spirit. Jesus said He would send the Holy Spirit and when He comes He will guide us into all the truth in John 16:13.

The Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost when the Church was born. When a person is born again they are born of the Spirit. So each believer has the Holy Spirit dwelling within. But remember, Simon was a believer and was baptized, however, when he saw what the Holy Spirit was doing he wanted that power for his own gain. John warns of this in Chapter 2:19. Simon was attempting to lead the Spirit rather than being led by the Spirit. In the end he was lying for gain. Lying is costly and harmful.

Seek the leading of the Spirit of Truth! Psalm 91:1-4

Pastor Dave