The apostle John is credited with writing five of the 27 books of the New Testament. In the book titled 1st John, he shares the faith he has learned from Jesus. In 2nd and 3rd John, he is writing to specific acquaintances of his.
John was Jesus’ “beloved disciple” and has valuable lessons to give his readers. In 1st John, fellowship with God is introduced as having three aspects: First, God is light, which means we must walk in the light; confessing our sins and allowing Christ to cleanse us. Second, God is love, meaning as His children, we must walk in love; giving not getting. Third, God is life, which is fellowshipping with Him through faith in Jesus Christ.
We cannot fellowship with God in light and still live in darkness. God has called us His children and as forgiven children, and having been cleansed of our sin, we can have a blessed fellowship daily with Him. However, it is up to us to obey His commands and follow His teachings.
To walk in love, you cannot love the world or the things in the world. You cannot hate a brother or sister and say you love God. A forgiven Christian is kind and considerate of others, showing the love and mercy of Christ.
Life in our present-day world can be very difficult. John reminds us that there are many false prophets and false spirits, and says we must try the spirits: Are they of God?
We have heard that the spirit of the enemy of Christ is coming, and now he is already in the world. He comes in many disguises and tempts in many tempting ways. This is the spirit of antichrist. The world is listening to what these spirits have to say. The news is filled with those who have listened and are listening, and are practicing what these false prophets are teaching.
The Holy Spirit is the only true godly guide for these trying times. First John says we must test the spirits in our world. We are given a true test to use. To see if the spirits are from God, they must confess that Jesus Christ came to earth as a human. God sent His one and only Son into the world so we could have life through Him.
The sad thing is that those who are not from God do not listen to us. That is how we know the spirit that is true and the spirit that is false. But those who know God will listen to us. It also is up to us to live in such a way that the world will know we are children of God.
The greatest help for living in this present world is to remember that greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world!
Anne F. Butler attends Christ Central Church in Rainbow City.