Anglican Morning Devotion for 5 January 2022 Anno Domini
a ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 4For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” (John 5:1-5; all ascripture quoted is from the King James Version)
It is beyond the scope of this brief devotion to do full justice to this chapter of 1 John 5 – our lectionary text for the day. But I will do my best to summarize the meaning in hopes that others will be enticed to study in detail the beauty of this chapter.
The opening verses are the opening salvos of the shore batteries of Heaven. They are powerful while being pregnant with love and meaning at the same time. They are, too, supreme defenses of the Christian Faith by definition. Just as our Lord hung the Two Tables of commandments on one word – LOVE – so does our love of God define how we treat other of those our brothers and sisters in Christ. If I might summarize those Commandments, I would say in keeping the first, our love would compel us to keep all others. Our love of God compels us to love others that love Him. The frontal lobe of the brain is the place where judgments and values are defined by mankind. It is the mechanism whereby we embrace love, hate, fear, anger, doubt, etc. When the Holy Ghost draws us to the Mercy Seat (sometimes screaming and kicking), there is a conscious, and subconscious, decision to love the Lord above all others. It is our love of God that represents that seal spoken of by John the Revelator (Rev 7:3) that sets us apart as the people of God. Satan also has a means of distinction of his own, and it is also IN the FOREHEAD. (see Rev 13:6) “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.”
There is a great witness of the Triune God also given in this chapter – perhaps the most compelling of all other Scripture. Many Christians possess only a blurred appreciation for the importance of the Trinity, but it is an absolute principle upon which our faith is founded. Without the Father, there would be no Son, and without the Son, no Holy Spirit. The Creator God has inculcated many signs and mysteries in Creation for our study. The Universe itself cannot be defined without an understanding of the Space /Motion/Time features thereof. It seems that the Maker has instilled every part of the Universe by these defining terms. Without the three, there would be no Universe. And even these three are further broken down into three properties; for example, let us examine the properties of MATTER. It must possess three defining properties to exist – length, width, and depth. If only one of these is removed, you will have only a plane with no substance. (Dr. Nathan Wood, Trinity of the Universe, Kregel Pubs, 1984) The same is true of the Holy Trinity. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost define the unity of the Godhead. Remove either entity and you will have nothing.
Please read here the testimony of the Received Text (Reformation Bibles): “This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” (1 John 5:6-8) If you own a fake Bible such as the NIV, ESV, or Jehovah Witness bible, you will discover that this term has been removed: “the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost.”
We are born unto God by water and the blood. When the lance pierced the side of our blessed Lord, forthwith there came out water and blood. At that instance was the New Testament Church consummated. We are both inwardly and outwardly defiled. Inwardly, we are defiled by the very nature of our inheritance of Adam. The spiritual Water from the Fountain of Life washes us of all sin. We are made clean in our inward being. God always cleanses the inner vessel first, and then the outer. “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” (Psalm 51:7) Purge us with this purgative to cleanse our inward parts, and then wash our outward being so that we are whiter than snow (every snowflake condenses around an impurity in the air. The purging by blood is that which fundamentally changes us in our thoughts, words, and deeds. We appear so to all who know us.