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God is Love - Commentary on 1 John

"God is Love" - Commentary on 1 John

Abiding Bible Companion - Vol. 2 - eBook

Every Epistle, every book in Scripture, teaches us much about God and our response to God. First John was written around 100 A.D. and its readers are second or third generation Christians. They did not know Jesus in the flesh and came to Christianity through the Apostle John. There is no mention of outside pagan practices threatening these Christians

 

Instead, there is decay from within the Christian community. Some believers have broken with the Apostolic traditions handed down from Jesus through the Apostle John. They have rejected Christian values and doctrines and left the community to found their own branch of "Christianity". Instead of hostility coming from outside, it has its origin within the community.

 

John is writing to his fellow Christians to tell them to stand fast in their faith. They are not to follow those who have chosen to fall away. They are to make a choice for Jesus, for love.

 

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John's Message

 

John's primary message is, God is love. We know this through our intellects and our bodies. Christianity is rooted in the personal experience of the disciples and apostles who came to love Jesus because He first loved them. We are not the source of love or doctrine, God is. God loved us enough to send Jesus fully human, fully divine, who chose to live and die, to show us how to live and die.

 

The union of love between God the Father and Jesus is the source of our human love for others. When our love proves weak or insufficient, God's love will support, expand and complete our weak human love. The apostles are God's vehicles for love and faith.

 

John also teaches in this Epistle that Apostolic tradition keeps us on track and prevents us from falling into heresy and errors. The Apostles received from Jesus His message and His life. The apostles pass this message on to all others. If people are not in touch with the apostles, they are not in touch with Jesus or God.

 

First John gives us a series of choices:

  1. Are we going to follow Jesus or antichrists (misled Christians who reject part of Jesus teaching?).
  2. Are we going to love others and keep the commandments or are we going to live in superiority of others and break the commandments?
  3. Are we going to allow God to reveal divine love to our intellects and to all our senses? Or, are we head Christians only (our faith is only an intellectual assent?)
  4. Are we totally open to God's love entering our bodies, intellects, senses and wills?
  5. Are we going to let the light of God fill and heal us?
  6. Are we going to accept Gods truth or invent our own "truths"?
  7. Do we pick and choose what to obey?

 

These were the choices facing John's divided and weakened community. They are also the choices that face us.

A Prayer from the book

Jesus, You lived and died to show us Your love and Your truth. Help us _to make life-giving choices. Help us to reject heresies and errors that are so attractive, yet, which lead us into darkness and death. Give us Your
love, Jesus. Let it fill our body, soul, intellect and will. Lead us in the way of Your light and dispel the darkness around our loved ones and us. Amen.