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Bible Commentaries

Wells of Living Water Commentary
1 John 5

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-3

Some Things We May Know

1 John 5:1-3 , 1 John 5:11-21

INTRODUCTORY WORDS

There may be some places where uncertainties lend enchantment to the view, but in matters of life and death we want full assurance. It is not enough to hope that we are saved, or think that we may be the children of God. The Lord has not left us wandering in doubt and despair as to the realities and verities of great eternal truths. Jesus Christ said to Nicodemus, "We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen."

Christianity is not builded upon the uncertainties of fables and humanly conceived dogmas; it is builded upon the impregnable rock of Divine and certified revelation. He who trusts in Christ is not left to be carried to and fro by every changeable wind of men's doctrine: he is established in a Word that is forever settled in Heaven.

The Bible never sounds forth an uncertain note. It speaks with authority, and breathes, everywhere, the spirit of assurance. When Christ comes in, doubt and despair go out. Paul could say, "I know whom I have believed." The blind man could say, "One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see."

All Christians can say, "We know that the Son of God hath come." We know, we know, we know. Oh, what consolation, oh, what rest of spirit lies in the words, "We know!"

How then do we know that we are saved?

1. We know because we believe in Him. God has said. "Whosoever belie vein that Jesus is the Christ is born of God." This has the ring of certainty. But here is the proof. It is given in the thirteenth verse: "These things have I written unto you that believe on the Name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life."

The Gospel of John was written that we might know that Jesus was the Christ, and that believing we might have life through His Name. The First Epistle of John was written to those who do believe, that they might know that they have life. The Gospel was given that we may know Him and be saved; the Epistle was given that, being saved, we might know that we are saved.

2. We know we are saved by His Spirit (1 John 4:13 ). Here is the way the verse runs: "Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in. us, because He hath given us of His Spirit"

In Galatians it is put this way, "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father!"

Romans puts it thus: "The Spirit Itself heareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God."

3. We know because we keep His Commandments. "We know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His Commandments." If we love the brethren, we know we have passed from death unto life. That, however, is not all of it. Here is the other side, we love the children of God only when we love God, and obey Him.

Christ said, "If ye love Me, keep My Commandments." He also said, "He that hath My Commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me."

Obedience does not save, but the faith that saves is an obedient faith, James, in the Spirit, said: "Shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works." A faith that is without works is dead, being alone.

If there are any Christians who doubt their acceptance with God, and their real salvation, let them not rest until they know that they are saved.

I. WE KNOW THE SON OF GOD HATH COME (1 John 5:20 )

The battleground of the ages, centers, theologically, around the Person of Christ, "What think ye of Christ, whose Son is He?" One answers. He is son of Joseph; another, He is Son of God. One says Christ is Jeremias, or Elijah, or John the Baptist, or one of the Prophets; the other says, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God."

The believer never hesitates between these two opinions. He knows that the One who came was the Son of God; and he knows that the Son of God came. If Christ was not the Son of God, He is not true, and He is not eternal life. If He is Son of God, He is true; yea, He is the True God, and eternal life.

Not all Christ-rejecters reject the historicity of Christ. They often confess that Christ came; however, they deny that He came forth from the Father, and is come into the world. They also deny that He left the world, and went back to the Father.

It is by this that we can discern between the spirit of error and the Spirit of truth. "Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God"; and "every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God." The former is the spirit of antichrist; while the latter is the Spirit of God.

God hath written, "Many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh," He has also written: "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he: in God."

When Peter said to the Lord, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God," the Lord replied, "Blessed art thou Simon, bar-jona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in Heaven."

The centurion who stood by the Cross, said, "Truly this was the Son of God." Do we know that the Son of God hath come? Do we accept Him and believe in Him with the heart? Then we are the children of God.

II. WE KNOW THAT WE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE (1 John 5:11-13 )

Our key verse says, "That ye may know that ye have eternal life." That is a blessed statement. We know that we have eternal life, because we know Him, and He is eternal life. Has not our Lord said, "And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only True God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent"?

Jesus Christ is Life, and He, therefore, is the Author of life. He is eternal life, and He, therefore, is the Giver of eternal life to those who know Him.

With the fleeting things of time fading before our very eyes, how glorious it is to possess something that shall never pass away. After the earth has passed away with a great noise; after the sun and moon cease to swing in their orbits; then, we will continue on forever and for aye, in the city of our God.

We who live in Him, we who are saved, know that we have eternal life. Let us, therefore, weigh our every act in these terrestrial scenes, in the aspect of that life which is to come.

