In the later part of the First Century, around 90-100AD, a strange heresy was creeping into the Christian Church. The Gnostics, believing that the material world ( and consequently all flesh ) was inherently evil, decided that Jesus was not a real man – that he had been on Earth in spirit only, and not in the flesh. This belief, called Docetism, had it that his earthly appearance was only an illusion, as was his crucifixion.
The disciple John was not amused.
“…but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, …” 1 John 4:3
He wrote this letter in an effort to try and convince the readers of the truth of who Jesus was, one who “..we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched…” 1 John 1:1
As the last living disciple, he was in a unique position to testify to the reality of the earthly Christ.
Two famous, and oft quoted passages are :
Beloved let us love, for love comes from God – 1 John 4:7
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9
For John, these two verses would be meaningless, unless you accepted that the Earthly Jesus was also the Heavenly Christ.
The real Word of life,
gives us a command of love,
and frees us from sin.
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