Wednesday, September 29, 2010


 1 John 3:18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

18 Τεκνία, μὴ ἀγαπῶμεν λόγῳ μηδὲ τῇ γλώσσῃ ἀλλὰ ἐν ἔργῳ καὶ ἀληθείᾳ.

As I go through the system of ten chapters a day I am fascinated by the contrast in the style of writing throughout Scripture.  John's writing is notoriously simple.  But simplicity does indicate a lack of profundity.  There are several penetrating truths in 1 John if we pay attention.  This is a fairly obvious one.

John spends a lot of time talking about love.  This is particularly true in chapters 3 and 4.  Here he tells us what real love looks like.  We are not simply to love in word or talk but ἐν ἔργῳ καὶ ἀληθείᾳ.  He uses the strong adversative ἀλλὰ here too.  There is a stark contrast between simply talking about love and actually showing love.

This is an area where I think that many conservative folks like me really come up short.  At least I know that I do.  I'm pretty good at getting my theology straight, but does that spill over into action?  How often do I help someone who has less than I do?  More importantly, how often do I share the gospel with someone who needs to hear it?  Not very often.

I see the book of 1 John as a reality check.  We can talk about what we believe, but how we live is a much stronger indicator.  This relatively simple book is beating me up yet again.  But I still have to ask myself what I'm going to do about it.  

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