Living a Balanced Life
(An In-Depth Study of First John)
1 John 2:3-6
A trusted and proven mentor is a gift of unspeakable value. To have a guide in this life that brings reality to light not only keeps one from stumbling, but makes possible a life to the full; one that overflows with joy. The Apostle John is such a mentor. He gathers us close as “my little children”, and speaks the truth into our lives.
There are times in life that cause us to question what we believe. It’s in these times that a mentor like John is so valuable. The church is experiencing a group of people, possibly former members of the same church, that have not only left the church, but have departed from the sound teaching previously given to believers by the Apostle. John is dealing with the claims made by this group of knowing God while walking in darkness. They even claimed that they had not sinned. These bold heretical claims that truly are contrary to sound doctrine, and brought division, have clearly shaken the church.
John, like a loving shepherd, drawing his flock close, begins his explanation of what is really happening as we read his opening argument in this week’s text (verse 3 of chapter 2): “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.” This is a positive statement offering assurance to believers that everyone found keeping the commandments of Christ truly know God. By implication, John is confident that knowledge of God exists that gives rise to such a desiring for God that life change happens.
So now what is this kind of knowing that necessarily gives rise to obedience? There must be something very powerful about this knowledge. Its capacity to produce obedience is so certain that John calls anyone a liar who claims to have this knowledge but not have obedience. What kind of knowledge of Christ has power to infallibly produce obedience to Christ? This week we explore what John means by “knowing God” and what John expects from those who do…
Set the Scene:
- A group has left the church
- This group is teaching things contrary to John’s teaching
- True believers aren’t sure what they are experiencing
Three Stages in John’s Argument
- Necessary connection between knowing Christ and keeping his commandments (Vs 4, 5a)
- You can have assurance that you truly know Christ (Vs 3, 5b)
- Anyone who says they know Christ must walk as He walked (Vs 6)
Four Questions from our Text
What does it mean to “keep his commandments”?
What is meant by “knowing” in verse 4?
How does this knowledge produce obedience?
In what sense is our keeping his commandments a perfecting of the love of God?
Balance in life comes ultimately through desire.
Desire is always established by value.