How many times do you wish that you knew something? Or how many times do you think you know something and you find out that your information was wrong? The world is full of information and misinformation. The world is trying to make you question everything that you have ever believed. The world is trying to persuade you to change your position and make you join something, or donate to some cause, or buy something. What do you know? Are you sure that you're sure? What great purpose does your life embrace? The day of casually being a Christian is ending. You are either fully in and devoted to following Christ, or you are floundering with the challenges and demands being made towards the faith of Christ. A powerless life, full of uncertainty and ignorance, is not going to persevere under the pressures that are being exerted against religion, politics, and economics.
The book of I John is a book that brings clarity and certainty to your standing with God and His Son, Jesus Christ. It will remove meandering and uncertainty. It will force you to face yourself and this world, full of lies, and pursue a life with Christ that is full of truth, purpose, power, and direction. If the book of I John does not affect you in that positive way, you are just not paying attention. You are like a person, driving down the highway, going at high speed, looking at the scenery out of the side window, not really noticing what is straight ahead. You probably won't survive the journey.
This looks like a great introduction for a long study of the book of I John. It is not. It will only be an advertisement - a recommendation for you to plunge into the book and cooperate with God in the matter of becoming certain and serious about what's going on inside you and what is happening with your life.
An Active Relationship - I John 1:1-4
The first four verses of chapter 1 tell us that the most amazing person who ever lived came and made a partnership / fellowship with a group of men (the Apostles). That partnership included a working relationship with God, the Father. The job of the Apostles was to cause this partnership to spread out to others in the world, and unto the future (I John 4:1-6). This most amazing person, of course is the Son of God, Jesus Christ. We are invited to join this partnership / fellowship through faith. It will result in a life-changing experience called the new birth. It is first described as "fullness of joy" / "complete joy" - far more fulfilling than "happiness." But how can we know that we are born again? How do I know that I'm not just trying to make myself "happy" through religion? This book offers many indicators that will help you know.
A Short List of Indicators
Here are a few of the indicators / evidences that you are born again:
- Faith in Jesus Christ - The Son of God.
(I John 1:3; 2:20-26; 4:10, 14-15; 5:1 cp. 2:1-2; 5:12)
- Confession of sin and warfare against it.
(I John 1:5 - 2:6; 3:4-10)
- Honoring God's commandments / practicing righteousness.
(I John 2:3-6, 29; 3:10; 5:3)
- Love for the brethren / the family of God.
(I John 2:7-11; 3:14-18; 4:7-21; 5:1-2)
- Overcoming the World by faith in Christ and the Word of God.
(I John 5:4-5, 9-13 cp. 2:15-17; 3:1, 13; 4:1-6)
- Keeping yourself through the power of the Holy Spirit.
(I John 5:18-21 cp. 2:26-28; 3:2-3, 24; 4:12-13)
Are you born again? Are You Keeping yourself?
Being a follower of Jesus Christ should be a life of joy and confidence / peace (but not peace with the world - Matthew 10:34; John 14:27; 16:33; Romans 5:1-5). It is a life of humble soul-searching. It is a life of trusting and obeying. It is a life of purpose, mission, and direction. It is a life of making enemies and of making friends who will stick to you closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). It is a life of love. You can't live this life casually, or accidentally. You have to live it intentionally and be devoted to it. See I John 1:4; 2:12-14; 3:18-24; 4:16.
You need to know what you are doing by knowing who you believe and why you believe. Diligent study of God's Word will show you the significance of God sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to be the Savior of the world. Others are believing lies. You must believe and obey the truth. The world is under the influence of the Wicked One (Satan). You must not follow him. The world creates and serves idols. You must not have fellowship with idols (doctrines of demons).
See I John 2:15-17; 4:1-6; 5:1-5, 9-21 cp. I Timothy 4:1-2, 12-16; II Timothy 2:19-26; I Corinthians 10:1-23; Hebrews 11:6.