Focal passages: 1 John 5:1-5, 13-21
How do you know that you know that you know God? Here we have three tests: love, life and faith.
The test of love shows in “whoever,” “whatever,” and “whenever.”
Real love loves whoever is born of God.
When we are saved we become new creatures who, as part of our spiritual DNA, love. First, we love the Father who gave us new life. And we love, “whoever has been born of Him,” other born again Christians.
Then we do whatever He commands (5:2f).
If we fail to obey these commands, then we have no basis to be certain about our salvation.
We’re giving disturbing evidence to the contrary.
When He tells us to love someone of another race, we don’t make up an excuse not to.
True love loves if whenever your brother or sister is in sin, you pray for them, you intervene (5:14-17).
True prayer meetings are not first concerned for health and wealth but for the will of God (5:15).
Pray not just for sicknesses but for sin, salvation and sanctification.
The test of our life shows in overcoming and perseverance. We must overcome our enemy, the world and be transformed by God’s word.
In that, we persevere.
The “grand mark” that sets true believers apart from hypocrites, is perseverance.
“He who was born of God” — that is, Jesus — protects God’s people (5:18) so we continue to overcome sin.
The test of faith shows in doctrine, fruit and exclusivity.
We must believe that Jesus is the Christ (5:1), born as fully man and fully God, crucified to take away God’s right wrath at our sins; that Jesus is who He claimed to be, equal to the Father, and as such demands of every believer absolute surrender.
Faith is a fruit of life.
That’s plain in the Greek of 5:1. Everyone who has believed (past action continuing into the present) “has been born of God” (a past completed action).
That is, God made them alive and as a consequence they had faith.
Faith comes not first as a work of human (so-called) “free will,” but as a fruit of the gracious work of God in the human heart.
This is “the faith” that overcomes the world.
Our faith is genuine faith if we understand it is exclusive.
There are really only two options: either we serve God or idols (5:20f).
These aren’t tests we have to pass to graduate to eternal life.
These are tests we will pass if we have eternal life. So do you pass the tests?