2011-11-20 - 1 John
The Epistles of John ~ Part 4 ~ Purpose
As we have already seen, the intent of this letter was to expose the false teachings that were arising in deviant groups. John takes the position that one demonstrates the fallacy of the new teachings by holding them up to the light of Spirit-revealed truth.
John is not one to mince words. He identifies the false teachers as a serious danger to the Christian community. If they were left unchallenged, they would bring destruction to the believing body, and implicitly, to the very truth of the Gospel. The church would do well to stand as unflinchingly for the truth as John did. Too often there is more concern with loving at all costs, than a willingness to pay the cost of standing for Truth. Keep in mind, though, that truth must be given in love, desiring to save the unbeliever and disciple the believer.
John will not allow the truth, that Jesus is the Christ, to be compromised. It is this truth that is lost in the cults, and at times even by those who claim historic Christian roots. It is for this reason that the epistles of John are tested weapons in the fight against heresy and cultic teachings.
"We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is trueeven in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life" (1 John 5:20).
It is for this reason that these letters, along with the Gospel of John, are some of the clearest teachings to be used against false doctrines within Christendom and the larger world of the cults - which claim the name, but deny the deity of Christ.
The message of this first epistle is one of the hope of our salvation. John presents God as light, righteousness and love, the One who exposes sin and provides the way of salvation. This letter should bring comfort to us in the midst of trials, for it will remind us just how much we are loved, and how wonderful our Lord truly is.
To be continued.