Test #3 Keeping His Commandments
1 John 2:3 – 5
And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.
Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,
but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him:
This is the test that caught my attention when I was studying for the “Commandments for Christians” posts.
The issue in this verse is the identification of the commandments being referred to . Is this referring to the Ten Commandments?
Yes and no. My understanding of the new covenant that Jesus initiated for believers in the upper room, and sealed with His death and resurrection, is that He has authority over all. He has authority over the prophets, the law giver (Moses), the interpretation of the Old Testament, the moral standards for the believer, the interpretation of the Old Testament, the …..
Get my point? He is Lord. And by sitting in this position, He has elevated the commandments to a much higher level, and the proper understanding and application of them in the believers life is the challenge for us.
So Carl, what is John defining when he refers to commandments in this book?
Three overarching topics rise to the surface in this study.
A believer is responsible for seeking the truth and acting on it. I have published a series “Judge Judge Judge” in the past, looking at the teaching of righteousness / justice. The reader may want to take a few moments to review.
The Master wants His people to live in the truth and make life decisions based on the truth. This is critical and we will find this thread of thought throughout this letter from John.
Love (Mercy & Grace)
When I read this epistle, the command to love is everywhere. Love the brethren, love the Father, love the Son, love the lost.
Oooops – Does John bring this last topic up?
This epistle is all about family. Although the command to evangelize runs through the New Testament, John’s purpose in this epistle is to define the status of the believer based on a number of tests. Some may find evangelism when John refers to loving the brethren, and that may be true. I am not convinced. It is a minor point, since love is to permeate every aspect of our lives. We cannot love God and not love the lost. This is a natural outgrowth of living in the light.
As we venture through this letter, we will find that loving God is to be an all consuming motivation for the believer.
The third point that I find in this letter is faithfulness to the Father and the Son. Denial of the Son is the lynch pin of Christianity. I am looking forward to studying this topic most.
As I surveyed over the epistle, and the test’s John supplies, it became evident that this list looked familiar. I think the Master supplied a similar list when confronting the Scribes in Matthew 23:23
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
The Word is consistent, and John is delivering this truth to his brothers and sisters in a manner that suits their needs.
As I have been in this fascinating book, it has definitely challenged me, clearing out some wrong thinking, and realigning priorities to live by. I hope, as my readers follow along, you will also find a challenge to follow Him closer, and to enjoy His loving nature in your life.
I hope you found a truth that was helpful in your life within this post. Drop me a line, or send this post to a friend that you thought of recently.