Life is complex. Life is messy. Life holds seemingly irreconcilable things in tension.
We see this supremely in the person of Jesus Christ; uncompromising justice – but extravagant mercy. Sovereign dominion – but with humble obedience. Worthy of all that is good – but willing to suffer evil on the cross.
In the end though, when it all boils down to essentials, the Bible says that things are ultimately black and white. We are either on a broad highway that leads to destruction or a narrow path that leads to life. Either we are dead in sin or we are born again.
The first letter of John explores these stark, ultimate contrasts; love and hatred, light and darkness, truth and lies, Christ and Antichrist, God as Father or the devil as father, being in the world or being of it.
The first letter of John challenges us to cut the waffle and quid pro quos, and make up our minds where we stand.
This is what we will unpack over the winter months of 2019 and 2020.