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Apostolic Examination: Obedience equals Assurance

True Fellowship With God  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Knowing God Demonstrated by Obedience

Notes & Transcripts | Handout

And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.

And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.

2. Disobedience Discourages any Assurance (V4)
Disobedience Discourages any Assurance (V4)
Disobedience Discourages any Assurance (V4)

Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him

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3. Obedience to God Reveals our Love of God

but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected

4. Imitation of Christ assures our Abiding In Christ

By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

Opening Illustration:
The question remains to be answered this morning. How do you know that you know God? How do you know that you have true fellowship with God? Does claiming to know God equal truly knowing him and having a true relationship with Him? What determines if this this claim is true? John seeks in our passage which began in verse three to answer that question. That the one who knows God - intamilty - truly is something demonstrated, not just claimed.
SIS: By way of contrast, John’s favorite way to show whether something is true, will again in our passage this morning, show who really loves God and by demonstarting that love by doing what he (God) commands, and powerfully demonstrated in how we live and orcharsrate our live. Primarly, that our life looks much like the life of Jesus Christ-the one who showed us what loving God looked like-he being the one that perfectly loved God.
If you remember, the past view weeks we have seen that: Review 1 and 2
This morning we are going to see that:
Our Obedience to God demonstrates our love for God and that being the very purpose of our salvation: Loving God!
And that our imitation of Christ, assures that us that we are truly united to Christ-that we are in Him-the NT’s way of telling us that we are truly saved.
Transition to 3rd Point: Last week in our two points we examined: See points.
Verse 4 John tells us that there should be a lack of assurance if you claim to know God but you don’t do what God commands (love God, Love God’s People, Trust in Christ); what is revealed is that there is an active deception taking place. One is simple deceived; lying and God’s truth (His true revealed testimony to the world) does not reside in us; simply we are not God’s children because we reject His word and reject doing what He commands.
Now John He defines what a true keeping of God’s law is, even to love God. That it is those who observe and do what God says, are those who are His Children and have fulfilled the whole purpose of God’s redemption; that we would love Him -
Read Third Point: Obedience to God Reveals our Love of God - the purpose of our Redemption.
Read Passage

but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected

“Keeps His Word
John changes the words here from Commandments in verse 4 to God’s Word here- or can be translated His message - a single or complete revelation of God's will
Here John speaks more broadly of keeping God’s word -something that is not kept in Ch 1:5 and not in those who claim to not have sinned.
The thought is more comphrensive in receiveng and believing all the promises of God’s truth.
“Keeping His word” is one who:
The verb Keeps is in the present tense. An ongoing process
observes and is ongoing and keeps on keeping on.
Highlighting ones ongoing lifestyle.
V4 which hightlights disobeidence uses the same word and same tense - an ongoing disobedience to God’s commands
And as we discussed last week - God commands in John are that we believe in:
His Son as defined by Scripture as defined by Scripture
Not the Christ of our own making or the Christ that we would like Him to be; but the Christ of the Bible
And that we do what God commands
And lastly also that we love God and His people
Here then
And this makes since doesn’t it? In one example, there are those who claim to know God, yet they don’t do what God says. A claim that remains only a claim and is proven to be only self deception, a lie, and a demonstration that they truth is missing.
But now we have the contrast and the truth. Keeping His word! John goes on to write that
IT IS THIS ONE that Loves God and has reached the whole redemptive purposes of God. Love of God!
“In Him Truly the Love of God is perfected”
Whoever has that loving heartfelt obedience that guards the Word and longs to obey it, in him the love of God “is perfected”.
What do we mean "the love of God is perfected?”
Whoever has that loving heartfelt obedience that guards the Word and longs to obey it, in him the love of God “is perfected”.
What do we mean "the love of God is perfected?”
It could mean that those who keep God’s Word are those that God loves.
And that is true. If you are sitting here today, and you desire to do what God says, living a life characterized by a desire to obey God and you love God - then it’s a good indication that God loves you. Many of us can, like Paul, look at our past life and see how God has by His grace, changed our hearts and our desires that we now want to please Him. In our past life we were soley concerned about ourselves and living in sin-enjoying it even. Enslaved to sin and blind to our need to be saved from it.
Scripture declares:
;
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved”
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
Scripture is clear that it is God’s love of us, not our love of Him that saves us. God from all eternity predestined people to be saved. Before we could do any thing good our bad -
who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.”
So, Yes! Praise God for His love! That love originates from God, who is love and has shown His love by sending His Son to live and die and be raised again for our salvation. Theres’s also another way of understanding what John is saying here:
I think it's best to see it as the person's love for God. If a person keeps the Word, in him the love that he claims for God is genuine, is another way to say it. It's the real thing. It's mature. It is truly, the truth. More than a claim and truly...mature.
So the true love of God is not manifest in sentiment, it's not manifest in a decision, it's not manifest in a mystical experience, it's manifest in obedience, obedience, obedience. And the love that obeys has been perfected. As much as we are capable of perfection, it is perfected in those who are truly in the Kingdom as manifest by their actions.
We obey God because we love God and our love of God fulfills the reason for our salvation. It’s mature, its complete. It’s end goal. And the consistent message of Scripture. God redeems us - sets his particaluar love for us so that we would love him.
Which is why God saves us! That we might love Him - and love demonstrated by our willing obedience!
Deuteronomy 10 ESV
“At that time the Lord said to me, ‘Cut for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and come up to me on the mountain and make an ark of wood. And I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets that you broke, and you shall put them in the ark.’ So I made an ark of acacia wood, and cut two tablets of stone like the first, and went up the mountain with the two tablets in my hand. And he wrote on the tablets, in the same writing as before, the Ten Commandments that the Lord had spoken to you on the mountain out of the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly. And the Lord gave them to me. Then I turned and came down from the mountain and put the tablets in the ark that I had made. And there they are, as the Lord commanded me.” (The people of Israel journeyed from Beeroth Bene-jaakan to Moserah. There Aaron died, and there he was buried. And his son Eleazar ministered as priest in his place. From there they journeyed to Gudgodah, and from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, a land with brooks of water. At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord to stand before the Lord to minister to him and to bless in his name, to this day. Therefore Levi has no portion or inheritance with his brothers. The Lord is his inheritance, as the Lord your God said to him.) “I myself stayed on the mountain, as at the first time, forty days and forty nights, and the Lord listened to me that time also. The Lord was unwilling to destroy you. And the Lord said to me, ‘Arise, go on your journey at the head of the people, so that they may go in and possess the land, which I swore to their fathers to give them.’ “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good? Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it. Yet the Lord set his heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn. For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. You shall fear the Lord your God. You shall serve him and hold fast to him, and by his name you shall swear. He is your praise. He is your God, who has done for you these great and terrifying things that your eyes have seen. Your fathers went down to Egypt seventy persons, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars of heaven.
Deut 10:

