Going Deeper 05.06.2021

The second reading for the sixth Sunday of Easter... 1 John 5:1-6

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one that testifies, for the Spirit is the truth.

John has devoted much of this first letter to emphasizing that the ultimate summary of God is captured in one word: love.  Our task is to perceive, then to believe, and then to receive.  And then, upon this foundation, we are to live out our calling as beloved children of God... the calling to "love God and obey his commandments."  Of course, all of this is ultimately dependent upon the inspiring and empowering work of God through His Holy Spirit.

First, we must perceive our need for God by recognizing the depth of our sinful brokenness.  At that point of repentance, we come to believe "that Jesus is the Son of God" who came to dwell among us and demonstrate the depth of God's love.  This then opens the 'flood gates' of grace as we receive a new status: child of God.

All of this fills us with gratitude and love, and in the spirit of that love we "obey his commandments"... most notably the commandments as summarized by Jesus-- to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.  While the residue of sin continues to make this a challenge, we fight our battles with the confidence that the ultimate victory has already been achieved.  Therefore love, not fear, is what drives us to love and to obey.

With You in His Love,

Mark Gabbert, Pastor

Zion Lutheran Church, Wellington

"Gratefully Growing Servants"