The test of knowing Him
The test of knowing Him,
Recent surveys have calculated that about 80 to 85% of Americans identify themselves as Christians
2 Corinthians 13:5
The key verse to the Gospel of John is John 20:31. "But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name."
John states his purpose and recording all the things that Jesus did. So that you might believe, and believing you may have life in his name.
Similarly John states His purpose in writing 1 John, It is so those who believe would have Joy (1 John 1:4), that they would walk in Holiness (1 John 2:1), and have real assurance of salvation (1 John 5:13).
Much of what Paul wrote to the churches in his letters was to combat legalism (the Judiasers) they said faith in Christ plus the law i.e. circumcision, dietary etc. is what would save you.
But Peter and Jude also warned of other false teachers who would later come in and their heresies that would lead to license or false liberty. This started with the Gnostics (which comes from the Greek word for knowledge).
Jude 4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 2:18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error.
1. The first test of knowing Him, is doctrinal. do you have the right Jesus and do you have the right view of sin. is He the Jesus of the whole bible and the bible alone. Paul expressed His concern for the church in 2 Corinthians 11:4, Gal 1:6 that they might put up with false teaching of Jesus and the Gospel. 1 John 4:2-3 proves that if you have a false Jesus you cant be saved, no matter how sincere you are.
The Gnostics basically believed that anything material or physical was evil and only the spiritual was good. This false teaching led them to believe and teach that Jesus was only a spiritual being and was only physically manifested at His baptism but by His crucifixion he was only spiritual again, another form of this heresy said that Jesus only seemed to appear physical. thus John writes to correct this error
1 John 1:1-4 1That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— 2the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.
You see the bible states Jesus is fully God and fully Man, and you can know He is the only man to come back from the dead to never die again! We have a risen savior and the believer joy is full knowing this, His hope is in a real savior!
1 John 4:2-32 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
Do you Know the right Jesus
John 17:3 This is eternal life, that they might know You, the only true God and Jesus Christ the one whom you have sent.
a. Morman Jesus
b. JW Jesus
c. Oprah Jesus, John 14:6
d. The Jesus of the Modern Church
i. A Jesus who is Savior but is not Lord
ii. My Jesus would never send someone to Hell. 2Thess 1:7-9
In Rev 19:15 it says, He himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
Any Jesus that is not Jesus clearly taught in the scripture is an idol and cannot save you.
The second part is your view of your sin 1 John 1:5-10 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
The epicurean Gnostics gave full indulgence to the physical body because they believed it was evil anyways, but that the spirit was the spark of good.
This parallels false beliefs about the human condition today even among Christians “God knows my heart” as if that is a good thing for them. The human heart is the most corrupt base part of the man. Your sinful outward actions are a direct manifestation of your dead heart.
Jeremiah 17:9 the human heart is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things.
Mark 7:20-23 Jesus said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. 21For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”
If we say we have no sin v.8, It is not just acknowledging I am a sinner.
Do you have a biblical view of your sin? Do you have Gods view? Rom 7:18 “ in my flesh dwell no good thing. Rom 1
Is your sin exceedingly sinful to you? Rom 7:13
Do you hate it? Rom 7:21 “Oh wretched man that I am”
Do you see yourself as the worst 1 Tim 1:15 “chief of sinners”
So we must see ourselves in true light but we must see Him as he is!
1:8-10 He is faithful, He will do it every time. He is just meaning He paid the price God doesn’t just look away from sin, every sin must be paid for, every sin! And he paid it! He is Just.
2. The first test was doctrinal do you have the right view of Jesus an of sin? The second is moral! Do you keep his commandments?
1 John 2:3-6 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
And also back at 1 John 1:5-7 5This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
John 3:18-21“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
A real walk with the Lord is a transparent walk, an exposed walk, it is not a compartmentalized walk, it cannot be.
The real Christian does not dwell in any part of the shadows because there is no shadow with the Father, every part of their life is an open book to God. In fact, what used to be the darkest part of a fallen man, his heart,(the inner man) Has now become the brightest place in a true Christians life, Not because there is any good that comes from it, But because it is completely illuminated by the Gospel and the new man is driven to fellowship with the Father out of desire, a desire that is propelled by the Holy Spirit.
The privacy of his heart is no longer a refuge place for filthy thoughts, hatred, jealousy and un-forgiveness, There is no tolerance for these things in a heart truly illuminated by the Light of the Gospel.
But with the one who does not know Him, he hates the Light, outwardly he/she may seem righteous but inwardly darkness is tolerated, the heart it is the private place where sin can be held on to.
I think this is best illustrated in the sin of pornography and the sin of unforgiveness.
