The first verse of our text is remarkable! 'We know that we have come to know Him... if we keep His commands'. John wants his reader to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there IS a connection between knowing and doing - especially when it comes to knowing Jesus! It is not possible to truly know and love Jesus and not pay attention to His commands. John is writing this to correct the thinking of some of the believers who were saying that knowledge was all important - ethical living didn't really matter. John especially uses the light/dark imagery to highlight that our knowledge of Jesus must be lived out in relationships with people around us. We cannot say that we know Jesus and hate our brother / sister at the same time!!
Question for consideration: How would you define this English word 'know' in the way in which John is using it here? What is included in the idea when this word is used?
Next Sunday, May 5, we will pay attention to 1 John 2:12-17 which tells us that we have overcome the evil one through Jesus, but also offers a significant warning so that we may be on guard against the temptations of our world. Following our consideration of this passage, it will be our privilege to share in the Lord's Supper (Communion) together. We would love to have you join us!
Our observation of this passage last Sunday evening was both challenging and encouraging to us. These 4 statements help to summarize:
We recognize that John is writing to a group (or groups) of people who are already believers in Jesus but who needed to be challenged to continue to confess sin and seek to live in obedience. What we believe should make a difference in how we live! We noticed that this passage has much to say about choice - choice to live in darkness or live in the light; choice to confess sin or not. We also noticed the attitude of Jesus as we approach him with confession - he is not condemning but rather 'faithful and just' and longing to forgive!
This past Sunday evening at 5pm we began our study of the letter of 1 John. We began by observing that it is a letter written by the Apostle John who also wrote the Gospel of John as well as 2 John, 3 John, and the book of Revelation. We then looked at the original recipients of the letter and noticed that they had a variety of views about who Jesus really was and we discovered that John is therefore writing this letter to ensure that people will know for sure that Jesus really is fully God and fully Man. In our discussion groups we then looked specifically at the first 4 verses of the letter which form a powerful introduction. To make our study a little more interesting we have prepared actual scrolls to help us picture how the original text was likely passed around and read. Each week we will add the next portion to our scrolls! Plan to join us! If you have questions of comments about the study we would love to interact with you on this blog. Many blessings to you...
This coming Sunday evening, April 14th, we will be starting a new discussion and study series! We begin a study of the letter of 1 John. Please read 1 John if you can beforehand and come and join us for a fruitful study of the writings of John over the coming 7 or 8 weeks! All are welcome. As usual, we start at 5pm and finish around 6:30pm. This Sunday, April 14th, we will also celebrate Communion together!