1 John 2:3-11 The One Who Truly Knows God

by | Sep 27, 2023 | 1 John, New Testament

I. The Evidence Of Knowing God

A. Obedience To God’s Word

1. Concern For And Love Of God’s Truth V. 3

a. Now by this we know- this is a particular evidence of knowing God
b. Know- ginosko- to have experiential knowledge.
c. Keeping the commandments of God is evidence of knowing God.

i. Keep-to attend carefully, to guard, to observe, to desire
ii. Implies that one is interested in & cares about God’s word/desires
iii. That person is careful to guard their life from sin & desires holiness
iv. A habitual lifestyle, not a sinless perfection. (Comp. w/ 1:8-10)

d. The Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who leads & strengthens the Christian towards holiness. The Holy Spirit leads one to holy living.

i. John 14:17 “…He dwells with you and shall be in you”.

2. Those Who Claim To Know God But Don’t V. 4

a. Many claim to know God, but are deceived, lie, & do not have the truth.
b. The Gnostics claimed that sinning w/the body didn’t matter, since God is known in the spirit. They didn’t pursue holiness. Truth wasn’t in them.
c. Matthew 7:15-27
d. John is not describing a person that fails while trying, but one who does not pursue God’s word, isn’t concerned w/ it, & isn’t influenced by it.

B. The Fruit Of Obedience

1. God’s Love Is Perfected (Made Mature/Full) V. 5a

a. Obedience: evidence of knowing God, & how we can know God better.
b. An aspiring artist can learn about color, brushes, canvas, perspective, etc., but until he begins to paint, little is truly known by experience.

i. Rembrandt’s advice to his pupil Hoogstraten, “Try to put well in practice what you already know; and in doing so you will, in good time, discover the hidden things which you inquire about.”

c. A man feels love for his wife, but as he obeys the promptings of God to serve her, he discovers more about her. His attention is focused upon her, not on other people or things, & he begins to see deeper into her heart.
d. The man who obeys God learns more of God & grows in loving like God.

2. Obedience Brings Internal Confirmation That We Know God Vs. 5b, 6

a. Abides- to remain, have communion, harmony, oneness in relationship.
b. Walk- habitual, continuous action.
c. If I find that my life is looking more like Jesus, I know that I am in Him.

II. The Command To Love

A. Love- Not A New Idea V.7

1. New- New in quality, not new as in “recently”. John is not writing them something different, but the same message which they had heard.
2. Old- Here, “old” does speak of time. The command to love wasn’t a new thing to do, but had been told to them by Jesus since the beginning.

B. Love- A New Idea V. 8

1. Paradoxically- to love with God’s love is always qualitatively new. It is always fresh, new, never giving a feeling of staleness or boredom.

a. As the husband loves his wife, he grows closer, & discovers a fresh quality of love rising w/in his heart. He has fresh appreciation of his wife, & new motivation to love her. He feels more love than before, a deeper love.
b. As the Christian obeys God, & walks in love, the love is fresh & new in quality, even though the command to love has been since the beginning.
c. John 13:35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you… ( Jesus set a new standard of how we are to love)

2. because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

a. The darkness of obligatory love has passed away & given place to a new quality of love; driven not by obligation but by a heavenly passion.
b. The darkness of not loving and not obeying was passing.
c. There was a newness of love shining among them.
d. They were growing in obedience and love.

3. True light- Not obligatory holiness or love, but unmixed and pure in desire.

a. Romans 12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy. (love in sincerity & truth)

C. Two Kinds Of Men vs. 9-11

1. V. 9- Hates- continually & habitually. (Can be expressed actively or passively)

a. That man is in spiritual & moral darkness, regardless of what he says
b. That man may admire the light, & want the light, but he has chosen disobedience, and the result is hate and darkness.

2. V. 10- Abides in light- Moral and spiritual light is where he dwells; with God

a. Love- agapao– self-sacrificial love that gives of itself for the happiness & well-being of the fellow-Christian.
b. Light- Moral purity, truth, holiness. There is clarity of thinking, spiritual insight, a giving of self instead of a gratifying self which uses people instead of loving them. He doesn’t (rarely) stumble, for he can see.

3. V. 11- The hating man lives in darkness, is lost, and has become blind

a. The man who hates is a selfish man.
b. He does not love b/c love would cost him something of himself.
c. Instead of benefiting from self serving living, he ends up in darkness, blinded, and lost.
d. Walking in spiritual darkness leads to spiritual blindness.
e. The neglected moral opportunity leads to an inability to spiritually see
f. One may want to have spiritual insight, but if they walk in disobedience, they walk in blindness.

4. Remedy is found in 1 John 1:9 Agree w/God, be forgiven, cleansed, & re-cleansed as you walk in friendship w/Jesus, having a shared life w/Him.