Here’s a trend involving the word declare in 1 John chapter 1 (NKJV) that I noticed last Sunday night during the scripture reading.
John’s first declaration is that eternal life was personified in Jesus Christ:
- “the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us –” (vs. 2)
John’s initial declaration is made for the purpose of declaring to others that we are able to enjoy the same fellowship that he has with God:
- “that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” (vs. 3)
John’s final declaration is that this fellowship opportunity being made available through the gospel is a relationship with an ever holy and unchanging God:
- “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” (vs. 5)
Summed up, 1 John 1:1-5 is declaring that the message of salvation is meant to be 1) shared, 2) understood and 3) life-changing.
Such may be the reason why John ends his letter by saying:
“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” (1 John 5:20-21)
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
All I can say is that I’m grateful that the faithfulness of God can overcome the faithfulmess that we can create.
The apostle John warns, “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, because all that is in the world (the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the arrogance produced by material possessions) is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away with all its desires, but the person who does the will of God remains forever” (1 John 2:15-17).
This teaching concentrates on the need for believers to separate themselves from the world. What practical tips would you offer someone who is seeking to live out this message?
News from the churches?
At PCYC, we had been talking all week about running the Christian race. In the teen girls class I was teaching, we were talking about how bad attitudes can hinder us in that race. We tied each of the attitudes to a lack of repentance. Yesterday morning, we closed by talking about the great judgment day, when the books will be opened and every man judged according to his works — how there is a record of our lives and that record will be compared to God’s word, which endures forever. Last evening, at the close of PCYC, two young ladies came forward because as they said, they wanted confidence on the day of judgment.
In total, we had 5 responses. One an adult, who is of a Catholic background and has asked for a Bible study. We additionally have two tentative Bible studies set up with families from the community. One teenage girl is begging to come back on Wed nights to be a part of our teenage girls class. I am so blessed to have been a part of this camp.
I will be following up with an article for Brotherhood News.
The chapter reading for today is 1 John 4 (we read 1 John from Monday to Friday). Verse 17 states, “By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.”
Here’s today’s Nudge: How or where have you seen this confidence shown, already, in your own life or in some other saint you know?
Finally, other more factual news of the body of Christ and its members is always welcome.
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.