Observations and Interpretations:
- “My little children” – a reminder that we have much to learn and that the author (and the Lord) loves us dearly.
- “and He Himself is the propitiationfor our sins ; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” – opens up a whole can of worms in the Calvinism debate, but I’ll leave that for another day.
- “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.” – not that works lead to salvation, but that works are the fruit of our salvation.
- “Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment whichyou have had from the beginning ; the old commandment is the word which you have heard.” – The New Testament is NOT a different gospel from the Old. God is not different. The New Testament is simply a completion of the Scriptures and completes the picture that God wanted to paint for us.
- “I am writing to you…” He repeats this opening several times to drive home his point. Even though he’s drawing a hard line, he really wants his audience to know that the message comes from love.
- “Do not love the world nor the things in the world.” – It is an odd thing that the Lord places us in the world then commands us to be “in it but not of it” and to not love it. But it makes sense too. Love the creator, not the creation. Let the creation point you to the creator but don’t worship the world or the things of it when you could worship the Lord who made it.
- “just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared” – I believe this was directed at the Gnostics, but I think you can apply it to any person or group of people that seek to diminish the deity of Christ. The Antichrist is the guy that shows up in Revelations, but the antichrists mentioned here would seem to be the more general term referring to those against Christ.
- “This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life.” – the ultimate prize.
- I think far too often we try to make things too difficult. We get caught up in the minor details and lose sight of the forest for the trees. Here’s what I’d like to focus on…
- Keys to being a better man: Study the Bible, pray, and fellowship with other believers.
- Key to showing the Lord your love: Keeping his commandments (which happens as a result of the previous point).