Our passage today is 1 John Chapter 2 verses 1 to 11.
The chapter begins with one of John’s reasons for writing, that his readers will not sin, BUT he knows that each person has not reached perfection, and so he immediately writes of the One who can take away our sin, Jesus Christ, who speaks in our defence (a picture here of a court of law), but is also the atoning sacrifice for our sins, the One who dies in our place, who takes the punishment that we deserve.
And in the light of this the rest of this passage gives us at least 2 challenges.Firstly (vs.3-6) that if we say that we know Christ, then that will be made known by the fact that we obey His commands/His word, otherwise we are liars. Again that doesn’t mean we sometimes disobey (see again Ch.1 vs.8-9), but rather our lives are generally characterised by obedience, we have an increasing desire to do what God wants, that is our aim.
And secondly (vs.9-11), claiming to be in the light (remember this theme from yesterday) means that we love our brother (and sister), ie our fellow believers, otherwise we are really still in darkness.
In summary, we should be really grateful that our sins have been dealt with by the Lord Jesus, through His death on the cross, but that gratitude is shown in a changed life where we are obedient to His commands/His word, and love our brothers and sisters in the Lord. ‘Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.’ (v.6).
None of this is necessarily always easy (which is why John writes, and his letter is preserved), and so we ask God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to help us be the people He wants us to be.
As mentioned on Sunday, Derek and I are going (via Zoom) to a meeting this morning at 11am with people from the Baptist Union, the Diocese and the Church Commissioners, which has been called to seek a way forward over the potential legal obstacles of funding the renovations of St Augustine’s with the money from the sale, that also preserves the Baptist assets into the future. This is a key meeting, so do pray for wisdom and a good understanding on all sides.
And then the Leadership Council is meeting this evening at 7.30pm to discuss the outcome, as well as think about a temporary venue after the building has been sold, our future Sunday services and the ongoing work and mission of the church. Again we would be grateful for your prayers.