Israel 2016

Israel 2016
Roman architectural influence in Bet Sean, Israel

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Dec 25, 1 Jn 1-5.

Merry Christmas! Thanks for reading along this year. We'll start a new plan on Jan 1!

Today's readings are 1 Jn 1-5. Tomorrow's are 2 Jn and 3 Jn.

Written sometime in the late 1st century, 1 John addresses--you guessed it--false teaching in the church. His first epistle is written to the church in Asia Minor (Turkey). This is made perfectly clear in 1 Jn 2:1-7 where John actually delineates his intended audience. This is important as some folks like to teach that 1 John is written to non-believers.

Significantly, these final epistles in the New Testament are intended to be a more highly developed teaching than those that came earlier. As we near the Book of Revelation and the final words of the canon, all the teaching of Christ and the Apostles comes to bear on the new church, giving it instructions of how to live the transformed life and portray the gospel in everything it does. The lessons in these later letters are rich in practical application and examples of holy living. 

John presents 3 guidelines for testing the authenticity of teachers and those who profess to be Christians. (1) Righteousness should be presented as correct Christian behavior. (2) Love should be presented as the correct Christian attitude. (3) A sound doctrinal view of Christ is the correct teaching of the gospel. These three elements are the evidence of Christ in the life of a believer.

While John encourages righteous and sinless living, he does not set them up as absolutes. In other words, John is not saying that anyone who sins is not saved. That would not be consistent with the rest of Scripture. He does, however, condemn those who willfully and unrepentantly continue to sin with no regard for the holiness God is perfecting in His children.

The message John is sending is for us to be suspect of anyone or any teaching that takes sin casually and encourages less-than-godly behavior. We are called to live in a manner that puts Christ on display and demonstrates that His children are set apart for holiness. 

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