"…That you may know that you have Eternal Life…" - I John 5:13
When John wrote his Gospel, he expressed his intention near the end, "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through His name." (John 20:30-31). John is a good example for us to follow. Many people accumulate Bible knowledge, but to what purpose?
The greatest use of the Bible is for knowing Christ personally and for making Him known to others. Some people know about Christ, but it is vital that their knowledge turns into saving faith and a living / working relationship with Him (Romans 10:8-11,17; Ephesians 1:12-13; Hebrews 4:1-2; James 1:22; 2:17-18 (cp. Hebrews 9:14; Ephesians 2:8-10); I Peter 1:18-25 cp. Matthew 7:21-23). We need to be about the business of helping others to know Christ and have the assurance of salvation (II Corinthians 5:17-21).
So, the Book of I John is dedicated to the purpose of helping others understand what a real and saving relationship with Christ looks like. "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that you also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." (I John 1:3-4)
Our study will basically be looking for evidence or identifying marks of a true Christian. Here are some examples:
- We keep His commandments. We take heed to His Word. This includes the first gospel commandment to believe on Jesus Christ. I John 2:3-5; 4:1-6,14-15; 5:4-5
- We love the brethren. I John 3:14
- We show love with action, not mere words. I John 3:16-19
- We obey the Lord because of His Spirit, working within us. It is not by fear or by mere legal obligation. We worship and serve God in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:24). I John 3:24
- We are motivated by the love of God. We love the brethren and we love the Gospel because of the Holy Spirit, who is living in us. I John 4:11-15; 5:1-3
- We have answered prayers, we do not merely say prayers. I John 5:14-15
- We do not tolerate / allow sin in our life. We resist sin, the world, and the wicked one. We personally know Christ and have allegiance to Christ. I John 5:18-20