Thursday, January 12, 2012

John's Call to Faith and Understanding: 1 John 5:13-21 Part 4

Application for the Modern Christian

The Apostle John said a great deal to his readers in this short passage of Scripture. Surely his audience was grateful and put the wisdom John imparted upon them into practice. How then can modern Christians do the same? Here three principals were addressed that speak directly into the lives of Christians of the twenty-first century. These principals are referred to by the author as gifts of faith.

The first gift of faith is that of confidence. The Christian need never question that which is so assuredly affirmed here in 1 John 5:13. Salvation is found in Jesus Christ and eternal life is part of that assurance. The difference in the lives of believers should demonstrate this confidence as should the way believers discuss their faith in Christ. There is eye witness testimony in support of these claims so there is every reason to believe in this promise.

The second gift of faith is found in 1 John 5:14-17 and this is the gift of prayer. There is a boldness that believers possess when taking their prayers before God that they will both be heard and answered as long as they are in keep with the will of the Father. This of course assumes that the believer has an active prayer life. Faith enables prayer. Without faith, what is the point of prayer? Yet with faith, Christians may come boldly to the Father with their requests knowing that those requests have already been answered! Of course, knowing the will of God is not exactly a simple matter. Knowing the will of God means knowing Scripture where we either find His will explicitly or in principal.[1] The point of prayer if not for Christians to get God to see their requests from their point of view; rather the point is for Christians to learn to see their request from God’s point of view.[2]

The third gift of faith is the gift of understanding. Gods enables believers to understand His word in a way the world can never understand. God enables believers to understand the world for what it truly is: a dismal place in under the control of Satan. It should never come as a surprise or shock to hear about the violence people commit against each other. The lost nature of the world should be obvious to those who truly know Christ. With this understanding there should also come the realization that without Christ there can be no hope for those people. This should motivate God’s people to do everything they can to share the Gospel.

[1] Walls, David, and Max Anders. Volume 11, I & II Peter, I, II, & III John, Jude, Holman New Testament Commentary, Holman Reference. (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 224-25.

[2] Ibid.

No comments: