Summary: God wants you to have assurances before Him. John lists four things that will give us assurances in times of doubt and trials.
How To Know That You Know
1Jn 3:18-19 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him;
1. We have Assurance because we love Him and love like Him.
• We read verse 18 again because John begins verse 19 with “By this we shall know…”
• It could be read, “This is how we know…”, reflecting on loving in truth, deed and word.
• John then speaks of reality and the assurance of the reality.
• I know that sounds fancy, but what he is saying is what is real and how you can know it is real.
• The reality: We are of the truth. If you are saved, you are “of the truth.”
• By loving in truth, deed and love, we have the knowledge that we are in the right way.
• But also, when you love in truth, deed and love, you also have the assurance before God.
• What is the difference between assurance of salvation and assurance before God?
• Psa 130:3 “If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?”
• None of us truly grasps the glory and greatness of God.
• We cannot imagine what it will be like to be in His presence.
• John grasped it on one occasion that he records in the Book of the Revelation.
• Rev 1:12-17a “Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead…”
• When someone comes to me to seek greater assurance of their salvation, they are usually talking about assurance in the presence of their trials and doubts.
• Yet John isn’t talking about assurance in light of the troubles and the doubts we have, but assurance in the presence of God. Let me illustrate.
• When I was talking with another counselor once, he asked if he could take me through an exercise that he uses to help people struggling with assurance or attaining victory, and/or were stalled in Christian growth.
• He had me close my eyes and imagine that Jesus Christ walks into the room, looks at me and comes and sits beside me.
• Where would my mind go? What would I think? What would I feel? How would I react?
• Even though I know what the answer should be, sheer honesty tells me that I would be embarrassed about my lack of commitment, ashamed of my lack of love, awkward in conversation, and totally uncomfortable in His presence.
• He knows too much about me. As far as that goes, I know too much about me.
• Maybe this is some of what John experience when He recognized Jesus, yet saw him the clothed in His full glory for the first time. (Ref. Revelations 1:17a).
• He fell down like a dead man, and I can think of no more comforting posture should I see Him in His glory.
• I would have very little assurance before Him.
• Someday I am going to meet face to face my Savior. Someday we are going to sit and converse.
• How can I know that today I am on the right track to be able to sit with Him and enjoy His presence instead of being miserable about my shortcomings?
• John answer the question: “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him”.
• It means, “to Love God and Love Like God.”
• When I do that, I have the confidence and assurances to run to Jesus, not run from Him.
• There are those who might say, “Brother Tim, you are taking this the wrong way. You are over-emphasizing love and under emphasizing obedience.”
• I don’t think so. I can bring proof texts that will keep us here all night. But consider this….
• Rom 13:8-10 “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”