So after these four tests – what do we know? – Well, we know….
1. What a Christian is.
1 John 5:1-2
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know…
A Christian has faith in the finished work of Christ – and again – John is going to stress the previous tests we talked about – a Christian loves, A Christian is obedient. And a Christian knows the truth…. And as one who knows the truth – we also know….
2. What a Christian believes
1 John 5:6, 11 -13
This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. v 11-13 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.
And you know what, surprisingly not everybody agrees on this. But John says, if you don not know who Jesus is – you are not a Christian. And then John goes on to say… and God agrees with me
1 John 5:6-10
If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son.
John says God agrees that Jesus is the Messiah and if we reject the witness of God we call God a liar.
And lastly, as one who knows the truth – we know….
3. How a Christian acts
1 John 5:18-19
We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
Now at first that might trip you up – to read “that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning..” because I have not stopped sinning.. what about you? Of course Christians sin – we talked about that in chapter 1.
But John’s using the present/active tense of the verb. He is saying, if we are Christians we do not make a habit of sinning, we do not constantly, continually, habitually sin.
And the key really lies in the second half there, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. Who is “he who was born of God?” Christ. And so Jesus protects us. So it’s not that we have the power to overcome sin; but rather, the power to overcome sin – comes from Christ. You and I have no keeping power. We are no more able to keep ourselves than we are able to save ourselves. It is all from the Lord Jesus Christ. We are only saved by His marvelous grace.
We all know how to walk, right? – it’s so simple. But tell that to a baby. Tell a set of parents how ‘easy’ it is to learn to walk. That’s why parents are so excited when their babies take their first steps – because up until that point – walking was the most challenging, most difficult event of the child’s life.
And listen, just because you’ve accepted Christ in your life, doesn’t mean you’re learning to walk. This is why sometimes you’ll hear one believer ask another, “so how is your walk right now?” Or “Where are you in your walk?” It’s a journey. Listen, for the Christian, it’s not about making it, or arriving, or about waiting until one fine morning, I’ll fly away - no for the Christian it’s about the journey, it’s abiding, it’s keeping, it’s staying in step with our creator.
And I probably don’t need to even tell you this, but 1 John contain one of the most popular verses about love
1 John 4:7-8
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
Real love – is like God!
And Christians love because God is the essence of Love.
And of course this is close to John’s heart, because John was there when Christ expressed this same thought at the last supper – Jesus said…
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
A love like Christ’s is the supreme mark of a Christian.
And love is at the heart of the Christian witness.
Love originated from God, it was manifested in His son and now it’s demonstrated by his people.
Love is holy and just and perfect just like God and if we truly know God and obey God – then we will love like God.