7547 - How We Know


Audio transcript

Thank you for joining us again as we go through our study of First John. The human mind is such that it relishes the assurance that we’re on the right track or that we have the right answer.

Today we gain assurance from God’s Word that we are on the right track as we discuss 1 John 5, a portion of verses 1 and 2. Which read, “Everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands.”

The central issue about which assurance is being given is “how can we know that we love the children of God?”

The answer is that the proof of our love for the Christian brothers is that we love and obey God. Does that seem odd?

The structure in the original language makes this more understandable. The picture focuses to show that in every exercise of love in which we respond obediently to our loving Father, that there is stirred up within our understanding the recognition that we do truly love our brothers in the faith.

This extends to every experience of emotion made to our Father to love Him, praise Him and adore Him. These actions awaken within us the recognition that we also have a great love for our brothers and sisters in the family of God. Every time we show our love and obedience to our Father, it seems that our love grows toward those spiritual siblings because we become more aware of our love and compassion for them.

Now, when this emotion stirs within the Christian who is growing and maturing in his Christian life then he begins to act more loving toward these brothers and sisters, because he is more aware of the relationship. It’s also true that any difference or separation is put aside and reconciled when we begin such a growth in our love for our Father.

Let’s say that again. As any Christian grows in his obedience and yieldedness to the heavenly Father, of course he become more sensitive and responsive to his Father; but out of this new level of sensitivity the Christian is stirred up to a new responsiveness of concern for the brothers and sisters in the family. Through these events the heart will become assured that love for the brother is present and real.

The underlying truth is that the supernatural, unselfish, sacrificial love of God, which is being continually supplied in and through every Christian by the Holy Spirit, is causing growth within individual Christians; but, in turn, that growth will affect the entire family.

We can begin to see how John 13:34-35 bears fruit. Jesus said: “A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. All men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”

As Christians in the body of Christ progress in maturity in Christ, as they begin to evidence this kind of love for God; and the church comes to the place of caring and expressing compassion to one another in the manner discussed, it’s going to be evident to those looking into the body that “Christians are different”

Much has been written in past decades about the “cooling down” of the fervor of the church. An honest observer would have to confess that those involved in the church are very much like those who are outside the church.

Others have observed that materialism has become the idol of many in the church, and so idolatry saps the strength and power of the church.

In many cases such observations are valid. Those who are concerned should pray; and according to the passage in today’s study our prayer should focus upon every believer in Christ being much more in love with God, and much more committed to obedience. Then our closeness to God will stir us up to love and assist our brothers and sisters more compassionately. Then the world can tell that we are Christians by our love.