Friday, 20 December 2019
Question of the day: What is the "message" John is writing to us?
Answer: 1 John 1:5a "Now this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you ..." Are you ready? Here it comes ... 1 John 1:6 "If we say we have fellowship with Him and keep walking in the darkness, we are lying and do not practice the truth."
Why would John write this if we did not need this warning? Is there anything wasted in the Bible? Anything unnecessary? We leave sin behind when we love God more than we love our sin. Who can look upon Yeshua, suffering on the cross and say to himself/herself, "Not impressed."
Of course we are impressed by God's love for us. (Don't make me quote John 3:16. You do it from memory, or look it up.) Yeshua's sacrificial death was intended to shock us out of our sinful ways and into the righteousness of God.
Revelation 18:4 "Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, Come out of her, my people, lest you participate in her sins and receive her plagues!"
Who is "she", whom we are called out of? In Revelation 18:2 she is called "Babylon the great." We are a people who have been called out of darkness and into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).
Who is she? In Revelation 17:5 she is called the "mother of all harlots." A harlot works for love and gets paid to love. The harlot is the counterfeit to the bride who is loved by grace.
I've tried works and I've tried grace. My testimony is that grace is better. However (pay attention here) ... let's go back to where we started ... 1 John 1:6 (again) "If we say we have fellowship with Him and keep walking in the darkness, we are lying and do not practice the truth."
If you don't believe me or the Bible, please believe Clarence "Sonny" Henry who wrote the song Evil Ways made famous by Carlos Santana at Woodstock (1969), "You've got to change your evil ways ... baby."
That notwithstanding, go ahead and believe the Bible. Galatians 6:7-9 "Do not be deceived - God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows, that he also shall reap. For the one who sows in the flesh will reap corruption from the flesh. But the one who sows in the Ruach will reap from the Ruach eternal life. So let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we don’t give up."
Although Churchill was addressing the challenges of fighting World War II, these words apply to us, who are called to fight the good fight of faith. (1 Timothy 6:12) "Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."
Rabbi Michael Weiner,