Since September the Wednesday morning study has been in 1 John. We started with an overview of the book and have been working through paragraph by paragraph since. This morning we finished the last paragraph in chapter 5. We started on the summary. By the way that is the best way to study a book, do an overview, look at the parts individually, and then put everything back together. Doing that will add richness to your study and minimize whatever errors you might make.
You probably have read 1 John 5:16 – 17. It is pretty much the standard question when one studies chapter 5, what is the unforgiveable sin anyway? I have an idea. One wag suggested that it was picking your nose in public – probably not. There are a lot of ways that we can go with logic and cross references to come up with a solution, but we really do not have a lot of data with which to work in terms of what John was thinking.
So in my study, the title for that paragraph is “No Clue.” There is a lot more in 1 John that I do understand. Much that challenges me in my relationship with Christ and with other believers. I can work hard at trying to solve that problem or I can concentrate on what I know to be true. In fact “know” is one of the major themes of 1 John. He tells us a lot that we can “know” and how we can “know” those things.
At Peace with My Ignorance
So rather than coming up with a tentative solution, I choose to apply what I know. Mark Twain had this one right when he suggested that it was not the things in the Bible that he did not understand that bothered him, it was the things that he did understand. I am much better served in my walk with God to apply what I understand and leave that about which I am uncertain, clueless, for later light.
That seems to me to be a good practice.