This coming Sunday we are going to start a sermon series in the Apostle John’s first letter. We will be teaching this when we are not in Romans.
There are many good reasons to read and study this letter, not least because John ranks only second to the Apostle Paul in the number of letters he wrote to the church. In fact, his Gospel and his the book of Revelation take up more lines than any of Paul’s letters. What we are going to discover as we study through this book is that “the Thing Called Love” is actually a person called Jesus. Additionally, we will discover that the only way we can bring genuine and lasting love to those around us is to ourselves be completely satisfied in His love for us.
Here are some other things we’ll point out along the way:
- John uncovers the divinity and humanity of Christ in a way that Paul does not. And, John makes doctrine put on shoes and walk right in front of you. If I can use an analogy from a recent sermon in Romans …. John pleads with us to “come down the mountain and face the mess”. As a result, John writes with immense clarity about the nature of Jesus – who is He in both his divinity and humanity. This is the most exciting thing – we’re going to discover Jesus!
- John helps us to face the mess at the bottom of the mountain. At one point (1 John 2:15) John writes about what we are not to love … “Do not love the world or the things in the world.” In other words, if you love the world and the things that are world, you can’t love Jesus because He is not of this world. The only way to raise the world out of the mess is to 1) love Jesus b) allow His love to flow through you.
- John helps us see that doctrine is equally as important as holiness and love in the Christian life. we would do well to hear John’s words. He doesn’t separate docrine and “doing”. It matters what you believe about Jesus but John doesn’t hold back to show that holiness and love are indispensable. An important point is that the gospel shows us that God has cleaned our records in heaven by the blood of Christ, AND he has also cleaned our hearts on earth by the power of his Spirit. It’s vital that these two truths are held in tandem.