By this we know that we are of the truth (3:16-23)
A. The Test = we love in deed and in truth
B. Whoever sees his brother in need – NT:2334 thoreo – to behold, view attentively; conveys looking with purpose and interest
C. And shuts up his heart – closes his inward affection and mercy; compassion
D. How does the love of God abide in Him?
E. OBSERVATION: For many believers, it is not the lack of compassion that is the problem; rather it is being enslaved to a fast-paced world and digital lifestyle that keeps us from truly seeing the people around us. When you pastor the church, make sure you know how to walk slowly through the crowd long enough to meet your brother’s needs. Sometimes if you slow down long enough you may see someone that has the solution to a problem. Sometimes your past can be someone’s present victory.
F. Let us not love in word – something said or thought
G. Let us not love in tongue – language
H. Let us love in deed – toil, effort, or act
I. Let us love in truth – without concealing
J. Example: The purpose of concealer: to mask what is dark, to hide what is blemished, and to cover what is imperfect
K. 1 John 3:18-20 TLB – Little children, let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions. Then we will know for sure, by our actions, that we are on God’s side, and our consciences will be clear, even when we stand before the Lord.
L. Love is shown, not only in a heroic deed of self-sacrifice but in a daily life of compassion. (Life Application Bible Notes)
M. What Jesus’ eyes saw, His heart felt; and what His heart felt, His hand touched.
N. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. – Anonymous
By this we know that He abides in us / that we abide in Him (3:24; 4:14)
A. The Test – the Spirit whom He has given us.
B. Abide – NT:3306 meno – to stay; to continue, endure, be present, and remain. When we who are saved accept Him—an exchange is made. We have not reduced God to a feeling. It’s not a question as to whether the holy spirit lives on the inside of us but where are we taking Him.
C. The test of knowing that Christ is in us is not in the display of spiritual gifts, but in the presence of a Person.
D. 1 Cor. 3:16 – Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
E. 1 Cor. 6:19 – Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
F. 2 Cor. 6:16 – And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God and they shall be My people.
G. 2 Tim. 1:14 – That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.
H. 8:16 – The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God
I. The indwelling Holy Spirit manifests His presence outwardly in our life and conduct, giving evidence of our relationship with God
By this we know the Spirit of God (4:1-6)
A. NOTE: Knowing His Spirit abides in us speaks to indwelling; knowing His Spirit speaks to discernment.
B. False teachers of John’s day professed to have an unction (a special anointing from God) and illumination (special knowledge or revelation about God)
C. Do not believe every spirit (one who claims to speak for God)
D. Test the spirits – discern, examine, and prove
E. The Test – Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God
F. Confessing Christ is more than just saying the words of the Sinner’s Prayer.
G. Confess – NT:3670 homologeo – homo = same; together; logeo = acknowledge, assent, and agree; say the same thing
– Acknowledge that Jesus Christ is all God and all man
– Assent by a personal faith in Christ and a witness in the heart
– Agree by a personal walk that is consistent with the truth of God’s Word
H. Not everyone will experience discerning of spirits as a manifestation gift (1 Cor. 12), but every believer can discern through examination of doctrine and inspection of fruit.
I. Teachers/teachings that believe in the Father but deny or disagree with the person of the Son, are false. You cannot accept the Father and deny the Son – “I and My Father are One” (John 10:30)
By this we know that we love the children of God (5:2)
A. The test – When we love God and keep His commandments
B. If you are living out God’s Word, you must be loving your brothers and sisters in Christ
C. TLB – If you believe that Jesus is the Christ – that He is God’s Son and your Savior – then you are a child of God. And all who love the Father love His children too. So you can find out how much you love God’s children – your brothers and sisters in the Lord – by how much you love and obey God. Loving God means doing what He tells us to do, and really, that isn’t hard at all; for every child of God can obey Him, defeating sin and evil pleasure by trusting Christ to help him.
D. This test brings us full circle – By this we know that we know Him if we keep His commandments.