November 10, 2021 - Pastor's Corner
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 continues his challenge to believers with a contrast in 1 John with 3:16-18. Please take a quick moment to read these verses anew. From this passage come the following brief insights:
- The supreme example of real love is the fact that Jesus died for our sins; He did what we could never do in paying our eternal sin debt on our behalf. Stop for a moment and meditate on this truth: “By this we know love, that He laid down His life for us.” There is nothing else in all the universe that can make this claim. Regardless of how much our spouses, our parents, our siblings, our best friends, any relative or associate claims to love us, none can take hold of the title of THE definition of love. Only Jesus.
- Jesus gave that which was dearest to Him so that we would have life eternal. And He calls us through the apostle John to do the same for our fellow Christians. This, of course, starts in our homes, then branches directly out to the local church we are members of or regularly attend, and then to other believers outside our local church. And this love is not just in verbal expressions, but in demonstrative actions. John gave the example of meeting tangible needs of fellow believers when it is in our power and ability to do so. And he lets his readers know that such expressions flow from the inside. If we refuse to meet known tangible needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ if we’re able to, then John concludes that God’s love is not dwelling inside of us.
- From his pastor’s heart, the apostle challenges believers, he challenges us, to show other believers God’s love through our actions using the demonstration of Christ’s love as our example. We don’t use the example of anyone else to motivate us to love others because laying down one’s life for others when those loved are unaware and don’t care about the Person loving them has only been done by one Person—Jesus Christ. For “God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8).
- Moreover, such love is an initiating love that expects nothing in return; it’s just given. (See John 3:16) From Christ’s example, it is a love that seeks to do the known highest good for the person(s) being loved. It may look different for each of us, but we all can and ought to love our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ in tangible ways. It’s a mark of being a true Christian. (P.S., thanks again to all of you who showed tangible love towards me and my family during the month of October.)
As always, beloved, I encourage you to read ahead to prepare for our time next week—1 John 3:19-24.
Grace and peace be to you.