How do we KNOW that we are saved? How do others know that we are a child of the King? John answers that question; by our life.
John continues his thought from our last reading into this reading also. He continues to remind us of our Advocate. His purpose in writing to us is to warn us away from sin. “But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (verse 1b).
I wonder why John said “if” instead of “when”? Even Paul stated that he had trouble with doing things he didn’t want to do because of sin. We are at war with sin in our own lives! And this war continues to the very end; IF we choose to wage it.
Notice I used and “if” there. We can choose not to wage war against sin. If this is our choice then we are not truly a child of the King. Waging this war is how we know the real warriors. Are we trying, and more than not, succeeding in living like He demonstrated and called us to?
The person who says they are a Christian and makes no attempt to live a life reflecting Christ is NOT a Christian. The word Christian means “Christ like” and was first used to describe those who followed Jesus’ teaching after His death and resurrection. That title is a litmus test, not simply a label to slap on to impress others.
Yes! We are going to mess up along the way. Even Peter needed to deal with sin when he was called out by Paul. I think God gave us this example for a reason. NONE of us are “Super Saints.” We ALL have struggles and issues to deal with. That is the very reason Jesus’ sacrifice was so crucial. But if we love Him we will live like Him.
“And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments” (verse 3). So what are His commandments? “’Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 23:36-40).
You might say, “But that is the Law and we are not under the Law.” You would be right on both counts, BUT Jesus’ life IS the culmination of these commandments. He also stated it plain and simple for us. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35).
THIS is how true children of the King can be identified. If they demonstrate Jesus’ love for one another. Not just for their “Christian” brothers and sisters but for the world! Jesus’ love didn’t stop at the edge of His followers. His love reached out to the lost and the hurting. If we truly love Him ours will do the same. Not because it is some arbitrary rule but because we share His heart. When we share His heart, we hurt for the things that hurt Him and rejoice at the things that bring Him joy.
Father God, I want my life to reflect Jesus in everything I do! I KNOW I fall short in more ways than one. I also KNOW that Jesus’ sacrifice covers those shortcomings
. I’m going to call it what it is; SIN. I wage this battle every day. Not because I want to prove what a “super Christian” I am but because I LOVE You and want to follow in Jesus’ footsteps.
Lord Jesus, THANK YOU for purchasing my salvation. Thank You for showing me how to live. Thank You that I can trust You with my sin. Thank You that You are ALWAYS my advocate, even though I don’t deserve it. Please help me come closer every day to Your standard. I know I won’t reach perfection until Heaven but I want to get as close to it as possible. I have a LONG way to go! But the journey is worth it because I walk it with You.
Thank You Holy Spirit for directing my heart and especially for checking me when I come up short. Without Your daily reminders and prompting it would be SO easy to walk down the wrong paths. Today was one of those days when I took a detour. Thank You for bringing me back in line. I want my witness for You to be free of stains. Even stains against myself. Thank You that I can trust You to keep on redirecting me, even with STRONG words, in my walk with You. I want to ALWAYS listen to You. Please forgive me when I turn a deaf ear, weather it is for a little while or a long while. Thank You for never giving up on me, no matter how long it takes!