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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

THE CALL TO HOLINESS
(Part 21)

LIVING IN THE LIGHT

December 28, 2019
Today’s reading: 1 John 1:5-2:2


We are called to holiness. To be holy is to be set apart. It is to be totally different from the world we live in. We are in the world but are not of the world. The world is in darkness, but we are people of the light. “God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.” (v.1:5b).

As God’s people, we are part of a holy Church. “But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another” (v.1:7a). This aspect of holiness, in our relationship with other Christians, is challenging. It is easy enough (though hard to live out) to relate to a holy God. But to relate to human beings, many of whom are far from holiness, is difficult. What helps us is to know that Jesus died for us all, “and the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin.” (v.1:7b). Jesus brought us salvation and enables us to love as he loves. Sin is about separation, animosity and division, but the grace of God enables us to be one community striving to live in the light.

Now we are called to holiness, but the reality is that we all remain sinners. To sin is to fall short, to miss the mark. Even after Jesus’ redemptive sacrifice, we remain as sinners. “If we say, ‘We are without sin,’ we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (v.1:8). But God has given us the way out. It is repentance. “If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.” (v.1:9). If we are cleansed from every wrongdoing, then we are holy.

But forgiveness is not license to sin. Forgiveness is about God knowing the reality of our sinful natures and providing a way out. But the call is still to avoid sin, to live in the light, to be holy. “My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin.” (v.2:1a). We must strive for holiness. “But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.” (v.2:1b-2). Jesus took on the sins of the world and paid the price for our transgressions. That reality should spur us to even greater effort and determination to avoid sin.

We strive for holiness, but we also tell the good news of salvation in Jesus to the whole world, so that all peoples can shun the darkness and live in God’s light.

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