John warns believers in Christ to guard their hearts and lives against loving the world. Love for the world and love for God run contrary; you cannot love both at the same time. John provides specific examples of love for the world that is sinful. Furthermore, he explains that this world and its desires are dying. A new era of the Kingdom of God has dawned with the incarnation and resurrection of Christ. This world is passing away and will not last. But the ones who love God and do His will, will live forever.
On this Mother's Day we take time to honor mothers and motherhood. God's Word informs us of what it means to be a wise and praiseworthy wife and mother. Proverbs 31 is a full length portrait of godly wife and mother. The role and importance of a mother cannot be overstated. Mothers are the first teachers in the home and should teach Godly wisdom to her children as they work with diligence to care for all in the home.
Throughout much of John's letter, he frequently seeks to assure the members of the church that they are in Christ and that they can have assurance of their salvation. John knows these churches and he knows that they are in Christ. John provides three 'tests' to confirm that one is saved. These 'tests' are not the means of one's salvation but rather they are the signs that one is truly saved and on the path to glory. These 'tests' are theological, moral and social. In verses 3-14 John introduces the moral and social signs that indicate someone has come to genuine faith and therefore, may have assurance of their salvation.
God is infinitely holy and as such He cannot overlook our sin. If He did so He would cease to be holy, righteous, just and good. In order to deal with our sin and reconcile us to himself, He has put forth Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. Jesus has become an atonement for our sin through the sacrifice of his life on the cross. He absorbed and satiated the wrath of God that was rightly ours. And now, He stands as our advocate before the Father. Everyone who repents and is united to him by faith, has his righteousness credited to their account. The redeemed can have ongoing assurance of their salvation through a life of obedience to his commands, walking as He walked.
The Apostle John, reiterates the message he received from Jesus, that God is light. God is truth, perfectly holy and in Him there is no sin at all. Therefore, when someone is united to God by faith, brought into the family of God, their lives are lived in the light. Christians live lives that are conformed to God's will and character. To say you are a Christian and fail to conform to Jesus' Word and life, is to lie. Anyone who does not surrender all areas of their life to Jesus is not walking in the light and should not have any confidence they shall receive eternal life. BUT if we walk in the light, the blood of Jesus cleanses us.
The letters of John are written to a group of churches who are being threatened by heresy. In his letters to them, John writes to reaffirm the historical and spiritual reality of the incarnation of Jesus the Christ. Because God took on flesh in the person of Jesus and rose from the dead, the church can remain steadfast, immovable and confident in the face of heresy and other trendy but false doctrines. The reality of the incarnation is the reason we can have hope, joy and eternal life.
In his letter to Timothy, Paul describes his prior way of life when the grace and mercy of Jesus reached him. He was a persecutor of Christians, a blasphemer, in his words, the foremost of sinners. And yet, even he was reached and changed by the power of the gospel. Jesus came into the world for this very purpose, to save sinners. The purpose of the incarnation and resurrection of Jesus was to bring eternal glory to God through the salvation of sinners. No one is too far gone. No one is beyond the reach and power of the gospel.
Upon his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Jesus is simultaneously celebrated and misunderstood. Many thought Jesus would come and overturn the Roman rule or shake up Judaism's leadership. But Jesus' coming to Jerusalem was for a far greater purpose. The incarnation and sacrifice of Christ was about to fulfill it's purpose, to bring glory to God through the redemption of sinners. Jesus came to Jerusalem to establish a new Kingdom by overthrowing sin and death.
Genesis is one story detailing God's creative work in forming the universe and his ongoing relationship with creation, most significantly, humanity. Genesis is not a collection of unrelated stories. Rather Genesis is composed of one grand meta-narrative detailing God's specific plan to glorify himself through humanity's redemption. As such, Genesis is timeless. Furthermore, most of the challenges and issues of our day are answered in Genesis. Thus, Genesis is exceptionally helpful in forging our worldview and our understanding of our purpose in God's story.
At the end of his life, Jacob calls his son, Joseph to himself and Joseph brings his sons to with him. Jacob passes onto the sons the covenant blessings of God. And as we have seen time and time again, God is not constrained by convention or human tradition. God once again selects the younger to be exalted over the older. Indeed God's ways are not our ways and His ways are higher than our ways.