The First of Three Letters from John (Part 2)
December 22 - Nº 356 1 John 2:18 – 5:21
John was the overseer and itinerant pastor for several churches in a province called Asia. Unfortunately, some of the people in these churches were being influenced by false teachers who said that Jesus was not really the Son of God. They taught that he was merely a gifted man who had been granted special powers at certain times. In a series of letters, John explained that the only way to have fellowship with God was to believe that Jesus was His Son. As he continued his first letter to the churches he ministered in, he warned his “dear children” in the faith to ignore the lies of the false teachers and pay attention to the Holy Spirit. John referred to the Holy Spirit as “the anointing” that Jesus had given them. “The anointing” lived inside them and was there to guide them. If they listened to Him, He would help them understand what was true. John also reminded his readers of the amazing amount of love that God had showered on them by allowing them to become His children! It was far more than they could imagine. With the help of the Holy Spirit and the knowledge of God’s amazing love for them, John insisted that believers’ lives should look different from others. First, believers should be recognized by their obedience to God. John pointed out that disobedience to God’s laws was sin—and the reason Jesus had died on the cross was to take away their sins! “Anyone who is a true child of God will understand and honor this tremendous act of love by being obedient,” John insisted. John also pointed out that believers should be recognized by the way they love each other. “God commanded us not only to believe that Jesus is His Son, but to love one another!” he wrote. “He loved us so much that He sent His son to die for us. If God loves us that much, shouldn’t we love each other?” He explained that there is no room for jealousy or anger in the life of a believer. “Since Jesus Christ laid down his life for us, shouldn’t we be willing to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters?” he asked. “And if they have physical needs, shouldn’t we be willing to take care of them? Love must involve more than kind words,” he insisted. “It has to include honest actions.” John also warned his readers to test everything they were being taught. If the teaching acknowledged that Jesus was God’s son who had come to earth as a human, it was true—it came from the Holy Spirit. If not, it came from false teachers. Then John gave them the greatest promise of all: If they truly believed that Jesus was God’s son and that he died on the cross for their sins, they had already been given eternal life! They would spend eternity with their heavenly Father who adored them. They could be confident of this! With this confidence, they could come to God and ask for anything. As long as their desire was to please Him, He would always hear and answer! John concluded his letter by begging them not to let anything come between them and their heavenly Father.
God is in love with you—in fact, He is crazy about you! He loved you in the past when He sent Jesus to die for you. He loves you right now and longs to spend time with you. His love extends into the future where He has prepared a place for you to live with Him FOREVER! Wow!! Are you enjoying God’s forever love right now?