On this day when we celebrate the birth of our
Saviour, Jesus Christ, I trust you will take the time to
honor Him, who was born of the virgin Mary, for the
express purpose of giving Himself to die on the cross
for your sins and mine. Too often even Christians have
made Christmas Day a busy day–giving and receiving
gifts–but not taking the time to thank the One who gave
His life, the greatest gift of all, that we might have
eternal life. Sometime during this day slip aside and
fall on your knees and thank the Lord for the marvelous
gift of His Son. If you are not born-again, accept the
gift of Jesus Christ into your life. Trust Him as your
own personal Saviour and allow Him to become Lord of
your life. We trust this will be the greatest Christmas
ever for you and yours.

Since space does not permit detailed comments
about each chapter we read, it is our purpose to point
out things that will be meaningful to our readers each
day, while fully realizing that many wonderful truths
cannot be commented on.

The Holy Spirit used the Apostle John to give us
the Gospel of John, three Epistles, and the Book of the
Revelation. These three works actually complement each
other and give us a full picture of the Christian life.
In the Gospel of John, the emphasis is on salvation; in
the Epistles, the emphasis is on sanctification; and in
the Revelation, the emphasis is on glorification. The
Gospel of John speaks of past history; the Epistles of
John speak of the present experience; and Revelation
speaks of future hope. The Gospel of John emphasizes
that Christ died for us; the Epistles, that Christ lives
in us; and Revelation, that Christ comes for us. In the
Gospel of John the Word was made flesh; in the Epistles
the Word was made real to us; and in the Revelation the
Word conquers.

John gives us five purposes for the writing of
his first Epiestle: (1) That we might have fellowship
(chapter 1:3). (2) That we might have joy (chapter 1:4).
(3) That we might not sin (chapter 2:1,2). (4) That we
might overcome error (chapter 2:26). (5) That we might
have assurance (chapter 5:13).

Chapters 1 and 2 emphasize fellowship, and
chapters 3–5 emphasize sonship. In each of these
sections John gives three basic tests: obedience
(walking in the light); love (walking in love); and
truth (walking in truth). In other words, a person can
know he is in fellowship with God through Christ if he
has no known sin in his life, if he has a love for
Christ and the brethren, and if he believes the truth
and not some lie. Furthermore, he can know he is a son
of God in the same way: If he is obeying His Word: if he
has love for Christ and the brethren; and if he believes
and lives the truth. Far too many professing Christians
never test their lives to see if they are really saved.
John asks us to apply these tests that we might enjoy
the Christian life to the fullest.

When sin enters a Christian’s life he must
immediately confess it and claim God’s forgiveness. He
must spend time in the Word, learning the truth and
letting the truth grip his heart, will, and mind. Or, to
look at it negatively, the Christian who deliberately
disobeys the Word, neglects the Word, and who cannot get
along with God’s people, is out of fellowship with God
and in darkness. It is not enough to talk about the
Christian life, we must practice it daily. God loved us
so much that He gave His only Son to die on the cross
for us, and we are to love Him and our Christian
brothers. We must also keep in mind that Christian love
does not mean we must agree with everything our brother
thinks or does, because we might not like some of his
personal characteristics. But, because he is a brothier
in Christ, we must love him for Jesus’ sake and because
God has told us to do so. Obedience, love, and truth are
the three key thoughts in I John. They are essential for
fellowship, and are very definite evidences of sonship.
I wonder today, are these three Christian
characteristics evident in your life?