Our Walk with God – Evidence of the New Birth
1John 2:1-6 and selected verses C L I C K H E R E F O R A U D I O
The main focus in our study together is “How to know I’ve Been Born Again?” How do I know I am saved? Jesus said “You must be born again. Except you be born again, you cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5-7) How do I know that I’ve been born again? This is a big issue and one that requires diligent attention. There is much confusion among those who profess to know Christ as to whether a person can know for certain they will go to Heaven. Some say if you just believe in Jesus you’re in. This is the basic, minimal approach that’s shallow and requires hardly nothing from a person. In the other extreme, people will say, “you can’t really know for certain until you face God one day.” In this view people live day by day with a cloud of uncertainty over them. There’s a sense of dread, fear, and an uncertain future. Preachers, promoting this view, will use it as a threatening club to keep their flock inside their camp. They warn straying away will put them in danger of losing their salvation.
John explained his purpose in writing his epistle. “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.” (1John 5:13 ) There are many who claim to believe in Christ, but not everyone can say “they know for certain they have eternal life.” John uses the word “know” and other forms of the word about 40 times in his epistle. It’s important to “know” some things, especially regarding where you stand with God. Peter said “give diligence to make your calling and election sure” (2Peter 1:10). Paul said, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2Timothy 1:12).
How can we know that we have truly believed on Christ, and how can we know that we have eternal life? What is the EVIDENCE OF THE NEW BIRTH EXPERIENCE?
One Evidences of the New Birth is the existence of a real personal fellowship with God the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We studied this in 1John 1:3. What a wonderful fellowship we have in the triune God – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The New Birth is the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said this to a religious teacher named Nicodemis. Jesus said being born again is being born of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit works to convict us; to bring us to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the work of the Spirit to bear witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (Romans 8:16) Look at 1John 4:13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. Our fellowship is most definitely a fellowship of the Holy Spirit. When Paul concluded his letter to the Corinthians, he ended it by praying for three good things to always be with them— He says, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2Cor. 13:14)
Some people will profess to have fellowship with God, but their life proves otherwise. In 1John 1:6 we read “ If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. There’s the proof – the Holy Spirit will NOT bear witness that we are children of God if we walk in darkness.
The story goes that Charles Spurgeon, the great pastor in nineteenth-century London, was walking down the street one day when a man who was drunk and leaning on a lamppost yelled out to him:
“Hey, Mr. Spurgeon, do you remember me?”
“No, why should I?”
“Because I’m one of your converts!”
Spurgeon’s response? “Well, you must be one of mine; you’re certainly not one of the Lord’s.”
If we are truly a convert of the Lord, there will be the evidence of a change. Before we were saved, we knew nothing of the goodness of God’s grace. We walked following the course of this world. We lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and mind. (Ephesians 2:1-3)
But if we WALK in the LIGHT, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (1John 1:7) In our last study we spoke about fellowship with God and how it is the main evidence of the new birth experience.
Our fellowship with God spills over affecting our fellowship with one another.
This matter of fellowship with one another gets down to where we live. I want to look more at this with our subject – “OUR WALK WITH GOD”
We have already seen John use the expression – “if we say”. We saw it in v.6 “if we say we have fellowship…” v.8 “if we say we have no sin…” v.10 “if we say we have not sinned…” Now look at 2:4 “whoever says, ‘I know him’ again in 2:6 “whoever says he abides in him…” It’s like John is saying, there’s a lot of talking going on. However, there must be a “walk” that is consistent with the “talk”. It’s like someone who said,
Our talk talks, and our walk talks,
But our walk talks, more than our talk talks.
John has already said something about “walking in darkness” and “walking in the light” in chapter 1, vv.6-7.
Now in chapter 2, v.6 “whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”
Here’s the call to obedience. A call to keeping his commandments.
v.3 “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.”
- True Believers obey the commandments of the Lord.
Matthew 28:18-20 – It’s in the Great Commission
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
If we are disobedient to Christ, then we have reason to lack assurance of our salvation. Assurance comes in response to keeping His commandments. We are assured of his presence. In the Great Commission after Jesus said “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you”; he said, “Behold, I am with you always…” We have the promise that Christ will always be with us, but the blessed assurance of His presence is severely dampened when we are disobedient.