III. WE KNOW THAT CHRIST HAS TAKEN AWAY OUR SINS (1 John 3:5 )

With what assurance do the words ring out, "Ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins."

1. We would not belittle the fact of sin. We know that all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God, We know that there is none righteous, no, not one. The fact of Christ's atonement does not take away the fact of our sin, it establishes that fact. He died for us, because we were sinners.

Calvary with its weight of woe, forever shows forth the heinousness of sin. Calvary makes sin to appear exceeding sinful. One cannot consider deeply the penalty for sin and for sins, which Christ bore upon the Tree, without realizing the depths of iniquity that caused so great a woe.

Since God has laid on Him the "iniquity of us all," we know that our guilt was unfathomable, because the sufferings of Christ were unfathomable,

2. We would not forget the impossibility of self-salvation. No sinner can take away his own sins. The leopard cannot change bis spots, neither can the Ethiopian change his skin. Thus, the sinner cannot change his evil heart.

There is nothing "good" within the sinner to counteract his "bad." Even if the wicked could cease from his wickedness, that would in no way settle the sins of the past. A new sheet on top of the old sheet, does not change the blots on the old.

3. We would rejoice in the fact that Christ does take away our sins. Jesus Christ is the mercyseat for our sins. He became "sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."

On the authority of God, the One with whom each sinner must deal, we have the statement: "The Blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." Once more we read, "Herein is love * * that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."

The Great Multitude of Revelation fourteen, had washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.

John, in his Epistle, writes, "I write unto you. little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His Name's sake."

Thank God our sins are taken away. They are removed from us as far as the East is from the West. They are buried in the depths of the sea. They are behind His back. They will never be mentioned against us any more, forever.

IV. WE KNOW THE LOVE OF GOD TOWARD US (1 John 4:16 )

There is much rant these days about the love of God. There are some who vainly prate that God is love, to the exclusion of His justice and judgment There are others who strongly aver that God does not love anybody. There is, therefore, room for some very strong and Scriptural statements that will clarify the truth as to God's love,

1. God loves the world. John 3:16 is sufficient proof of this. God commends His love toward us inasmuch as, "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

He loved us before He washed us. He loved us while we were far from Him, groping in sin and darkness. He loved us, and therefore He sent His Son to die for us.

God's love for the sinner does not make it necessary for God to love the sinner's sin. Sin is heinous to God. Sin carries death, sin falls under wrath.

2. God loves those who are saved. Our text says, "We have known and believed the love that God hath to us."

In John's Epistle, chapter three, we read, "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God," In the fourth chapter we read: "God is love." Again we read, "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His * * Son into the world, that we might live through Him."

How great is that love toward us! Who can know its height, and depth, and length, and breadth. It passeth knowledge. God loves the sinner, but He loves the believer, His own. with a peculiar and particular love.

3. The saved should, accordingly, love God. We should love Him, not in word only; but also in deed and in truth, If God is love, we should dwell in love, we should love His love.

Here is what we want to say, "We love Him, because He first loved us." Here is something more which we want to say, "The love of Christ constraineth, us." Here is yet another word, "The fruit of the Spirit is love," and, "The love of God is shed abroad in our heart by the Holy Ghost."

Walking with God. and talking to God, and knowing God, floods our lives with love. If we catch the love of God toward us, we will, in turn, love our brethren; we love those who love God, and those whom God loves.

V. WE KNOW THE TRUTH (1 John 2:21 )

Here is something to make us stop, look, and listen: "I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it."

Jesus Christ said, "I am * * the Truth." If we know Him, we know the Truth, for He is the Truth.

We remember how the Word was made flesh, and how it dwelt among us, full of grace and truth. The Law had come by Moses; but Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus was both the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.

The Holy Spirit came to testify of Him, and the Spirit testifieth to the Truth. Let us give you some deductions:

1. Since Christ is Truth, then he who saith, "I know Him," will walk, not in darkness, and not in a lie, but he will walk in the truth.

2. Since Christ is the Truth, He will sanctify us by the Truth, for His Word is Truth.

3. Since Christ is Truth, we should love Him in deed and in truth; and thus, being of the truth, we can assure our hearts before Him.

4. Since Christ is Truth, every one who confesseth Christ will confess the truth and deny the error. Hereby will we know the Spirit of truth, and the spirit of error, because we know Him; and believe Him.

5. Since we know Christ, and Christ is Truth, we will know the truth, and walk in truth, and testify of the truth, and do the truth.

