3 TESTS OF AUTHENTICITY:
Test #1 – Obedience and Knowing God (vs3-5)
Test #2 – Obedience & the Example of Jesus (vs 6)
Test #3 – Obedience and Love (7-11)
There were two doctors with the same name who lived a few doors apart.
One doctor was a Christian and a lay preacher,
The other doctor made no profession of faith.
One night a rather sick person, who was also a Christian,
And wanting help from a fellow believer,
Knocked mistakenly at the door of the non-Christian doctor.
When the door opened the patient asked:
“Are you the doctor who preaches?”
“No”, the medic replied, “I am the doctor who practices”.
“Oh”, said the sick person, “I’ve always understood the two things were inseparable”.
Good doctrine should lead to good practice;
John wants to ask his readers; “Do your actions match your profession?”
In this section of John’s letter:
The apostle teaches truth through the form of three tests Christians should take.
Or three evidences, three proofs, three assurances that we do indeed belong to Christ.
One thing we have in Christ (or should have);
Is the assurance that ‘He is mine and I am his’.
John starts this section of the letter with an affirmation:
A statement, a declaration:
“We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands”
The Message renders the verse:
“Here’s how we can be sure that we know God in the right way: Keep his commandments.”
John is teaching here that knowing God;
Is directly linked to our inward desire to obey God.
In other words God is not an interruption in my daily plans;
He is the very centre of my daily living!
So John gives the Christian three tests, three proofs that bring assurance;
So let’s examine ourselves according to John’s tests of authenticity.
Test #1 – Obedience and Knowing God (vs 3-5):
“Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar,
and the truth is not in that person”.
The apostle John makes the simple point;
That knowing God is more than something intellectual or emotional.
You can all the truth intellectually (i.e. in your head);
You can have emotionally experiences – but that is not enough!
The apostle clearly says:
That those who truly know God live lives that are pleasing to God.
In other words they submit their will and lives in obedience to God.
“Obedience” is not a word we naturally like;
Everyone of us here ultimately want to be their own boss.
There’s a part of us that doesn’t want to obey anyone or anything.
The story is told about a groom,
Whom during the wedding rehearsal, approached the minister with an unusual offer.
“Look, I’ll give you £1000 if you’ll change the wedding vows.
When you get to the part where I’m to promise to;
‘Love, honour and obey’ and ’forsaking all others, be faithful to her forever,’
I’d appreciate it if you’d just leave that part out.”
He pressed the money into the ministers hand;
And walked away satisfied.
Soon the wedding day arrived,
And they came to the part of the ceremony where the vows are exchanged.
When it came time for the groom’s vows,