Two Audiences, Two Messages
“But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31)
Christ taught the people “as one who had authority, and not as their scribes” (Matthew 7:29). Follow Him, filled with His Spirit, and speak with like assurance. Luke begins to write “of those things which are most surely believed among us” (Luke 1:1 KJV). John writes with a certainty that is one of the marks of his authorship. We turn his Gospel and read: “But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). God is not primarily interested in the intellectual opinions of men, but He does want them to believe with that belief which produces life. He wants them to believe as one who believes the simple statements God has made concerning the death of His Son.
This Gospel is addressed to you, no matter who you may be, for it is the Gospel that is universal in its appeal. It meets the needs of the whole race. To every guilty man comes the offer of settlement out of court, to every sinner comes the promise of supernatural life. You may become a partaker of the Divine nature (cf. 2 Pet 1:4), you may have the righteousness of Christ put to your account, and the life of Christ planted within you.
When we come to the First Epistle of John, we find that it is much more restricted in its scope or circulation, being addressed to the few. One of the important principles in Bible study is to realize that not all of the Bible was written to everyone. First John is limited to one particular group of people.
It is tragic to see that, in most our churches, we do not pay attention to the intended audience of the Bible. Young people who have not been born again listen to messages that were designed to build believers in the advanced truth of Christ, and as a result they have attempted to live a Christian life without having the life of Christ to enable them to live that Christian life.
When you read and study your Bible are you aware of the intended audience? As a child of God, you are called to live the life that He has graciously implanted in you. Are you living it?
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