1 John 2:7–14 (ESV)
The New Commandment
I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. 8 At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and
in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. 9 Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. 10 Whoever loves his brother
abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. 11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness
has blinded his eyes.
12 I am writing to you, little children,
because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake.
13 I am writing to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.
I am writing to you, young men,
because you have overcome the evil one.
I write to you, children,
because you know the Father.
14 I write to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
because you are strong,
and the word of God abides in you,
and you have overcome the evil one.
Jesus has shown us the love of God on the cross. This is the love the Law commanded but we could never fulfill. But
more than that, it is the love that the Gospel imparts to those who love their brother and abide in the light so that there is in them nothing that would cause them to fall away from faith in Christ. The old commandment, “love your neighbor as yourself”
(Lv 19:18), condemns us all, since we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. The new commandment, “love one another as I have loved you” (Jn 15:12), is rooted in Jesus’ work, which frees us from guilt. His atonement for our sins empowers
us to love as He loves.
I pray: Grant, Lord, that we trust in You and Your love, that we may always love our neighbor.
1 John 2:1–6 (ESV)
Christ Our Advocate
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. 2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the
sins of the whole world. 3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but
whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
When you look at how the Bible tells us to live, it tells us to “be Holy” and to “not sin”. We all fall short and it can be overwhelming on living a Christian life.
When we are overwhelmed, we are focusing on the wrong perspective. We are not saved by works, but by faith alone. As Luther says: “we are both saint and sinner at the same time.” But we have the greatest attorney which has freed
us from our sins. Jesus is our mediator. The Lutheran Study Bible states: “Only true children who know Jesus as their Savior can truly walk as Jesus walked and love one another as Jesus has loved them. If anyone claims to know Jesus and does
not love as Jesus loves, he is a liar. When we are guilty of not loving as Jesus loved us, we have One who defends us before God’s throne and petitions our pardon for the sake of His own blood—Jesus the Righteous One. Through His endless love and forgiveness, we have salvation and have come to know Him. In Him, we love our fellow Christians.”
I pray: Father, strengthen
me in my own salvation, that I might be empowered to keep Your commands and love everyone as Christ has loved me. Amen.
1 John 1:8–10 (ESV)
Walking in the Light
we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we
make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
This reading today is part of our liturgy. The beauty of our liturgy is that it is built around
God’s Word, not man’s word. To those who see the liturgy as boring, they are missing the connection between God’s Word and our worship. Even if I fail in my sermon… or even omitted my sermon… the liturgy has my back.
When we confess our sins in the worship service, we are confessing our sins and the Word of God. The Lutheran Study Bible states: John writes about faithfulness in our walk with God. Our sinful pride rejects God’s Word and seeks to deceive
us so that we might not know ourselves as we are or know God as He has revealed Himself. God sees our true nature, and in Christ He reveals His nature, which is both just and gracious to us. For those who confess their sins, God is always faithful to His promise
to forgive. This is just and right because of His Son, who has paid the price for our sins.
I pray: Heavenly Father, give us hearts to believe and to know
ourselves as we are. Then we may truthfully confess our sins, trusting in Your forgiveness and mercy. Amen.
1 John 1:5–7 (ESV)
in the Light
5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light,
and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But
if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
Jesus is the light and Satan is the darkness. I love our sanctuary light in the sanctuary. It burns 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is a reminder that even when
the lights are off, Jesus is present and is the light in the darkness. We walk by light, not by darkness.
I pray: O Lord, you are the light of the world. Help us to always seek your light and to be guided to your heavenly kingdom. Amen.
1 John 1:1–4 (ESV)
Word of Life
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes,
which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest
to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And we are writing these things
so that our joy may be complete.
John begins this Book much
like his Gospel account, with the Eternal Word, who was always with the Father and was working with the Father at creation. But here John’s point is that this same Word who is “eternal life” is the crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ, whom
all the apostles had physically seen, heard, and touched. We owe the Eternal Word our perfect obedience. Despite our disobedience—our lack of recognition and faithfulness of our Creator—the Eternal Word did not come to condemn us but to save us.
Heavenly Father, by the writings of the apostles, grant that we may ever share in Christ and His kingdom, that our joy may be complete. Amen.