What is the conclusion? The spirit of error which has crept subtly into the realms of world-thinking, denies the truth under two outstanding heads: (1) It denies that Christ has come in the flesh. (2) It denies that Christ is coming in the flesh.

This twofold denial sums up the spirit of antichrist, whom we know will soon come into the world. Saints will not be caught in the nets of his cunning craftiness; nor will they be swept adrift by his winds of doctrines, where he will lie in wait to deceive.

Many deceivers have gone forth into the world. These deceivers deny that Jesus is the Christ. They abide not in the truth. Those who are Christ's know the truth: if any one comes unto them, and he brings not the truth, they will not receive him into their house, nor will they bid him Godspeed.

Let us seek to so live that we will obtain from God a good report, because we know the Truth, and because we bear record to the Truth.

VI. WE KNOW THAT HE ABIDETH IN US (1 John 3:24 )

How blessed are the "we knows" of the First Epistle of John. "We know" "we know." God forbid that we should ever live on the plain of uncertainties, when it is given unto us to know the things which are freely given us of God.

We come now to our final consideration: We know that He abideth in us.

1. The doctrine of Christ's abiding in the believer is precious to Him. When the Lord was speaking to the disciples on the occasion of His "Last Supper," He emphasized a twofold abiding. Let us give you a few of His words:

"Abide in Me, and I in you."

"Cannot bear fruit, * * except ye abide in Me."

"He that abideth in Me, and I in him, * * bringeth forth much fruit."

"If a man abide not in Me* * he is withered."

"If ye abide in Me, and My Words abide in you."

"Abide in My love, * * abide in His love."

"My joy might remain (abide) in you."

The seven quotations above may suffice to enforce the beauty of our abiding in Christ, and of His abiding in us.

Christ said this, also, 'If a man love Me, he will keep My Words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him."

When we come into the Book of Ephesians, we first find that we have seen outstanding spiritual blessings in Christ, That is in the first chapter. Next we are described as with Christ, in His death, resurrection, and exaltation. That is in the second chapter. In the last verse of the third chapter we have God taking up His abode in us, through the Spirit. In Ephesians 3:17 Christ is dwelling in our hearts by faith.

Thus, in Ephesians, we have three things: "In Christ," "with Christ," and "Christ in."

2. The doctrine of Christ's abiding in us is precious to us. It is precious to us, because it brings us fellowship, and "truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ."

It is precious to us because it gives us confidence. "And now, little children, abide in Him, that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His Coming." It is precious to us because, as He abides in us, He enables us to walk even as He walked.

God grant us to know the deeper meanings of this truth "We know that He abideth in us."

AN ILLUSTRATION

THE ECHO

"We love Him because He first loved us. Love is like an echo, it returneth what it receiveth; there is no echo till the sound is heard. Oar love to God is a reflex, a reverberation, or a casting back of God's beam and flame upon Himself. The cold wall sendeth back no reflex of heat till the sun shines upon it, and warms it first; so neither do we love God till our soul is first filled with a sense of His love." Hence the impossibility of producing love while we are under a legal spirit; it will not come to order, it will only rise to the bidding of its like. Love alone begets love. Purchase price for it there is none; the bribe would be scorned.

Love is not the result of effort on our part. As the fountain rises freely in the valley, pouring forth its crystal flood with spontaneous eagerness, so doth love sparkle and flash forth in the soul. Secret reservoirs, far up in the mountains, supply the water-springs; and eternal deeps of boundless love in the everlasting hills supply the love-springs of the believer's soul. Is it not written, "All my fresh springs are in Thee"?

O my heart, take care that thou answer to the Lord like an echo! When He saith, "My love." do thou answer with the selfsame title. Be as the rocks which glow beneath the heat of the sun, and give forth warmth themselves. Love as long as thou livest, for love is the cream of life, and all of it is due to thy Lord. Chas. H. Spurgeon.


Verses 1-21

Salvation Made Sure

1 John 5:1-21

INTRODUCTORY WORDS

Taking stock is a very important thing with the business man. Laying a good foundation is a very important task with the builder, Feeling the. pulse and making a general physical examination is altogether vital to the physician. Of course, if we are saved, we are saved whether we know it or not. However, where is he who wants to risk on an uncertainty, the greatest issue of all issues whether one is saved or is not saved?

Would any one care to risk a great business, without one penny of insurance against fire? Would he be satisfied to simply hope he had some good assurance?

Eternity is too long, and the issues of eternal life with God in Heaven, or of eternal death with the wicked in hell, are too great to be cast aside without a thought.

