Thursday, November 11, 2021

John Stott on Sin

I am going out on a limb and assuming that everyone is interested in my final track run before the marathon this weekend. I ran only a few miles to keep the legs fresh. The worst thing you can do is arrive at the starting line tired or over-trained. Over-tapping the engine is a big no-no before race day. 

Before my workout I spent an hour at the Mennonite bakery continuing my study of 1 John and taking notes from John Stott's commentary. 

The country boy's Starbucks. 

This is literally one of the best books I've read on these letters. 

I share with you a few of my takeaways both to show you what the Lord is teaching me as well as a reminder of just how brilliant Stott's writing is. I'll put my summary into bullet points:

  • God is light.
  • Intellectually, light is truth and darkness is ignorance and error.
  • Morally, light is purity and darkness is evil.
  • Truth always has a moral content.
  • We do not just know the truth, we do it.
  • We do not just see the light, we walk in it.
  • In 1 John, the author's purpose is to prevent sin, not condone it. He states this negatively ("so that you do not sin") and positively ("yet if anyone does sin").
  • "It is important to hold these two statements in balance. It is possible to be either too lenient or too severe towards sin" (p. 84).
  • "['Yet if anyone does sin'] clearly indicates the author's conviction that acts of sin (the aorist hamarte implies this), as opposed to the continuous sinful habit, are possible in the Christian" (p. 84).

I don't really recommend reading 1 John unless you're prepared to deal with the sin in your life. If we take God seriously, then we should also take sin seriously. John did. That's why he wrote 1 John.