Wednesday, August 21

Nothing less

Scripture: Jeremiah 21, 27, Psalm 118, 1 John 2

1 John 2:3–6 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

Observation

John was writing to combat some early heresies.  One of those was the dualism of body and spirit: the body was bad, the spirit was good.  Some concluded that it didn’t matter what you did with your body (your actions), only what you wanted to do in your spirit.  This led to an antinomianism—it didn’t matter what you did, if you obeyed God’s word and will, or not.  

John combats this in the strongest terms in these verses.  You can’t know Jesus without obeying Him.  You can’t live in Jesus with living like Him.  You can’t love God completely without obeying His word.  In other words, if you know, love and live in God, you will be changed and become obedient!

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.”  2 Corinthians 5:17

Application

We don’t obey to earn God’s favor; we obey because we have it.  But we obey!  Any form of Christianity that doesn’t lead to joyful, loving obedience to God’s will and word is a diminished form.  It is less than the gospel—the good news that Jesus saves and frees and empowers us to a new life, an abundant life.  

As someone who knows God and loves Him, when I read God’s Word, I should want to do what He says…and then do it!  

This is all over in the NT: if you love Me, you obey Me; if you know Me, you’ll obey Me.  It’s not about perfectionism—it’s simply about honest change.

 

Prayer: Lord, help me to be a disciple that does what You say, and to make disciples who do what You say.  Nothing less.