Saturday 02 January 2021

Bible Book:
1 John

No one who denies the Son has the Father; everyone who confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. (vs 23-24)

1 John 2:22-28 Saturday 2 January 2021

Psalm 146


John's Gospel emphasises love as  foundational to the relationship of God the Father and Jesus, and that of God and believers. The first Epistle of John too stresses the paramount importance of the love we should have for each other in God (4:7-21). John's Gospel and the Epistle also share the language of light and darkness and put an emphasis on things that were "from the beginning". However, it seems unlikely that they were written by the same person, but rather that the writer of the Epistle(s) was a leader in the community founded on the teaching of John's Gospel.

There were problems in the Johannine community. A significant number of the community had left (v. 19) and were promoting false teaching, probably teaching which denied that Jesus was both human and divine. This particular heresy is known as Docetism. Broadly speaking, it holds that, as things of the flesh are evil and things of the spirit are good, then Jesus could not have been human, rather he was a spiritual being with just the appearance of a physical body. Identifying the leader of this group as a liar and the antichrist (v. 22), the writer goes on to emphasis the critical nature of the relationship between Father and Son – and those who believe in them (v. 23). Holding fast to what the community had been taught and has known from the beginning will keep its remaining members from being deceived. Note how many times the writer used the word ‘abide’ in these verses. God is glorified as believers abide in the truth of the gospel, challenging as that may sometimes be.  

Points to Ponder:

  • What, if anything, does it mean to you to ‘abide’ in the Son and the Father?
  • 1 Peter 3.15-16a tells us to have ready our defence. How well are you able to argue the case for the Christian faith when presented with an alternative?  
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