I. "HEREBY WE KNOW THAT WE KNOW HIM."
A. There are many people who profess to know the Lord who really do not know Him at all.
1. You can be sure that the person who says,"I am on good terms with the man upstairs," really isn't.
2. The word "know" here is the word that is to know by experience.
3. The person is saying that they have had an experience with God.
4. Many have had paranormal experiences that they have interpreted as an experience with God.
a. In a couple of chapters, John is going to tell us to try the spirits to see if they be of God, because of the many false prophets in the world.
b. Paul spoke of Satan transforming himself into an angel of light in order to deceive, thus you can expect his ministers to do the same.
5. How can I know if my experience with God is genuine?
B. "If we keep His commandments."
1. Jesus said, "If you love Me keep My commandments."
2. Jesus said, "He that hath My commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me."
3. Jesus said, "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love.
4. Jesus said, "You are My friends, if you do what I command you."
5. Jesus asked, "Why do you call Me Lord, Lord and you do not the things I command you?"
6. Keeping His commandments is the proof of my love for Him and my knowing Him.
7. If you say that you know Him and you do not keep His commandments, you are a liar. You are not telling the truth.
8. Paul wrote to Titus, "They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him." Titus 1:16
a. This is so true of many people today.
b. There are so many professing to know God.
9. In the final chapter of the Bible we read,
Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
II. "IF WE KEEP HIS WORD, THE LOVE OF GOD IS PERFECTED IN US."
A. One day as Jesus was teaching, a woman called out from the crowd, "Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts from which you nursed." Jesus responded, "Yes, rather blessed are they that hear the word of God and do it."
1. Interesting that the woman was seeking to give honor to Mary His mother, but Jesus gives greater honor to those who obey the Word.
2. Very interesting in the light of how the Roman Catholic church is seeking to elevate Mary to the position of Co-redemptress, and the Mediatrix to Jesus.
B. The love of God is perfected in us.
1. How I long for the love of God to be perfected in my life.
C. It would seem that love is a matter of choice. I can choose to love or to hate. I have been commanded to love. I can obey the command or I can choose to continue to hold my feelings of anger, or hurt, or hatred because of what they did to me.
1. Do you know who will be harmed the most by my choice to hate?
2. Even if the person is obnoxious to me, I can choose to love them, and if I do, the love of God will be perfected in me.
3. When I choose to love, God reinforces that love. His love will be perfected or completed in me.
III. THE EMPHASIS ON KEEPING HIS COMMANDMENTS. WHAT ARE HIS COMMANDMENTS?
A. We read in John,
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
B. These are the things that John has to say about loving our brother in this epistle.
Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.
He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
Not as Cain, [who] was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.
Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not [his] brother abideth in death.
Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
C. We are commanded to forgive.
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took [him] by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
1. Jesus related the need to forgive with our prayer life.
And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
2. In the model prayer for His disciples He said,
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
D. Jesus commanded us to pray.
And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
And he spake a parable unto them [to this end], that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
1. He actually gave more promises concerning answers to prayer than commands to pray. He no doubt figured that with all of the promises, we would not need to be commanded to pray. Commandments to love, forgive, and pray. By doing these things, you have the proof that you know Him, and that you are in Him.slfs