Lord, thank You for sending Your Son to be the way for us to know You. I confess my faith in You and ask You to help my unbelief. May I learn from Your Word with an open heart, and may the knowledge I gain only serve to conform me more to the image of Jesus, Your Son. In His name, amen.
Read 1 John 4-5
1 John 4 John began the last chapter of this letter about the deity and humanity of Jesus by reminding the reader that the key to faith is knowing God. It’s through our close connection to God and His people, through Jesus, that we’re able to discern God’s truth from the world’s lies (4:6).
THE GOD-MAN, JESUS CHRIST
Watch this 3-minute video on the incarnation.
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When we abide in Christ, we can pray with confidence, knowing our prayers align with God’s will (4:14). We can also correct one another in love, and prevent ourselves from falling for the lies of the enemy (4:9–21). In this way, God’s people identify with the Son (4:12).
You might imagine the confusion this teaching may have caused in the early church. In conclusion, John comforted believers with truths we can depend on. Sure, false teachings will come and go. But our standing with God is sealed in Christ, not our knowledge (4:13). God hears us when we pray (4:14), and though life is full of spiritual danger, God keeps His people safe from the evil one (4:18). To be sure, there is some mystery to our faith, but God gives us the understanding we need in order to be in Christ (4:20).
1 John 4:9-11
9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
- How can we identify false teachers? What does John mean when he writes that we should “test the spirits” (1 John 4:1)?
- 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love casts out fear.” What are you afraid of? How does God’s love combat those fears in your life?
- In 1 John 5:14, we read that God hears us when we ask in accordance with His will. What should you ask of God? How do you know this is “in accordance with His will”?
- The fullness of God in the person of Jesus is difficult to understand and even more difficult to explain. Yet the doctrine of incarnation (that Jesus was God in flesh) is essential to our faith. In Colossians 1, Paul wrote that “God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile everything to Himself.” Using what you’ve read about the incarnation in 1 John and in Colossians, meditate on both the divinity and humanity of Jesus.