John wrote his letter to a group of Christians who were struggling through realities of division in their ranks, a division that was prompted by false teachers who undermined the truth of Jesus. In response to this situation, John wrote to instruct his readers. That instruction pointed to three traits which must be possessed by those who are truly Christians:
- Right belief – Being a Christian meant affirming the truth of who Jesus is, specifically that Jesus was fully human and fully God.
- Holy living – Being a Christian meant walking in the light, which meant living with holiness rather than living in sin.
- Brotherly love – Being a Christian meant loving and serving those who are part of the church.
As we think about John’s three traits, we see a vision for the life of every Christian. Traits that will be possessed by all who belong to Jesus. This is helpful for us as we follow Jesus today.
So as we think about the direction of our lives, we can ask this question…What is the direction we are heading? And here is the answer to that question:
- Growing in truth. We are growing in our knowledge of God by growing in our knowledge of the bible. This growth will root us in Christ, give us the ability to discern error, and enable us to teach others.
- Growing in holiness. We are growing in holiness. That growth is marked by an always increasing desire to obey God’s commands, a life of humble repentance, and the killing off of sin in our lives.
- Growing in love for our brother and our neighbor. Our lives are spent in service to our brothers and sisters in Christ, and in service to our neighbor.
These are marks of maturity in the Christian. This is where God is taking us, and this is where we will point one another.