Between the Ascension of Christ and His Return
First, I want to give God public thanks for all of the encouragement I received thi summer. So many of you have let me know that you were praying for the Lord to meet us in this wonderful letter. There are not too many things better than knowing how the body supports one another. There were moments throughout the series that I really felt helped by your prayers and encouragement. Thank you so much.
There is one more person who I want to give thanks to God for and that is my wife. Thank you for creating space for over two months to write sermons. Your encouragement, prayers, feedback and support are priceless.
Second, I have been thinking about how the letter of 1 John fits into the canon of Scripture. It is important that we be a people who understand how the whole speaks to the parts and how the parts inform the whole. It is easier for me to lose sight of the forest for the trees. Yes, we should know individual books of the Bible well. One thing I have also been grateful for is to be part of a church whose primary diet is preaching whole books. We also want to be big picture readers and see how a letter fits into the story. So, how does 1 John fit? The story the Scriptures tell is that of creation, fall, redemption and consummation. Jesus’ arrival on the scene marks the climactic point of God’s plan of redemption which continues until the return of Christ. Our part in the story lies between the ascension of Christ and his return. 1 John helps us see how we ought to live in this time as we wait for our King. We are to wait confidently. We are also to love one another. 1 John gets knocked by some scholars because there are not a lot of ethical steps in the letter. On the contrary, we see the most important thing we need to walk in as we await our Lord. We are to walk in love. That is how we know that we are in Christ and how we won’t be ashamed at his coming. Let us love another.