In this chapter John gives us a number of aspects in our lives which we need to dwell, and if we can fully grasp this chapter and what John is telling we will be more Christlike and at peace in our hearts.
In the first part John is reminding his readers and us that if we are true followers of Christ we will not want to sin, and will try and live our lives in accordance with his Word. As we read in verse 9 “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.” [ESV]. I find this verse and verse 20 encouraging as like most people I mess up frequently, but because I have the Holy Spirit within me, through Him I can change my thought processes, actions. And when I put myself down John writes in verse 20 “for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.” [ESV], not forgetting that not only is God bigger than my heart He’s also the Creator of the Universe.
When I read this chapter the word ‘sanctification‘ came to mind as through our actions of not ‘making a practice of sinning’, and trying to live our lives Christlike we are becoming more like Christ which is a lifelong process. But as with sanctified parts we need to be cleansed from our sinful nature in order to be made holy. As we go through our lives we need to remember that we’re a working progress and that God is continually refining as Peter says in 1 Peter 1:7 “so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ.“[ESV].
When John highlights the point in our daily living that we are to love each other, he is reminding us of Jesus’ second commandment ‘love thy neighbour’. I note this comes after he’s told us if we love God we won’t want to sin; You could picture John telling those around him that “if you have truly accepted Jesus as your Saviour you will want to keep His commandments, oh and by the way one of those commandments is to love that annoying person(s) in your home, workplace, church”. Now without the Holy Spirit’s help in our lives, Jesus’ second commandment would by nigh-on impossible.
This coming week try and take time out to explore this chapter, and ask God are there areas in your life where he wants to purify you? Is there someone in your life that has the ability to get your proverbial back?
All Bible verse links and quotes were taken from http://www.biblegateway,com