The First Error Exposed: Saying “I know Him” and Not Keeping His Commandments (2:4)
Today, we will focus on the first error that stops us from loving right, from enjoying fellowship and complete joy in Christ. After considering the premise: “We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands” (vs. 3) NIV, let us now confront the error that may derive from not understanding the premise and that will keep us from fellowship with God.
1st Error: “Whoever says, `I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person” (v. 4) NIV.
The first error that could be made is to say I know Him while I do not keep His commandments. This would be the wrong response to the message in the premise. John calls this person a liar and, beyond that, he says that the truth is not in that person.
If you keep His commandments, you will certainly enjoy His presence. God will manifest Himself to you, and you will experience maximum joy.
The Correction: “But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him” (v. 5) NIV.
Notice the word “but” at the beginning of the sentence. It is telling us that what follows will be in contrast to what preceded. Keeping God’s Word is a sign that someone loves God. The right path to take in order to experience maximum joy is keeping God’s commandments. It is crucial to notice that John tells us to keep God’s commandments; he does not ask us to only know His commandments.
The Greek word for keep is tereò, and it means so much more than to obey. It contains the concept of “watching over, guarding, protecting,” the same image as the one used for a shepherd watching over his sheep. When a person chooses to keep God’s commandments, the love of God is made complete in that person.
Have you ever heard stories about people who did not have access to the Bible because they were living in a country where Christianity is forbidden? How important was it for them to receive a Bible? How much did they treasure having at least pages of the Word of God?
Let us be diligent in learning to love the Word of God, to treasure His words. They are like a map that leads us to a treasure. We will be able to experience His love by keeping His commandments, God will reveal Himself to us, and our joy will be made complete.