Wednesday 11 January 2017

Bible Book:
1 John

1 John 2:1-11 Wednesday 11 January 2017

Psalm: Psalm 9:1-10


The 'elder' writes as a father in God to his people, and thusaddresses them affectionately as his "little children" (v. 1). Hehas recognised the reality of life - even believers sin and need toconfess. Now he offers his readers hope - Jesus is their heavenlyadvocate (verse 1). The word comes from the law courts, in which anadvocate is a defence counsel. In simple terms, Jesus is seen asacting on our behalf, pleading our cause before God, and thisongoing intercession follows on from his death on the cross.Without expanding into a discussion of the various theories ofatonement, it is safe to say that Jesus Christ is the means bywhich our sins can be forgiven. And this is not just limited to theenlightened ones (the Gnostics) nor just to Christian believers,but is for the whole world.

The letter goes on to talk about integrity in the Christianlife, and the relationship between faith and behaviour. This isprobably another reference to those who had caused division in thechurch, and who saw that belief was more important than lifestyle.The letter writer is harsh towards such people, seeing them asliars. They claim to know God, yet they are not obedient to God'sword of life.

Verse 7 harks back to the beginning of the letter (1 John1:1), as it refers to the original gospel teaching that thereaders have received. This is what they are to live by, ratherthan the new divisive teaching they have heard. The "newcommandment" (v. 8) is a reference to John13:34 where Jesus says to his disciples "I give you a newcommandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you,so you also should love one another". The writer then returns tothe theme of darkness and light which he began to explore earlier(1John 1:6-7), and in verse 10 applies the new commandment ofJesus, seeing that the love which it expresses is the way of lightand stability.

To Ponder

  • How can you get the balance right between belief andlifestyle?
  • What are some ways in which Christians can shine as God'slights in the world? 
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