Now, brethren, for our part, we believe that we may know , we believe that we should know , yea, we believe that it is imperative to know that we are saved, and to know it now.

He who says, I hope I am saved, is entering life for evermore on a "guess" platform.

He who never passes beyond a "hope so" faith, casts insults on the more sure promises of God. God says, "He that believeth on the Son HATH everlasting life"; then shall we who believe, say we hope we have, what God says we have?

God speaks of salvation as a present experience. God says, "Hath passed from death unto life," shall we say, "We hope some future day to pass from death unto life"?

Christ said, "Rejoice that your names are written in Heaven." Shall we grieve, fearing that they may never be written there?

If God speaks with a period, shall we speak with a question mark? If God says. It is done, shall we hope it is done? If God says, hath , shall we say may have ?

To place an "if" over against God's certainties, is to cast doubt on the integrity of God's Word. To say "I hope so," where God says, "It is so," is to cast reproach upon the Almighty.

I. WE MAY KNOW WE ARE NOT SAVED IF WE TRUST IN OUR OWN WORKS (Ephesians 2:8-9 )

There is a very large class who are going religiously to hell. They think that they are saved, but they are lost. They are members of churches, they have been baptized, they attend church, they help pay the preacher, they do many things, and yet they have no real salvation.

It is not pleasant to tell one that he is not a Christian, when he thinks that he is a Christian. Yet, it is better for the unregenerate to discover his lost estate now than to discover it at the great white throne.

We may know we are not saved when we build our hope of salvation on the works of our own hands. If our only hope is what we do, we cannot be saved, because the works of the unregenerate are no more than filthy rags before God.

Well has the poet expressed it:

"Could my tears for ever flow.

Could my zeal no respite know.

These for sin could not atone,

Christ must save, and Christ alone."

How can we be saved by our works when they fall so far short of the worth of salvation? If we desire to bargain with God and make Him an offer for the exceeding riches of His glory, we had better offer more than our paltry good deeds. Were the whole realm of nature, the sun, the moon, and the stars all ours, they could not buy Heaven.

II. WE MAY KNOW WE ARE NOT SAVED IF WE ARE BASING OUR HOPE ON THE WAY WE LIVE (Titus 3:5 )

Shall a man who is ever prone to do evil, seek entrance to God's presence chamber by the goodness he does not possess? God has said that the heart of man is corrupt according to deceitful lusts. He has told us that there is none good, no, not one. He has told us that they that live after the flesh cannot please God. How then can a sinner dare to plead a righteousness which is unrighteousness with God?

Do good? Can a bitter fountain yield sweet water? Can a thorn bear figs? We therefore thus judge that by the deeds of the Law, no flesh shall be justified in His sight.

Those who go about to establish their own righteousness have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God.

God sees no righteousness in a heart of sin. That heart is full of evil. It holds within its throbbings the seed of sin in all of its hideousness. When God says, "the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked," how can men be saved by their own righteousness? When God says, "There is none that doeth good, no, not one," how can men be saved by their own goodness?

Let us not seek to weave the spider's web of good works from our own inner selves, for it will be swept away. We dare plead no righteousness but that of our Lord.

III. WE MAY KNOW WE ARE NOT SAVED IF WE LOVE THE WORLD. (1 John 2:15-17 )

God has spoken, let man keep silent, God says, "If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in Him." If the love of the Father is not in us, we are not saved, because He that loveth is born of God, but he that loveth not God is not born of God.

Christ said to certain of Israel, "Ye have not the love of God in you." If then, our love is centered in the world and in the things of the world, and not in God, how can we boast of being saved?

The unregenerate are given over to fulfilling the lusts of the flesh and of the mind. They are led along by the "lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life"; for this cause they are not of the Father, but are of the world.

When God called Abraham, He commanded him to get out of his father's house, out of his own country, and into a land that He would show him. For this cause Abraham was called an "Hebrew," which means a "come outer."

When God called Moses, He commanded him to leave Egypt. And Moses, obedient to the Divine Call, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He esteemed the reproach of Christ as greater riches than all of the treasures of Egypt; he preferred to suffer affliction with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.

When God saved Paul, he no longer sought the fellowship and favor of the Sanhedrin; he the rather sought to annex himself to the Christians. He counted all that had been gain to him, but dung.

Let not that individual who loves the world, vainly imagine that he is born of God. Christ said, "Ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."

IV. WE MAY KNOW WE ARE NOT SAVED WHEN WE REFUSE TO FOLLOW CHRIST (Luke 9:23 )

Men who love darkness rather than light, dare not say that they are the children of light. If we say we are of the light and walk in darkness, we He, and do not the truth. He that loveth the light, cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest.

