NOW IT ALL MAKES SENSE: Christians and Christianity are less and less tolerated in our ever increasingly 'tolerant' society. For many of us, this represents a dramatic shift from the way life used to be in which almost everyone we knew lived a mostly Christian lifestyle, and it seems shocking to see society abandon the Biblical principles which have brought so much blessing. But we should not be surprised at all. The reason that the world can not tolerate Christianity, John tells us, is because it could not tolerate Christ (v1). Society turned on Jesus in the span of a week. They sang His praises as He marched triumphantly into Jerusalem, but just a few days later they formed into a riotous protesting mob demanding He be executed. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Expect to be hated because you love Jesus (v13).
YOU'RE NOT CANCELLED: Verse 6 and 9 seem scary: "No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning," because all of us who profess to live in Christ sins often! Thankfully the fact that we stumble and fall into sin every day doesn't mean we are no longer in Christ. John doesn't mean Christians can become perfect and sinless in this life, what he means is that once a Christian realizes their sin has caused them to trip and fall on their face, they stop sinning and repent. It may be that you may trip again this afternoon and tomorrow and the day after over the same sin. An unbeliever won't be upset that they continue to fall (or even notice that they have fallen), but one who is living in Christ will recognize their brokenness, repent of the sin, and strive to not do it anymore.
THIS IS HOW WE KNOW: Christian faith is not just a sincere hope that's ungrounded in reality. As trustworthy and reliable as what the Bible is, you don't need to believe what it says simply because the words are printed on the pages. Look how many times John repeats the phrases this is how we know or we know... because. You can know these words you're reading are true because the more you pattern your life after them, the more their truth will be reflected in the way that you live (v10, 18).
Communion Preparation For Sunday, 9/27/20
Heidelberg Catechism QA 75
Q. How does the holy supper remind and assure you that you share in Christ’s one sacrifice on the cross and in all his benefits?
A. In this way: Christ has commanded me and all believers to eat this broken bread and to drink this cup in remembrance of him. With this command come these promises:
First, as surely as I see with my eyes the bread of the Lord broken for me and the cup shared with me, so surely his body was offered and broken for me and his blood poured out for me on the cross.
Second, as surely as I receive from the hand of him who serves, and taste with my mouth the bread and cup of the Lord, given me as sure signs of Christ’s body and blood, so surely he nourishes and refreshes my soul for eternal life with his crucified body and poured-out blood.
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything... you can have confidence before Him (v20-21)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray for the grace to follow His command: believe in Jesus and to love one another (v23)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: