There are times when our hunger and thirst for understanding God’s truth can lead us further away from the actual meaning of Scripture. For example, the lawyer in Luke 10:25 – 37 gave Jesus the correct answer about what the great commandment of the law was, but he failed to understand the real meaning of it. Such can be true of us today as well. Paul told the church at Corinth that there is a profound simplicity about following Jesus that can be eclipsed by false gospels (2 Corinthians 11:3,4). James teaches us that any profession of faith apart from corresponding actions is a dead faith (James 2:14 – 26). In other words, knowledge is not enough.
Make no mistake about it, beloved; each and every one of us here this morning professing to be followers of The Lord Jesus Christ should be people who love God’s Word (Psalm 119:113b,127,159a,163b,167). Every word of God is important and necessary for living a life that brings glory to Christ (Luke 4:4; 2 Timothy 3:16 -17). However, we are called to be followers of Christ (Matthew 4:19; John 13:13 -17), not students of Christianity. John the apostle will tell us today that the real proof of genuine conversion is that our life will be a manifestation of God’s light (compare 1 John 1:5,7 to Matthew 5:14 -16; 1 Peter 2:9), and God’s love (1 John 2:9 -11). According to John you cannot separate a profession of loving God from loving one another (1 John 3:23, 4:20,21). In other words, when all is said and done, when we have lined up all of our theological ducks in a row, so to speak, the real proof of whether or not we really have a relationship with Jesus Christ will be childlike humility (Matthew 18:2- 4) and a supreme love for God, which will be demonstrated with a genuine love for others (Matthew 22:37-39).
The chief priests and scribes in the days when Christ was born could tell King Herod where The Christ would be born (Matthew 2:4 – 6), but they could not recognize The Master when He stood right in front of them (Luke 22:66 -71).
What about you and me today? How do John’s words apply to our church family? Is The Spirit of God challenging us to makes amends with someone else in the body this morning? Is He challenging us to reach out to someone in need (1 John 3:16 -18)? A loveless church’s candlestick will be blown out unless that church returns to it’s first love (Revelation 2:4,5). In our desire to understand the Scriptures better, may we never lose sight of the profoundly simple message to love one another as Christ has loved us (John 13:34,35).