Hello! Today we begin the book of 1 John. While we are not certain this was written by John the disciple, we do know that all 3 epistles were written by the same author as they share a similar style. It was likely written in Ephesus (Ephesians) between 90 and 110 CE. So, that does align with the time the gospel of John would have been written. The letters share a similar symbolism of Jesus as light and sin as darkness that we find in the gospel as well. The major theme of what you will read ahead is John's call to avoid false teachers, except he provides criteria for how to identify them: their ethics, their proclamation of Jesus in the flesh, and their love of neighbor. I think that holds up pretty well today, yes? What else will God specifically speak to you about? I'm excited for you! Let's get started.
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
John's writings focus on a number of contrasts - today we heard about light vs dark, truth and lies, loving God and loving the world. What other contrasts can you think of in faith?
What is the most important thing that God taught you through today's reading?
- Overview Video -
Praying the Hymns
Our prayer for today is inspired by hymn 346 - Sinners, Turn: Why Will You Die. Yeah....today's a happy hymn, haha. Interesting while this has been set to tunes over the years it is listed more like a prayer or diary entry in our hymnal. Therefore I invite you to pray this hymn however you would like. Despite having a rather aggressive title the lyrics actually are really beautiful.
Sinners, turn: why will you die? God, your Maker, asks you why. God, who did your being give, made you himself, that you might live; he the fatal cause demands, asks the work of his own hands. Why, you thankless creatures, why will you cross his love, and die?
Sinners, turn: why will you die? God, your Savior, asks you why. God, who did your souls retrieve, died himself, that you might live. Will you let him die in vain? Crucify your Lord again? Why, you ransomed sinners, why will you slight his grace and die?
Sinners, turn: why will you die? God, the Spirit, asks you why; he, who all your lives hath strove, wooed you to embrace his love. Will you not his grace receive? Will you still refuse to live? Why, you long-sought sinners, why, will you grieve your God, and die?
You, on whom he favors showers, you, possessed of nobler powers, you, of reason’s powers possessed, you, with will and memory blest, you, with finer sense endued, creatures capable of God; noblest of his creatures, why will you forever die?
You, whom he ordained to be transcripts of the Trinity, you, whom he in life doth hold, you for whom himself was sold, you, on whom he still doth wait, whom he would again create; made by him, and purchased, why, why will you forever die?
You, who own his record true, you, his chosen people, you, you, who call the Savior Lord, you, who read his written Word, you, who see the gospel light, claim a crown in Jesu’s right; why will you, ye Christians, why will the house of Israel die?
Turn, he cries, ye sinners turn; by his life your God hath sworn; he would have you turn and live, he would all the world receive; he hath brought to all the race full salvation by his grace; he hath not one soul passed by; why will you resolve to die?
Can ye doubt, if God is love, if to all his mercies move? Will ye not his word receive? Will ye not his oath believe? See, the suffering God appears! Jesus weeps! Believe his tears! Mingled with his blood they cry, why will you resolve to die?