As a seasoned pastor and disciple of Jesus, John calls believers to hear Christ's voice, to obey the truth, and to be ready to repent.
Scripture: 1 John 3:16-24
- John writes as a witness, one who experienced the ministry of Christ.
- Like Pilate (Jn. 18:37-38), James and John didn’t fully understand the truth about Jesus early in His ministry.
- Now as a mature pastor, John calls the church to listen to the truth and to obey the truth. We’re to listen to Christ’s voice and to be ready to repent.
- Our life of giving generously assures us that God’s love abides in us (1 Jn. 3:16-19). The Mosaic law requires gracious generosity (Deut 15:7-19 cf. 1 Jn. 2:15).
- If you struggle with generosity, look to the cross to be reminded of God’s grace and mercy.
- Repentance opens our hearts to receive God’s love.
- Our assurance rests not in our mere repentance but in God who is greater than our sins.
- A repentant heart confidently approaches God in prayer.
- God is greater than our hearts; God is greater than our requests, and He knows what we need before we ask Him (cf. Psalm 66).
- A person of obedience toward God is a person continually praying.
- Both the law and the Spirit of God are His gifts to us.
- We are kept by the Spirit of God who works in our hearts that we may know and love His law (Jer. 31:33 cf. Ez. 36:26-27).
- Those who have assurance of being God’s are those who obey.
- We are those who belong to the Good Shepherd; we hear His voice, and we’re secure in His care (Jn. 10).
- When we start to lag behind in disobedience we need to repent. Our Shepherd never loses sight of us.
- As we come to the Lord’s Supper, we’re reminded that as God has loved us so we’re to love one another.
- Having cleansed us from our sins, God calls us to come to the Lord’s Table in repentance.
- What does God require of us with respect to our poor brothers (see Deut. 15:7-19)?
- Do we love this world or the things of this world more than our brothers?
- How does the cross help us to rethink our calling to give generously?
- What does Psalm 66 teach us about God’s generosity?
- How does our own love for the brothers and God’s love for us each contribute to our assurance of salvation?