We do not affirm that "joining the church" will save any one; nor do we teach that "confessing Christ" in any way, whether by word or act or religious rite will save, What we do teach and affirm, is, that all who are truly regenerate will come forth to follow the Lord. They will seek to do His will, and to walk His way in obedience to His commands.

If one should say, I have faith and yet he has no works to manifest his faith, his faith is dead being alone. True faith is indissolubly linked to obedience. Salvation is linked to confession. For this cause we read, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe with thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Why? Because, it is with the heart that "man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

V. WE MAY KNOW WE ARE SAVED WHEN WE BELIEVE IN THE SON OF GOD (1 John 5:13 )

Many are the Scriptures which press this statement home to our hearts. Christ said, "As many as received Him, to them gave He the [right] to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name." He added that such "were born, * * of God."

Paul told the jailor, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved."

There are, however, some who will solemnly say that they believe in God, and in Christ, when they do not believe at all in any Scriptural sense. There are but a comparatively few among the unsaved who do not intellectually believe in Christ. In truth, even, "the demons believe and tremble."

Bible faith is far more than mere assent to a fact, A man who does not believe in the fact of God. is a fool; and a man who does not believe in the historicity of Christ, and accept His claims as to His Deity is almost as big a fool.

Bible faith is synonymous with trust . To believe in Christ is to trust Him , That is the reason that Paul wrote, "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." How can one who believes in sins forgiven, worry over sins as though they were unforgiven?

Bible faith is synonymous with receiving Christ. To believe Christ involves receiving Him. Receiving Him involves the. opening of the heart and letting Him in. He who has Christ under his feet, is lost; but he who has received Him into his heart, is saved. This may seem too "easy." However, it should be remembered that the Lord Jesus came into the world, and the world was made by Him, but the world knew Him not; "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not." The attitude of the world toward Christ has never changed. The world may believe in the claims of the Christ of God in a way that He was not believed in, in His own day. but the world has no more room for Christ in its inner heart-affections than it has ever had.

Christ is still the hated and the despised; the rejected and the crucified Son of God.

When one believes in Christ, when one opens his heart to receive Him, when he crowns Him Lord of his life, when he takes His yoke upon him, when he steps forth to follow Him, then he is saved and safe.

VI. WE MAY KNOW WE ARE SAVED WHEN WE LOVE GOD (1 John 4:7 )

Where our heart is there will also our treasure be. The saved may not understand God, but they love Him. All saints may not love God as they should, yet they love Him. Their love becomes more and more real as they know more and more, of the Lord. Yet, they love Him.

There is a love in the believer's heart that will not let Him go. He may grieve the Lord, but he loves Him. He may for a moment turn aside, but he loves Him. Love is the first pulsings of the new life. No child ever clung to its mother more naturally than a child of God clings to Him. The first impulse of the Christian is to cry, "Abba, Father."

Peter wandered away from the Lord, he even cursed and swore, saying, "I know not Him of whom ye speak"; yet, Peter loved the Lord. When, after His resurrection the Lord Jesus dined with the disciples by the seashore, He turned to Peter and said, "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these?" Peter, from the very yearnings of his heart, said, "Lord, Thou knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love Thee." The Lord knew all things He knew about Peter's perfidy, but He also knew how Peter had gone out and wept bitterly; He knew how Peter had said, "I know not the Man," but He also knew how Peter had rushed into the tomb upon Mary's announcement of the resurrection and had believed, Jesus knew that deep down in Peters soul there was a love that never wavered, never ceased. He loved Jesus when he swore: he loved Jesus when he followed afar off.

Let everyone be honest with themselves. Let them examine into the recesses of their heart. Do you, each of you, all of you, love God?

VII. WE MAY KNOW WE ARE SAVED WHEN WE LOVE THE BRETHREN (1 John 3:14 )

The Epistle of John makes this plain. It says, "We know we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren."

He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love the Lord whom he hath not seen? If we love God, we will love our brother also. This is easily understood. The question is not a love to some of the saints but a love to all of the saints. The question is not a love to saints who may have done us some favor; the question is a love to saints because they love God.

In all of the wide work! there is no love so sincere, and no fellowship that glows with so great a fervor as the love of saints for saints.

John said we know we have passed from death unto life, if we love the brethren. Christ said, "By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another."

Brotherly love is a foretaste of the love that will fill Heaven for evermore.

