Summary: Once we have accepted Christ, we must continue to be obedient so that we can continue our fellowship in Him. Our reward for obedience is eternal life.
There is something that we should all take note of in the Book of First John. Fellowship, sharing our lives in Christ, doesn’t continue for nothing. Once we have accepted Christ, we must continue to be obedient so that we can continue our fellowship in Him. Our reward for obedience is continued fellowship even throughout the rest of eternity. This may sound simple enough but even our veteran Christians can attest to the fact that this is no simple task; especially when we desire the opposite of what we are supposed to be doing. Think of the struggle you have with your children, or had with your children, about bed-times, putting up their toys, and doing what you have said in general. It can be a very arduous and stressing task to get your children to obey at times. I wonder where they get some of it from. I will admit children have their own rebellious spirit but you as parents have significant power over how they grow up.
You wouldn’t want to do it like one lady did. One author discusses the issue of obedience in the home and one frustrated mother. “Every conscientious parent recognizes how difficult it is to exercise his God-given authority over his children. The delicate balance of being tough yet tender is not easy to maintain. Many parents intensify a rebellious spirit by being dictatorial and harsh. Others yield when their authority is tested. When a strong-willed child resists, the pressure to give in for the sake of peace and harmony can become overpowering. I am reminded of the mother who wanted to have the last word but couldn’t handle the hassle that resulted whenever she said no to her young son. After an especially trying day, she finally flung up her hands and shouted, "All right, Billy, do whatever you want! Now let me see you disobey THAT!" - Our Daily Bread.
I know it can be very frustrating when you are dealing with your children and they refuse to listen. Trust me, I was one of those children who was extremely independent and wanted to do everything myself. Yet, you are the ones who are setting the example for your children and grandchildren. The Bibles speaks hundreds of times about obedience. We must be obedient to the government (Romans 13) which includes speed limits, seat belts, honesty on tax papers, etc. You name it we need to be obedient to God’s commands and set the example. In our marriages, husbands and wives are teams but if you are asked to do something and refuse because it takes you away from the television what do you think your children are going to do? Obedience plays a big role in our families, in our jobs, in our everyday lives. We want our children to obey and yet we ourselves sometimes don’t set the example. The next section in the book of 1 John that we will cover has to do with being obedient to continue our fellowship with God. “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.” Obedience is the litmus test to show that we are walking with God. We will only cover four commands we are to be continually obedient to today; 1)We must keep God’s Word in our minds and hearts, 2) We must live and act as Christ did, 3) We must learn to love our Christian family, and 4) We must not go back to living like we used to. We must be obedient to Christ to have fellowship with Him. Let’s look at the scope of these four commands that we should obey.
Keep the Word in your Heart (4-5)
“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.”
John spends the entirety of this small letter speaking to a group of Christians who should already know the truth. They have made a commitment to Christ and they have been baptized in His name. John now warns them that anyone who claims to know Christ and yet disobeys God’s rules is a liar and they have nothing to do with the truth. These men and women have little or nothing to do with God because they refuse to obey the commands God has set down and now live out a false life, a pseudo-Christian lifestyle where they act and seem like Christians but have no intention of obeying God. However, on the other side of the scales a true Christian will keep God’s word and the love of God will find completion in Him. This means that the Christian will keep or in other words follow strictly the Word of God. If any Christian devotes themselves to keeping the scriptures they will come closer and closer to living just like Jesus Christ. Christ was the perfect reflection of God and as a person devotes themselves to God’s word, they will learn to live and act just like Christ.