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Summary: One of the main purposes of 1 John is to help the Christian, the child of God to know that they are truly in a right relationship with God, to know that your standing is true in the Lord.

Living the Life Series: The Test of Loving My Neighbor

Scripture Reference: 1 John 2:7 – 11

Introduction

I agree with one pastor who stated that he had yet to meet anyone who actually likes to take tests. In fact some people have a phobia about taking tests, they freeze up as soon as the test is passed out, suddenly the light seems brighter, the room seems smaller.

I came across what I thought to be some impossible test questions that are sure to strike fear into the heart of any test taker.

For example, try this final exam question from a history class: Describe the history of the papacy from its origins to present day, concentrating on its social, political, economic, religious and philosophical impact on Europe, Asia, America and Africa. Be brief, concise, and specific.

Or how about the final for a medical student: You have been provided with a razor blade, a piece of gauze, and a bottle of Scotch. Remove your appendix. Do not suture until the professor has inspected your work. You have fifteen minutes.

Here’s one for an engineering student: The disassembled parts of a high-powered rifle have been placed in a box on your desk. You will find an instruction manual printed in Swahili. In ten minutes, a hungry Bengal tiger will be admitted into the test room. Take whatever action you feel appropriate, and be prepared to justify your decision.

Or how about this question: Define the universe; give three examples.

Even when we come across test questions that seem simple on the surface, we find that they’re often not as simple as we first thought. For instance, the answer to the question, "How long did the Hundred Years War last?’ seems obvious, but the answer is 116 years.

When a test asks, "Which country manufactures Panama hats?" the correct answer is Ecuador. Here’s another: From what animal do we get catgut? From sheep and horses of course.

In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution? November. What was King George IV’s first name? Well, everyone knows it was Albert. Ah yes...many test takers are glad to be out of school...far away from trick questions like that thought up in some teacher’s lounge.

But as far as we try to get from the rigors of the academic life, we find our lives are filled with other kinds of tests. We take driver’s tests, drug tests, polygraph tests, sobriety tests, eye tests, and entrance exams.

People in law enforcement have to qualify on the shooting range at least four times a year; many of you have to take a test for your chosen profession. Like it or not, tests are a part of life.

But is there a test to determine whether a person is on the right track spiritually? Several weeks ago we started a new series through the New Testament book of 1 John called “LIVING THE LIFE”.

One of the main purposes of 1 John is to help the Christian, the child of God to know that they are truly in a right relationship with God, to know that your standing is true in the Lord.

The Bible speaks clearly that there is a way to know with assurance that you have eternal life, which is a quality of life that is built upon knowing who God is and experiencing that life through His Son Jesus Christ.

We’ve been treating the apostle John’s little letter to the Christians living in Asia Minor as a kind of roadmap for living the life the way God intended for it to live. We started looking at our need to have the view about living as it related to God, His Son, and our present walk.

Then last week we looked at what was the first of seven tests John gave to help us to answer the question: How do we know if we really know God? Or as one translation of the Scriptures puts it, “How can we be sure that we belong to Him?”

The first test was covered in verses 3 – 6, The Keeping of God’s Commandments (We know Him, obey Him, love Him, and Live in Him). Now allow me to reread verses 7 – 11 and see if you can pick out what the second test is. (Reread 1 John 2:7 – 11)

Transition

Here is a thought to transition into our text of the morning. When we are in fellowship with God, walking in the light, we also walk in love. It is a basic spiritual principle that when Christians are out of fellowship with God, they cannot get along with God’s people. We are all members of God’s family, so we ought to love one another.

In our English language, love is a very imprecise term. We use this word in so very many different ways. In order to understand its meaning we must understand the context in which it is used.

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