This Sunday, we will be taking a break from the Ephesians series. Youth from the Muncie Area Youth for Christ are holding a retreat in our building.They will be attending late worship hour. We have decided to join them in their study of 1 John 2:3-6. We will be hearing from our teens in both services (including teens sharing about their summer mission experience at Camp Barnabas).
Certainly, this is a challenging text. John connects our knowing Jesus with obedience. He tells us,
(1 John 2:3 NIV) We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.
He expands this statement by calling out those who claim to know Jesus yet fail to obey.
(1 John 2:4 NIV) The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
Pretty strong language, wouldn’t you agree? Those who claim relationship with Jesus, but do not heed His commands, do not truly belong to Him. He continues to explain,
(1 John 2:5–6 NIV) But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
The word that is translated complete in the text is sometimes translated as finish or even perfect in other places. What does it mean for God’s love to be made complete in us? Paul uses this word in his letters several times. He uses the language of an athelete finishing a competition or race.
We will explore this text on Sunday. We will talk about the connection between relationship and obedience. Our youth will share about their experience of walking as Jesus walked. They have found freedom in obedience (two words that often seem contrary). Plan to join us on Sunday as we explore this text and hear from our teenagers.