That’s why we must CONFESS OUR SINS (see 1John 1:9).
- Our obedience is a gracious obedience as oppose to a legal obedience.
LEGAL obedience — do all God’s commands or you pay the penalty by your death….
1 “The whole commandment that I command you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land that the Lord swore to give to your fathers
19 And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish. 20 Like the nations that the Lord makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God.
Legal obedience demands absolute perfection or face the penalty of death. This is the reason so many lack assurance. They can never obey all of God’s commandments perfectly. They think only the people who are perfectly obedient can be sure of going to heaven.
If this is the case, we have no hope. We are done. There’s no use of trying.
Gracious obedience — it’s a gracious obedience, because the Lord knows we are not perfect. He knows we sin. He knows our weakness in the flesh. This is not an excuse to sin and be free of guilt.
Here’s what we must do:
- confess our sins (1John 1:9) We are not to deny our sin; excuse our sin; but own up to it and confess them…. To deny that we have sinned is to make God out to be a liar. (v.10)
Remember Who cleansed our sins (1John 1:7) The penalty has been paid in the death of Christ.
- Keep his commandments – (1John 2:3) the word “keep” means watchful and careful obedience; it’s a thoughtful obedience. It’s not like an employee that’s driven to be obedient to his boss because he’s afraid of getting fired; but like the employee that follows the rules eagerly because he has come to see the value of them…..he has come to respect the policies and expectations that are placed upon him….he has come to see their worth and value. He’s not externally driven by a supervisor holding a club over his head. THAT”s what we have here…the child of God “keeps the commandments” guards them like treasure because he comes to see their value and supreme worth. Our obedience is not motivated by fear as it is by love.
That brings is to the next part…
- Our obedience is motivated by love. (see v.5) “love of God is perfected”
John 14:15 If you love me, you will keep my commandments
John 15:10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.
- Love for God as oppose to loving the world. (vv.15-17) 2Tim. 4:10 For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me
- Love for others 3:10-11; 4:7-12
John 13:35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Often we read “love one another” flowing from that are the other “one anothers”
1John 1:7 fellowship with one another
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
1Thess 4:18 encourage one another
Hebrews 10:25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another,..
- Example of loving obedience – Apostle Peter – John 21 “do you love me more than these”
Feed my lambs Tend my sheep Feed my sheep
- Our obedience is to be focused on Christ. 3:23-24
Here is the commandment — Believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another….
Focusing on Christ …gives us confidence…. Vv.19-22
Helps to stay focused on the Lord……help to make sure …it’s real…
- The Bible — I write these things to you…. see v.24a
- The Holy Spirit v.24b Holy Spirit will bring the things of Christ unto our remembrance
- Each other…… help us to keep it real…. V.18 not just talk …but in deed and in truth
Don’t be like those who only profess to know God Titus 1:16
They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient, and worthless for any good deed” (Titus 1:16).
Close…our study on the Assurance of Salvation…. Closing comments in John’ s First epistle..
vv.13-21……… scan… see the number of times “know” entire letter 40 times…
v.18 we know…..born of God…does NOT keep on sinning…… It’s not I know I’m born of God because I responded to Christ in a church meeting; at some evangelistic meeting…..Bible never has you looking back at some event….. WHAT’S GOING ON..RIGHT NOW….
KEEP ON SINNING… UNBROKEN PATTERN….OF DISOBEDIENCE…
V.19 here’s the right persepective….. either you are from God OR of the evil one…
Only 2 categories…. In Christ or Out of Christ v.19 WE KNOW…. You can know that…
v.20 this understanding…comes from the Son of God….
v.21 keep yourselves from idols…. Go back to Peter “do you love me more than these”
anything can creep in ….and pull you away from devotion to Christ…. Anything that dominates your life to the point…. You have no time for the Lord; and His Word….and enjoying fellowship with God…
it has become an idol.
Don’t let anything rob you of precious time before the Lord…
Steal your joy….and rob you of blessed assurance…. Of salvation