December 9, 2021 - Pastor's Corner

Melvin-head-shot

Dear Church Family,

The key verse of 1 John is 5:13, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life,” and the main theme of his letter is Certainty of Faith in Jesus Christ and Our Subsequent Practice. This assurance is addressed in multiple ways throughout 1 John through contrasts, direct statements, and three specific areas of Christian living—moral (obedience), social (love), and theological (Jesus is the God-man).

Today, in 4:7-12, the apostle shows his readers the foundation of our practical interaction with one another. Please take a quick moment to read these verses anew. From this passage come the following brief insights:

  • Last week, we began our final brief insight with the statement, “Jesus changes people.” And immediately following verses 1-6 from which that insight is derived, John gives a telltale sign of a person changed by Jesus—we love other believers. You see, in verses 7-12 John is not commanding that we love one another; he says that is what we do because of who we are. “…whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.”
  • The apostle also gives the negative side of that identity coin, “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” Then in verses 9-10, John immediately gives THE definitive example of what God’s love looks like, the measuring stick of our love for our fellow Christians: self-sacrificial for the highest good of the one being loved. Do we love like that in our Christian homes? In our corporate Christian fellowships? Or does self-preservation dominate our interaction with other people who have trusted in Jesus?
  • Look again at verse 10. Do you see the word, “propitiation”? Do we ever stop and deeply ponder the fact that the pure wrath of almighty God was laser-focused on us, but in love, Jesus stepped in the way of that righteous judgment on us? When this truth grips our hearts, it is impossible for us NOT to love one another because God dwells in us; we’re His children. That’s what John means in verses 11-12. Loving as God does in Christ is what we do because of Whose we are.
  • Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogantor rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). Does this describe me? Does this describe you? Since “God is love” and we are His children, it should in increasing measure.

As always, I encourage you to read ahead to prepare for our time next week—1 John 4:13-14.

Grace and peace be to you.

Pastor Melvin