Dispatch One Hundred Twenty-Eight

Posted: April 13, 2015 in Thirty-Second Bundle
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I JOHN 1:1-2:2

We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us— we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that ourjoy may be complete.

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true;but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

Christian community reaches back for its anchor in the life and ministry of Jesus. The longer history of covenant that lay behind Jesus had impressed upon him the importance of fidelity in the formation and longevity of healthy relationships. It was fidelity, or covenant faithfulness, that held God and the desert nation of Israel in a bond of partnership based on Law. And there were times, as mentioned in the First Testament writings, when even God had been prevented by the constraint of covenant obligation from acting impulsively against the people. On one occasion Moses finally succeeded in getting God to repent from His plan to destroy the sinful nation by reminding Him that no one would respect a deity with a reputation for unfaithfulness.

The writer of this epistle reminds his audience that “doing what is true” is essential to the business of being a Christian who lives in the light. It is not enough to merely profess with the lips that you believe this or belong to that; the proof is in your commitments. When the impulse for self-protection or self-promotion begins to tempt your focus away from the bonds of relationship, covenant fidelity is to act instead for the health and future of your union with others and with God.


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