1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (Net Bible) What a beautiful picture! What a wonderful gift! “Walking in the light,” that is, obedience, results in fellowship and cleansing.
Many call 1 John the apostle’s letter of love. Love is certainly one of the major ideas of the book. Yet I think we overlook the dominant idea of the book. Obedience. The topics raised in the book from fellowship to truth to love are framed in this idea of obedience. John addresses these subjects in the form of commands. He speaks of sin and lawlessness–disobedience. He speaks of those who practice righteousness–obedience. One might not agree this is the dominant idea, but everyone who actually reads the book cannot ignore the frequency of occurrences.
Actually, I guess they can and do. They condemn older preachers of hammering obedience and ignoring love. Does that mean we preach only love and ignore obedience? Do we have to choose? Can’t we, shouldn’t we, preach both?
Climbing down from my high horse now.