Monday, October 6, 2014

I John - Introduction - Week 01

For those of you who weren't able to join us, we started our study of I John in adult Sunday School this morning at Edgewood.  We looked at why we're going through this book in particular, as well how it relates to what we're learning in the main service.  It was reallly interesting to delve in to just the first couple of verses and already see how it ties back in to the Gospel of John -- "That which was in the beginning..." echoes the beginning of John's Gospel "In the beginning was the Word" and his next words emphasize one after the other how the disciples had heard Jesus speak, and seen Jesus perform miracles, and touched Jesus' very hands on his scars.  Truly John was in a position to know whether Jesus was really human, or if he weren't really God.  After years of walking with him for miles, countless dinners of literally reclining beside him, whispering questions in his ears, seeing the miracles, hearing the debates with Pharisees, feeling the rocking of the boat subside as the storm ceased, and watching him die the most torturous death imaginable, John bears witness to the Truth of the Word made tangible to us. 

We also talked about some major themes of the book.  There are stark contrasts between light and dark, love and hate, truth and deception.  John, in much the same way Christ did in his Gospel narrative, loves to draw harsh lines and let his readers agonize over which side they fall on.  Some of his descriptions seem abrupt and leave no room to negotiate, but the source of his theological education is so evident it is practically indisputable.  It's little wonder the people were amazed at the words that flowed from the apostles who were known to be men of little formal education.  Their fervor and boldness in proclaiming the truth marked them as men who had been with Christ.  No one else could legitimately claim His authority.

Overall, we barely scratched the surface of all the things to come in this book.  It's one of the shorter books of the Bible (claiming only 5 chapters), but it is densely populated with rich meat to chew on for quite some time.  We're looking forward to feasting on it together as we meet on Sunday mornings at 9:30am in the auditorium and want to welcome anyone who would like to join us.  The table is set, and everyone is welcome to dig in.  If you want to bring a notebook to jot some notes down, you won't be alone, we are taking the Scripture seriously when it talks about studying it in detail, and we don't want to walk away from this having merely discussed some interesting ideas and go into our daily lives unchanged and unchallenged.  We want to remember it and think about it and watch it shape the way we live in this world.  For the glory of Christ we press on with our struggles, knowing the glory to come is more than worth it.  Until next week, see you then...

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