Sunday, January 25, 2015

The proof of knowledge - 1 John 2:3-6

"By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, 'I have come to know Him,' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked." (1 John 2:3-6)
The is a vast difference between what one professes and what one truly possesses. A man's value and the quality of his life is not calculated based on what he professes to be but rather by what his life demonstrates him to be in reality. If a man professes to be a Christian yet lives like the condemned, his profession is worthless and serves only to deceive himself for his life shows forth who he truly is indeed. To possess truth is to possess it in a way that makes a difference in our lives; to possess it in a way that makes a tangible, qualitative, and demonstrable difference in the way we act, speak, and relate to others. If we say that we have the truth of God living within us then we must be able, in some way, to demonstrate the reality of that truth through our life. To say you have the truth of God yet fail to show any change or conformance to the truth is a lie and contrary to the very truth you claim to have.

John is challenging us to judge our words by our lives. God spoke to Israel saying, "Did not your father eat and drink and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him. He pled the cause of the afflicted and needy; then it was well. Is not that what it means to know Me?" (Jeremiah 22:15-16) God asks, "Is this not what it means to know Me?" The evidence of the knowledge of God He is speaking of is the imitation of God. Their testimony to their knowledge of God was that they did the things that God did. They cared for the afflicted and needy and worked justice and righteousness; all things that God did and is still doing. Their knowledge of God made them godlike and converted their former behavior to be in conformance with the behavior and nature of God. To claim the knowledge of God and yet to resist its transformative powers to be conformed into His image is to lie against the truth and to deny our need to know Him in a real and vital way.

The love of God has a mission in our life.The Greek word for "perfected" means to mature, perfect, or to reach one's goal. It contains the same root word as we use for our word "telescope." It refers to a distant goal or mark that one aims for, and then reaches or obtains. The love of God has a goal in our life and its aim is that we should obtain that goal. To be perfected in love is to obtain the goal for which it was sent, and the goal of love is our conformance to the nature and behavior of God. Paul wrote, "For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified." (Romans 8:29-30) The love of God predestined us to be conformed to His image and likeness, and then the love of God worked in our lives to accomplish that goal with the hope that, when perfected, we should be like Him in every way. The love of God did not come to give us a warm feeling but to change us into something new. It is not enough to feel loved but we must allow ourselves to be loved, to the point where that love actually changes us into something lovely, into the very image of God's Son.

David Robison

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