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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Loving Obedience

One of my weekly studies is in 1 John.  This week we are in chapter 5.  Throughout the study I have noticed numerous allusions and quotations from John’s gospel, starting with 1 John 1:1.  Chapter 5 is no exception.
Ever consider the connection between obedience and love?  Thoughts at DTTB.
Throughout chapter 5 John pulls the ideas from John 13 and John 14 forward into this epistle.  Specifically John 13:34 and John 14:15 – 26.  Look at how many times the word “commandment” shows up in both John 14 and 1 John 5.

Focus for a moment on 1 John 5:2.  In this passage John combines the concepts from John 13:34 and John 14:15 – 26, with stunning results.  Loving one another is demonstrated by obeying His commandments.

At first this seems to move ever so slightly back towards some form of keeping the Law.  But think for a moment about the Sermon on the Mount (which by the way, the mayor of Houston has just subpoenaed).  If we were to follow the exhortations of Christ in that sermon, what would be the impact on our relationships?  It seems to me that we would be pretty much in line with loving each other.

But the great thing is that this close connection between the epistle and the gospel leads us to understand that we do not have to do this on our own.  In and John 14 and and 16 John reports Christ’s promise of the Holy Spirit and His description of the Spirit’s ministry to us.

It is only through that power, the power of the poured out Spirit, that we can come close to living the life that 1 John 5:2 demands.  As for me, I am grateful beyond words that I do not have to do that on my own.  I would fail.  In fact I do.

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