Lesson 3 - Keeping Christ's Commandments

Lesson 3 - Keeping Christ's Commandments

(1 John 2:3-17)

An evidence of knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior is your obedience to His commandments.  It's interesting that John didn't say, "We know Him, if we keep His commandments."  Instead, emphasizing assurance, he did write, "Now by this we know that we know Him."  We are sure that we know.

Anyone can say, "I know Him," another Gnostic claim.  The proof of one's profession of faith is found in keeping Christ's commandments.  Otherwise that person is found to be "a liar, and the truth is not in him."  If we know Him, we obey Him.  If we don't obey Him, we don't know Him.  This doesn't mean that true Christians are never disobedient to the Lord.  Remember what we learned in Lesson Two.  See 1 John 1:8, 10.  Here, as throughout the epistle, John is writing about a life style, a manner of life.

There are those who say, "Jesus is my Lord and Savior, and I am alive in Him."  Wonderful!  John says, "He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked."  Jesus walked in love.

The greatest collection of Jesus' commandments may be found in the Sermon on the Mount.  See Matthew 5-7.  Matthew ends his gospel with the Great Commission to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations.  In the making of disciples, baptism is important, and "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you."  Matthew 28:18-20.

John seems to highlight Jesus' saying, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you that you also love one another."  John 13:34.  According to the apostle, this new commandment is "an old commandment."  Some Christians have the mistaken notion that keeping Christ's commandments is a form of legalism.  They are wrong.  It isn't legalism, but rather obedience.

In the previous lesson we learned about walking in the light.  Some may profess, "I am in the light."  John says, "He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now."  Just who is walking in the light?  "He who loves his brother abides in the light."  He has fellowship with God, and "the love of God is perfected in him."

John mentions to whom he is writing: "little children," "fathers," and "young men."  One thing that they all shared in common was their knowledge of God.  "You have known the Father."

While Christians are commanded to love one another, they are admonished not to love the world.  "Do not love the world or the things in the world."  We must choose between a love for the Father, and a love for the world.  We cannot love both.

Worldliness is characterized by John in three ways: (1) "the lust of the flesh," (2) "the lust of the eyes," and (3) "the pride of life."  These are three areas in which temptations come.

In John 17 Jesus prayed for those whom the Father had given Him.  They were in the world, but not of the world, even as He was not of the world.  Here is a definition of worldliness that you can remember.  Worldliness is anything that does not conform to the image of Jesus Christ.

A bumper sticker read, "Whoever dies with the most toys wins."  This is wry humor.  In essence the message is that you can't take it with you.  It appears that many people spend their lives accumulating "the things of the world."  Be mindful that this world is not forever.  "The world is passing away, and the lust of it."

Do you want the best of both worlds?  Do what Christ commands.  Live your life like you belong to Him.  Let your testimony for the Lord ring true.  Love the Father, and one another.  Walk in the light.  "He who does the will of God abides forever."  No doubt about it!

 

Lesson 4 - Knowing the Truth

 
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