AN ILLUSTRATION

A. B. Earle wanted to join the Baptist church in the old days, when they demanded an "experience." He frankly admitted that he had had no dream, nor had he heard any voice. Nothing startling had occurred when he accepted the Lord, but said A. B. Earle, "I love the brethren, and God has told us that we know we have passed from death unto life, if we love the brethren." The old deacon who stood the strongest for "seeing things" arose and said something like this: "Brethren, you know that I am a stickler for a big experience, but, my brethren, I cannot go against the Word of God. This young man says that he loves the brethren, and something must have happened somewhere, sometime. I move we take him in."

Let us examine our hearts and see if we have a love for the assembling of saints.

Are you saved? Yea, are you, saved, and do you know it?


Verses 11-21

Some Things We May Know

1 John 5:1-3 , 1 John 5:11-21

INTRODUCTORY WORDS

There may be some places where uncertainties lend enchantment to the view, but in matters of life and death we want full assurance. It is not enough to hope that we are saved, or think that we may be the children of God. The Lord has not left us wandering in doubt and despair as to the realities and verities of great eternal truths. Jesus Christ said to Nicodemus, "We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen."

Christianity is not builded upon the uncertainties of fables and humanly conceived dogmas; it is builded upon the impregnable rock of Divine and certified revelation. He who trusts in Christ is not left to be carried to and fro by every changeable wind of men's doctrine: he is established in a Word that is forever settled in Heaven.

The Bible never sounds forth an uncertain note. It speaks with authority, and breathes, everywhere, the spirit of assurance. When Christ comes in, doubt and despair go out. Paul could say, "I know whom I have believed." The blind man could say, "One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see."

All Christians can say, "We know that the Son of God hath come." We know, we know, we know. Oh, what consolation, oh, what rest of spirit lies in the words, "We know!"

How then do we know that we are saved?

1. We know because we believe in Him. God has said. "Whosoever belie vein that Jesus is the Christ is born of God." This has the ring of certainty. But here is the proof. It is given in the thirteenth verse: "These things have I written unto you that believe on the Name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life."

The Gospel of John was written that we might know that Jesus was the Christ, and that believing we might have life through His Name. The First Epistle of John was written to those who do believe, that they might know that they have life. The Gospel was given that we may know Him and be saved; the Epistle was given that, being saved, we might know that we are saved.

2. We know we are saved by His Spirit (1 John 4:13 ). Here is the way the verse runs: "Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in. us, because He hath given us of His Spirit"

In Galatians it is put this way, "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father!"

Romans puts it thus: "The Spirit Itself heareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God."

3. We know because we keep His Commandments. "We know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His Commandments." If we love the brethren, we know we have passed from death unto life. That, however, is not all of it. Here is the other side, we love the children of God only when we love God, and obey Him.

Christ said, "If ye love Me, keep My Commandments." He also said, "He that hath My Commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me."

Obedience does not save, but the faith that saves is an obedient faith, James, in the Spirit, said: "Shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works." A faith that is without works is dead, being alone.

If there are any Christians who doubt their acceptance with God, and their real salvation, let them not rest until they know that they are saved.

I. WE KNOW THE SON OF GOD HATH COME (1 John 5:20 )

The battleground of the ages, centers, theologically, around the Person of Christ, "What think ye of Christ, whose Son is He?" One answers. He is son of Joseph; another, He is Son of God. One says Christ is Jeremias, or Elijah, or John the Baptist, or one of the Prophets; the other says, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God."

The believer never hesitates between these two opinions. He knows that the One who came was the Son of God; and he knows that the Son of God came. If Christ was not the Son of God, He is not true, and He is not eternal life. If He is Son of God, He is true; yea, He is the True God, and eternal life.

Not all Christ-rejecters reject the historicity of Christ. They often confess that Christ came; however, they deny that He came forth from the Father, and is come into the world. They also deny that He left the world, and went back to the Father.

It is by this that we can discern between the spirit of error and the Spirit of truth. "Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God"; and "every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God." The former is the spirit of antichrist; while the latter is the Spirit of God.

God hath written, "Many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh," He has also written: "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he: in God."

When Peter said to the Lord, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God," the Lord replied, "Blessed art thou Simon, bar-jona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in Heaven."

The centurion who stood by the Cross, said, "Truly this was the Son of God." Do we know that the Son of God hath come? Do we accept Him and believe in Him with the heart? Then we are the children of God.

II. WE KNOW THAT WE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE (1 John 5:11-13 )

Our key verse says, "That ye may know that ye have eternal life." That is a blessed statement. We know that we have eternal life, because we know Him, and He is eternal life. Has not our Lord said, "And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only True God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent"?

