And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. (1 John 2:3 ESV)
Hell, eternal separation from God’s presence, is the most horrible reality in existence. It stands to reason then why so many Christians struggle with the assurance of their salvation. How can anyone really be certain that he or she will spend eternity in paradise with the God of Glory? Fortunately for the Church, that very same God of Glory spoke through the Apostle John roughly 2,000 years ago and preserved those words on just this subject.
John wrote that we most certainly can “know that we have come to know him”. The Greek word he chose for know (ginosko) implies a resolution and certitude about the matter in question, and directly perceiving the One whom we know. It’s not a feeble word but a firm one. We can have this certainty byexamining both our living and our motivation for that living in light of Jesus’ teaching. Our living will be the evidence for God’s saving work in us because we cannot bear the fruit of obedience and Christ-like living without the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit.
We will not be marked by an attitude that asks, “How much can I get away with?”, but that asks, “Where else can I follow Jesus?” Our righteous living will and can only flow from Jesus’ righteousness gifted to us. Do not misunderstand John here, he was not saying that if we do what Jesus taught we will be saved, but rather, that we can only live in accordance with his teaching if we are saved!
Trust in the finished work of Christ gifted to you as your righteousness, and from that state of right-standing before God, follow Jesus as the Holy Spirit empowers you.