You shall therefore love the LORD your God and keep his charge, his statutes, his rules, and his commandments always.

That’s the essence of the law. Loving obedience. God’s redemptive purposes. And we see this perfectly displayed in Jesus Christ. God in Jesus Christ - fulilling or completing what he requires of us. Gives you a new heart, new desires, a new love-from loving self to loving God. The message of the gospel. Perfected love come through Christ.
Jesus’ love of God was demonstarted and completed on this earth in his going to the cross and dying to redeeming God’s people: His mission, his calling to perfect love and perfect obeidence.
(going to accomlished - fulfill his purpose)
“I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished!”
(It is finished - complete - reached its end)
“And taking the twelve, he said to them, "See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished.”
And Jesus would fulfill and complete the purpose of His coming - to complete the covenant promises of God in the world - ratified in the blood of Christ’s own blood on the cross. (TURN to John 19:28)
“After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), "I thirst." 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished," and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), "I thirst." 29A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished," and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
SIS: The purpose of God redeeming you; bringing you to himself by sending His son to save you is not mere external obedience but that you love Him, Love his people, and trust in His Son. What demonstrates love clearer than submissive obedience to the object of your love? When John writes that the love of God is perfected in our keeping His word; His commands, He means that the goal of obeidence to God in love is fulfilling the purpose of our salvation. It’s reached its goal. That we love God. This is not a new purpose of God for His people. That they love him as the motivation for obedience.
SIS: The purpose of God redeeming you; bringing you to himself by sending His son to save you is not mere external obedience but that you love Him, Love his people, and trust in His Son. What demonstrates love clearer than submissive obedience to the object of your love? When John writes that the love of God is perfected in our keeping His word; His commands, He means that the goal of obeidence to God in love is fulfilling the purpose of our salvation. It’s reached its goal. That we love God. This is not a new purpose of God for His people. That they love him as the motivation for obedience.
Christ himself after his ressrection would then tell us that we are to equate loving God and obeying God by obeying His word - Loving God shown in making disciples if Jesus Christ - it all comes around.
; ;
TRANSITION: And leads to our last point: We go from not simply obeying God’s word we must walk as Jesus did. The balance in loving God and walking in obedience and as demonstarted by Christ. And the assurance that imitating Christ provides for us.
Imitation of Christ assures our Abiding In Christ
Imitation of Christ assures our Abiding In Christ
1 John 2:5b–6 ESV
but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
1 John 2:5b-6
Our last claim this morning. Abiding in God is shown in walking like Christ and one of Johns favorite teachings about the nature and activity of God’s true children.
“whoever says he abides in Him (that is God) - ought to walk” to conduct their life in a certain way and the model provided for us in Christ. To abide is to remain in or stay or even to reside in.
Illustration:
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Notice that the standard of how our life is conducted is a life that Jesus came and provided for us. It is very popular in our country for people to have role models. Many people desire to emulate the lives of those who they find most valuable. Athletes, movie stars, millionairs…the fallen world has their heros; in this letter, the false teachers, promoting a life that separates ones actions done in the body from God’s call to be holy as he is holy.
John 19:30
Abiding here in 1 John: 17x
John’s Gospel: 17x
For God the standard of a life that pleases Him, is a life of holiness and separation from the world. Jesus providing the only acceptable illustration from God.
For God the standard of a life that pleases Him, is a life of holiness and separation from the world. Jesus providing the only acceptable illustration from God.