Jesus Christ is Life, and He, therefore, is the Author of life. He is eternal life, and He, therefore, is the Giver of eternal life to those who know Him.

With the fleeting things of time fading before our very eyes, how glorious it is to possess something that shall never pass away. After the earth has passed away with a great noise; after the sun and moon cease to swing in their orbits; then, we will continue on forever and for aye, in the city of our God.

We who live in Him, we who are saved, know that we have eternal life. Let us, therefore, weigh our every act in these terrestrial scenes, in the aspect of that life which is to come.

III. WE KNOW THAT CHRIST HAS TAKEN AWAY OUR SINS (1 John 3:5 )

With what assurance do the words ring out, "Ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins."

1. We would not belittle the fact of sin. We know that all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God, We know that there is none righteous, no, not one. The fact of Christ's atonement does not take away the fact of our sin, it establishes that fact. He died for us, because we were sinners.

Calvary with its weight of woe, forever shows forth the heinousness of sin. Calvary makes sin to appear exceeding sinful. One cannot consider deeply the penalty for sin and for sins, which Christ bore upon the Tree, without realizing the depths of iniquity that caused so great a woe.

Since God has laid on Him the "iniquity of us all," we know that our guilt was unfathomable, because the sufferings of Christ were unfathomable,

2. We would not forget the impossibility of self-salvation. No sinner can take away his own sins. The leopard cannot change bis spots, neither can the Ethiopian change his skin. Thus, the sinner cannot change his evil heart.

There is nothing "good" within the sinner to counteract his "bad." Even if the wicked could cease from his wickedness, that would in no way settle the sins of the past. A new sheet on top of the old sheet, does not change the blots on the old.

3. We would rejoice in the fact that Christ does take away our sins. Jesus Christ is the mercyseat for our sins. He became "sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."

On the authority of God, the One with whom each sinner must deal, we have the statement: "The Blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." Once more we read, "Herein is love * * that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."

The Great Multitude of Revelation fourteen, had washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.

John, in his Epistle, writes, "I write unto you. little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His Name's sake."

Thank God our sins are taken away. They are removed from us as far as the East is from the West. They are buried in the depths of the sea. They are behind His back. They will never be mentioned against us any more, forever.

IV. WE KNOW THE LOVE OF GOD TOWARD US (1 John 4:16 )

There is much rant these days about the love of God. There are some who vainly prate that God is love, to the exclusion of His justice and judgment There are others who strongly aver that God does not love anybody. There is, therefore, room for some very strong and Scriptural statements that will clarify the truth as to God's love,

1. God loves the world. John 3:16 is sufficient proof of this. God commends His love toward us inasmuch as, "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

He loved us before He washed us. He loved us while we were far from Him, groping in sin and darkness. He loved us, and therefore He sent His Son to die for us.

God's love for the sinner does not make it necessary for God to love the sinner's sin. Sin is heinous to God. Sin carries death, sin falls under wrath.

2. God loves those who are saved. Our text says, "We have known and believed the love that God hath to us."

In John's Epistle, chapter three, we read, "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God," In the fourth chapter we read: "God is love." Again we read, "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His * * Son into the world, that we might live through Him."

How great is that love toward us! Who can know its height, and depth, and length, and breadth. It passeth knowledge. God loves the sinner, but He loves the believer, His own. with a peculiar and particular love.

3. The saved should, accordingly, love God. We should love Him, not in word only; but also in deed and in truth, If God is love, we should dwell in love, we should love His love.

Here is what we want to say, "We love Him, because He first loved us." Here is something more which we want to say, "The love of Christ constraineth, us." Here is yet another word, "The fruit of the Spirit is love," and, "The love of God is shed abroad in our heart by the Holy Ghost."

Walking with God. and talking to God, and knowing God, floods our lives with love. If we catch the love of God toward us, we will, in turn, love our brethren; we love those who love God, and those whom God loves.

V. WE KNOW THE TRUTH (1 John 2:21 )

Here is something to make us stop, look, and listen: "I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it."

Jesus Christ said, "I am * * the Truth." If we know Him, we know the Truth, for He is the Truth.

We remember how the Word was made flesh, and how it dwelt among us, full of grace and truth. The Law had come by Moses; but Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus was both the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.

The Holy Spirit came to testify of Him, and the Spirit testifieth to the Truth. Let us give you some deductions:

1. Since Christ is Truth, then he who saith, "I know Him," will walk, not in darkness, and not in a lie, but he will walk in the truth.

