1 John 1
John begins with a statement concerning his testimony: he has seen the Word of life with his own eyes and he has heard Jesus’ words personally. This is important to the readers of the letter who are probably already among those who never had that opportunity. God came down to earth in the form of His son, Jesus Christ; it is a powerful thing that John is testifying to here. I like the way John says that he writes this to ‘make his joy complete’. It is as if he can’t help sharing what he knows about Jesus, and he delights in the knowledge that he can bless their lives too. He urges us to walk in the light as He is in the light. What is it about light here? To me it says something about living open lives, lives of which we are not ashamed, lives which reflect Jesus’ character. Also, in light all good things grow; in darkness that process stops. It reminds me of Blue Planet where it explains how all the life near the surface of the sea is there because of the sunlight. Further down other living things manage to scrape an existence by feeding second hand on what bits of plant matter fall down from the sunlit regions. I don’t want to be someone that is just barely managing to stay alive from little morsels of light; I want to bear fruit, lots of fruit. John ends this first chapter with one of the most succinct summaries of the gospel message: we only have to confess our sins to enter into God’s forgiveness. I want to try to be someone that is very willing to admit when I have done wrong; sometimes this can be hard, but God needs this first step from us to begin to put things right.
1 John 3
John begins with a statement I wholeheartedly agree with – expressing how greatly God must love us to call us His children. He seems overwhelmed – like me – to receive something so undeserved. John then goes further and says that when we see Jesus face to face we will be like Him. All this time we are striving to become more like Jesus in our lives but its hard graft; we’re constantly fighting against our sinful nature and the corruption of the world we live in. But John seems to be speaking here of a moment of transformation - when our lives are renewed in a way we can’t imagine and all that is imperfect is gone. In the meantime, John emphasizes that we – as children of God – shouldn’t be...