Lesson 11: 1 John
After this week’s lesson, it would be more accurate to consider the reading a potent combination of issues surrounding belief and love. In the realms of spirituality and religion, entire systems are made up of belief in what the system is and the love a particular disciple has for the deity involved. Christianity is no different.
The issue of belief/faith/trust always is and will always be a foundation of Christianity – as it is put so succinctly in 1 John 5:20, “…For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.” Our love for this same God is based upon our belief in Him, our trust in Him and our faith in Him. In the same breath however, it is this very belief in what we cannot see, and this love for what we cannot touch that binds us together, a rather interesting dichotomy.
Many people would call this outrageous, and from an outsider’s perspective it may well seem like it. On the inside though, the perception is far different. For example, rather than give in to the many trials that assail us from all sides, we choose to count it as joy. What is it that makes us so giddy about our faith in God? On the other hand, what ISN’T there to be giddy about?
In 1 John, we find many different treasures; we find the apostle speaking on the light of truth and how acknowledgement of that truth prevents us from being taken in by antichrists. We also find how this light shines within and without the children of God, proving them to be true followers of the King. Taking it even further, we find that the fruit it bears is exactly that which Jesus Christ’s sole motivation was upon this earth – love. Not love for ourselves, but ultimately love for God and in turn, love for our fellow man. Going even deeper, this light helps us test that which is and is not of Christ. It is the light of truth, the light of God.
With this light, we understand and accept Christ, because with this light, we see. We see not with our eyes, but with our minds and our hearts. In full recognition of the Sovereign Power we serve, we can do nothing but stand in awe of His perfect will. There is absolutely nothing and absolutely no one that can take the place of the Lamb.
His existence is more than we can experience, much less comprehend. Sometimes we feel that because He is so infinitely expansive, there is no need for us to communicate with such a being. Yet, He took our form so that we might understand Him and when we should have risen to meet Him, He came down to meet us. That is Light.