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For the Love of God-Don Carson (Dec 2)

Today's Devotions

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Showcase: Assorted Treats

  • River of Love +

    There's a river of love that runs through all timeBut there's a river of grief that floods through our livesIt Read More
  • I Am Nothing +

    I stutter when I tryTo speak the language of lifeI want to shout out loudBut I just cry insideSometimes it Read More
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Don  Carsonhttp://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/2-chronicles/1.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/1-john/1.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/micah/7.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/luke/16.html

2 Chronicles 1; 1 John 1; Micah 7; Luke 16

THE OPENING PARAGRAPH OF 1 John 1 boasts many treasures. I want to focus on verse 3, with a sidelong glance at verse 4.

Assuming that the author is the apostle John, the "we" that is doing the proclaiming is most likely an editorial we, or a we that is self-consciously speaking from the circle of apostolic witnesses. Thus in this context it is distinguished from the "we" of all Christians; it is distinguished, in particular, from the "you" who constitute the readers: "We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard" (1 John 1:3). The previous two verses specify what John and the other witnesses have seen and heard. It is nothing less than the Incarnation: "That which was from the beginning" (1 John 1:1) one with God was nothing other than what appeared in real history and was repeatedly heard, seen, and touched. The eternal Word became a man (John 1:14); here, the "life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us" (1 John 1:2). So John reiterates, "We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard" (1 John 1:3).

There is no Christianity without the Incarnation. Moreover, the Incarnation is not some vague notion of the divine identifying with the human. It is relentlessly concrete: the Word that was with God and that was God became flesh (as John writes elsewhere, John 1:1, 14). That is fundamental in John's day, when he is combating those who presuppose that what is truly spiritual might don human flesh but could not become a human being; it is fundamental today, when we might be combating a philosophical naturalist who insists that the only reality is what occupies the continuum of space and time.

John tells his readers that he proclaims this truth to them, "so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ" (1 John 1:3). Fellowship in the New Testament is more than warm fuzzies. It is committed partnership, in which personal interests are subsumed under the common mission. The first witnesses entered into fellowship "with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ." John's readers may enter that fellowship by entering into the fellowship of the apostles. That is why John proclaims what he has seen and heard. The apostles mediate the Gospel to others. We cannot enter into fellowship with God and with his Son Jesus Christ without entering into fellowship with the apostles who were the first witnesses of the Incarnation.

None of this fosters stuffy religion. John writes to make "our" or "your" joy complete (1 John 1:4): whichever variant is original, it tells the truth on this point.

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/loveofgod/2013/12/02/2-chronicles-1-1-john-1-micah-7-luke-16/

Reflections to Consider

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Publications

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Music

  • River of Love

    There's a river of love that runs through all timeBut there's a river of grief that floods through our livesIt Read More
  • I Am Nothing

    I stutter when I tryTo speak the language of lifeI want to shout out loudBut I just cry insideSometimes it Read More
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Audio & Video

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Favorites

  • Transforming this World: The Hope of Glory by NT Wright +

    Wright confronts the perspective that this world doesn’t matter, and that we live only to be in heaven. He shows Read More
  • What is Good in a World that Defies Hope: a talk by NT Wright +

    This is the second part of three talks by NT Wright at Harvard University in November, 2008 on the topic Read More
  • The Stream, the Lake and the River: NT Wright +

      Acts 2.1-21; John 7.37-39; a sermon at the Eucharist on the Feast of Pentecost, 11 May 2008, by the Read More
  • Jesus in the Perfect Storm by NT Wright +

    Zechariah 9.9-17; Luke 19.28-48; A sermon for Palm Sunday, April 17, 2011, In the University Chapel of St Salvator, St Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • Christ is a Great Savior: a review of the movie Amazing Grace +

    Amazing Grace is a historical drama about William Wilberforce who was elected to British Parliament at the age of 21 Read More
  • Wilberforce, Hollywood's Amazing Grace, Charlotte Allen +

    William Wilberforce's relentless campaign eventually led the British Parliament to ban the slave trade, in 1807, and to pass a Read More
  • Making Beauty out of Ugly Things: Grace by U2 +

    Grace, she takes the blame She covers the shame Removes the stain It could be her name Grace, she carries Read More
  • The True Nature of Grace and Love: a movie review of the Soloist +

    The 2009 movie The Soloist is based on a book by the same name, written by Los Angeles Times columnist Read More
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