September 26 2021
Today, Sunday September 26
Living The Life That Is Real
1 John 5:19-21 “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
We are about to finish our study of 1 John in the next few days. What an amazing journey we have been on as we have been reminded by this letter how we need to be living the life that is real rather than a life that is empty or vain. John told us from the beginning of the book, that he is writing “these things” to us in order that we might experience the reality of God in a personal and real way and that our “joy might be complete” (1 John 1:4).
In others, that we might live a life that is fulfilling, and that brings genuine and authentic satisfaction! A life that is full of contentment and peace despite the circumstances or situation that we are in. This life is centered around and found only in the Person of God’s dear Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Jesus also said, “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Notice the word “know”.
So is it any wonder that John, the beloved disciple used the word “know” over and over again in this little letter? And as he finishes this book did you see how he again repeats this word several times? If we are not careful we will come under the “power of the evil one” enticed by the idols of this world. There is a cosmic battle that is being waged all around us every moment of every day! The battle between God’s truth and Satan’s lie.
Satan wants you to believe him and his lies that promise you instant gratification and pleasure! God wants you to believe, to accept, and to know His truth, Who is a Person, Jesus Christ, that gives you the life that is real! So that why John says, “the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true….” (vs. 20).
John was probably writing to believers in the city of Ephesus, a city given over to the worship of idols. The temple of Diana, one of the wonders of the ancient world, was located in Ephesus, and the making and selling of idols was one of the chief occupations of the people there (Acts 19:21-41). Surrounded by idolatry, Christians there were under tremendous pressure to conform.
I have always wondered why this book ends with an admonition that seems to come out of nowhere. John has been talking about the test love, obedience and truth that will reveal whether or not we have genuine Sonship and fellowship with God. And then, “Keep yourself from idols!”
Today, we as believers are surrounded by idols and also under tremendous pressure to conform. We can either choose the Life that is Real, Jesus Christ, or we can choose to believe the false promises of the idols. What is your choice?