Knowing That We Know – 1 John 2:3-6

By John Bellingham on October 26, 2014
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Knowing That We Know

1 John 2:3-6


– A major theme that John addresses in this Epistle is certainty in our lives as Christians – 5:13

– Certainty that Jesus is fully God and fully man

– Certainty that we have are in fellowship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ

– The Apostle John gives us several tests that will help us to grow in certainty, and we consider the first of these tests this morning:  The Test of Obedience


I. Knowing God:  Salvation

1) Intellectual Knowledge

  • Believing the right things about God and about Jesus (orthodoxy)
  • Although orthodoxy is necessary for salvation, true knowledge of God goes beyond bare intellect

2) Experiential Knowledge

  • Verb ‘to know’ is in the perfect tense – a past action that has ongoing effects in the present
  • Knowledge of God is real fellowship with the Father and with Jesus Christ (1:3)
  • Eternal life is defined by John in terms of experiential knowledge – John 17:3


– Does your faith in God go beyond mere orthodoxy (believing the right things) into the realm of experience (fellowship with the Father and with Jesus Christ)?

– Are you a functional atheist?


II. Knowing that we Know God:  Assurance

1) Assurance of faith is the birthright of every Christian through the indwelling Holy Spirit!

  •  Faith is “a firm and certain knowledge of God’s benevolence toward us, founded upon the truth of the freely given promise in Christ, both revealed to our minds and sealed upon our hearts through the Holy Spirit.”  – John Calvin

2) Assurance can increase and decrease over the course of our Christian lives

  • John wants us to know that we know
  • John also wants to guard us from the danger of false assurance
  • We are instructed to test our faith to make sure that it is genuine – 2 Peter 1:10; 2 Corinthians 13:5


III. Evidence that we Know God:  Obedience

1) Keeping His Commandments

  • The verb ‘to keep’ goes beyond the idea of simply ‘doing’ commandments and includes our inner attitude toward them
  • Antinomianism – belief that obedience is optional for the Christian

2) Keeping His Word

  • ‘Word’ is broader than ‘commandments’
  • Love for God is made complete as we grow in obedience  – John 14:15, 15:10

3) Walking as Christ walked

  • Jesus’ pattern of obedience to the Father sets the example for our obedience
  • Only possible as we ‘abide’ in Him and allow His power to flow through us


– We don’t obey God to be saved, but rather because we are saved – a critical point!!!

– Our obedience is never perfect – 1 John 1:8


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