1 John: 3 Tests

Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

This is a new section – it’s an important section – show us the whole and then in parts.

Whole:  v3 – we know that we have come to know him.  It’s a wonderful claim and a great test of Christianity.  It’s possible to know that you are accepted and with him.  An internal certainty.  Assurance of salvation.

We are told it’s possible to know it.  It’s possible to be saved and not know it – but you can’t live it fully – unless you do have this assurance of salvation.

Biblical Christianity – there are two kinds of people who think it’s arrogant to be sure that you are going to heaven.

On the right – people see Christianity as doing good and going to church and following the rules.  They think it’s arrogant to say we can know is because they are legalists and legalists can never know – but it reveals their understanding of Christianity is flawed.

On the other side – people think of christianity – they think its arrogant to claim you are sure – everyone has to work out their own religious feelings.

But anyone who thinks it is arrogant is proving their understanding of Christianity is defective.

This is the book to help us develop an assurance of salvation.  The way you can know – one internal test and three external tests.

The internal tests – in v. 3 – we know that we know Him.  It requires an internal experience.  Do you have a fellowship with God?  You can never know unless you know God.

John doesn’t leave it at that.  He says – externally – you must be showing proof.  It’s more than an experience.  Three observable – it’s understandable – it can be evaluated – three things.

4 – the behavioral test – if you don’t behave – observational changes

relational test v 7-11 – love – it’s observable.  Christians ought not be crabby!  Harsh – 80 grit sandpaper

Doctrinal test – do you understand it’s about Christ alone.  A diagnostic tool – if God doesn’t feel real – no vitality – use the testers- are you doing things that violate your conscience?  Are you bitter or isolated?  Doctrinal?  DO you understand the bible.

Inventory – four tests – internal and three external – for example – ask yourself – do you feel God’s presence in your life?  Do you take time to seek him?

Are you deliberately growing in character?  Are you making progress?  Less moody, more self controlled, more loving than last year?

Are you in relationships with Christians?  Are you staying reconciled with people?

fourth – am I growing in my joy of salvation?

These are questions – if at any point we start saying No – then we have found something that needs attention.

What does it mean, “Knowing God”  – if you read Genesis – Adam went into Eve and knew her.  And she conceived – the Hebrew word for Know was used for having sex in the bible.  Personal oneness.

How God makes us Love Notes

1 John 2:3-11

He is writing to let us know it’s possible to have an intimate relationship with God.

1:5-2:2  In that section – John says – if you want to have fellowship – you have to believe the message.  this is the message – v.5  There is a message that you have to believe – the message is the gospel.  God is light – holy perfect – we are sinful and Jesus has become the one who pleads our case for us.  He is our advocate.  He is claiming justice for us.    

John is telling us – that its both subjective and objective.  Religion is both internal and external.  The two cannot be separated.  If it’s subjectively true it will show its self objectively.

John says in 2:3  We know that we have come to know him.  Another great doctrine – the doctrine of assurance – there can be a certainty – that the Lord of the universe loves you.  I know that I know him.

Many are offended by the idea.  Whether they believe it’s possible.

Weirdly – You can be a Christian but not sure. People like to think it’s impossible to be sure.  But that person doesn’t understand the gospel.

If Christianity is a matter of good deeds or morals you will never know.  But people who say religion is mystical – you and you alone put your religion together – those people will say they have assurance but I know my religion is right for me.  But that’s not the doctrine of assurance – assurance – you have found the truth about God who absolutely loves you.

Romans 8 – I am persuaded – I am sure -that death nor life nor anything in all creation will be able to separate us from the Love of God in Jesus.  That is assurance!  I know the one whom I have believed.

If you are asking – how much can I get away with – then you aren’t at home in the kingdom – you don’t understand the gospel.

Could we talk about – how much can I get away with – and pray this prayer…  can I get away with it?  1 John 1:9

#3- Loving One another sermon notes

v3-6  John lays down three great tests – behavioral test – your character changes – if you don’t see changes – less worried, less selfish, more compassionate – John says – watch out.

2 test – love in our relationship

later – doctrinal test – Jesus is our savior.  Right teaching, right living, right loving.

possibilities for love in Jesus that you can’t find anywhere else – he says it’s not a new command – not a specifically biblical thing – Leviticus – not new –

ethical commonalities – every religion is everywhere.  But he says – and yet – it’s a new command.

What he means – Jesus gives you a model for understanding love – and a power for doing love so far beyond anything else – that it’s new.

We have unique resources – beyond any other faith – the claims of Christianity – the truth is seen in him.  v8.  No one ever loved like Jesus.  You find people sacrifice for love – but nothing like Jesus.

Jesus – go and love and obey me and you will be crushed.  When Jesus says – let this cup pass from me – God always says to everyone else – well done good and faithful servant – but here – God allows Jesus to be smite for us.

No one has ever loved like that.  Not like Abraham and Isaac – or Shadrack in the fire – or Daniel in the pit.  God rescues them!  But not Jesus.  And he loved perfectly – always.  Jesus is forsaken so that you and I will be.

No one ever loved us like that.  Now –

This is a new command – its truth is seen in Him.  And you who believe – do you know what you are capable of…  do you see that God holds us responsible for love more than others – it’s a whole new world of love.  Once we know this kind of love?  It flows out of us into everyone – from the brother or sister who has wronged you to the notorious sinner – to the one who considers you their enemy.  Love love love!

2.  The reason that love is a sign of true Christianity – it comes form being in a whole new realm.  If you claim to be in the light – what is it to be in the light?

John Stott Notes

Three tests – moral, social and doctrinal . (See right teaching, right living and right loving)

A persons words must be tested by his works

True love for God is not expressed in sentimental songs or mystical experiences.  true love for God is proven in obedience.  The proof of love is loyalty.

Is this commandment old or new – it is both.  the newness of this command is found in the life and death of Jesus.