September 9, 2021 - Pastor's Corner
As stated last week, 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 to 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 1:5-10. Please take a quick moment to read these verses anew.
From our passage today come the following insights:
- There are two main contrasts in these verses: light versus darkness, and truth versus lies.
- The message the apostles heard from Jesus, the message they continuously proclaimed and proclaim through the Scriptures to all Christians (before and after believing) is that true life is found in Jesus Christ alone. This message is clear, and it cannot, nor will it ever change. For Jesus is the eternal, immutable God, He is life, He is “the light” that points the way to Himself. If anyone has a problem with Jesus being the only way to God, then those persons are not saved, they are in darkness. That is part of the teaching of verse 6.
- The other part of verse 6 exposes people who claim to belong to God yet live in disobedience to Christ’s commands in Scripture. Such a lifestyle exposes those people as liars because they don’t live in obedience to biblical truth.
- On the flipside, as verse 7 teaches, if we live in obedience to Scripture knowing that we are obeying Jesus, then we are acting like true Christians. For true Christians know that Jesus’ finished work on the cross completely paid our sin debt to God and frees us to live in the open before other Christians. The knowledge that our sins are forgiven allows us to release our hang-ups about what others think about us.
- This truth frees us to be real with one another without fear of condemnation. It allows us to live free of verse 8, which describes a lifestyle of self-deception. Such a lifestyle is exposed by “holier-than-thou” attitudes rather than an honest, continual admission of personal need of God’s free gift of salvation through Jesus. This is not a “woe-is-me” humdrum attitude, rather it is living verse 9; regularly agreeing with God those times when our words, deeds, inaction, or thoughts are against Him, are sin, and trusting “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
- We are calling God a liar if we don’t live this liberated lifestyle before Him and other Christians, and we are simultaneously exposing our disbelief in the gospel, “His word is not in us” (v 9).
- The apostles’ practice of hearing Christ’s message and proclaiming it without addition nor deletion is the practice we follow as Christians. For there is nothing we can add or take away to make Christ’s message more palatable or powerful in accomplishing God’s purpose. Only people who have an agenda other than God’s tamper with the one Gospel given to us by God (cf. 1 Cor 15:1-4; 2 Cor 2:12-17; Gal 1:6-10).
I encourage you to read ahead to prepare for our time next week—1 John 2:1-6. Peace be to you, beloved.