Tuesday 17 January 2017

Bible Book:
1 John

“This is the commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another.” (v. 23)

1 John 3:7-24 Tuesday 17 January 2017

Psalm: Psalm 87


Throughout this letter the writer is arguing against those whoclaim that if we are in a right relationship with God ("born ofGod" (v. 9)) behaviour does not matter. On the contrary, how welive, especially how we treat those in need around us (verse 17),is the test of whether we are truly right with God. This leads tosome extreme statements that we may find disturbing, for example,"those who have been born of God do not sin" (v. 9). It is surelycontradicted by the call to love in verse 18. But the writer is notthinking of momentary lapses that we are sorry for - this has beendealt with in the opening chapter (1 John1:8-10) - but of the attitude of mind that considers behaviourdoes not matter and persists in wrongdoing. Characteristicallythroughout the letter points are made in sharp, challengingsentences.

No writing in the New Testament lays greater emphasis on love asthe characteristic of Christian behaviour. Here the point isillustrated by the story of Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:1-16). We are reminded, by contrast,that the supreme example of love for others is to be seen in Jesus'self-giving for the world on the cross (verse 16).

To Ponder

  • What, in practical terms, will verse 18 mean for youtoday?
  • Is the devil for you a real being or a metaphorical way ofspeaking about the power of evil? What difference does your answermake?
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