In many of the New Testament letter the writers open with some kind of prayer for their readers. Romans 1:7 is an example where Paul writes ‘ May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.‘ But the Apostle John begins with an assured promise: Grace, mercy, and peace, … will continue to be with us who live in truth and love.’ As we live in the light of God’s love and hold on to the truth of who Jesus is, then we can be assured of God’s Grace, mercy, and peace. This promise is strongly linked with truth. This is no trivial or passing mention however. Truth is mentioned 4 times in these opening verses. Then in verse 4 he expresses pleasure at having met people who live in the truth. ‘How happy I was to meet some of your children and find them living according to the truth, just as the Father commanded. ‘ In the verses that follow you catch a glimpse of just how important he regards truth. By verse 10 he is coming across very strong about it. ‘If anyone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth about Christ, don’t invite that person into your home or give any kind of encouragement. ‘
In John’s day – as in ours – there was much error and misunderstanding about Christian faith and who Jesus really was. It has always been easy to love the wrong thing, or person. The truth about Jesus, who He was, what He taught and did, what it means to believe in Him, is of the utmost importance. Saints and Martyrs have lived and died for the truth. Love and truth always go hand in hand in Christian thinking and living. When Jesus was on trial in front of Pilate, John records Jesus saying ‘ I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.” “What is truth?” Pilate asked.‘ Our modern culture is not keen on truth and is heading down Pilate’s route of cynicism.