The temptation in this passage has often been to create an “us vs them” interpretation. And, it is easy to draw a circular reasoning out of the text to imply that if someone doesn’t listen to you, than they never would’ve in the first place. But we have to remember that the context entering into 1 John 4 is not a circular one. John has already qualified that the “them,” in the equation, is not those who disagree with Christian’s, but those who disagree with Christ. They claim Christ while rejecting his body, historicity or application of his will for us. It is those people against, us, we who affirm his body, his historicity and his commands. John notes that speech is very important here. This is because Jesus taught him that “it is not what goes into a man that defiles him but what comes out.” Those who are not aligned with Christ can be seen by their speech. Their speech comes from a different worldview. It is one that is lesser and impotent. We must listen to our own speech. What worldview does it come from? Does it affirm Christ? We need to conform our will to his, even in our speech. This is an important and often overlooked facet of love in one another.
Published by Josh McGary
MY NAME IS JOSH MCGARY. First, I am a Pastor of a small church in Portland, Oregon named Aletheia Bible Fellowship. We call it ABF. I have been a pastor there for the better part of 20 years. I am very eclectic. What I love, I love loudly and immersively. I have notable collections of toys, funko pops, and vinyl. I also infamously love pop culture, comic books, technology, the arts, psychology and philosophy. https://sleek.bio/joshmcgary View more posts