1 John_3

Scripture 

1 John 3:23-24 

This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.  The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

 

Observation-What does it say?   

John, the Apostle and friend of Jesus, is the author of this short letter.  He had two purposes in mind to address with the readers: to expose false teachers and to give believers assurance in their salvation.  The church he wrote this letter to was experiencing a form of gnosticism, which is the blending of other beliefs or religions with the Gospel.  We know from other parts of scripture, the devil lies to us and wants to steal our life (John 10:10).  Gnosticism is one of his tricks to steal the truth of the Gospel.  In chapter three, John points to the evidence of our faith and how our actions show our alignment with God or the devil.  The love of others is proof of our devotion to and love of God.  But, the practice of sin and lawlessness is evidence of abiding in the devil.

 

Understanding-What does it mean? 

I’ve never been a big fan of magic shows, mostly because I can’t figure out how they perform the tricks.  The slight of hand, or distraction they use, makes the audience look one way, while they are moving something out of view.  But, it’s all happening right in front of you.  I realize that is part of the show, and they use deception to make the trick work.  To make it worse, magicians aren’t fond of telling you their secrets.  They lie to you and somehow make you enjoy it at the same time.  But as they say, “the devil is in the details.”

The devil will work to deceive us in any way he can, including telling us a lie that sounds right.  He tells us lies like “love is love,” or “addiction is a disease,” making the decisions of people a product of “how they were made.”  But God gave us clear standards on our behavior (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).  Along with these standards, God shows us that he is the one who saves us from our sins and makes us whole with him (1 Corinthians 10:13-22).  Which is why the way we treat others, with love and compassion, is so important and one of the best ways to minister to others.  Additionally, the actions of love and caring help us to focus our intentions on serving Him and keep us away from sin.  


Life Application 

Jesus, help me to turn away from sin.  Give me a discerning heart to know good from evil.  Help me to keep my words full of grace and truth, and my actions prompted out of love for you in a way that professes your name.        
 
-Tyler Galloway