Saturday 17 August 2013

Bible Book:
1 John

1 John 1:5-9 Saturday 17 August 2013


Unlike the other letters in the Bible 1 John does not start withthe standard greeting or finish with a personal conclusion. It issimple and straightforward in style and more like a sermon. It istraditionally thought to have been written by John, the disciple,who also wrote John's Gospel. The identity of the audience isn'tgiven to us, but it seems that the author has a loving relationshipwith them as they are called "my dear children" and "friends".

John is worried that the people are becoming confused by themixed messages they are hearing about Jesus. People known asGnostics rejected that God was incarnate - made fully man - inJesus. In this letter John disputes the idea that Jesus did notcome to earth as a real human person but rather as a spirit. TheGnostics also thought that the physical life was totally separatefrom the spiritual nature, so they could do whatever they wantedwith their bodies.

At the beginning of chapter one John validates his views byexplaining that he has witnessed the truth himself - he has seenit, heard it and touched it, and can "testify to it" (v. 2). In thetoday's passage John says "this is the message we have heard from[Christ]". His direct contact with Jesus as one of the disciples issignificant as his friends are being told that Jesus did not existas a physical person.

Verses 5-8 are where John begins to address the connectionbetween believing in God and behaviour.

Gnostics thought that God was transcendent, so believing in Godwould make no innate difference to their lifestyle. They thoughtthat wrongdoing was a consequence of ignorance, and so those whodid wrong were not really responsible. But John says that as God islight, being with him means being in the light. Choosing to 'livein the light' or 'live in darkness' is, at the same time, choosingwhether to have fellowship with God or not.

To Ponder

  • John appears to be motivated by a genuine love for the intendedaudience. Is this an acceptable reason to point out sin in someoneelse? Why or why not?
  • Are people always responsible for their actions? Why or whynot?
  • To what extent does a relationship with God have an inevitableinfluence on a person's actions, and to what extend is it down tochoice?
  • What difference has a relationship with God made to the way youlive your life and the choices you make?
  • Do you believe that if a person is living in darkness theycannot have fellowship with God? Why or why not?
Previous Page Friday 16 August 2013
Next Page Sunday 04 August 2013