Over the last 2 weeks we have been working through chapter 3 and discovering first about how God has 'lavished' His love on us by laying down His life for us and making us His children! In response we are called to obedience! We saw over and over that we do not receive salvation through obedience, but John is very strong to suggest that obedience is the natural outcome of receiving the gift of New Life! The place where he emphasizes this more than anywhere else is in the context of our relationships with people around us. We cannot truly know and love Jesus and hold hatred in our hearts toward people around us! We are called to love others as He loved us! May it be so in our lives!!
John writes with some urgency in this section of his letter. He uses the term 'last hour' to indicate that the return of Jesus to the earth could happen at any time. He therefore calls his readers to live in anticipation; to live in a state of readiness. There is a strong warning to be aware of deceivers who are going around saying the Jesus is not the Christ, the Anointed One. John urges his readers to use caution so as not to be deceived by these false teachers and at the same time encourages them to 'continue', and to 'remain in him'. Overall, this is a passage that ought to give us courage - to be on the lookout for false teaching about Jesus, and to keep on 'keeping on' in the path of following the true Jesus so that we will indeed be ready for Him when we returns.
This coming Sunday we receive God's lavish love at the beginning of chapter 3 and also pay attention to the importance living in the reality that Jesus has conquered sin! Come and join us! 5pm Sunday evening.
In our study last Sunday we noticed that this text is divided into 2 parts. The first is very poetic in form and very encouraging nature. John seems to want to build confidence in all members of the congregations to whom he is writing by reminding them that they know Jesus already, they are strong, they have overcome the evil one! Then in verses 15-17, he issues a strong reminder that still they need to be careful not to be trapped by the 'world' which is comprised of 'the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life'. We had some great discussion about the practical implications of John's words to our own lives - these are challenging words which are very practical and applicable to us in 2013!
Question for further consideration: In a very practical way, how can we enjoy the good gifts which God has given us in this world (beauty, pleasure etc.) without 'loving the world' at the same time?? How does this work itself out in our lives??
Join us next Sunday evening at 5pm as we explore the next section, 1 John 2:18-29! We would love to have you participate with us.