Monday, May 22, 2017


Are you in the faith? Do you know that for sure? 
What is the standard you use to know that?

  • I prayed the sinner’s prayer. 
  • Preacher told me I was saved. 
  • I read the Bible. 
  • I go to church.
  • I'm a good person.
  • These are all measures that people may use to try to assure themselves that they are a Christian. However, not one of them is revealed by Scripture to be a standard by which we measure anything concerning our faith.

    NOT ONE.

    We are in the process of applying Paul's admonition from 2 Corinthians 13:5 to examine ourselves whether we are in the faith.

    John, the Apostle of Love, gave us seven things by which we can know for sure that we belong to the Lord, which is the stated reason for writing the letter. (1 John 5:13)

    • Him 2:3; 3:6; 4:6-8; 5:20 
    • Living in Him 2:5  
    • God’s children 2:29 
    • Real love 3:16 
    • He lives in us 3:24 
    • God’s love 4:16 
    • We are God’s children 5:2 
    The first one, to know that we know Him, was our subject last time.

    The next one on the list ties in neatly with the last study—
    "But those who obey God's word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him." (1Jo 2:5 NLT)
    Not only can we know that we know Him by looking at how well we keep His commandments, we can also know that we are "living in Him" by the same standard. Living in Him is one of the things that we are to know in such a way as to assure our hearts that we have eternal life. (1 Jn. 5:13)

    I like the New Living Translation of this verse—"...truly show how completely they love Him"—as compared to the King James, which reads, " him verily is the love of God perfected." The NLT brings out the subtle nuance of our love for Jesus being shown in an outward fashion. The KJV leaves it as something that is on the inside of us without necessarily being manifested.

    Are you living in Him? Are others able to recognize that as a reality in your life? How can they tell?

    If your answer is based on a standard outside the Word of God, then you probably say something like, "They say 'I'm a nice person.'" Or, "They say, 'You never do things like you used to do.'"

    Others are not our standard, neither do they understand the standard by which we live.

    We live by the standard of the Word of God. If we are truly living in Jesus, then we are meticulous about our obedience to the Word. (1 Jn. 2:5) If we are truly loving Him, then we are meticulous about our obedience to the things He said. (Jn. 14:15)

    Do you obey everything in the Word of God? Probably not. There is probably no one alive today who does. Actually, that is the wrong question, though many will throw that up as an excuse to prove that they cannot obey the Word.

    The correct question is, "Do you obey all that God has revealed to you?" It is in that place where we are able to measure "how completely we love Him." The completeness of our love for the Lord is measured by how well we obey that which we have been given.

    In that place, there are no excuses that will exonerate us from complete obedience.

    This should not be viewed negatively. Do not focus on how much you don't obey the Word. Rather look at how well you do obey. That is the measuring stick, the plumbline.

    John is not the only one to emphasize the necessity of obedience to the Word of God. Jesus, Paul and James also did. Plus, there are the commands in the OT that indicate a love for God is exemplified by obedience. (Ex. 19:5; Deut. 11:1)

    Jesus said that those who hear and do His commands are wise. (Matt. 7:24-25)

    James said that if we do not obey the Word, then we are simply deceiving ourselves. (James 1:22)

    Paul said that we have been called to an obedience that is the result of our faith. (Rom. 1:5)

    It should be fairly obvious to any who have ears to hear and eyes to see that obedience to the Word of God is a necessary ingredient of a fruitful life in the Lord Jesus. No rationale is sufficient to persuade otherwise.

    If you have been dissuaded from the necessity of following the Lord's commands by any teaching, then maybe you should get back into the Word on your own and for yourself to see what it truly says about this subject.

    While John Lennon's statement, "Love is all we need" is true, it is necessary that we understand 'love' from God's standpoint and not that of the Beatles.

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