Reflections on May’s readings (3)

I’m reading through the Bible in a year, and every month I (try to) post about what I’ve read. Continued from yesterday, and the day before.

1 John: John states that the purpose of his letter is to assure his readers of their salvation (5:13). The distinctives of the child of God (1 John 3:1) that he gives can be summarised in these categories:

  • Right belief (that Jesus is truly the Christ and that He came in the flesh)
  • Obedience to God’s commands
  • Love for fellow Christians

More in detail, here are the “we know” statements found in this letter:

  • We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands (2:3)
  • This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did (2:5-6)
  • This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother. (3:10)
  • We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. (3:14)
  • This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. (3:19-20)
  • And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us. (3:24)
  • We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. (4:13)
  • This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. (5:2)

In the end, our assurance of salvation should rest on the fact that “our sins have been forgiven on account of his name” (2:12). Only Christ can save, and only He can send His Spirit to testify with our spirit that we are children of God (Romans 8:16).

2 John: This short letter was written to warn against fellowship with false teachers (verses 10-11).  A possible outline:

•verses 1-3 Opening greetings
•verses 4-6 Commendation for walking in truth and love
•verses 7-11 Warning against false teachers
•verses 12-13 Closing greetings

3 John: This equally short letter had the aim of encouraging fellowship amongst Christian brothers and sisters. A possible outline:

•verses 1-2 Opening greetings
•verses 3-8 Commendation of Gaius for walking in truth and love, for his faithfulness and hospitality
•verses 9-11 Condemnation of Diotrephes for his bad attitude and his big ego
•verse 12 Commendation of Demetrius
•verses 13-14 Closing greetings

Diotrephes finds himself together with Demas, Hymenaeus, Alexander, Philetus and others whose names ended up in the Bible for the wrong reasons…

Jude: He was eager to write about the “salvation we share” but chose to urge his readers “to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (verse 3). The bulk of his letter is taken up with the condemnation of godless and immoral men who were already among his readership (verse4, verse 12). Jude describes these men in scathing terms in verses 5-16. He goes on to give the best antidote to false teaching: growth in maturity (verses 17-23). He  finishes off with a beautiful doxology made all the more meaningful by the preceding verses.

Sources: Crossway Community Church (1 John), FBC Durham (1, 2, 3 John; Jude), D.A. Carson (1 John), D.A Carson & Douglas J. Moo: An Introduction to the New Testament (1, 2, 3 John; Jude)

One thought on “Reflections on May’s readings (3)

  1. I’m so glad I found your blog.

    You’re exactly who we need to help get the word out about two amazing women who are raising money for orphans by running 50 miles in 50 states – the Running Hope Through America (http://www.runhope.com/) project.

    I’m friends with Lisa Smith Batchen (http://tri.nity.me/cGvA1E), the ultra-marathon runner and Sister Mary Beth Lloyd, the Catholic nun who are at the core of Running Hope Through America effort. CNN did a story on them that you can watch here (http://tri.nity.me/9j7ZFs).

    Lisa has already run two thirds of her 2500-mile journey across the US, raising money for the Orphan Foundation of America, AIDS Orphans Rising and Caring House Project. As a mother of five children I feel like I’m running and running to get it all done, but she is literally running and running! 50 miles in every state, no matter the conditions, and she’s doing it all for the children. The woman is an angel on earth.
    I’ve created the Trinity Cross (http://tri.nity.me/bzBTvO) as a result of my faith in miracles and my devotion to family and God.

    Lisa is wearing a Trinity Cross on her run. In an effort to support Lisa and her team, we are asking people to make an $80 donation via this page (http://tri.nity.me/d79gqF). Anyone who donates $80 or more will receive a Trinity Cross as a memento of Lisa’s effort to bring Hope to orphans.

    When you know that a mere six cents a day can feed a hungry child, any amount will make a difference. Imagine –with an $80 donation more than 1300 children could be fed.

    Please email me and let me know how you can help spread the word. We aren’t just looking for donations but partners in our mission to end suffering for these poor orphans displaced by AIDS. I know, together, we can make a difference in the lives of so many children.

    I know, together, we can make a difference in the lives of so many.

    As Always,
    Coleen
    Trinity Cross Collection (http://tri.nity.me/bzBTvO)

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