John tells the church that truth, love and obedience is what helps us to overcome the pressure to conform to what everyone else does, believes and says. It is not church marketing or management, showmanship in either pop or high brow churches, spiritual hype or the delusion that by constantly changing we are actually improving or progressing. No. Our lacks are much deeper and much harder to make up for, according to John if we lack in faith, love and obedience then the world is winning. Yet, he writes, Christians are known by their commitment to the truth of who Jesus is, love of what God loves and obedience to Jesus’ commands. He is Lord – not an optional accessory. [Notes | Audio]
For further thought
Q: What is the difference between what John means by faith here and what most people think faith means today?
Q: John writes of three evidences of faith; the first being love. How does love demonstrate this practical trust in God?
Q: How do faith and obedience work together?
Q: What does it mean for us to overcome the world? Where do you need to overcome the world in your own life? How will you do this?