When I look at pictures of my wife as a young girl and pictures of my youngest daughter side by side, it’s difficult to distinguish who is who. Honestly, almost as soon as a baby gets born into a family we begin inspecting the child to see who she or he favors, the mom or dad. Genetic traits get passed along a tree of shared DNA and the connection to a particular family becomes conspicuous.
This Sunday we’ll be reading 1 John 3:1-10 (I highly recommend reading the Message version of this passage) where John will talk about how we’ve been brought into God’s family by his love for us – and how we will start bearing the family resemblance as a result of it.
John tells us that because we’re part of that family, there will be a future revelation of who we really are and it will be tied to who Jesus is. His point seems to be that the future of our redeemed selves is reaching back and manifesting in our present.
It’s important to keep in mind that what John is referring to in this passage, when he talks about sin and sinning, is a lifestyle of habitual, unrestrained determination to refuse God’s will in favor of self-will. He already made it clear back in chapter 1 vs 8 that we lie to ourselves and other if we claim we don’t sin. His point here is about the overall tone that our life takes.
When he says that a person who keeps on sinning as a lifestyle choice has not seen or known Christ, what do you think he means by that?
Being “of” the devil (enemy) means to be in cooperation with. Jesus came to take away sin and destroy the work of our enemy. What does it mean relationally to ally ourselves with someone at odds with someone else we care about?
The whole section revolves around relationship with God – he uses terms like children, know, abide, born of, love. How do you think keeping a relationship in view as opposed to obligation to a religious system can better guide us towards righteousness (living rightly)?
It will be a challenging study – hope to see you on Sunday.