Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Knowing What You Know

Yesterday we considered that although there are a vast number of things we don't know, when it comes to the most important things in life, we can have more certainty than we might initially think.

The Bible says that we can be sure that we know God through Jesus. We can have real certainty about who He is and who we are because of Him. We can know that we know God. For the believer, it is a known known.

And there are lots of other spiritual truths that John the Apostle says that we can know. In teaching through the letter of 1 John, it struck me how many things the Apostle says that we can know. By my count, he uses a form of one of the two main Greek words for know at least 40 times in 32 verses, throughout this five-chapter letter.

Below are six categories of items that John says we can know with certainty. The verses of Scripture that follow each statement are indicative of the ways that John speaks with conviction.

We know that the end of days could happen anytime.

Children, it is the last hour. And as you have heard, “Antichrist  is coming,” even now many antichrists have come. We know from this that it is the last hour. (1 John 2.18, HCSB)

We know that we have the truth about God.

I have not written to you because you don’t know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie comes from the truth. (1 John 2.21, HCSB)

We know what genuine love is, and how to show it.

This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers. (1 John 3.16, HCSB)

And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. (1 John 4.16, HCSB)

We know that we have been given real life, escaping death.

We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. The one who does not love remains in death. (1 John 3.14, HCSB)

We know that God abides in us, and we in Him.

The one who keeps His commands remains in Him, and He in him. And the way we know that He remains in us is from the Spirit He has given us. (1 John 3.24, HCSB)

This is how we know that we remain in Him and He in us: He has given assurance to us from His Spirit. (1 John 4.13, HCSB)

We know that we have a saving relationship with God.

This is how we are sure that we have come to know Him: by keeping His commands. (1 John 2.3, HCSB)

I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5.13, HCSB)

And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we may know the true One. We are in the true One—that is, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. (1 John 5.20, HCSB)

Remember, this is just a sampling of the 40 instances of what John's first letter says that we know. If we followers of Jesus lived our lives in the certainty and gracious boldness that is possible, we would make a much greater impact on our world.

I'm so thankful for the confidence that is available in Christ.