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 that we are in him. I John 2:3-5
These verses reveal to us a test that can give us assurance that we are saved. This test is not given so that we may judge others. Neither is it given so that we can become puffed up with spiritual pride, but so that we may have confidence in our fellowship with Christ.
I am convinced that one of Satan’s favorite weapons against the children of God is doubt. Doubt debilitates, discourages and defeats more Christians than any other tactic the enemy might use.
God has given us a way to show ourselves that we truly do know the Lord and that way is obedience to His commandments. This is not to say that we will be perfect in following these commands, but the more our knowledge of Christ increases, the more our obedience will increase as well.
There are different stages of our knowledge of Christ:
- Knowing about Him, Mark 5:27
- Meeting Him personally, (salvation) Mark 5:33
- Learning His doctrine, Mark 5:34
- Allowing His doctrine to remain in us, John 15:7,11
- Allowing His love to continue in and through us to others, John 15:12
Progression through these levels is an indication of growth in both faith and love. This frees us from having to wear ourselves out in attempts to convince others and ourselves that we are saved. Instead, we can focus on developing our relationship with Christ (first phase of koinonia) and allowing love for others to be the fruit of that relationship. Thus we will be able to love others in the way that Christ loves us. This is far beyond our own capacity to love.
This further defines the light of Chapter 1 as obedience to the commandments of Christ. Again, this is in the sphere of fellowship with Christ. If we are not obeying His commandments, we are not allowing His truth to remain in us and are therefore immature believers.
When we obey His Word, however, we find that we make room for the love of God to be perfected in us. Here is the crux of this text: MY OBEDIENCE TO THE COMMANDMENTS OF CHRIST DIRECTLY AFFECTS MY ABILITY TO LOVE OTHERS. My ability to love others with the love of God gives me assurance that I am indeed walking in the light with Him.