I know it’s not Christmas…but that scene is just delightful to me! It reminds me of what we’re going to be studying this Sunday, as we read 1 John 2:3-11.
John is going to sniff at the way some people who claim to be Christians live and say “You sit on a throne of lies…you smell like beef and cheese, you don’t smell like Jesus!”
Well…he doesn’t say that exactly – but its close. The way Venus is close to Earth kind of close.
John is providing a means of evaluating the path our life is taking. He does so by posing three false ideas and refuting them.
First, he says if we know him (God), we will keep his commands. What do you think it means to KNOW God? What commands do you think he’s talking about? Does John 13:34-35 provide any insight on what he may have in view?
This is the big distinction between keeping commands in order to be saved, and keeping commands because we are saved. John doesn’t say “in order to know him you must…”, but rather, “IF you know him, you will…”. John is providing an evaluation for our lives – if what we say or claim to be has no apparent outworking in our living, there may be a reason to examine if we’ve really ever come into relationship with God.
He can’t be talking about sinless perfection or even doing this well…as we learned from our study last week. I believe he’s talking about an overall direction in life. When we make choices and decisions in life, does God play any part in it at all? If not…John is warning that our pants may be on fire. (get it? Liar, liar, pants….oh never mind)
Then John talks about a commandment that isn’t new, except that it’s new. That could be confusing, but he is most likely referring to how Christ didn’t introduce some new commandment out of thin air, but that the fullness of all of God’s commands are realized in him, and newly expressed in his command that we cited above (John 13).
It all boils down to love. Love one another – we can’t claim to be enlightened by Christ and continue to hate our fellow human being. The two are incompatible. Why do you think that is? How can love be the total fulfillment of God’s commands?
Hope to see you this Sunday!