2. Since Christ is the Truth, He will sanctify us by the Truth, for His Word is Truth.

3. Since Christ is Truth, we should love Him in deed and in truth; and thus, being of the truth, we can assure our hearts before Him.

4. Since Christ is Truth, every one who confesseth Christ will confess the truth and deny the error. Hereby will we know the Spirit of truth, and the spirit of error, because we know Him; and believe Him.

5. Since we know Christ, and Christ is Truth, we will know the truth, and walk in truth, and testify of the truth, and do the truth.

What is the conclusion? The spirit of error which has crept subtly into the realms of world-thinking, denies the truth under two outstanding heads: (1) It denies that Christ has come in the flesh. (2) It denies that Christ is coming in the flesh.

This twofold denial sums up the spirit of antichrist, whom we know will soon come into the world. Saints will not be caught in the nets of his cunning craftiness; nor will they be swept adrift by his winds of doctrines, where he will lie in wait to deceive.

Many deceivers have gone forth into the world. These deceivers deny that Jesus is the Christ. They abide not in the truth. Those who are Christ's know the truth: if any one comes unto them, and he brings not the truth, they will not receive him into their house, nor will they bid him Godspeed.

Let us seek to so live that we will obtain from God a good report, because we know the Truth, and because we bear record to the Truth.

VI. WE KNOW THAT HE ABIDETH IN US (1 John 3:24 )

How blessed are the "we knows" of the First Epistle of John. "We know" "we know." God forbid that we should ever live on the plain of uncertainties, when it is given unto us to know the things which are freely given us of God.

We come now to our final consideration: We know that He abideth in us.

1. The doctrine of Christ's abiding in the believer is precious to Him. When the Lord was speaking to the disciples on the occasion of His "Last Supper," He emphasized a twofold abiding. Let us give you a few of His words:

"Abide in Me, and I in you."

"Cannot bear fruit, * * except ye abide in Me."

"He that abideth in Me, and I in him, * * bringeth forth much fruit."

"If a man abide not in Me* * he is withered."

"If ye abide in Me, and My Words abide in you."

"Abide in My love, * * abide in His love."

"My joy might remain (abide) in you."

The seven quotations above may suffice to enforce the beauty of our abiding in Christ, and of His abiding in us.

Christ said this, also, 'If a man love Me, he will keep My Words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him."

When we come into the Book of Ephesians, we first find that we have seen outstanding spiritual blessings in Christ, That is in the first chapter. Next we are described as with Christ, in His death, resurrection, and exaltation. That is in the second chapter. In the last verse of the third chapter we have God taking up His abode in us, through the Spirit. In Ephesians 3:17 Christ is dwelling in our hearts by faith.

Thus, in Ephesians, we have three things: "In Christ," "with Christ," and "Christ in."

2. The doctrine of Christ's abiding in us is precious to us. It is precious to us, because it brings us fellowship, and "truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ."

It is precious to us because it gives us confidence. "And now, little children, abide in Him, that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His Coming." It is precious to us because, as He abides in us, He enables us to walk even as He walked.

God grant us to know the deeper meanings of this truth "We know that He abideth in us."

AN ILLUSTRATION

THE ECHO

"We love Him because He first loved us. Love is like an echo, it returneth what it receiveth; there is no echo till the sound is heard. Oar love to God is a reflex, a reverberation, or a casting back of God's beam and flame upon Himself. The cold wall sendeth back no reflex of heat till the sun shines upon it, and warms it first; so neither do we love God till our soul is first filled with a sense of His love." Hence the impossibility of producing love while we are under a legal spirit; it will not come to order, it will only rise to the bidding of its like. Love alone begets love. Purchase price for it there is none; the bribe would be scorned.

Love is not the result of effort on our part. As the fountain rises freely in the valley, pouring forth its crystal flood with spontaneous eagerness, so doth love sparkle and flash forth in the soul. Secret reservoirs, far up in the mountains, supply the water-springs; and eternal deeps of boundless love in the everlasting hills supply the love-springs of the believer's soul. Is it not written, "All my fresh springs are in Thee"?

O my heart, take care that thou answer to the Lord like an echo! When He saith, "My love." do thou answer with the selfsame title. Be as the rocks which glow beneath the heat of the sun, and give forth warmth themselves. Love as long as thou livest, for love is the cream of life, and all of it is due to thy Lord. Chas. H. Spurgeon.

 


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Bibliography Information
Neighbour, Robert E. "Wells of Living Water Commentary on 1 John 5:4". "Living Water". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lwc/1-john-5.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, June 19th, 2019
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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