CULTURE OF EVIDENCE
This past spring, BIOLA completed the multi-year process called reaccreditation. For schools and colleges accreditation is life itself. Accreditation means that other schools and colleges agree that your units and degrees mean something. The process involves two site visits and reams of evidence reports. When a school receives reaccreditation, they can make certain claims about their units and degrees, and they can be assured that their decisions are heading in a good direction. If a school does not receive reaccreditation, they must work to get it back. Schools must prove that they live up to the agreed upon standards. All of this happens within a culture of evidence.
John describes a similar culture of evidence. Obeying the command to trust Jesus and love one another is evidence of our remaining in Jesus and his remaining in us (v. 24). Why is obedience evidence? If you know someone well, you are bold in their presence. If you know someone well, you ask for what they can and will give (vv. 21-23). But what happens when we are snarky or indulge our various pleasures or are selfish? This is where the accreditation analogy breaks down, for our relationship with God is not based on our own body of evidence. It is based on the body of evidence provided by Jesus, who trusted God perfectly and love others to the point of giving his own life. So, when our hearts justly condemn us, God is greater. Since God does not condemn us, neither can we condemn ourselves. He has chosen to love us and he will not change his mind. Now, he does not excuse our sin as it if is not sin. He forgives and cleanses sin as sin. Thos who excuse or define away sin are not telling the truth.
God, teach us to be honest with you about our sin. Show us the truth about ourselves. Keep calling us to holiness. Thank you for giving us evidence of our remaining in you. Thank you for giving grace when we do not remain.
1 John 3:19-24
Tag(s): lectio 1 john
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“Unless otherwise noted Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.” http://www.esv.org/