A Word for All

By Not Known

It doesn’t really matter whether the author in 1 John 2: 12- 14 is addressing people at various stages of their chronological age or at various stages of their spiritual maturity. What really matters is that God’s word has this ability to speak individually and address human needs in a most personal way and we do well to take heed.

The symmetrical structure of vs 12- 14 clearly highlights the convictions the apostle John wants each group within his audience to hold. It is perhaps an opportunity for them to assess for themselves what applications can be made in their particular life situations in relation to the marks of real membership within God’s family that John has taught earlier (1: 1- 2: 11)

We – as well as the first recipients of John’s message – should apply these convictions about forgiveness and about fellowship to our lives, rather than just mouthing them. The apostle James illustrates the necessity for such practical application to be made in James 1: 23- 24 where he talks about a ridiculous situation of a person looking at his own face in the mirror and then immediately going away, forgetting what he looks like!

We smile. Yet this is what often happens to us. Indeed, we often use our minds to dig into Scriptures but seldom allow Scripture to dig into our minds! James says that merely listening to God’s word without acting upon it, is self-deception (James 1: 22). John goes a step further by underlining the importance of God’s word living in the Christian (2: 14)

In his book, Transformed by the Renewing of your Mind, Robert Shirock spells out succinctly the purpose of God’s gift of his word to us: The Bible was given to us not just as a message to be grasped intellectually. Rather, it was given to us so that the very thoughts of God might begin to grasp and possess us, that our minds might be returned to heaven’s wavelength and our lives thus transformed

This means that if we ever hope to live the kind of life God calls us to live, most of us must change radically in the way we handle our Bibles and the way we live our lives. It calls for a mind marked by the Bible, not just a Bible marked with pen and pencil. It calls for a mind filled with Scripture, not just files filled with notes about Scripture. It calls for spiritual transformation by the renewing of our minds through saturation with God’s word, aiming and desiring to obey its Author.