Heavenly Father, we acknowledged that You are Emanual, Lamb of God, Lion of Judah, city of refuge, shepherd of our souls, and captain of our souls. We pray for soft, faithful, obedient, teachable, and sensitive spirits to tap into Your goodness, grace, and love, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
1 John 2: 1- 11, The tests of Knowing Christ
VV 1-2, 1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
John, the last surviving apostle of Christ, addressed his audience tenderly as little children. As Christians, we are not to habitually sin but if we sin, we have Jesus Christ as our Advocate with the Father. Greek for advocate is “parakletos’, which means counselor or defense attorney. Greek for propitiation is “hilasterion” which means the mercy seat. The Mercy Seat was the golden cover on the Ark of the Covenant which was kept in the Holy of Holies. Before the destruction of the temple, the high priest enters the Holy of Holies once a year on Yom Kippur day, to sacrifice a lamb and splash the blood of the lamb onto the mercy seat as atonement for the sins of the Israelites for 1 year. On Good Friday, Jesus Christ died on the cross as a substitutionary atonement for our sins. He meets us on the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant to forgive our sins.
VV 3-6. 3 Now by this, we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
The tests of knowing Christ are obedience to His commands, love God, and love people. We cannot claim to know Christ if we do not obey His commands. Christ is truth. The test of knowing Christ is to walk in truth. Christ is love. Another test of knowing Christ is to walk in love, vertical love for God, and horizontal love for people. Greek for abide is “meno”, which means remain or endure. If we remain in Him, we are to obey Him and conduct our lives according to His commands.
VV 7- 8, 7 Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. 8 Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.
The old commandment is from the Old Testament, love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength, Duet 6:4. The new commandment is from the New Testament, to love another as Christ loved us, John 13:34. The true light of Christ’s righteousness had come to remove the darkness of evil in the world, John 1:5.
Deut 6:5, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength”.
John 13:34, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another”.
John 1:5, “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it”.
VV 9- 11, 9 He who says he is in the light and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
Christ is light. Another test to know Christ is to walk in the light of Christ. We are to walk in the light of Christ and love our brother. If we hate our brother we are in darkness and deception and the light of Christ is not in us. Light is symbolic of Christ, truth, righteousness, and goodness. Darkness is symbolic of satan, deception, sin, and evil.
We are not to sin habitually, but if we sin, we are to come before Jesus Christ in confession and repentance. If we confess our sins, Christ is faithful and just and will forgive and cleanse us of all our unrighteousness. We are to walk in obedience, in truth, in love, in light, in the Holy Spirit, and in Christ. These are the tests of knowing Christ.
Heavenly Father, we confess that we are sinners saved by grace. We pray for forgiveness of sin, justification, salvation, sanctification, and eternal life. We pray for divine guidance and enablement to walk in obedience, in Christ, in the Holy Spirit, in truth, in light, and in faith, in Jesus’ name, Amen.