In pornography because it so clearly of the heart and is typically done in secret and darkness. A man or a woman can have every other part of their life under control, A person can be self deceived into thinking this is just one area of my life I can’t get under control (a besetting sin) Heb 12:1 “lay it aside”.
An unforgiving heart is a dark heart, Un-forgiveness deceives us through pride and self righteousness, God hates pride and self-righteousness and he said the person who does not forgive is not forgiven. Matt 18:21-35
John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
For someone who truly knows Him, He finds joy in keeping His commandments.
1 John 5:1-51Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. 2By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
3. The third test do You Love His bride?
1John 2:7-11 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. 8Again, 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. 9He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11But 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.
a. John 13:34-35A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Not my love for the lost
Not my love for my co-workers
Not my love for my neighbors
Your love for His bride.
Do you love the Bride of Christ? If you don’t you don’t Love Him!
How do we know Love?
1 John 4:20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
Don’t come to church and say you love God and love to worship and you ignore His bride or despise His bride you don’t serve His bride you don’t pray for his bride. You Do Not Know Him, You are serving your religious time and that is it. It says “your brother you have seen”
It is not the brother across the world. It is the brother and sister in the this room. 1 John 3:1818My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
b. You are not loving you brother if are coveting, lying, stealing, committing adultery, hating or dishonoring your parents.
John says in 2 John 4-6 “I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father. 5And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. 6This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.”
Are you more comfortable with those who do not know the Lord. If you do not love His bride you do not know Him. I find it hard to believe a person can truly know the Lord yet move from one fellowship to another never getting to know and love the people in those fellowship. What also boggles the mind is those who can call a fellowship of believers their family for a time in then they up and leave and find a new family. Did they really love in the first place?
c. 1 John 4:7-12 7Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.
4. The forth test, lack of Love for the world or the things in the world? 2:15-17
- Do you despise this world system? Do you smell the rot of it more and more? Or does it draw you? Do the things of the world sparkle in your eye. For the true Christian being in this world only makes him desire to know Christ and his Word more and more. The true Christian is grieved over the grip that the desire for the things in this world had in his life, and is continually grieved as more of those things are exposed in his life and his desire is to lay aside every weight and sin it so easily ensnares us, Heb 12:2
i. The modern church and Pastors has brought in much of what they think is harmless of the world, in order to entice the unsaved, so that they'll think the church isn't such a bad place to be. The result is the church has become a mall, a social club, concert hall or even a amusement centers. Where, instead they should be hospitals and training grounds, where Christian soldiers are cared for in mended, trained, equipped and sent back out into battle. Pastors with the desire to be relevant to become cool storytellers, comedians, entertainers, and instead of what God has called them to be a Prophets and evangelists.
- James 4:44Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
- A great preacher named Leonard Ravenhill once said “when Jesus was born, there was no room for him in the inn. He got a bit older, and there was no room in his family, His family turned on Him. He went to the temple, no room in the temple, the temple turned on him. And when he died there is no room to bury him, he died outside the city. Well, why in gods name do you expect to be accepted everywhere? How is it that the world couldn't get on with the holiest man that ever lived, but it can get on with you and me? Are we compromised?” Are we?
5. Fifth Test Who do you listen to, the world or to the Word? 4:4-6
1 John 4:4-6 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them .6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
- Where is it that you seek wisdom? · The Bible always has the last word in a true believers life!
· It is not just about the inerrancy of the Word (explain), but also the sufficiency!(explain)
· And of course, is this fact played out in your life?( IS IT REALITY) 1Peter 2:2 “Desire the pure Milk of the Word”
Psalm 1:1-3 1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
o “You are blessed for not walking in the counsel of the ungodly” (Christians do not get their views from the world, Opera, Dr Phil, O riley, Rush or even a Christian Psychologist. No a Christian delights in the law of Lord and He meditates on it day and night.
6. The sixth test, Do you have His Spirit? 1 John 4:12-16 12No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
This is the one evidence that everyone thinks they have and it is the only thing that many have to hold onto and it is a dangerous thing because many will hold on to it while ignoring all the other evidence in their life that they do not know Him. Even the Mormons have what they think is the confirmation of His Spirit.
John 16:1313However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
His spirit will be working in you first he will convict you of sin and righteousness and judgment. This will be the first reason someone comes to Jesus and this is the only right motive, then he will lead you and teach you and He will come upon you and empower to be a witness for Him.
1. Do you have the right Jesus , Do you have a right view of your sin.
2. Do you keep His commandments?
3. Do you love His bride
4. Do you lack love for the world
5. Who do you listen to, the world, or the Word
6. Does the spirit testify to you