Coming Sunday Nights Starting January 2014

Daily Distinctives March 18, 2015 (Know That You Know That You Know)

March 18, 2015

Daily Reading:

[1Jo 2:1 NKJV]
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.

[1Jo 2:2 NKJV]
And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

[1Jo 2:3 NKJV]
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.

[1Jo 2:4 NKJV]
He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

[1Jo 2:5 NKJV]
But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.

[1Jo 2:6 NKJV]
He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

Daily Distinctive:

Many younger Christians that I have talked to seem to struggle the most with knowing that their salvation is secure. They will read something that runs counter to the idea of “once saved always saved,” and their world seems to come crashing in around them. The fact that the thought comes to their mind at all is a good indication that they are indeed saved. Still, after some convincing and reminders from the Scripture, they go on their merry way happier and more secure in their faith. The one thing that always comes to my mind about our eternal security is the following from¬†John 10:27-30, which reads…

[Jhn 10:27 NKJV]
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

[Jhn 10:28 NKJV]
“And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.

[Jhn 10:29 NKJV]
“My Father, who has given [them] to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch [them] out of My Father’s hand.

[Jhn 10:30 NKJV]
“I and [My] Father are one.”

And while that should be enough to cure any doubts there is also these verses in Romans 8:37-39, which further show that we cannot be separated from the love of Christ.

[Rom 8:37 NKJV]
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

[Rom 8:38 NKJV]
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,

[Rom 8:39 NKJV]
nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The question then becomes not whether a person can lose their salvation but rather if they ever had it to begin with. And so the verses in my devotional for today should prove valuable in answering the question, “How can you know, that you know, that you know, you are saved?” That question posed, let’s dig in….

[1Jo 2:1 NKJV]
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.

I love the affectionate way that John addresses the believer, “My little children,” he says. In such a loving way he shows the mercy of the Father and how ready He is to absolve us of the one thing that separates us from Him; our sin. And so John writes to encourage the believer not to sin, but knowing the proclivities of mankind he says, “And if anyone sins.” Again, we live in corrupted bodies in a corrupted world. We know that all have sinned, but notice that John does not come off as some sanctimonious type. Look at the next part of this verse how he includes himself in with the rest of us by saying that, “we have an Advocate…”we”, John included. And so we have an advocate, or someone who speaks on our behalf. But this is no ordinary advocacy, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who is righteous is the one who speaks on our behalf. God our advocate. And we know the Scripture tells us that if God is for us who can be against us.

[1Jo 2:2 NKJV]
And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

We talked about propitiation in great detail in the message I did on Hebrews 1:1-3 (I think, or perhaps it was in the introduction to Hebrews). In any case what propitiation means in a nutshell is to appease the just and holy wrath of a perfect God. Jesus, our advocate, took upon our sins, but not ours alone, but the sins of all mankind. And so we have the Son of God who is our advocate and He became a sacrifice for us so that we could be made righteous before the Father, but not only that, He intercedes on our behalf and seeks to draw us to Himself so that we can know Him and have a relationship with Him. And so this is how we know, that we know, that we know Him, beyond a shadow of a doubt. It is actually spelled out for us in¬†our next verse….

[1Jo 2:3 NKJV]
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.

And so do you know Him? Do you keep His commandments. I am not talking about just the Ten Commandments here, although that is a good place to start. And I certainly don’t mean to say that you must always adhere to every commandment all of the time, all though we ought to, still we will and do fail. But are we habitually seeking to keep His WORD and live lives that are pleasing to Him? It is not a question of can you fulfill the whole law,¬†you can’t, that is a given, the question is do you want to please the LORD so much that you are willing to do what you can with everything in you to keep His commandments?¬†And beyond that, do you rely on the Holy Spirit to guide you and lead you through temptations that would otherwise cause you to sin? It is one thing to want to do this, it is entirely another to practice it. If you are living in habitual sin in an area of your life but not in other areas then you need to cut off that part of your life that is causing you to sin. That is the LORD’s commandment. But what if I fail? Okay. We all stumble. But as John just said in verse one, if anyone sins then they have an advocate. Listen Jesus has already died for your sins. Should we then keep crucifying him by living in habitual sin? Heaven forbid. And so if there is an area of your life that you are in habitual sin, seek the LORD to prune it from you, and shun it yourself. Rely on the LORD to give you the ability to keep His commandments, and then be obedient yourself. It is not an easy life, and I wish I could tell you that once you surrender your life to Christ that it is all smooth sailing from then on. The fact is that the flesh is dies hard. But as believers we must keep on diligently obeying the LORD even when we stumble. We have to get back up and press on. There is such a thing as repentance you know? It simply means turn around and walk the other way. So you are walking in sin now, turn around and walk away from it. Don’t allow the enemy to discourage you into believing you are past hope. So long as breath of life is in you, it is not too late to call upon the name of the LORD and be saved.

