Pastor Garret Edwards
We begin a new series this week in 1 John, called ‘Children of God’.
I really like this title because it encapsulates so much of what the letter is about. We could perhaps claim this to be the ‘mega theme’ of the letter.
Jesus’ work on the cross made it possible for believers to be adopted into God’s eternal family. God truly is our Father, we truly are His children. Jesus is our big brother and we are all siblings in Him.
This is why the New Testament talks so much of ‘Christian fellowship’. Christian fellowship is both a vertical and horizontal relationship. We have a vertical fellowship with God (we are His children), and a horizontal relationship with other believers (brothers and sisters). Perhaps we’ve been tempted to think of Christianity as an individualistic religion. This isn’t false, but true Christianity is so much bigger – Yes, Christ died for the individual, you and me – but He also died to create a new community whose members would belong to Him, love each other and serve the world. Paul writes that Jesus Christ ‘gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself
a people that are His own, eager to do what is good.’ (Gal. 2:20)
I wonder what the term ‘Children of God’ means to you?
I also invite you, even if you’ve read it before, to carve out 20 minutes sometime before Sunday, and read 1 John in one sitting. You’ll notice it to be at once, a tender and powerful letter, showing John’s pastoral heart for a church he loves so much, and also revealing his deep commitment to protecting it from lies and half truths.
I’m so excited to begin this study with you all, and I hope you are too!