"The Train of Truth"
The case could be made that the Apostle John was at once the most devotional and the most doctrinal of Biblical writers. Indeed, the same John who laid his head on the chest of the Lord Jesus Christ, and who referred to himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loved," was also the author of Scripture who recorded perhaps the most keenly focused ray of doctrinal light: "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by Me" (John 13:23; 14:6). John emphasized the personal love of the Lord Jesus while also declaring that the love of God must always be known in accordance with doctrinal truth. "God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24).
We must heed John's example and emphasis. We seek to know our Heavenly Father in the most personal terms, even as John records the Lord Jesus' affirmation of what it means to be truly alive: "This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3). We also heed the Apostle's frequent consideration of propositional truth provided in his Gospel and epistles. "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in Truth" declared John, who also excluded from the fold those who sought to know the Lord Jesus apart from doctrine. "Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world" (III John 1:4:3). We cannot remain genuinely know our Lord in devotional terms without a strong emphasis on doctrine. Nor can we consider our doctrinal understanding to be adequate if it fails to elicit personal and living fellowship with God.
The Lord Jesus declared Himself to be the Truth. He also affirmed the words of Scripture as Truth (John 14:6; John 17:14; 17). Thus, we must know God in terms of both the devotional and the doctrinal. The train of Truth requires both tracks upon which to travel in our hearts and minds. Deemphasis of either aspect of genuine worship inevitably derails our journey of faith, faithfulness, and genuine response to the living and true God. John graces us by both example and emphasis with his dual emphasis of worship in spirit and in truth. We do well to heed our brother of old in order to rightly worship the everlasting God of our hearts and of His Word.
"I will behold Thy face in righteousness… Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart (Psalm 17:15; Jeremiah 15:16).
Weekly Memory Verse
"These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."