“We write this to make our joy complete.”                        1 John 1:4 NIV


John says that he writes these things “to make our joy complete”. Some later manuscripts change “our” to “your” and certainly that is true. But the original reading was probably “our” joy, referring to the joy of the apostolic circle that knew Christ firsthand. John was by this point the only surviving apostle. How was his joy made complete in writing these things? In the sense of 3 John 4, “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth”. If John’s little children would read these letters and not be carried away by the false teachers, but continue in the truth, he would be a happy man. We may think that joy in the Lord is a nice extra, but not essential. But as John Piper often points out, we cannot glorify God properly unless we enjoy Him thoroughly. Our aim in proclaiming the Gospel to others should be that they, too, would come to share our joy in Jesus Christ. Many people believe in a Jesus of their own imagination. But when their problems are not all magically solved, or they go through difficult trials, they conclude that “Jesus didn’t work” and they go back to the world. The problem is, they didn’t believe in the Jesus revealed by the apostles in the New Testament. Their experience was not that of true fellowship with God and with others who know God. Any witness about their supposed conversion is lost when they abandon the faith. It is likely that they never experienced true Christianity. True Christianity is essentially Jesus Christ – revealed in Scripture, experienced in new life and fellowship, and proclaimed with joy. Make sure that you’ve got the real deal!



Lord, thank You for the joy You bring when we proclaim You to others.



Lord, thank You for revealing that True Christianity is essentially You, revealed in Scripture, experienced in new life and fellowship, and proclaimed with joy. AMEN


I.B.R.A. Readings

2 Corinthians 5:11-21



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