Four hundred and eighty years ago, William Tyndale translated and published from the Greek, the epistle of I John (among the rest of the N.T.), for the English speaking people of the world. And in doing so, he was strangled and burned at the stake.
Tyndale wrote this in part of his introduction to I John. He talked about how the apostle John led us to a middle way:
So fighteth this epistle both against them that will be saved by their own good works, and also against them that will be saved by a faith that hath no lust to do works at all, and keepeth us in the middle way, that we believe in Christ to be saved by his works only, and then to know that it is our duty for that kindness, to prepare ourselves to do the commandment of God, and to love every man his neighbor as Christ loved him, seeking with our own works God’s honour and our neighbours’ wealth only, and trusting for eternal life and for all that God hath promised us for Christ’s sake.
Isn’t this true? Tyndale is not saying that Christianity is just orthodoxy (what we believe) alone. Neither is it simply orthopraxy (what we do). It is both–a Christian, who believes in Christ and His work alone for salvation, will live for Christ. He will “lust” (passionately desire) to do works for the King.
Practically, all of us as a religious community in Idaho Falls, would profess to be Christians. And even though this letter by the apostle John is almost 2,000 years old, it has direct relevance for our Christianity in this city. There are three fundamentals: (1) right belief about Jesus, (2) a holy life of service for Jesus in His church, and (3) love for the Lord’s people. How can it be one without the other? The Father’s children have all three because His seed is in them.
I am halfway through my study of I John. The message is simple. It is black and white. It is genuine Christianity.