Many ages have their uncertainties but ours are legion. The paradox is the promise of individual freedom detatched from God has made us and our decisions insignificant. If we can believe what we like, love whom we like – this translates as we and our deepest commitments are illusions. The freedom that John describes is not the freedom of nothingness or insignificance we find in Melbourne today but the freedom to become what we were created to be. We have a context in which we operate best in – and that context is life in God. Freedom is more complex that we were led to believe. Prayer is more essential that we could guess. [Audio | Notes]
For further thought
Q: Why is John anxious that we know we have eternal life? Is this the main purpose of his letter?
Q: A sign of eternal life in us is confidence in prayer. What sort of prayer can we be confident about?
Q: In the light of the rest of this letter, how would you interpret verses 16 and 17? 4. When should we stop praying for someone?
Q: In verse 18; how does the one who was born of God keep us safe in a world that is under the control of the evil one?
Q: In verse 20, in what ways does John finish this letter where he began it and in what ways does he not?
Q: What does John mean by idols in his letter? What, therefore, are the idols of our world?