Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Monday, 18 October 21:
1 John 2:1 — My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
In last Friday’s readings, John made it clear that we all sin, but when we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us. (1 John 1:8-10) However, today John reiterates that sin should be rare for us rather than normal – “But if anyone does sin….” We are to strive for sinlessness despite not being able to achieve sinlessness, little children growing in Christlike character over a lifetime – “I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.”
“And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments…. whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” (1 John 2:3, 5, 6)
Our passion to avoid sin is fueled by our passion to know Him, not simply to know about Him but to know Him in perfect fellowship, to be one with Him, which is what Jesus desires for us more than anything else – “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent…. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” (John 17:3, 22-23) Our desire for oneness with Jesus is our motivation for living the sinless life, and the Spirit empowers us; but we must act on that empowerment; we must not quench the Spirit, grieve the Spirit, or get out of step with the Spirit by disobeying God’s perfect word enlightened by the Spirit. Obedience is the natural fruit and evidence of our fellowship with Him, bringing glory to God. Obedience is natural fruit which is created and nourished by the Spirit but cultivated or farmed through our works of love which God has prepared for us. Do not be the lazy farmer — “The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing.” (Proverbs 20:4)
- Romans 6:2 — How can we who died to sin still live in it?
- Romans 8:5 — For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
- Romans 12:9 — Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
- Hebrews 12:14 — Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 18 October 21: Obey today. Focus on abiding in the Him, by loving Him, obeying Him in loving obedience, and loving each other in Him as the highest earthly expression of our love for Him. “And now, little children, abide in him.” (1 John 2:28)
- 1 John 2:6 — Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
- 1 John 2:10 — Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.
- 1 John 2:17 — And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
- 1 John 3:6 — No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.
- 1 John 3:9 — No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.
- 1 John 3:14 — We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.
- 1 John 3:15 — Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
- 1 John 3:17 — But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?
- 1 John 3:24 — Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.
- 1 John 4:12 — No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
- 1 John 4:16 — So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
- 2 John 1:2 — …because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever:
- 2 John 1:9 — Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.