Good Wednesday morning. Very, very early. Thanks to Mickey who was whining for me to get up.
John’s epilogue begins with verse 13. Verse 13 has a blessed assurance of eternal life. We might as well finish out this book today. Be prepared for deep stuff about sin!
1 John 5:13-21 NRSV
13 “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
14 And this is the boldness we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of him. 16 If you see your brother or sister committing what is not a mortal sin, you will ask, and God will give life to such a one—to those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin that is mortal; I do not say that you should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not mortal.
18 We know that those who are born of God do not sin, but the one who was born of God protects them, and the evil one does not touch them. 19 We know that we are God’s children, and that the whole world lies under the power of the evil one. 20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”
From St. Thomas Aquinas: “All sin is an offense against God and a rejection of his perfect love and justice. Yet, Jesus makes a distinction between two types of sins. We call the most serious and grave sins, mortal sins. Mortal sins destroy the grace of God in the heart of the sinner. By their very grave nature, a mortal sin cuts our relationship off from God and turns man away from his creator. St. Paul’s letter to the Hebrews tell us that “if we sin willfully after having the knowledge of the truth, there is now left no sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:26). The second type of sin, venial sin, that of less grave matter, does not cut us off from Christ. However, venial sin does weaken grace in the soul and damages our relationship with God. A person who frequently indulges in venial sin is very likely to collapse into mortal sin if they persist in their evil ways.”
Mortal sin is intentional. Intentionally turning away from God is dangerous business. We Lutherans believe that all sin deserves damnation, but all sin is forgiven by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Martin Luther’s quote, “sin boldly,” is used incorrectly most of the time. It was written to his friend Melanchthon and not to the public. It is believed that he meant we are all sinners so stop with the catholic penance and just say thank you, Lord for forgiveness!
Blessings on your day,