Monday 16 January 2017

Bible Book:
1 John

“See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God” (3:1)

1 John 2:29 - 3:6 Monday 16 January 2017

Psalm: Psalm 86


Reading the first letter of John is like overhearing a telephoneconversation in which a third party is being discussed. We do notknow who the writer is. The letter itself does not give thewriter's name; it became associated with John in later times. Nordo we know to whom the letter is addressed or, in any detail, whatthe problems were. We can only conclude from what is said thatthere has been a split in the Christian community to which theletter is sent. There have been disputes about who Jesus really is,and whether Christians are now wholly free from sin and incapableof lapsing back into it. Some who have taken a more extreme viewhave walked out and formed a rival group, leaving the rest shakenand uncertain. The letter is written to reassure them andstrengthen their faith.

In today's passage we are reminded of the love of God, who callsus God's children. Children grow into maturity. In infancy we canonly imagine what that will eventually mean, but we can be surethere will still be a family likeness (3:2). But the privilege ofbeing regarded as God's children carries the obligation to liveaccordingly (3:3), a truth those who have walked out apparentlydeny.

1 John 3:4 is puzzling. Did the rival group draw a falsedistinction between sin and breaking the moral law set out in theOld Testament? We do not know.  

To Ponder

  • How would you explain to someone what it means to be called achild of God?
  • In 1 John 2:29 the writer appears to imply that anyone who doesright should be regarded as God's child, regardless of theirbeliefs. Or is the point simply that the test of a claim to beGod's child is how we live? What do you think?
Previous Page Sunday 15 January 2017
Next Page Tuesday 17 January 2017