As John closes out his first letter, he wants to drive home just a few things. First, loving connection to Jesus Christ is the foundation that everything else rests on. Second, overflowing from that relationship, we are called to be a blessing to the world in a way that overcomes the challenges, struggles and burdens that life sends our way.
1 Corinthians 13 is often quoted at weddings and begins by simply saying love is….The second part of 1 John 4 has as much or more to say about what God means when we hear God is love, and that we are to love one another.
Chapter 4 of 1 John begins by looking at how to discern different perspectives and opinions. How do you discern various people and teachings based on scripture and based on who God is.
As we continue to look at what life together as Christians looks like, we lean into the posture of our hearts. What we say, how we say it, and what is behind our actions can be just as important as what we say and do. Jesus describes it by saying the words of our mouth is the overflow of our hearts. What is overflowing from your heart?
Jesus says that all who believe in Him are a new creation. 1 John 3 wades into what new that Jesus is talking about in our lives. 1 John invites us into a life long process of growing in our faith and in the likeness of our lives to Christ.
Somedays life is just hard. The believers hearing 1 John were given a reminder that their faith in Jesus is meant to be a foundation that they can lean on, trust in, and stand on no matter what life sends their way. That learning about Jesus and growing in their faith is wonderful and central, but not to fall into a trap of thinking that their faith rests in their head, but instead rests in the Holy Spirit’s work in their lives.
A central theme of 1 John is that faith and belief in Jesus must translate into actions, words, and more. It asks this question, “What is the life that Jesus would live if Jesus was living my life?”
1 John begins with the core focus that the more we know Jesus, the more we will reflect his grace and forgiveness to others. Our faith in Jesus will naturally draw us to become aware of our own flaws and his holiness and perfection. Considering God’s perfection, and our lack thereof, we move to a place of humility, grace, and love for others. The people of God should be known by humility, love, and grace.