Summary: The sign that we are a Christian is that we obey His word.
The Sign of a Christian
Text: 1 Jn. 2:3-11
1. Illustration: Despite the "Do Not Touch" signs, a museum was having no success in keeping patrons from touching--and soiling--priceless furniture and art. But the problem evaporated overnight when a clever museum employee replaced the signs with ones that read: "Caution: Wash Hands After Touching!"
2. We can learn many things from signs.
a. When to stop.
b. What road we are on.
c. When a curve is coming up.
d. When a hill is coming up.
3. What are the signs of being a Christian?
a. We keep His commandments.
b. We walk as Jesus walked.
c. We love our brothers and sisters.
4. Read 1 Jn. 2:3-11
Proposition: The sign that we are a Christian is that we obey His word.
Transition: Test # 1 is...
I. Test #1: Do We Keep His Commandments (3-4)?
A. If We Keep His Commandments
1. John begins this section by saying "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments."
a. The word know "has the sense of have to do with, have dealings with, know personally" (New International Dict of NT Theology. Pradis CD-ROM).
b. It implies a sense of intimacy.
c. We can says that we know who George Bush is, but we do not know him personally.
d. Even in the OT, when the Bible says that a man "knew his wife," it meant that he had an intimate relationship with her.
2. John is stressing here that if we are to have an intimate relationship with God then we must obey His commandments.
a. Knowing God is evidenced by our heartfelt desire to obey him. (Burge, NIV Application Commentary, New Testament: The Letters of John, 97).
b. Some people say that they know God, but they deny it by the way that they live their lives.
c. John 14:15 "If you love Me, keep My commandments.
3. John says "He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him."
a. True believers wholeheartedly accept and submit to God’s will as he has revealed it in his Word.
b. If a person claims to belong to God, but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, he or she is a liar.
4. John says that such a person does not have the truth in them.
a. Truth in John’s mind is the principle of spiritual integrity that should accompany all worship that is empowered by God’s Spirit.
b. Therefore, John is here not simply saying that someone who fails to obey has missed the point; instead, such people are seriously disconnected from God (Burge, 98).
c. Since anyone can claim to know Christ, you can check his or her authenticity by seeing whether or not he or she obeys God’s word.
d. Jesus said you will know them by their fruit!
5. If we truly know Chris, and He is truly living in us, then the evidence of that will be seen is what we say and do.
a. You can’t say one thing and do another.
b. You can’t say that you believe in Jesus and disobey His word.
c. You can’t say I follow Jesus and follow the ways of the world.
1. Illustration: If God be God over us, we must yield him universal obedience in all things. He must not be over us in one thing, and under us in another, but he must be over us in everything. [Universal Obedience, Citation: Peter Bulkeley, Leadership, Vol. 9, no. 1.]
2. 1 Sam. 15:22-23 "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king."
3. What determines whether or not we know God is how well we obey His word.
4. You can stand on a street corner from now until the cows come home and proclaim that you are a Christian, but if you do not love the Lord your God with all of your heart soul and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself it’s nothing but hot air.
5. God doesn’t care how much money you have or how big your building is, as much as He cares whether or not you are living by His word.
Transition: Test #2 is...
II. Test #2: Do We Walk As Jesus Walked (5-6)?
A. Walk As He Walked
1. In verse 5 John says "But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him."