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John Stott on “Characteristics of a Christian”

September 16, 2021

From a book by John Stott, here is a thought on “Characteristics of a Christian” that is certainly worth pondering.

John does not mince his words. If how a person behaves contradicts what he says, he is a liar. To claim to know God and have fellowship with God while we walk in the darkness of disobedience is to lie (1 Jn. 1:6;2:4). To claim to possess the Father while denying the deity of the Son is to lie (2:22-23). To claim to love God while hating our brothers is also to lie. These are the three black lies of the letter: moral, doctrinal and social. We may insist that we are Christian, but habitual sin, denial of Christ or selfish hatred would expose us as liars. Only holiness, faith and love can prove the truth of our claim to know, possess and love God.

— From The Letters of John (Tyndale New Testament Commentaries: Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988) p. 173.

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