PRACTICAL COMMENTARY ON 1 JOHN 1:5

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This
The message delivered is specific. It isn’t vague. It doesn’t matter whether you’re preaching the gospel or planning a marketing campaign for a one-man business, ultimately you need clarity.
And as far as the former is concerned, it’s not that important whether people really like the message, what really matters is that it’s presented in a way that can be easily understood.

is
It’s in the present, not the past and not just something promised for the future. That’s the great thing about the Gospel, it’s for the here and now. It’s relevant for today.
Cultures may be very different, times may change, but the message of the Bible is always fresh and has meaning for each individual in the present.

the message
There’s something specific and definite as opposed to vague and general. The Bible is clear and needs to be declared in the same way.
Whenever we speak or write, the message should come over loud and clear. It’s not about being dogmatic but it is about communicating with clarity.

we
‘There is safety in numbers’ goes the well-known saying, and that’s true in many ways. It certainly applies to matters of faith.
You sometimes encounter people who claim to have a special revelation, something that no-one else has received.
Beware. If there isn’t collective ownership from others – and those who are mature at that – then stay away. ‘We’  is far more preferable to ‘I’.

have heard from him
We use the saying ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’ to indicate that we heard directly from the source and not via a third party.
When you hear direct there is clarity. The more it gets passesd on, the greater the chance of the message becoming cloudy.
Another reason for trusting what we read in 1John. The author was there, he knows. It’s not someone else’s experience, it’s his own.

and declare
There is something of authority in a declaration; it’s saying, listen to what’s being said as it’s important. And you can’t get more of a serious message than the gospel.
That’s why, when we speak of God, we should do so with boldness. It’s a powerful message, it needs to be shouted from the rooftops, not whispered in secret.

to you:
There is a sense that the message is for anyone that will listen of course, but there’s also the personal aspect. ‘You’ can mean everyone, it can also refer to the individual.
In an often impersonal world where we are a number, a statistic or a code on a computer database, it’s refreshing to know that as far as God is concerned, we will always be individuals.

God is light;
In contrast to the world in which we live, God is light. The greater the darkness the more the light comes through.
And like a beacon of hope, he does shine in a morally decaying world. Not only in our hour of need, but at all times, we need him.

in him
This is the key to living a successful and blessed Christian life, it’s about being ‘in him’. You can know about God, even get a degree in theology. But unless you’re in him, it’s all in vain.
Churches are full of people that know all about Him but are still as much on the outside in reality as the hardened atheist.
Salvation is only found by being in him. You can be an inch away or a million miles, it doesn’t matter. If we’re not ‘in him’ we’re still in darkness.

there is no
The word ‘no’ is usually thought of as a negative one. But not always, as can be seen here.
For various reasons, there are people who say you should never use ‘no’. But it needs to be used when appropriate.
Above all though, it isn’t necessarily a negative word. It can be a positive one.

darkness at all.
Whenever you see light, although it may illuminate, there’s always a shadow somewhere. The light isn’t total in that sense, there’s always some darkness lurking in the corner.
However, with God, he is absolute light. There’s no shadow, there’s no darkness.

Rev Stewart Bloor

About Stewart Bloor

Fish a lot. Christian. Work in the world of professional football media. British nature. Passionate about much, obsessed about nothing.

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