Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com
1 John 2:7-11 (NIV)
7 Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. 8 Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. 9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.
In this passage, the Apostle John, one of Jesus’ disciples, writes to a church that he pastored telling them that hatred is a symptom of the disease of sin. We know that because God did not hate us but sent Jesus to die for us (Romans 5:8). So if we call ourselves Christians while we hate or despise others we are leaving the light of Christ and walking further into the darkness of this world. Therefore, will we turn to the “Great Physician” (Mark 2:15-17) and allow him to remove our sin? Or will we allow our hatred of other Christians to keep us in darkness? As we relate to one another in Christ, we must let God’s word diagnose our sin and correct our actions. This is not easy, but we have a Great Physician who loves to heal the sick. (Keep praying for the well-being of the people from Monday!)