The Berean Expositor
Volume 13 - Page 53 of 159
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"We Know."
pp. 145 - 147
When John wrote his "gospel" he tells us that what he wrote was with the object that:-
"Ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye
might have life through His name" (20: 31).
While this aspect is by no means omitted from the epistle (3: 23, 5: 1, 5, 10), it is
better expressed in the words of I John 5: 13:--
"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God,
THAT YE MAY KNOW that ye have eternal life."
There is such a thing as "blessed assurance". What a triumph! what a testimony! to be
able to stand in the midst of the wrecking of one's life-work, to be deserted by those for
whom labour and toil unstinting have been given, and still to be able to say:--
"Nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I KNOW WHOM I HAVE BELIEVED"
(II Tim. 1: 12).
There are some who hesitate to express certainty with regard to salvation. This is
because they are not clear on the fact that salvation is of the Lord, is by grace, is not of
works, and is entirely the work of Christ. John, however, does not provide us with a
meaningless emphasis, that parrot-like we may repeat "we know" without a "reason for
the hope that is in us". He says "These things have I written . . . . . that ye may know".
What "things"?
"We know that we have passed from death unto life, BECAUSE WE LOVE the
brethren" (I John 3: 14).
In the gospel we have the fact of passing from death to life connected with faith. In
the epistle it is manifested by love.
"He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life,
and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life" (John 5: 24).
Love to the brethren is one of the "things" whereby we "know". "He that loveth not
his brother abideth in death." The apostle enforces his argument by an appeal to the
action of God. How do we know the love of God?
"Hereby we know (A.V. perceive) the love of God, because He laid down His life for
us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren" (I John 3: 16).
Again in I John 3: 19 the apostle says:--
"Hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him."
How shall we know that we are of the truth? By loving not in word or tongue, but in
deed and in truth, for the apostle says:--