I John

I John 2:3-6 On The Road To Completion.

“We know that we know” is an interesting statement in the study of knowledge, or epistemology. For John, what one knows theologically, is more than a purely academic exercise. To know that one knows God, one’s conduct must reflect what one believes. Theology cannot be separated from ethics in the life of the individual’s experience. “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (v. 3). John is crystal clear, if one’s conduct is contrary to God’s commandments then their confession otherwise is in question. Living contrary to the Lord’s commandments makes one’s confession a lie (v. 4 Cf. Rom. 3:4). From Joseph Fletcher’s ‘Situational Ethics’ filtered down to the person on the street, some have had the audacity to suggest that agape love sometimes sets aside the Lord’s commandments.

John stated something quite different. “Whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him” (v. 5 Cf. 4:12; Jn. 14:21-23). The word ‘’teteleiotai’ means “has been perfected” or “reached completion” (‘The NKJV Greek English Interlinear New Testament’ p. 819). This love of God has reached completion when we “walk just as He walked” (v. 6). Jesus’ love for His Father and others was demonstrated in His keeping His commandments (Mt. 5:17-20). We are not perfect. John has already made this clear (1:8-2:2). However, there is a goal-that His love would be perfected in us, seen in us in keeping His commandments. To abide in Christ and the Father and the Spirit, means we are on this road to completion (v. 6 Cf. Jn. 15:4). If we want to know if we truly love God and others, we need only reflect and look at whether we have an increasing fidelity to His word, in doctrine and practice.

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