September 23, 2021 - Pastor's Corner
Dear Church Family,
Below is the current Pastor’s Corner entry on our website under Resources. This email/letter is to make the content easily accessible to all who desire to read it.
By way of reminder, the main theme of 1 John is Certainty of Faith in Jesus Christ and Our Subsequent Practice, and the key verse of the letter is 1 John 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.” This verse is why we look within this letter to hear God tell us how we can be certain we belong to Him. And 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).
For today, our specific focus on our journey of pulling out brief insights from John’s first letter is on 2:7-11. Please take a quick moment to read these verses anew.
From our passage today come the following insights:
- Clearly writing with a pastor’s heart (seen in his address “Beloved”), the apostle John tells his readers that he is continuously writing about the indicator of being a follower of Christ—genuine love for fellow Christians. This “old/new” commandment stems from John 13:34-35. Take a moment and read those verses afresh, I’ll wait…
- Did you notice the qualifier in Jesus’ words recorded in the apostle’s gospel—“just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another?” Genuine love for other Christians is doing that which is for their highest good both when it is convenient, but more so when it is inconvenient, inconceivable, uncomfortable, and when they are unlovable. We know this is true because of John 3:16 and Romans 5:8. You know the drill; I’ll wait again…
- When we don’t love other Christians (whether they’re in our home or in our church family), we are still living like unbelievers in darkness. That’s what John means in 1 John 2:9. And this is true because Jesus has come and demonstrated what genuine love looks like in everyday practice; that’s what 2:8 means. Moreover, verse 10 teaches when we genuinely love other Christians, we are proving that Christ’s life is in us, that we indeed have been saved by God.
- However, verse 11 exposes those who claim to be Christians, followers of Jesus Christ, yet continuously hate other believers, have a strong aversion to them, detesting fellow followers of Christ. Such people are known to be this way; it describes their lifestyle among the brethren. What makes this reality even sadder is such people do not see this lifestyle as being wrong; this is just the way they see themselves and others simply need to accept them as they are. John says, “the darkness has blinded” their eyes. In short, they are unsaved because they are “still indarkness.”
- We end this week with a question, family, how are we living in this area of loving other Christians?
I encourage you to read ahead to prepare for our time next week—1 John 2:12-14. Peace be to you, beloved.