Faithlife Sermons

What Are You Doing?

Are You Sure?  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  35:59
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A right relationship with God leads to right actions. Do your actions line up with what you claim? Find out more as we look at 1 John 2:3-11 together.

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There is a phrase that is uttered often around our house.
Usually, it happens when we hear one child scream at one of the others while they are in another room.
Sometimes, it happens when the kids are too quiet for too long and we have to go see what trouble they have gotten into.
We will usually turn the corner into the room and look at them and ask this probing question, “What are you doing?!”
Today, I want to ask you that same question: what are you doing?
I need you to take a step back from your life for a few minutes, and ask yourself what you are doing in life.
We in our second week of a brief series called, “Are You Sure?”
Our goal in this series is to help you make sure that you have a genuine relationship with God.
If you don’t, then our prayer is that you will enter into that relationship with him.
If you do, our hope is that you will gain greater confidence in what God has done in you as well as help you help others to find him.
Last week, we started off by focusing on the need to walk in the light. We spent some time talking about what it looked like to walk in the light, but most of the message was about what to do when we don’t.
We saw that we can’t earn our way back to God or make ourselves clean from our sin. Instead, we must find cleansing through Jesus.
This week, we are going to take a closer look at the positive side of obedience: what are we supposed to be doing if we have a relationship with Christ?
This gives us another clear test of what to look for in our lives if we genuinely know Jesus.
If these things are missing from your life, then you need to take a hard look at what is going on to see if you are really saved.
Here’s our big idea this week: A right relationship with God results in right actions.
In , John gives us two general ideas of what those actions are, and then, in verses 7-11, he makes it clear what he is looking at specifically.
Let’s look at
Let’s read the passage, and then we’ll break it down like he does...
The first might sound like a no-brainer, but it is something we may be prone to overlook.
If we have a genuine relationship with God, then we have to:

1) Do what he says.

The first evidence that you and I know God, as John describes it here, is that we do what he says.
In verse 4, John calls us out: if you don’t do what God tells you to do, then you aren’t his. You are a liar, and God’s truth isn’t in you.
It seems harsh, but doesn’t it just make sense?
Isn’t this how life works when you are in a place where you are under someone’s authority?
How long do you think you would last if you went into work tomorrow and said, “Yeah, I know what my boss wants, but I am not going to do that”? Do you think you would get “employee of the month”?
How about your professors? How well would your grades turn out this semester if you said, “Yeah, I knew the syllabus. I just didn’t think you really were serious about me doing all that work, so I just didn’t do it”?
What about obeying the law? Can you imagine telling a police officer that you are a concerned citizen, but you aren’t going to obey the speed limit or traffic signs?
In each of these examples, do you see how wrong those claims sound?
You don’t really understand how this works if you don’t do it!
Why would we think that our relationship to the God of the universe, who designed and sustains everything and knows everything that will happen every day of your life, would be any different?
Yet, we hear this all the time.
“Well, of course I’m a Christian, but I don’t think those rules apply anymore.”
It’s the most telling in the statement, “Well, my God would never...”
It’s the most telling in the statement, “Well, my God would never...”
Guys, listen: God has clearly revealed himself in his word, and he has clearly given us commands. You cannot claim to know him and then pick and choose what you want to obey and what you don’t.
A person who knows Jesus is going to do what God commands.
Don’t miss the first part of verse 5.
When you do what God says, you are demonstrating that God has brought his love to bear in your life.
It isn’t that your kept the commands so well that you earned God’s love; he loved you so much that when you came into a relationship with him, his love is fully demonstrated as he gives you the strength to obey his commands.
So, are you doing what God commands you to do? If not, then John says that you don’t have a relationship with him.
His love isn’t in you, and you need to turn to him.
Not only does God tell us to do what he says, he also says...

2) Live like he did.

