Summary: Obedience is one evidence of our fellowship with God.
Today, we are going to study another test of fellowship with God and that is obeying His commands. Please open your Bibles to 1 John 2:3-11.
Read 1 John 2:3. 3We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.
What does the phrase “we have come to know Him” mean?
Knowledge of God in the biblical sense is not intellectual and speculative but experiential and dynamic spiritual relationship.
It is not a matter of correct thought-processes but of a genuine spiritual relationship. The knowledge of God and relationship with him, are complementary aspects of Christian experience. We build our relationship based on our clear understanding of who God is.
It does not just know His teachings, memorizing His words, and learning His character but entering in to an intimate relationship with Him and experiencing His nature and character on a progressive manner.
Note too that the text used the perfect tense which implies that knowledge of God is a past experience with continuing effects. You may have come to know God in the past (1, 3, 5, 7, 9 or more years ago) but the effects of that experience should still be seen in the present.
Does your knowledge of God result to a personal relationship with Him? – a relationship of the Father to His children, Shepherd to His sheep, Creator to His creature, Master to His servants.
What is the test of one’s knowledge of God?
A test by which we may all measure our knowledge of God is the extent of our obedience to his commands.
The Bible says that “we know we have come to know him if we obey his commands.” The term “obey” is in the present tense which implies a continuous action. It implies a habitual, progressive obedience of God’s orders or commands.
ILLUSTRATION You have not really learned a commandment until you have obeyed it.… The church suffers today from Christians who know volumes more than they practice.—Vance Havner
Why should we obey God?
Read 1 John 2:4. 4The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
Knowledge of God necessarily implies obeying his orders; therefore to claim such a relationship, without the determination to obey God’s moral demands, indicates that the claim is false.
1. Obeying God’s signifies submission to Him.
Read Matthew 7:21. 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Read John 8:31-32. 31To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
It is ironic to address God or Jesus as Lord but we disobey His commands and teachings. The test of His Lordship over our lives is our obedience to His teachings and commands.
Therefore beware of disobeying God’s commands. Perhaps God is telling you to stop a particular attitude, behavior, and habit, listen to Him. Or maybe He wanted you to submit to a particular rite or commitment to Him, obey Him.
Read 1 John 2:5. 5But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him.
The love mentioned by John in verse 5 is our love for God in response to His love for us. The term “complete” implies maturity and growth. In short, when we obey God’s word it reflects a growing and maturing love for God.
2. Obeying God’s demonstrates our love for God.
Read John 14:15, 21. 15“If you love me, you will obey what I command. 21Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”
When obedience is motivated by love, it shows humility and enthusiasm. It is not a responsibility but an opportunity to demonstrate one’s love for God.
3. Obeying God reflects our Christ-likeness.
Read 1 John 2:5b-6. This is how we know we are in him: 6Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
Read 1 John 3:24. 24Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
The claims “knowing Him and living in Him” are synonymous. Therefore the test of living in Him is “walking as Jesus did.” It means following the footsteps of Jesus or the ways of Christ.
Read John 8:55. 55Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word.