December 16, 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, the apostle again gives us a direct statement concerning our assurance of faith and subsequent practice in 4:13-14. Please take a quick moment to read these verses anew. From this passage come the following brief insights:

  • THE definitive mark of a believer in Jesus Christ is the indwelling Holy Spirit. We know this from the apostle Paul’s letters (e.g., Rom 8:1-17; Gal 3:1-6, 14; 4:6), and here in our passage today, the apostle John affirms the same truth. For he says that our continual stay in Christ and His in us is proven by God’s completed gift of the indwelling Spirit. God Himself has taken up residence inside of every true believer in Jesus Christ, and according to verse 14, He assures us of this truth in two specific ways.
  • The first way is the eyewitness accounts by the apostles of who Jesus revealed Himself to be. This is what John means by the phrase, “we have seen.” This was a completed action by each of the twelve apostles. They saw that “the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world.” This completed action of God’s through the sinless life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus was witnessed by the apostles. The Spirit helped them know and understand the meaning of Christ’s work.
  • The second way God assures us of His abiding presence is the continual testimony of the apostles concerning God’s salvific work in Jesus. For John’s statement shows the apostles’ continual affirmation and proclamation of Jesus’ full divinity and full humanity, and His work being the singular solution to humanity’s sin problem before God. This continual testimony is the Scriptures, in which the gospel is revealed and applied by the Spirit of God.
  • So, what does this mean for us today? Well, if the Holy Spirit indwells us, then by the Spirit we affirm, believe, and submit to the same thing the apostles did concerning Jesus. Moreover, we submit to their teachings in the Scriptures—we obey the commands of Jesus which He gave to the apostles to give to us. This includes both the Old and the New Testaments because the apostles affirmed the Old Testament to be the Word of God. We see this in their wide usage of the Old Testament and Paul’s explicit statement in Ephesians 2:19-22. The indwelling Spirit empowers us to obey Jesus.

As always, I encourage you to read ahead to prepare for our time next week—1 John 4:15-21.

Grace and peace be to you.

Pastor Melvin