Loving Lord, I glorify Your name with all Your people. You are a creating, redeeming, and sustaining God.
Read 1 John 1:1-10
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Imagine that someone stops you on the street today and asks, “What’s being a Christian all about?” Jot down your reply!
John has the gift of saying something simply and clearly, yet truly. In a most remarkable opening passage, he gives us the five absolute essentials of Christian life and faith. Whatever you believe, believe this!
First, Incarnation (1,2). We don’t vaguely talk about “God.” We talk about God in the flesh. As John puts it so vividly: “That which was from the beginning … which we have looked at and our hands have touched ….” He remembers touching Jesus, helping him into the boat on Galilee, and touching his resurrected body. Now he knows that he is “the Word of life” in person. Second, Fellowship (3). The whole point about “the Word of life” that is Jesus, is the call into intimate relationship with him, and with God, and with his human children. Third, Joy (4). That kind of relationship brings true joy–its deepest and clearest hallmark. Fourth, Knowing that God is Light (5,6). The unapproachable holiness and otherness of God is fundamental to the Christian view of him. Compared to the Light that he is, we are darkness. This could be terrifying. That’s why it is so vital that points 1, 2 and 3 come first! Fifth, Forgiveness (7-10). There are two aspects to this forgiveness: first, we know exactly who we are: sinful, dark and in need of cleansing. No self-deception is allowed. Second, through “the blood of Jesus, his Son,” we receive the forgiveness that enables us to “walk in the light, as he is in the light” (7).
Were these your major points in the exercise I suggested at the start? These five points have a wonderful fullness. John highlights the last two as the essential “message we have heard from him and declare to you” (5), so if five were too many, then just those two will do!
Turn these five points into prayers of thankfulness, and ask God to deeply internalize them in you.
Lord, I don’t just want to know about You, instead of knowing You. Give me a closer walk with You, so that others may know that I‘ve been with You.
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