Summary: There is NO secret to who a Christian is...we can know that we know! John reveals the baseline outlook for knowing if you are a true believer!
Date Written: January 28, 2009
Date Preached: February 4, 2009
Where Preached: Oak Park (Wed Evening)
Sermon Series: A Series from 1 John
Sermon Title: How We Know that We Know!
Sermon Text: 1 John 2:3-6
3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
Here John’s teaching and advice to the churches he is communicating with becomes very pointed and succinct. It is where the spiritual ‘rubber meets the road’ so to speak.
So often we see those who claim salvation and a relationship with Christ… We ourselves claim salvation and relationship with Christ. In Matt 7 Jesus instructs us that we cannot judge the eternal fate of anyone… this is because that judgment is reserved for God alone. But so many people use the Matt 7 verses to say that we cannot judge ANYONE for ANYTHING…
Jesus taught that you would know a tree by its fruit… that good trees would produce good fruit and bad trees would produce bad fruit or NO fruit at all. Jesus taught in John 15 that we are called to be fruit bearing believers… it is our commission from God! And Jesus taught that if we abide in Him we would bear fruit… and this teaching by John here is an extension of that teaching.
Let’s look at what John says to begin these verses… read v.3
How Can We Bear Witness that We know Christ? V.3
3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.
What is John speaking about here when he says, ‘by this we know that we KNOW Him…’ What does John mean by the word ‘know’?
First let me share what John is NOT speaking about and that is a head knowledge or an intellectual assent in the knowledge ABOUT Jesus. This is NOT a question to the believers on whether or not they have ever ‘heard of’ or read about this Jesus.
But what John is alluding to in this verse refers to a personal relationship… an intimate knowledge of someone… an intimate knowledge of God…an intimate knowledge of Jesus Christ! Meaning that one has placed his or her faith and trust in Him as Savior! Meaning that this person has become a follower…a disciple of Jesus Christ!
In this verse there are 2 ‘knows’ listed and they are actually 2 different Greek words, but they tie into the same root word Gin-ose-ko which is broadly defined as knowledge.
Now the 1st ‘know’ is the Greek word [ginn-ose-komen] which is a basic word for knowledge or perception of a thing or idea or person… it means that you have a firm grip on the knowledge of that thing…
The 2nd Greek word used here in this verse is the Greek word egnwkamen egg-no-kah-men and this form of this Greek word is a bit more detailed and pointed in its definition of ‘knowing’ something or someone.
This is more pointed toward an intimate relationship, as one between a husband and wife, the Bible often refers to a husband ‘knowing’ his wife in reference to sexual intercourse, but it is even deeper than that… this refers to a basic connection on a spiritual and emotional level that goes far beyond a simple head knowledge!
It is like, I know about George Bush, I have read books, articles and seen video. I know of his accomplishments and failures, I can say that I ‘know’ him… but when I compare how I know the former President to how I know my wife Michelle… there is NO comparison… the term ‘know’ that applies to me knowing President Bush and me ‘knowing’ my wife is not the same! I have a much deeper and intimate relationship with Michelle…
This what John is saying in verse 3… we have KNOW that we KNOW Him… in other words, we can come to the knowledge of how much we truly KNOW and have a relationship with Christ! This is a head knowledge of how much we actually do know Christ…how deep that relationship is…
But how can we know? John spells it out by telling us, “…if we keep His commandments…” sounds simply huh? But the plain fact of the matter is that there are so many people in our world today who CLAIM a relationship with Christ, but their lives do not reflect that relationship because they simply do NOT keep the commandments of Christ!