Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lessons on Animosity and Responsibility from 1 John 3

This morning I was reading the first few chapters of 1 John and found a few points in chapter 3 particularly striking, especially as we consider the work of Christ on the cross this week.

The world is often very puzzled - sometimes angered - by the behavior and lifestyle of Christians. The first verse of 1 John 3 explains why:
The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (vs 1b)
Just as the Jews did not know Christ (in the sense that they did not acknowledge Him as the Son of God), and put him to death, so we should expect to receive the same kind of animosity from the unbelieving world.
Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. (1 John 3:13)
We are reminded, however, that those called to be children of God must act like it. Indeed, this is the mark of true belief, that we seek to follow in the footsteps of Christ and discontinue our habitual sinning, and love our brother.
No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:9-10)
This, then, is our responsibility, to believe in Christ, love and lay down our lives for one another, and keep God's commandments.
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. (1 John 3:16)
And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us. (1 John 3:23-24)

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