Lessons for the Christian Life
The most important lessons in the General Epistles are those which cause us to change ourselves for the better — the practical lessons. Ten of these lessons are listed below, along with scripture citations that call for them. The article, “A Few Practical Lessons from the Epistle of 1 John,” enumerates ten or eleven practical lessons, which are also referenced in the 1 John column.
See the chart below. [Brackets] identify Points 1-11 in the 1 John article.
Five of the seven epistles emphasize the need to have a heart-felt love of one’s brethren, to be wary of lust, and to beware of false teachers. We must learn to have compassion for one another if we are to become God-like. The temptations of sexual lusts were not locked out of our lives when we entered the consecrated way. Many have been entrapped by them over the history of the Christian church, and we are not immune today. Yielding to temptation draws us away from Christ. The lure of false teachers is to justify such compromises.
Four epistles stress the need to * Change our Christian character for the good * Control our tongues.
Three warn of the need to * Love not the things of this world * Learn to be merciful towards brethren and towards all * Continually study the Bible to attune our consciences to what is right * Tell others of what the Lord will do for us and for the whole world.
Christian character is paramount. It is the one thing we can take with us into the resurrection.