HOW WE KNOW WE KNOW HIM
1 John 2:3-6 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. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.
The first two verses of this chapter tell us that we have access to our God, our Creator and the Author of our salvation, by being reconciled to Him through the sacrificial blood that was shed by our Savior, Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. Jesus Christ became the propitiation for our sins; He is our redeemer. By hearing and believing that Jesus is the Son of God, making that confession, repenting from our past sinful life, and being baptized into the body of Christ for the remission of our sins, we are added, by God, to the church of His dear Son, the church of Christ. It is through these acts of faith that sinful men and women become Christians, and are reconciled to the righteous God of heaven. God recognizes all Christians as His adopted children; they become brothers and sisters to His true Son, Jesus Christ.
This is the God that we are privileged to know, through Jesus Christ, and His gospel message of eternal salvation, that by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, was preached throughout the world by His disciples. And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. We can assuredly know God if we keep His commandments. The inspired writers of the New Testament give us these commandments in words that we can all understand and obey. Jesus was asked, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? To this, Jesus replied, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets (Matt. 22:36-40, also see Mark 12:28-31).
Do you want the assurance that you know God? To know God is to love God; to love God is to and keep His commandment to love thy neighbor as thyself.These two commandments were given to us through His Son, Jesus Christ. Obedience to the complete law of God is contained in these commandments. In Mark's inspired account of this event he closes with this spiritual fact: There is none other commandment greater than these. Regarding God's commandments given through Jesus, consider these statements given by our Savior. If ye love Me, keep My commandments (John 14:15), and, If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love (John 15:10). We know that we know God, and His Son Jesus Christ, when we keep His commandments!
It is easy to say that we love God and His Son, our Savior, but the lesson text tells us that this is not enough. We must demonstrate that love by our actions, which is to keep His commandments. One can easily claim to know God's will and to have the promise of eternal salvation. Yet, if they live a life of disobedience, then he is a liar, and the truth is not in him. A mere profession of faith in salvation through Jesus Christ is inconsequential, unless it is accompanied by obedience to the commandments of God. Notice this application of the two great commandments found in the gospels of Matthew and Mark noted above. In this example we can see that our love for God, and our love for mankind, cannot exist apart from each other. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from Him, That he who loveth God love his brother also (1 John 4:20-21). To know that we know God, we must love Him and keep His commandments. All that fail to do so are liars in His sight. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him.
Acts that demonstrate our love of God and our neighbors assure our obedience to His will. It is God's will that we emulate the wonderful example of obedience that His Son, Jesus Christ demonstrated during His sojourn on earth. In our conduct of life, we need to walk, even as He walked. When we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we not only have fellowship with God, but ...we have fellowship one with another (See 1 John 1:6-7). When we lovingly walk in the light, we know that we know Him!