As we begin our study of 1 John, the statement on the cover of our Explore the Bible study guide from LifeWay stood out as the best possible introduction for this series.
YOUR LIFE REFLECTS YOUR BELIEF.
Our world is full of opinions about spirituality and morality. People mix and match ideas to create a customized worldview that’s most comfortable and pleasing to them—something they feel works for them.
But this is nothing new. And it’s never truly worked.
The Book of 1 John provides simple yet profound teaching on what it means to know God and to live in relationship with Him. Christians are challenged to hold tightly to the truth and live in a way that reflects the love of Jesus.
Your beliefs matter. Your actions matter.
Now and for eternity.
Look In the Mirror by John Peavy
As I researched who the Apostle John was, I found that he and I have more in common than just our names. Scholars seem to agree that John had a fiery temper. He was one of the “sons of thunder” and was rebuked by Christ for wanting to call down fire upon a Samaritan village when it did not make Jesus and the disciples welcome.
This seems to contradict the person we see in most of John’s writings where he extols the virtue of love for God and our fellow man. I have to believe that John came to point where he looked at himself in the reflection of God’s holiness and love as it was embodied by Jesus and came to the conclusion that he was not the man that God, nor John himself, wanted him to be.
As you read through 1 John 1:5-2:6, John lays out the case, as an eye witness, that he is delivering a message from God. He starts with a description of God’s character by saying that “God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in Him.”
Unless you have been to the desert, it may be hard to imagine being without shade during the middle of the day. The light is blindingly bright. Still, even in the desert, you can make out imperfections that create variations in the way things are illuminated. John tells us that God does not have any imperfections and that He never will. It is impossible for God to have anything to do with the dark because the dark is unable to remain in His presence.
John then goes on the explain that we must do more than give lip service to following God’s standard of righteousness. We must set an example for others in what we do and what we do needs to match what we say. Today we the term we use for someone who says one thing and does another is hypocrite. John calls them liars. He shows us that it really doesn’t matter if you are lying to yourself, to someone else, or even God. If you are lying, you are a liar.
Often, what we are lying about is the sin that we don’t want to admit exists or that we don’t want to give up. It seems appropriate that it is in John 8:32 that we find the scripture “Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” John admonishes us to confess our sins and repent because God is faithful to forgive. 1 John 2:1-2 tells us that John was writing to encourage us not to sin, but that if we did, we have Jesus as an advocate for us because He was the propitiation for our sins. In case you did not know what a propitiation is, it is the blood atonement that appeases God’s wrath.
But it is another matter, according to John, for us to continue in sin and proclaim that we are walking in the light of God. Doing this makes us and God out to be liars. Since we are laying claim to the body of Christ, we are supposed to be representing Him. God is light and there is no darkness in Him.
Each of us needs to seek to obey Him, admit when we fail, and walk just as He walked. You will not find that God ever said, “Do as I say do, not as I do” because He always did what He said. What you do is your reflection to the world of what you believe about God. Walk so that you reflect Him rightly.
Things to Know: