Our Department's (unofficial) weekly Bible study is on 1 John. We meet for about 55 minutes every week. The last three weeks, we've been struggling through 1 John 2:28-3:10 (last week we "covered" only two verses). The dilemma is that the text seems to be telling us that if we are children of God, then we do what is right and love our brother, and if we do not do what is right or fail to love our brother, then we are not children of God. This makes it seem that unless we are perfect, we have no hope of salvation. But we are not perfect (or at least, I am not, and none of my colleagues wanted to claim perfection)—and, besides, 1 John begins by warning us against claiming we are perfect.
I am beginning to wonder if this isn't the right place to bring in the notion of purgatory.