John’s letter heavily emphasizes assurance of salvation. Writing to those who have heard the gospel of Jesus Christ and been faithful to it he has been encouraging the worried. Coupled to his encouragements, though, have been exhortations unto godly living. While he is patting them on the back, he is not changing the message or giving any excuses for bad behavior.
In last week’s lesson, we spoke of a necessary command: the love command. John emphasized that this was not a new command but an old one and then semi-cryptically said it was not an old one but a new one. Newness was stressed to emphasize that the light of God’s love was part of forever, the happily-ever-after. God’s way of love is already shining (1 John 2:8) in the church. That forever newness is an injection of hope for the present. The oldness was stressed to distinguish John’s teachings from the false teachers who had gone out from the church. [Read more…]