- Faith – appears in the New Testament 245 times
- Five times in the Gospels in the negative (NT:3640-oligpistos) Jesus uses the phrase, “O ye of little faith”
- The remaining 240 times (NT:4201-pistis) =
– Persuasion, moral conviction of religious truth, especially reliance upon Christ for salvation;
– Faith is to be convinced by argument, to assent to evidence, and to rely by inward certainty
- The problem we face is that too often we try to challenge people to pass on a faith that they are not sure they truly possess
- 2 Cor. 13:5, the Apostle Paul says,
- NKJV – Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you no know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – Unless indeed you are disqualified.
- NLT – Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.
- MSG – Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it.
The Test of Our Faith – Part 1
In the NKJV, eight times, John uses the phrase, “By this we know…”
Know – ginosko (NT:1097) – to be familiar with by direct personal experience; to know absolutely
That which can be known absolutely can be tested concretely!
- By this we know that we know Him (2:3-5a)
A. We know Him – we have direct, personal experience with Christ
B. The Test = We keep his commandments
C. Commandments – orders, rulings, and directives; authoritative prescriptions
D. Keep – guard and prevent from escaping
E. Luke 6:46 – But why do you call me Lord, Lord and not do the things which I say?
F. Example: We know we believe the doctor when we take the medicine the way it is prescribed
G. When we really know Him, we understand that what He commands is not a suggestion nor a starting point for negotiation.
- By this we know we are in Him (2:5b-6)
A. We are in Him – to abide; to stay in a given place or state; a relation of rest
B. The Test = We walk just as He walked
C. Walk – conduct your life at large; to follow as a companion
D. 85:13 – Righteousness will go before Him and shall make His footsteps our pathway.
E. John 13:15 – For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
F. Example: Learning to write by tracing the letters, Once you learned, you could duplicate the lettering even when you did not see the model.
G. Example: After 30 years of abiding and staying in a marriage, there are similarities in our conduct, even when away from one another.
- By this we know that it is the last hour (2:18)
A. It is the last hour – Eschatos – the farthest or final in place or time
B. The Test = many antichrists have come
C. Antichrists – opponents of the Messiah; that which is instead of, in the place of or a substitution for Christ.
- By this we know love (3:16a)
A. Love – agape – unconditional affection and benevolence
B. The Test = He laid down His life for us
C. John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
D. John 10:15 – As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father, and I lay down My life for the sheep.
E. Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
F. 1 John 4:9 – In this love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sons.
G. The proof of love is not in what God gives us, but in what He gave up for us!