God who would on numerous accounts, speak from heaven itself to declare that He was pleased with Christ - the holy one.
One commentator wrote: The test of our religious experience is whether it produces a reflection of the life of Jesus Christ in our daily life; if it fails this elementary test, it is false.”
“We cannot claim to live in him if we don’t behave like Him.” John Stott
word or message: a single or complete revelation of God's will; Moses’s summation of the Law and
word or message: a single or complete revelation of God's will
How do we walk in the same way that Jesus walked? Is John telling us that we should read the bible and copy the very life of Jesus?
Deut 10:12-
In man ways, yes. But it is abiding in Christ that produces a life like Christ and bears fruit that honors God!
John 2:29; 3:3; 7
John 15:1–10 ESV
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.
John 15:
Paul would write in Romans that the power and motivation for our holy living in this world is always motivated by what God has done for us.
Moral behavior and holiness
(Jn 2:29; 3:3; 7; ; )
In the NT, God’s Word is made known to us in Christ - the fulfullment of all of God’s promises and blessings through.
Christ’s word:
For God the standard of a life that pleases Him, is a life of holiness and separation from the world. Jesus providing the only acceptable illustration from God.
God who would on numerous accounts, speak from heaven itself to declare that He was pleased with Christ - the holy one.
One commentator wrote: The test of our religious experience is whether it produces a reflection of the life of Jesus Christ in our daily life; if it fails this elementary test, it is false.”
Romans 12:1–4 ESV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function,
Which is our worship of God. Coming to him as He has perscribed. Acceptable worship. Jesus providing the perfect example.
God saves us; redeems us from our slavery from sin and brings us to himself, so that we will love Him and live for Him. To be his holy people. This is the consistant message of scripture!
God redeems Israel
God brings them to himself - Gives them his law - calls them to be holy people - a standard that he provides for them.
Leviticus 19:1–2 ESV
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.
Which is our worship of God. Coming to him as He has persecibed. Acceptable worship
Numbers 19:1–2 ESV
Now the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, “This is the statute of the law that the Lord has commanded: Tell the people of Israel to bring you a red heifer without defect, in which there is no blemish, and on which a yoke has never come.
APPLICATION:
Unique unfolding plan in the NC:
And in the NC God promised that he would by the indwelling Holy Spirit - write his law on our hearts that we would be his people and He would be our God. And in this He gave us His son who would come and fulfill God’s standard perfectly, His law, and call all men that desire to have a relationship with him to behold His son and walk in His footsteps. Giving us the ability and the desire. In the OC God would write His commands on external tablets of stone - in the NC God would write His law on our hearts.
And in the NC God promised that he would by the indwelling Holy Spirit - write his law on our hearts that we would be his people and He would be our God. And in this He gave us His son who would come and fulfill God’s standard perfectly, His law, and call all men that desire to have a relationship with him to behold His son and walk in His footsteps. Giving us the ability and the desire.
For those who have placed saving faith in Christ:
Our lives should be marked by a life that seeks to be like our Lord and savior. We should be living in such a way that we can point to the power of God and the life of Christ as our source and example. Where we fail - we repent and ask God to make us more and more into the image of Christ. That we live our lives in a way that would demostrate that we are abiding in Christ - and live like Him. Loving God and loving each other. Not for our slavation. But because of it.
And this life is to be a tool in making disciples for Christ.
For those who have not trusted in Christ and trying to please God apart from Christ:
You must repent of your sin and rebellion and trust in Christ alone for salvation. The fallen human heart seeks to evaluate deeds and elevate self as the standard. Using the law written on your heart and commending self. Apart from Christ there is no hope.
Numbers 10
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