This Sunday at Bristol . . . our study of 1 John and the current series, “A Word from an Old Friend,” continues as we begin chapter five.
It is widely accepted that the apostle John is writing this letter to Christians living in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) who were experiencing division within the church probably due to the instruction of false teachers about who Jesus was.
Up to 1 John 5 the emphasis has been to “love one another,” but now that changes as he writes about a believer’s love for the Father.
One mark of maturity is obedience, and not just any kind of obedience, but joyful obedience (1 John 5:1-5). Have you ever considered that everything in creation obeys the Lord, except man? Why is that? God created us uniquely by giving us a free will. With that free we make choices - right choices and wrong choices. John was wanting his readers to choose right, to choose good, to choose wisely. If the Lord is a priority, then the choices made will be pleasing to Him and the result will be pleasant for the believer.
D. L. Moody often said, “Every Bible should be bound in shoe leather.” What did he mean? We show our love, not by empty words that are spoken, but by an anxious willingness to do what the Father says. That is the message John is trying to get across to these first century Christians. The best way to express our free will is to obey the Lord.
This Sunday we will begin our journey into the final chapter of 1 John. I hope to see you then. The Lord has some truth to teach us.
Remember, you are deeply loved!