Monday, July 10, 2017

Final Thoughts (1 John 5:13-21)

Have you ever heard one of those speakers who delivers a super well-thought out talk, who then ends it in a sort of fugue—repeating the themes a few times. Like a song on that doesn’t end, but rather fades out on repeat as was so popular in the eighties?

That feels a bit like what John does here. He has laid out his case and repeated it once to great effect. Then he states the thesis succinctly: you can know that you are on God’s side. Now it feels like he almost rambles the themes out once more. We see the ideas of avoiding sin, obedience, worldliness, and the true faith again.

This is where we get things that are not as spelled out, as if the audience has heard these points from John before, or maybe they were to be explored in another later in a writing or sermon we do not have today. Sins that do or do not lead to death is one obvious example. But we too have seen some of this in John’s other contributions. The idea of effective prayer, for example.

The final sentence seems to come out of nowhere, but it is the overarching story of Scripture. One of the ways we could sum up the story of the Bible in a theme would be as the story against idolatry. And that is something John has been writing about this whole time. We live in a world and among a humanity that has chased after every idea of worship and authority except for the One True God. Walking in the light and becoming His children is all about turning our backs to the idols we have created and back to the One who created us.

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