Look back at verses 5b-6.
Although the idea is parallel to what John already said, this a slightly stronger statement.
Not only are you claiming to know God, you are also claiming to remain in him.
That implies a depth of commitment that is ongoing and doesn’t come and go.
In fact, that’s one of the commands that Jesus gave us:
John 15:4 CSB
Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me.
If we had more time to look at that passage, you would see that Jesus says that only those who remain in him are truly his.
So, if you claim to be a Christian, then you have to remain in him.
If you have to remain in him, then you have to live like him.
Isn’t this awesome, by the way?
God had every right to stay in heaven and order us around.
He didn’t do that, though, did he?
From the very beginning, we see that God wanted his people to be with him.
He would walk with Adam and Eve in the Garden.
When it came time to give the Law to his people, God came down from heaven and met with Moses face to face.
From time to time throughout the Bible, God came and met with people.
However, in each of those instances, he would give instruction, maybe act in some way, and then go back to heaven.
That was more than we deserved, and he could have stopped there, but he didn’t!
Instead, he came down to the earth and lived among us.
He walked our streets, sat in homes, ate with us, healed our sicknesses, and ultimately took our sin upon himself.
He didn’t just give us commands, he gave us an example!
Don’t we always appreciate that more?
Aren’t great leaders the ones who fight with their men in the trenches?
Aren’t great bosses the ones who are willing to pick up trash in the parking lot or pick up a broom when they need to?
We look up to people who can genuinely say, “Don’t just do as I say, do as I do.”
So, Jesus is that kind of leader!
If I am going to claim to have an ongoing relationship with him, then I have to be willing to live like he did.
How would you summarize how Jesus lived?
Well, that’s what John goes on to do in the next verses.
This next section ties together the commands God gives and the life he lived under one heading.
If you have been a part of this church for any length of time, I hope this next part sounds awfully familiar.
Remember, you are not saved by keeping God’s commands, because you and I can’t do that on our own.
However, once you have turned to him, you should be doing what he says and walking like he walked.
If you are looking for a place to start as you think about keeping God’s commands, here’s where I would tell you to start: love your brothers and sisters, especially your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Remember a couple of months ago when we were finishing up Mark? We ran across a passage where Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment.
He responded by quoting from two different parts of the Old Testament:
Deuteronomy 6:5 CSB
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
Leviticus 19:18 CSB
Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against members of your community, but love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.
Jesus said the two greatest commandments were to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself.
This was the same command God’s people always had, but Jesus added a whole new depth of meaning to it by demonstrating God’s love for us by dying in our place (verse 3).
He showed that love
If you want to know if you are genuinely a child of God, then answer this question: do you act in a loving way towards God and those who are his?
Let’s be clear: love is not primarily an emotion. It is a conscious, willful, sacrificial act to seek the good of another.
You don’t simply feel love, you choose to act in love.
Do you love your others, especially others in the family of God?
What is your relationship like to those who are in the church? How have you acted in a loving way towards them?
What about the people in church who irritate you or who have hurt you? Do you love them?
Isn’t that how Jesus behaved?
Look at how John describes it again (verse 9, 11).
If you know Jesus, then you will love other Christians.
If you hate others, especially those who are a part of the family of God, then you need to take a hard look at your salvation.
So, let me ask you again: are you sure?
A right relationship with God leads to right actions.
Are you doing what God says? Are you obeying his commands, or are you still trying to live life your own way?
Are you walking like he walked? Does the way you live your life look like something Jesus would have done?
Are you living a life of love, especially towards others who are a part of the family of God?
If not, remember the greatest news in history: You and I can’t perfectly keep God’s commands, and there is no way we can walk the way he lived.
That’s why he came and died in your place and was raised from the dead. He offers his perfect obedience to you as a gift in exchange for your sin and selfishness.
Will you make that trade today?
Are you willing to give up living life your way to turn to living life his? When you do, his love is made perfect in you, and he gives you the strength to begin obeying and walking like he walked.
It isn’t to get you saved, but it is because at that point, you are. You are alive where you are dead. You are clean where you were sinful. You are right with God where you were estranged, and now, you can live a new life.
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