In John's first letter of correspondence to the churches, there are some troublesome verses. First John 4:9-10 is not difficult: "This is how God showed his love among us: he sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we love God but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." I was trying to think back over my life, and I'm not sure I ever heard those verses quoted except in an application for the gospel. And they certainly do ring of what God has done for us. What I have not heard is how John applies those verses, for John says, "Dear friends, since God so loved us, we ought to love one another." Then he follows that by saying, "No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." I'm not completely sure of what all that means. I know he didn't interrupt this passage to give us some lesson about the invisibility of God. I suppose he is saying that the invisible God is made visible to people through the love that his people have for one another. His love for us prompts our love for others, and that love makes God visible to the world.
When we get the chance, my wife Bonnie and I will live in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Lancaster is Amish country. For those of you who come from another culture, the Amish came to our country in the early part of the eighteenth century. They are part of a broader group known as Mennonites. The Amish never wanted to leave the eighteenth century. They liked it. As a result, they don't drive cars; they continue to ride horse and buggy. They don't wear stylish clothes; they all wear dark or black clothes. They're not completely comfortable with electricity, so they ...
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Haddon Robinson was a preacher and teacher of preachers all over the world. His last teaching position was as the Harold John Ockenga Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.