Commentary on "Important Themes in 1 John"
Day 4: Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Today’s study touches on the redemption story and how 1 John illuminates this story of salvation to the reader. Everything in the Bible points to Jesus and His death on the cross. The entire climax of the Bible is the death of Jesus because the shedding of His blood means salvation to those who believe in Him.
1 John continues this theme of salvation. Chapters 1, 5 and 8 speak of the blood of Christ being the means of salvation. Chapters 2 and 4 touch on His atoning sacrifice. The author of the study uses these texts to speak on salvation, and points out that it is the death of Jesus that saves us and not his example in life, but also adds that His example is very important.
After speaking about how salvation comes only through the blood, the author describes the present reality believers have when they are saved. The believer knows God, is in God, has forgiveness of sins, overcomes the evil one, passes from death to life, and has eternal life. All of these things are illustrated in 1 John.
Now I realize that the author continually says that salvation comes through Jesus Christ alone, and His blood shed on the cross is sufficient to blot out all of our sins, and that belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is sufficient enough to be saved, which is all true (John 3:16). The problem is that the Adventist church does not profess these beliefs.
The author gives himself away in this aspect when he says, “It is not the example of Jesus that saves us, as important as that is.” And then says “And yet, His example calls us to walk as He did.” Not that I don’t agree with the statement from a truly Christian point of view, but the Adventist church greatly emphasizes the life of Jesus as an example that must be followed, as if it were possible to eventually live a sinless life as He did. This is the ultimate goal of the Adventist, to follow the Law perfectly and live without sin.
Again, any true Christian would agree that the example Jesus gave us here on earth is a very important aspect of the biblical story, and that as 1 John says, “whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” But in no way does this mean we are to live sinless, following the commandments of the Old Testament law.
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