I decided that I would read through 1 John several times before I dug into some commentary, or even read any study notes. I am so glad that I did. It has taught me that even anyone can find the themes and key verses. Especially in 1 John, where they are repeated many times. 🙂
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:12)
Although this verse is pretty far into the book, it is obvious that it is the theme verse. The entire book is full of tests/measurements, in short, how you can know for sure that you are saved! But be warned, it does not say “Can you remember a time when you prayed to ask Jesus into your heart?” I am not out to be controversial here, I just want you to know that statement is not in there. What is in there is lots of stuff like this:
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. (1 John 2:1-6)
You know something? This just makes sense. If we know Him, we will keep His commandments. Period. Isn’t it funny that we will look at, oh say someone who claims to be a vegetarian, and if they eat meat you would think “They are not a vegetarian”, but when we see people who practice sin and yet claim to be Christians, we make all sorts of excuses for their “backslidden condition”.
Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8)
I think that a key word in this verse is “practice”. We all know that we still sin even though we are saved.That is one of the main things that we teach the newly saved (which, by the way, is lame.) Do you really need to be told over and over again that you will still sin? They really push this on kids. We should be teaching them 1 John 2:1-6. Which is what I intend on doing with my 4.