In 1 John 2:1-6 (including verse 6 because it ends the sentence), there is another test to knowing whether or not you are a child of God. I love this because John demonstrates that there are observable indicators as to whether or not our faith is real. In a world where so many people claim Christianity (as I talked about in the last post), how can we know that there is truth behind what we say? John tells us.
The first thing in this passage he deals with is the focus of the Believer. He tells us that the reason he is writing is so that we will not sin. This is an important as indicator regarding our faith-claim because the attitude among so many (including professing Christians) is that because there is forgiveness, sinning isn’t such a big deal. John reminds us, though, that he is writing so that we will not sin. That’s the goal! IF we do sin, there is provision for that, but don’t start with part B, look to the Word for strength from the Holy Spirit notto sin in the first place, foregoing guilt, conviction, etc., and experience the joy of standing strong. If we are constantly entering into sin without concern because of a reliance upon forgiveness, there are heart issues going on that could indicate an illegitimate faith.
John gives us another test of how we can know our faith is real: what are your highest priorities? Who do you look like and who do you want to look like?
And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.
Verse 3 gives a way that we can know we are saved: how we live our lives; if obeying Christ is our top priority. If that is not our aim, we are lying about our faith in Him and fooled into thinking we’re saved when we are not. Verse 6 is clear that our pattern of life should reflect that of Jesus in an ever-increasing way (through sanctification).
I have to, personally, evaluate what my daily priorities are. What are the things that I schedule my life around? What are the attitudes I work towards and what are the attitudes that dominate my life? These are indicators of the condition of my relationship with Christ. Do I seek to make disciples? To love unconditionally? To forgive without reservation? It’s tough and yet John rightly reminds us that “whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”