I recently had a vacation with my family in Newport Beach, CA. It was interesting to be there with all the different families descending from my mom's parents. Particularly, my uncle is a pastor...a pretty conservative one. He seems like a very serious man. Some would say he doesn't seem like a fun person. He seems quiet and reserved.
But today I skipped church. And last week I skipped church. I had "other things" that caused me to "not have time" to go. We actually decided to listen to our pastor online, but their website was not working and their podcast was not working. I decided to listen to my uncle. And when I arrived at his church's website, I found that he has a series on 1 John. Well, crap!
We are called as Christians to live as such. We need to affirm our doctrines. We need to live as saved beings. We need to live in the light, as he is in the light. I'm going to try to listen to this series.
Back to my uncle. I think we thought of him as sort of boring, because he doesn't live for himself like we often do. I remember several people in the family trying to have conversations with my uncle to sound spiritual (I, of course, did the opposite). I think that he is constantly working on his relationship with God. He had devotions. He did have conversations about God and Christ and Christian living. I believe he came across as serious and reserved because he is guarded and careful to do what is pleasing to God. He lives within the bounds of a responsible Christian.
I know that I talk a lot about grace in my blogs, knowing I seriously need grace. We all do. Even my uncle. But I think there are many Christians who use grace as an excuse to sin and live in sin and not be changed by salvation. 1 John 3:16-18, "By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down out lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth." We are going to love if we are truly saved. Again, crap! I'm in trouble.
I don't love people. I almost don't love anyone. It's almost my calling card these days. I don't care about people. I don't care about feelings. I don't love.
To have assurance of eternal life, I must have genuine Christian actions. I must have these beliefs/actions/changes in me and my life:
1. I must believe Orthodox Christian doctrines (Jesus is the only way, etc.)
2. I have experienced moral transformation (not perfectly but characteristically). I walking in the light.
3. I must love (involved, working, caring).
1 John is a great book of the Bible for believers to reflect on their own salvation. One saved, always saved, but are we living as though we are saved by the grace of God? Are we walking in light? Are we loving? I know I have a lot of work to do. A LOT!!!
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