Commentary on "Important Themes in 1 John"
Day 5: Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Christian behavior is the focus of this week’s study. The author makes the argument that theology informs ethics and that wrong theology can lead to wrong actions. The author also makes the claim that this wrong theology, especially of the law and grace, has led many to “trample on God’s Sabbath day.”
1 John writes “these things to you so that you may not sin.” (2:1) Christians should not lie, not sin, not hate brother or sister, not love the world, and not practice lawlessness. Instead, Christians must be obedient, do right, and love each other. The author also uses Paul’s book of Ephesians to greater emphasize the keeping of God’s commandments and walking as Jesus walked to show how a Christian should behave.
The author then asks the reader how we are to walk and live as Jesus lived? How can we emulate the life of Jesus?
This is the bread and butter for the Adventist follower; behavior. How we live our life, the actions and decision we make are the most important piece of their faith. Even though many members would say otherwise, even the author of the study has done so many times, the true test of salvation for the Adventist church is the Sabbath day commandment and the observance of it. In fact, they believe it to be the seal of God on His true believers, even though the Bible would say otherwise.
Ellen White, the Adventist prophet, states plainly:
“The enemies of God's law, from the ministers down to the least among them, have a new conception of truth and duty. Too late they see that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is the seal of the living God.” (The Great Controversy, p.640)
She states again:
“The Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty, for it is the point of truth especially controverted. When the final test shall be brought to bear upon men, then the line of distinction will be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. While the observance of the false sabbath in compliance with the law of the state, contrary to the fourth commandment, will be an avowal of allegiance to a power that is in opposition to God, the keeping of the true Sabbath, in obedience to God's law, is an evidence of loyalty to the Creator. While one class, by accepting the sign of submission to earthly powers, receive the mark of the beast, the other choosing the token of allegiance to divine authority, receive the seal of God.” (The Great Controversy, p.605)
These claims, held deeply true by the Adventist church, directly contradict the Word of God.
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
These are only a few examples of the many given in the Bible as to what it takes to receive salvation and what sort behavior you will display when you are reborn in Christ Jesus. Then once you have accepted Jesus as your savior you are sealed by the Holy Spirit, and the only “commandments” you are asked to follow are those that Jesus himself said to follow: love God and love one another. (Matthew 22:36-39)
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