I think about my kids. They blow it all of the time. I don’t love them any less because they fail. It hurts me to see them go the wrong way. But you know the second they genuinely repent, they restore fellowship with me. This does not mean there will be no consequences. The law of sowing and reaping is not thrown out the window. But there is also grace and mercy. Sometimes grace and mercy doesn’t seem like grace and mercy, especially when you are paying consequences, but they are certainly much better than being allowed to continue in sin. Obedience is the key in knowing that you know that you know you are saved. If you are not obeying Him and His WORD then you can say that you know Him, but it is a lie. Look at the next verse…

[1Jo 2:4 NKJV]
He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

Okay, so John doesn’t pull any punches. And listen, if someone tells you that the Christian walk is a bed of roses, I would question their motives. Anyone who is a genuine believer in Jesus won’t mislead you into thinking that the Christian life is all peaches and cream. The fact is that as a believer you are born into suffering. So why would anyone want to be born into suffering, wouldn’t it just be easier to claim to be a Christian, get all the perks that come along with the title and just move on? What perks? There will be suffering. And so why would anyone want to be a Christian. I’ll tell you why; for the blessed hope of eternal life with Christ. Listen we are all going to live forever. We are eternal beings. Once we leave this flesh suit called life, we await the resurrection. We will all live forever. What we do in this life is pack and determine which address we want to spend eternity in. What we pack is wisdom and love, imperishable things. Those who pack money and things, and forsake the LORD, well, their address is obvious and well those things that they value so much will be lost in transit.

And so we can claim to know Him, but the proof is in the pudding (or is it putting- I never understood that). If we do not keep His commandments, we can’t know Him because by virtue of our actions or inaction for that matter, our eternal state and relationship with Jesus is obvious. Children who love their parents are eager to please their parents. Children that hate their parents may say they love them, but obedience is the tale-tale proof.

[1Jo 2:5 NKJV]
But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.

If you love the LORD you can’t help but talk about Him, but notice it does not say anything about saying you love Him, rather it says here that “whoever keeps His word.” To keep something is to guard it, to put it in a prominent place in your life, to cherish it and to honor it. And so if you keep His WORD, watch this, the love of God is perfected in you. This is the process of sanctification. Being perfected. Keeping His WORD is a continual thing. The term “is perfected” could be considered a present imperative, in that it is ongoing. We are being perfected and we will be perfect when in our glorified bodies we stand before the King of kings. And here is the answer to the question that we posed. How do we know that we know that we know Him? Look at the last part of this verse. “By this we know that we are in Him.”

[1Jo 2:6 NKJV]
He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

And the best way that we can go about keeping His commandments is to walk just as He walked. Jesus is our example of how to be obedient to God. He was the only one who was capable of keeping the whole law. He is the One that we should emulate in all things. It might sound cliche, but the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) question should apply in everything we do. It is said that imitation is the greatest form of flattery, but as believers we are not seeking to flatter Jesus, but rather, we are seeking to be obedient just as He was obedient. Jesus was obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Are you willing to follow His example to that extent? The answer to that question is the hint to knowing that you know that you know.

Daily Muse:

Raising children is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. You pour into them and expect a return, the law of sowing and reaping and all right? But then when you think everything is moving along smoothly and your relationships with your children are great, something happens, they become teenagers. Now I know for sure, without question, why teenagers act the way that they do. It is a recent phenomena. It is the culture that we live in. I am sure that hormones and all that play a part in some of the angst that teenagers present, and I am sure that there are studies out there that support my rant here, but I see how pervasive the culture is. The reason that it is so difficult for teenagers is because they are at an age where they are discovering who they are as they mature into adulthood. The problem is that in their insecurity they want to be like those around them so as not to draw attention to themselves at first. Then like a bad habit, if the cultural norm is negative, they pick up these things as their identity. Still, I know that God has placed a deeper truth in the hearts of all men. Try as they might they cannot deny this truth. They fight against it. Because they want their truth to be their decision that arrive to on their terms. I get it. I wish I would have understood it then. But at this age, they lack wisdom, just as I did when I was that age. They don’t really know it either, that is the hard part. It is like having my toddler grab a knife off the counter. She does not understand that danger, but to see her wield the knife, you can almost see it in her eyes, that, “I Got This” look. And so I try to pry it from her iron grip and she cries about it. That is what having a teenager in todays culture is like. I almost wonder if I would have taken my kids to a remote jungle somewhere with no interactions with the outside world, if I would have teenagers that acted like young adults. Again, I am sure that there are studies to support this idea. Yes, I am having teenager issues, please pray for me.

Daily Prayer:

LORD, I just want to thank You that You have all of this in Your hands. I am so afraid sometimes that my children are going to get themselves into a place where they turn their backs on You and suffer at the ruthless hands of their own immaturity. I know it is a hard time for them, growing and trying to find their place. But I can relate. Not only because I was a teenager once, but because this is what I feel with You. I feel like You are trying to lead me into the right way, but I have spiritual teenager brains, and think, “I Got This.” the difference is that I have Your Spirit in me and that has given me the wisdom to know, “I Don’t Got This.” So LORD, I beg You to take my will and do with it as You will. I don’t want to continue learning from the school of hard knocks. I just want to be a Spiritual Adult and sit at the “Grown-up table.” Not so that I can say, look at me…I have arrived, but so that I can be at the point where I am the most dangerous to the enemy, and most honoring to You. I love You LORD and You are my life. I will follow You all of my days. I pray that You would not allow anything to sway my desire to worship You and serve You. Please LORD help me. ¬†-Amen

About the author