2013-01-13 - Introduction to 1 John 5
The Epistles of John ~ Part 87 ~ 1 John 5
We have been talking a lot about the importance of love. And in some environments, the focus on love has become so central, that the importance of truth is lost. This is why in some churches, essentially anything goes. These people claim that because God is loving, therefore all "love" comes from Him. Consequently, how can anything defined as love be sin or unacceptable? So for these individuals, belief is defined by a meaningless concept of love.
At the other end of the spectrum, belief is defined by works. Instead of an "anything goes" attitude, we get an almost "nothing goes" approach. Law, rules, and commands define the chance to be saved, and anything short of "perfection" means failure and lack of salvation. Obviously neither approach has anything to do with a biblical view of God's plan for restoring a fallen humanity.
The Object of Belief
Verses 1-2: Generally we recognize that because we are children of God, we can expect the same rejection, from the world that rejected Christ. In fact, Jesus stated:
"Remember the words I spoke to you: `No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also" (John 15:20).
A fact we often seem to miss, though, is the counterpoint to the world's rejection. This is the principle that those who love God love His children. And conversely, those who love His children, love God. The two concepts are inseparable. Christ's commands to believers are to love God and love others. If we say we love God, then we must love one another. And if we love one another, then we must be loving God.
As we've pointed out on previous occasions, we are not talking about emotional feelings towards God and people. These require nothing. We are talking about agapé. Godly love requires action towards God and others. Our love must reflect obedience in action.
Notice that belief in Christ, and all that belief implies, means the believer is a child of God. The next fact is that a child of God loves the Father. This is the natural response of a child to the Father's love. God first loved us; therefore as His children we love Him.
To be continued.