All New Testament books address the matter of proper behavior. In the case of the letters, it is usually poor behavior that is addressed, along with the imperative to change. In The First Epistle of John, a call to change in behavior among Christians is precisely in mind. John, the disciple most close to Jesus, wrote this letter in the later years of his life to Christians :
* who claim to have fellowship with Christ yet walk “in darkness” (1:6).
* who (amazingly) claim to be without sin (1:8).
* who claim an intimacy with God and Jesus but who do not live according to their direction (2:3-4).
* who are in love with the world and its ways, but claim to love as God loves (2:15).
* who claim to love God, but do nothing to help the needy (3:17-18).
John writes that such behavior is an intolerable contradiction, and those who live it and advocate it are hypocrites and liars – fairly tough language, but language that ought to remind us all that being a Christian is not a life of half-way measures, but one of unwavering commitment.
Hypocrisy by Christians will not be overlooked by the world. First John is a bold declaration that is not being overlooked by God either.