Archive for September 3rd, 2018

1 John 2:3-6

In 1 John 2:3-6 the apostle asks a penetrating question: And how can we be sure that we belong to him?” Exactly how do we know that we are His? How do we know that we truly love anyone or anything for that matter?  The answer seems too simple to be true.  It is by how we act.  And that’s what John tells us. The evidence of someone knowing God, and fellowship with Him is that they keep His commandments. A simple, loving obedience is a natural result of fellowship with God. “By looking within ourselves: are we really trying to do what he wants us to?” The test for whether or not we truly belong to God is our desire to live in obedience.

We may try and convince ourselves and others that because of grace, we don’t have to be obedient to God.  But that is definitely not true. The truth of this is so certain that if one does not live a life marked by obedience, their claim to fellowship with God can be fairly challenged. “Someone may say, “I am a Christian; I am on my way to heaven; I belong to Christ.” But if he doesn’t do what Christ tells him to, he is a liar.” John calls the a liar, which is pretty strong language.  But it is that important.  We can’t pretend to be a Christ Follower and not do what He tells us to do.  We can’t claim to be a Christian and not follow God’s commands.  We won’t always do them perfectly, but the desire will be there if we are truly His.

The good news is that when we walk in obedience with Jesus, our love grows deeper and deeper.  A perfected and mature love for God will express itself in obedience, and the presence of this obedience and love gives us assurance that we are in Jesus. “But those who do what Christ tells them to will learn to love God more and more. That is the way to know whether or not you are a Christian.” Guzik writes ‘when one becomes a Christian, there is a change in their relationship with sin. Sin is not eliminated in the believer until he comes to glory, but their relationship to sin is changed when they truly become a Christian.

– A Christian no longer loves sin as he once did.

– A Christian no longer brags about their sin as he once did.

– A Christian no longer plans to sin as he once did.

– A Christian no longer fondly remembers his sin as he once did.

– A Christian never fully enjoys his sin as he once did.

– A Christian no longer is comfortable in habitual sin as he once was.’

John boils it down to a simple statement. “Anyone who says he is a Christian should live as Christ did.” It can’t get much clearer than that. Jesus is the example by which we should live.  We aren’t called to imitate the way Jesus walked on water as that is humanly impossible. But we are called to follow His every-day walk with God the Father. The spiritual power evident in the life of Jesus flowed from a faithful, regular, disciplined life of fellowship and obedience. The one who knows God will increasingly lead a righteous life, for God is righteous. It does not mean that we will be sinless; John has already told us that anyone who claims to be sinless is lying. It simply means that we will be moving in a direction toward the righteousness of God.

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