Sunday, February 11, 2007

Our fallenness...

One way for me to blog more often is to copy what I am writing in class. I am taking a Johannine Literature class, and I love it! I have to write papers for mostly every class on my reading, and from time to time will post them on here. It has only been a week and a half since I started this class, but it has been such an encouragement to me already, and it is helping me to re-evaluate my own life; it is showing me where I am not putting God first in my life. What I wrote below is taken from 1 John 2:3-27.

"This is how we know we are in Him!"
1 John 2:3-27 is a passage which includes much encouragement to those who are believers of God, but is also one that includes a warning about those who are "antichrists." John drives the point home that we know God by keeping his commands. He elaborates on this much, and really wants the audience to understand this. Because we believe in God, we are changed; on the inside and outside. If there is no change in our lives, we were probably never believers in the first place. This is very important; we often fall and mess up in our lives, but when we do it over and over again, our motives are questioned. This is accented in verse 4, in which those who constantly are disobedient are called liars, and the truth is not in them. John is reminded the children of God of this, and how we are to constantly re-evaluate ourselves; making sure that we are living in God. When we keep God's commands, His love is completed in us!
One of the things that really struck me about this passage is how much our lives should be changed when God enters in. John is writing to a group of people who, as he encourages in verse 21, know the truth. He wanted them to be aware of themselves, but he was more concerned with them being aware of those who have gone out and denounced God. These are the people who walked in the same circles as them, but they did not really know God, the truth, or His fellowship. John was encouraging them for their persistence and standing firm in their faith, and he wanted them to continue with this. If they know the truth, why did he drive this point home so far? He did this because people are born with a sinful nature and can become tempted and fall very easily. He wanted those who knew the truth to continue living for God, and to be constantly aware of the change that has occurred in their lives. He did not want them to be content, but always seeking God and trying to become more like Him. Once we become content with ourselves, and think we are good enough, that is when it is easiest to fall.

"Any love that we have in God must find its origin in Him" -Daniel Akin

Question: Do we make the connection with the fact that loving God is not just a feeling or a spiritual thing; it is demonstrated by our actions? Have we forgotten that God demonstrated his love for us by sending His only son to become sin for us? I really think that is what John was trying to emphasize this as well. We want to know God, abide in God, and have fellowship with Him. We cannot even experience the fellowship and love of God without knowing Christ first! Believing in Christ is not just something we do on Sundays; it is loving God by keeping his commands daily. Love is an action word. Loving God is a testimony; if we are not following His commands daily, we are not showing Him our love, and thus, we were probably never believers in the first place.