September 16, 2021 - Pastor's Corner

Melvin-head-shot

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.

Again, 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 2:1-6. Please take a quick moment to read these verses anew.

From our passage today come the following insights:

  • Having established apostolic authority in chapter 1, John now shifts to directly addressing his audience, which he does with the tenderness of a caring father. “My little children.” The exhortations the apostle will be making are out of love. Many wrongly conclude that hard sayings from a position of authority are always intentionally harsh. This may be true in some cases, but John’s caring address to his audience removes this accusation from his letter.
  • John is continuously telling his audience that a lifestyle of sin is not indicative of Christ’s life within such people. He is clear to note that those of us who know Jesus as Savior and Lord will sin on occasion. However, Jesus intercedes on our behalf with the Father. He does so by virtue of His sinless life offered in our place for our sins when He died on the cross. This completed work of Jesus satisfied God’s wrath toward us; our sin debt to an absolutely holy God has been paid in full! In fact, it is the only payment for sin God accepts for any and all people, no other way to the Father except through Jesus.
  • Remember, the goal is for us to have fellowship with the Father through His Son Jesus, with our fellowship as a by-product (1:3). And John describes this fellowship as “knowing” Jesus in a growing relationship observed by our continual obedience to Jesus’ commands (2:3-6). John calls people liars who say they are in relationship with Jesus but continuously live in disobedience to His commands. He says that the truth does not reside in such people (2:4).
  • The apostle also says obedience to Jesus’ commands gives us certainty that we know Him. We see this in verses 3, 5-6. Moreover, John says obedience indicates “the love of God is perfected” in obedient people. This means “perfect love” and “obedience” are synonymous. We know this for Jesus is the epitome of both perfect love and obedience (cf. Rom 5:8; Phil 2:5-8; 1 Jn 4:16-19).
  • Therefore, a lifestyle of obedience indicates we know Jesus, we love Him, we belong to Him, and He lives in us.

I encourage you to read ahead to prepare for our time next week—1 John 2:7-11. Peace be to you, beloved.

Pastor Melvin