Tuesday, November 22, 2011

1 John 5:3-5

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

The first verse flies in the face of common thought. After all, isn’t it easier to do our own thing rather than follow some tedious list of rules found in an ancient document? Sometimes the easier way out of a situation would be to disobey God’s commands and take the path of least resistance. But even if obeying God’s commands are more difficult in a situation, the consequences are easier in the long run. Of course in a spiritual sense when we follow God’s commands we are able to be close to God and gain an eternal reward, but even on earth the principle is true. As a wise boy told my friend the following when asked if he knew the difference between the truth and a lie, “A lie gets you in more trouble. A truth will get you in trouble, but only for a small duration...that's why I don't lie anymore. Now that I'm in the habit of telling the truth, I just can't stop!” When all is said and done, service to God is always easier than service to sin.

F.F. Bruce wrote that the term “world” may mean false teachings of antichrists, lusts of the flesh & eyes/pride of life, or the threat of hostility from the world against believers. Regardless, the victory was won at Christ’s resurrection, and we joined this victory through our faith when we were united into Christ’s body. As Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33). If God is for us, who can be against us (Rom 8:31)?

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