In other words, we find an apostle who is trying to assist the church with being clear about what the church’s mission is to be about, or what is in the box. When the church – that is, when we – lose sight of what is in the box, or of how Jesus laid down his life for us, we are also in the process of losing sight of the knowledge of how we are to lay down our lives for one another (1 John 3:16). We begin to lose sight of what Jesus’ sacrificial love truly entails, that it is not only an act of forgiveness, but it is also a pattern of behavior among those who believe (1 John 3:23). We begin to lose sight of the mission.
Jesus himself said it this way: “Greater love has no one than this; than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (15:13). And John puts it another way: “Little children, let us love, not simply in word or speech, but in truth and action” (1 John 3:18). How can we say we abide in God, if we are not showing loving by our actions? Or, if we see someone in need, and do not respond, how can we say God is in us? (1 John 3:17). We can’t.
Rather, what pleases God is to believe in his Son on the one hand and to love one another on the other (1 John 3:22-23). The two go hand in hand and failing those two things, we miss what’s in the box.
How may we continue to abide with God by loving one another and helping those in need? How may we continue to fulfill God’s mission?
Pastor Andy Kinsey