Sunday, September 5, 2010

How Do We Know?! 1 John 2:3-11

The Question: How is it that a person comes to know that she or he really knows the Living God?

I. If We Know God, We Will Keep His Commands
1 John 2:3

Not necessarily the ten commandments, keep in mind. John is also NOT asking the question: "How do we come to know God?" Note, that's not the question. The question is the first sentence. It's a very strong question. How much do you ask it about yourself? I know I ask that question a lot. I even sometimes doubt that everything is okay. I forget the full strength of the Gospel and end up freaking out. John is giving us a test that will help us to be certain that we know the Living God. Keep in mind that no matter what, we will NEVER be perfect in anything we do.

Verse 4 reads out: " 4 Whoever says "I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him." Whoa...doesn't that sound harsh? No. Like I said earlier, none of us will do anything perfectly. Verse 5 helps clear things out a little: "But whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected." When John says perfected, he is not meaning that WE are perfected. So the question to answer the main one is this: Is the Final Authority In Your Life the Word of God and God himself? In other words, if you really know God, you'll love and look forward to reading his Word, the Holy Bible. You'll pay very close attention to it. You will love learning from Jesus' words and teachings.

II. If We Know God, We Will Emulate Jesus' Life Of Obedience. 1 John 2:6

Like I said earlier, don't freak out if you aren't able to be like Jesus perfectly. Listen closely to these couple sentences: None of us, not ONE will be able to do it perfectly. After all, if we can do it perfectly, then what use is Christ? He came to die and save SINNERS, NOT PERFECTIONISTS. My Pastor today told a story that went like this:

A man had finished carving a lion out of wood. Someone asked him, "How did you do that?" The man answered simply, "Quite easily. I just chipped away everything that wasn't lion."

Honestly, I can't understand one word of that. Can you? At least I admitted it. The point of the matter is that the Holy Spirit is like the man. He's chipping away everything that isn't like Christ. It takes time. When we die, we'll go to heaven and become most like him as could be. I'm not sure if we'll exactly be like him equally...but that's not the point of the matter at hand. John is mainly pointing out these things so that the church would be able to see false teachers that surrounded it at the time. An easy way to describe that: If we say "It doesn't matter how we live, Grace is upon us", We don't understand Grace. It does matter how we live our lives. John has already stated it in verse 4.

III. If We Know God, We Will Love. 1 John 2:7

If anything, I think that this is probably the most troublesome for me: I don't really get along with people. The point is not even to get along. It's to LOVE. Now that's definitely something I need to work on. When John says that the command to love is an old one, boy it is. It was there for centuries. Mostly from the entire beginning. If you know God, then you'll love your brother and sister. If I love my God, I'll love MY brother and sister. My friends, this does not mean just siblings described here. (Even though that may be the hardest to do. :D) It also implies friends and other people. I think mainly Christians, but we should love others enough to proclaim the good news to them.

IV. Thoughts and Conclusion.

So, do you desire to obey God's Commands? Do you run to the Word for God's perspective on things? Do you read the Bible to just read? I think we should be doing all three. I would refrain from thinking this way as I was doing earlier this morning at the Sermon: Just read the bible so that it will show that we know God.

Oh brother, I just brought up another problem, didn't I? Oops. Here's my answer to that problem: Yes, do read the bible. Have a happy attitude about it though. Each time before you read, I'd suggest maybe asking God to let your heart be attentive to His word, and help you gain something from it. You can try to force the Bible into your day though. It is something that we all need. I've actually come to find that I gain a lot, and it just makes me even feel better when I read, and try to figure things out.

Other things I have noticed: Life without God and the Bible is practically impossible. Living alone without them, even without people (Even though it seems to be relaxing) is useless. To me anyway. You may have other thoughts. What are the things stopping you from reading the bible? Laziness, perhaps? Work or school? Different activities, maybe? I am wondering how much time we spend sitting and doing nothing instead of reading the bible. Are some of these activities even useful to us? Fitness, looks, making yourself look better and higher? These to me seem like quite a wasteful spent life. What's better? Earthly riches, power and reputation, or being as Christ-like as possible, and eternity with God?

I am most likely a hypocrite. It's something I am trying to fight in myself. I will say this again in a better way from my mind: Every aspect of things on this Earth is useless and frail compared to clinging to Jesus. Think about it.