On this day when we celebrate the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, I trust you will take the time to honor Him, who was born of the virgin Mary, for the express purpose of giving Himself to die on the cross for your sins and mine. Too often even Christians have made Christmas Day a busy day--giving and receiving gifts--but not taking the time to thank the One who gave His life, the greatest gift of all, that we might have eternal life. Sometime during this day slip aside and fall on your knees and thank the Lord for the marvelous gift of His Son. If you are not born-again, accept the gift of Jesus Christ into your life. Trust Him as your own personal Saviour and allow Him to become Lord of your life. We here at Fundamental Baptist Church trust this will be the greatest Christmas ever for you and yours.

Since space does not permit detailed comments about each chapter we read, it is our purpose to point out things that will be meaningful to our readers each day, while fully realizing that many wonderful truths cannot be commented on.

The Holy Spirit used the Apostle John to give us the Gospel of John, three Epistles, and the Book of the Revelation. These three works actually complement each other and give us a full picture of the Christian life. In the Gospel of John, the emphasis is on salvation; in the Epistles, the emphasis is on sanctification; and in the Revelation, the emphasis is on glorification. The Gospel of John speaks of past history; the Epistles of John speak of the present experience; and Revelation speaks of future hope. The Gospel of John emphasizes that Christ died for us; the Epistles, that Christ lives in us; and Revelation, that Christ comes for us. In the Gospel of John the Word was made flesh; in the Epistles the Word was made real to us; and in the Revelation the Word conquers.

John gives us five purposes for the writing of his first Epiestle: (1) That we might have fellowship (chapter 1:3). (2) That we might have joy (chapter 1:4). (3) That we might not sin (chapter 2:1,2). (4) That we might overcome error (chapter 2:26). (5) That we might have assurance (chapter 5:13).

Chapters 1 and 2 emphasize fellowship, and chapters 3--5 emphasize sonship. In each of these sections John gives three basic tests: obedience (walking in the light); love (walking in love); and truth (walking in truth). In other words, a person can know he is in fellowship with God through Christ if he has no known sin in his life, if he has a love for Christ and the brethren, and if he believes the truth and not some lie. Furthermore, he can know he is a son of God in the same way: If he is obeying His Word: if he has love for Christ and the brethren; and if he believes and lives the truth. Far too many professing Christians never test their lives to see if they are really saved. John asks us to apply these tests that we might enjoy the Christian life to the fullest.

When sin enters a Christian's life he must immediately confess it and claim God's forgiveness. He must spend time in the Word, learning the truth and letting the truth grip his heart, will, and mind. Or, to look at it negatively, the Christian who deliberately disobeys the Word, neglects the Word, and who cannot get along with God's people, is out of fellowship with God and in darkness. It is not enough to talk about the Christian life, we must practice it daily. God loved us so much that He gave His only Son to die on the cross for us, and we are to love Him and our Christian brothers. We must also keep in mind that Christian love does not mean we must agree with everything our brother thinks or does, because we might not like some of his personal characteristics. But, because he is a brothier in Christ, we must love him for Jesus' sake and because God has told us to do so. Obedience, love, and truth are the three key thoughts in I John. They are essential for fellowship, and are very definite evidences of sonship. I wonder today, are these three Christian characteristics evident in your life?

Index of Daily Devotions