1Jn 2:3-6 “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”
Life is full of uncertainties. That fact should make us rejoice all the more in those things that are sure. In these verses, the word “know” appears four times. The word, in each instance, was taken from the same Greek root. The Strong’s definition says “to “know” (absolutely).” John is giving us some very strong assurances in these verses.
We often read verse three and think we have been given the way to know Him. All we have to do is keep His commandments and we will know Him. However, if we will think about it for a minute, we cannot keep His commandments until we know Him. The keeping of His commandments is not an avenue to knowledge of Him; keeping His commandments is the fruit of knowing Him. When we find ourselves desiring more and more each day to keep the commandments of Jesus through the leadership of the Holy Spirit, then we know (have absolute assurance) that we know (have absolute knowledge) that Christ dwells in us. His dwelling in us is what enables us to keep His commandments.
Jesus is the Truth. If we claim to know Jesus and do not keep His commandments then we are bearing false witness. When I think of Jesus’ commandments, there are three that come to mind immediately. In Matthew 22:36, Jesus was asked what the great commandment of the law was. He answered “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind (verse 37).” He then says that there is another that is similar to this one: “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself (verse 39).” He then says these two commandments are the foundation for the whole law and the prophets (verse 40). In John 13:34 Jesus says “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” If we say that we know Jesus but do not love God and our neighbors and one another as Jesus loves us, then we do not keep His commandments.
All three of these commandments are centered on love. When the love of God is perfected (complete) in us, then we keep His word. The love of God is complete in us when we have ceased to lean on our own strength and lean only on our Lord and Savior. We know (have absolute assurance) that we are in Jesus when we have no strength, no righteousness, no peace, and no love except in His embrace. We know that we are in Jesus when we point only to Him; not to our works or our ways of doing things, but only to Him!
John closes by making a statement that we are all familiar with today. If we are going to talk the talk, then we have to walk the walk. If we are not able to behave ourselves as Jesus did, then we cannot claim to know Him. We may know about Him, but that is not the same as knowing Him. Job expressed it well when he said “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee (Job 42:5).” Yes, I now that Job was talking about God. Do you know that Jesus is God? Do you know that the Holy Spirit is God? If you do, then you know that Job’s words are appropriate here.
May we know that we know Him and walk as He walked, to the glory of God!