4. There is the blessed assurance that we can know that we are saved.
I John 2:3 states - "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments." At this point we need to ask the question: What is the significance of knowing the Lord? Our Lord declared in John 17:3 - "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." When the Bible talks about knowing the Lord, it does not merely mean having some knowledge about Him. It means to know Him as our Father, not just as the Father but as our Father. This is talking about a saving, intimate relationship. Jesus affirmed that to know God means to have eternal life.
As we have noted in prior lessons, there are some well-meaning Christian people who feel that they could never be sure about their salvation, but look carefully at what John wrote. He says "we know that we know." Now, if "we know that we know," then surely we do know! Brothers and sisters, this is what the Bible says, and we ought to be willing to believe it. If we can know that we know God, then we can know that we have eternal life! We ought to have the confident expectation that if we die today or in our sleep tonight that our spirits will go home to the Lord. Of course we don't know the future or how circumstances in our lives will unfold, but we can know in the present--right now--whether we know God and are right with Him. John stresses this point at the end of the book also when he wrote - "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God" (I John 5:13). Friends, we can know we are saved! We don't need to guess or merely wish! What a blessed assurance!
A Christian's faith and hope and not supposed to be weakened by doubts. Of course we all have doubts about ourselves, but our faith and hope should not be placed in ourselves. This whole study has been about what the Lord does for us. In the ultimate sense, God saves us. In an accommodative sense it can be said that we must save ourselves (cf. Acts 2:40), and that is in the sense that we must come to Him by faith and obedience. But, truly, in the ultimate sense only the Lord can save us. The point of this passage is that He will save us and that we can know this for sure.
This assurance is for those who are faithfully obedience to God's will; you don't have to be perfect to have this assurance! There's no catch. Some try to take this assurance away by saying: "Well, I John 2:3 says we know that we know Him if we keep His commandments, and since we can't keep His commandments perfectly, we can't know for sure whether we have obeyed sufficiently to be saved." Those who think this way believe that there may be some commandments that we have not adequately obeyed, and since this might be the case, they claim we can't ever really know that we know God. Of course, I don't believe their perspective on this is correct. This kind of thinking would basically turn the verse (as well as I John 5:13) into something meaningless to both us and to the Christians in the first century. John wouldn't do that; he wouldn't just write something to tease us.
We will have some concluding thoughts to share on this theme in our next lesson.