Going Deeper 04.15.21

The second reading for the Third Sunday of Easter... 1 John 3:1-7

See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.

"No one who abides in him sins"?  Uh oh.  I still sin.  Does that mean I do not abide in him?  "Everyone who does what is right is righteous"? Oh boy.  I don't always do what is right.  Does that mean that I am not righteous?

This is a difficult text to grapple with... one which seems to contradict our core doctrine of saved by grace, not by works.  The key is to pay close attention to that first verse.  Because of the love the Father has graciously given to us through Jesus, we are "children of God."  That is the foundation.  Next comes the building.

The "bridge" from a song we learned last Sunday captures this:

‚ÄčAs children of God our calling is to become more and more fully what we already are.  This involves turning away from sin and seeking to do what's right.  This process of transformation is dependent upon the assistance of the Holy Spirit and is to be seen as a necessary response to grace.  We no longer embrace sin as okay and doing right as an unnecessary effort.  We seek to live more and more fully the way we were created to live, more and more fully in the way of Jesus, the way of great love, compassion, generosity, and service.

This is vitally important.  This world sorely needs God's children to live lives which reflect that blessed status!!

With You in His Family,

Mark Gabbert, Pastor

Zion Lutheran Church, Wellington

"Gratefully Growing Servants"