Family Resemblance

I am the proud papa to four amazing children. If you are to look at a picture of our family, you will quickly notice that I cannot deny the boys. They each have some distinct features that make them look like me. If you spend any amount of time with them, you will quickly find out that I cannot deny any of the four children are mine because they all act like me. But isn’t that the way it is supposed to be? Shouldn’t be able to see ourselves, at least somewhat, in our children? This not only applies to our children, but it certainly applies to God’s children. 1 John 2:16 says, “He who says he abides in Him (Jesus) ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” John is saying, if you claim to be a Christian, you should resemble Jesus.

The book of 1 John is truly an amazing letter. It is written from the standpoint of helping those people to have assurance of their salvation is the are truly saved. The opposite is also true, the letter of 1 John will show you that you shouldn’t have the assurance if you aren’t saved. I believe that 1 John is John’s most straightforward letter. His premise is that we should be able to examine our life, and others should be able to examine our life and know for certain whether or not we are Christian or not. The two questions we should ask ourselves, and they both go together are these; are we living in obedience to God’s Word? Are we doing the things that Jesus told us as we should be doing? If the answer to either question is “no”, then we have a problem. John gives us two indicators that are good tests about our relationship with God. First, are we living in known, habitual sin. This is very important, because a lot of people who claim to be Christian, use God’s forgiveness as a license to sin. If we are genuinely saved, we will not want to live in such a way as to grieve God. Over time, as we grow in our relationship with God, the Holy Spirit will transform us in such a way that we will be grieved by what grieves God. While old habits die hard, we will cooperate with the Holy Spirit in striving to eliminate known sin from our life. The second indicator is our obedience. Jesus plainly says in John 14:15, “If you love me, keep My commandments.” Evidence of our love for Jesus is seen in our obedience to Jesus. Without obedience, we shouldn’t have assurance of our salvation. This doesn’t mean that we will be perfect. But it does mean that we will strive to die to ourselves daily, and when we do sin, we will feel the conviction from the Spirit and confess and repent of our sin immediately. If people put your life side by side with Jesus’ life, would they see some similarity or are we a child of God in name only? Let us confess and repent on any known sin in our life, ask God for power to die to ourselves each day, and make sure that our life points people to Jesus.

By His grace and for His glory,

Pastor Justin

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