December 2, 2021 - Pastor's Corner

Melvin-head-shot

Dear Church Family,

As we return to our study in 1 John, I remind you that 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 shows his readers how the identity of Jesus impacts discernment in 4:1-6. Please take a quick moment to read these verses anew. From this passage come the following brief insights:

  • John reveals that the unseen influences that which is seen. And he does so by commanding all Christians to continuously examine the foundational truth that motivates every word spoken by us and by those we interact with in life. You see, in John’s day a group of people believed that God was so holy that He could in no way associate with the unholy. Matter, including flesh, was seen as unholy. And since God was spirit, He could not be God if He took to Himself a human nature. Thus, this group denied the humanity of Jesus; they rejected Who Jesus revealed Himself to be—fully God, fully man, two complete natures in One Person. “This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.”
  • Family, rejecting the identity of Jesus Christ reveals such people do not belong to God. Remember, the indwelling Holy Spirit is evidence we are God’s children (Rom 8), and through Him we agree with God concerning who Jesus is. This is what the apostle is saying in verses 2-4. Thus, the foundational question in all of life is asked by Jesus in Matthew 16:13-20, “But who do you say that I am?” [Take a quick moment to read that passage…I’ll wait.]
  • Welcome back. The practical implications of John’s words in our lesson today, clearly influenced by Jesus’ words, cannot be missed. For since Jesus is the God-man, He is Sovereign Creator, He is Lord, He is the Righteous Judge of all, He is Holy, He is kind, He is compassionate, He is unchanging and unchangeable, He is ALL Scripture says He is…He is God! Therefore, as every word that is spoken reveals the true condition of our hearts, as that which is outwardly seen reflects the true condition of who we really are, it is no wonder that those who “are from the world” are in constant conflict with those of us who “are from God.”
  • Jesus changes people. And those who are His, though eternally secure in Him, are continuously examining our lives, continuously yielding ourselves to Him and to His will as revealed in Scripture. Those who are not His, reject His Lordship and remain resolved to the ways of the world which is hostile to God. This encouraging truth is what John means in verses 5-6.

As promised, below is our roadmap through 1 John for the rest of December:

Date

Passage

December 9, 2021

4:7-12

December 16, 2021

4:13-14

December 23, 2021

4:15-21

December 30, 2021

5:1-5

As always, I encourage you to read ahead to prepare for our time next week—1 John 4:7-12.

Grace and peace be to you.

Pastor Melvin