Knowing that we know Him
“ And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in
him.” ( 1 John 2: 3- 4 KJV)
In 1 John 1, the apostle began the idea of knowing that we are saved by walking in the light (1 John 1:7-9). As John continues this epistle, he continues this thought of knowing that one is saved, and the emphasis is carried throughout chapter two of having knowledge of salvation. In the original writing there was no chapter division as we have in our text today, but the reader would have continued reading about walking in the light and gone into the discussion that is seen in what we know as “chapter two.” As there were many during the time of the writing that had given way to the idea of Gnosticism, which falsely taught that the ever-present characteristic of matter, and its advocates were therefore unable to accept the doctrine of the incarnation on the ground that they believed it impossible for sinless deity to occupy a material body. Because the idea that the body was sinful and the spirit was independent of themselves and undefiled by the body, it did not matter what the body did, which led to living lives of unrestrained indulgence. Such was the background for the writing of the epistle of 1 John, as John, by Holy Spirit inspiration, would encourage the church to continue walking in the light, knowing they are saved and to keep the commandments of God.
There was a message that the apostle John did not want the Christians to forget. He was writing them to keep them from sin, to encourage them to keep the faith, and to stay away from the dangers of sin, but he also wanted to remind them if one did sin there was an Advocate with the Father,
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‘Minute with the Minister’
By Jeremy Thornton JEREMY THORNTON (cont.)
Jesus Christ the righteous (v.1). An advocate has often been described as a “lawyer” and is defined as “helper.” If we sin, then we have One that will plead our case on our behalf and help us in our times of trouble to cleanse us from our sins. John also reminds us that Jesus is our “propitiation” for sins. Jesus is the One that has made the sacrifice or appeasement for our sins because we were not able to do so ourselves, neither was the blood of bulls and goats that was made under the Old Law able to take away sins (Heb. 10:4), only the blood of the Perfect, Sinless Son of God able to redeem mankind, making us able to be accepted by God on the Day of Judgment (Matt. 26:28).
The readers were able to be assured of their salvation if they kept the commandments (v.3-6). How can we be assured of our salvation, how can one know with all certainty that heaven is their eternal home, is a person foolish to say that they know for sure they are “going to heaven when they die”? Absolutely not!
The apostle John, by Holy Spirit inspiration, is writing the church a letter of assurance
they can rest assured of their salvation, but how?
The church could be assured of their salvation, the Christian today can make the statement that heaven will be their eternal home, when they keep the commandments of God (v.3). Those that say they know Him, but do not keep His commands are liars (v.4). No one likes to be called a liar, but the Scriptures clearly point out that one cannot fool God, pretending to be something they are not, but only those that are sincerely serving God and keeping His commands
be saved (v.5-6).
Another aspect of knowing one is saved is discussed in verses seven through eleven. John writes “now new commandment” but encourages them to keep the commandment which they have heard from the beginning (v.7), but what is the commandment they have heard from the beginning? If we were to look back at the Old Testament, we could go back to the Law that was given to Israel, commanding them to love God with all their heart, soul, and might, and this law was to be taught to be taught to the children, be bound as a sign upon their hands, as frontlets between their eyes, and be written upon the posts of their houses (Deut. 6:4 -9).
Jesus stated the greatest commandment was to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and the second is like unto it to love your neighbor as yourself (Matt. 22:37-40). As John is writing these words of encouragement, he reminds the church of the love we are to have for God, and each other, and in doing so we walk in the light.
The fact of knowing is seen again in the next section beginning in verse twelve as we are reminded that sins are forgiven “for His name's sake” (v.12). There are different classes of individuals mentioned in these verses (fathers, young men, children) which may indicate different levels of maturity of their Christian walk, or those that were new converts compared to those that had been Christians for some time.
Throughout these verse the apostle is encouraging each class because they have overcome the wicked one and they have known the Father, which directs us back to the statements made in the previous verses, they are able to know the Father by keeping His commandments. After being encouraged of overcoming the wicked one there is a warning of the dangerous lust set forth by the tempter (v.15-17). The evil desires of the flesh and the pride that is involved with it will not lead to a heavenly reward but will cause one to be led away, just as the warning is seen in verse seventeen that the world passes away and the lusts thereof, but those that overcome and do not give JEREMY THORNTON (cont.)
way to these lust can abide with the Father forever!
John address a present matter as there had been some of the Christians that had fallen away and had followed those that were against Christ (“antichrist” v.18-19). This passage is another clear passage that points out that it is possible that a person can lose their salvation and that a falling away is possible. There have been many that have been falsely taught that once saved always saved, but this passage, as well as many others, teach that the falling away is possible.
After writing this warning of the antichrist, John continues his exhortation to remain faithful (v.20-29).
He has written to them because they know the truth (v.21). There was a problem at that time with those that were denying the Christ (v.22), but John is writing the church to remain faithful and abide in that which they had heard from the beginning (v.24).
There was a promise that was promised to those that remain faithful, eternal life (v.25). The faithful could be confident when He shall appear and not be ashamed (v.28) because He is righteous and they that keep His commands are born of Him (v.29).
Now more than ever, we need to be reminded that we can know and be certain that heaven is our eternal home. John wrote this letter for this purpose.
Those that continue to keep the commandments of God and deny the lusts of this world can be assured of their salvation because of our Advocate, Jesus Christ, the righteous.