Saturday, January 17, 2015

Walking in the Light {1 John 1-2}

 As a Christian, I'm all too familiar with Paul's lament in Romans 7:15 & 18 "For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate... for I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out."

 I know and live the struggle, and I know that you do to. We know the right thing to do, and we know the wrong thing that we shouldn't do, so why do we so often fall into sin, even when we genuinely desire to do right?
 Although sermons, discipline, and will-power are all very helpful and necessary, I would point to the scriptures to a better way. I call it "Sin Prevention," because that is exactly what it is.

 1 John, chapter 2 starts out with John saying that he is "writing these things so that you may not sin." Since a solution has been offered, I'd like to know what it is! So I looked back at 1 John chapter 1 to see what he expects "little children" able to understand, so that they may not sin.

 In my ESV, 1 John 1 is divided into verses 1-4 , and 5-10. Verses 1-4 are titled "The Word of Life," validating Jesus' Godhood, and God's fellowship with us in the Light (righteousness, i.e. not sinning), which flows right into verses 5-10, entitled "Walking in the Light."

 Truth: Knowing who God is and our position in Him is a prerequisite for walking in the light.  Fellowship leads to Lifestyle.

 Our fellowship, or walk, with God trumps every good intention and forced attempt.
 It is true that families who spend quality time together on a regular basis are much less likely to drift apart, and couples who pool their hearts and desires and energies are safe-guarding against an affair. And sitting at the feet of the Teacher will keep us out of the devil's playground.

 This, my fellow-believers, is Sin Prevention.

 Verses 12-13 in chapter 2 sheds more light on the process when you look at the order of the three statements in them. He writes to them 1. because their "sins are forgiven," 2. because they "know (abide in) God," and 3. they have "overcome the evil one."
 These are the steps one must take to overcome sin.

 What about when we do sin?

 For a passage on Light, John sure has a lot to say about Sin. That's because, in order to experienced freedom from sin in Jesus Christ, it is absolutely necessary to admit in full to the sin, and then we leave the rest to a faithful and just God, who forgives (1 John 1:9).

"But I say, walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh" - Galatians 5:16 (see also, John 15:5)

 Feeling stressed or tempted? Abide in Him and walk in the Light. Feeling blessed and happy? Abide in Him and walk in the Light.

{I went over these 2 chapters very quickly, just touching on one of the themes. I recommend reading the whole book of 1 John for yourself. It's only a couple chapters, and daily Bible study is part of your abiding process.}

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