The Test of Obedience

September 21, 2018 Preacher: Gareth Franks Series: Letters of John - Knowing, Walking & Living the Truth

Topic: Christian Living Scripture: 1 John 2:3–6

Home Group Study 

Sermon Date: 21  September 2018

Text: 1 John 2:3-6

Opening Discussion: Have you ever been so sure about something that turned out to be a failure? Maybe it was buying that wreck of a car your friend insisted was the best deal ever, or maybe it was a terrible tasting shwarma your friend told you was the best thing since sliced bread. Share your story…


Observation - What does God’s word say?

There are some things in life that you want to be really sure about, because so much rides on the outcome. Your salvation is such an issue. You don’t want to take risks about your eternal destiny. Since the Bible warns that many are deceived about this crucial matter, you especially need to know that you know Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord.

What are your observations?


  • Matthew 7:21-23
  • Acts 19:13-20
  • Luke 13: 24-30
  • 1 John 2:3-6


Meaning - What does God’s word mean? 

There is always the danger that people will mistakenly “turn the grace of our God into licentiousness, and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (Jude 4). The true grace of God teaches us “to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:12). So after setting forth God’s grace, John goes on to show that those who have truly experienced it will show it by living in obedience to His Word. John gives this as the first test of how you can know that you know Jesus Christ:

You can know that you truly know Christ if you walk in obedience to His Word.

Christianity is not just knowing about God or knowing certain doctrines or following certain moral precepts. It is essentially to know God. Jesus said (John 17:3), “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” Christianity at its heart is, knowing God personally through Jesus Christ, who revealed God to us. If you do not know Him, you are not a Christian, no matter how correct your doctrine or how faithful your church attendance. You may have been raised in the church and you may always have adhered to Christian morality. But if you do not know God personally, you are not saved.

Read:  Romans 8:1; John 14:15-17; Galatians 5:22-23

What are your observations from these verses?


Application - How must I change?

  • Is there a Truth to be believed?

Why is assurance of salvation important? What practical benefits are there if you have it? What disadvantages if you don’t? (cf. John 6:37; Romans 8:38-39; John 1:12-13; 1 Peter 1:3-11)

  • Is there an Attitude to be fostered?

Some say that if you emphasize obedience to God’s commandments you fall into legalism? Agree/Disagree?

  • Is there a Behavior to be changed?

Assurance of salvation is not something to share immediately with a new convert. Agree/Disagree? Give biblical support. (cf. 2 Peter 1:10-11)


We need to be careful, though, not to reverse the order of Scripture. We are not saved by keeping God’s commandments. We are saved by faith alone, but genuine saving faith always results in a life of obedience to Jesus Christ.

Behind our text in John’s mind were Jesus’ words in the Upper Room. Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” He added (14:21), “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him." If we missed it, He repeats (14:23-24), “Jesus answered him, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me.” Just a few sentences later, Jesus emphasized in John 15:10, “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.”

Ask yourself, first, “Do I know Christ?” Have you trusted in Him as the propitiation for your sins? If so, ask, “Do I know that I know Him?” How? “Do I obey His Word and seek to walk as Jesus walked?” If that is the direction and focus of your life, then you can know that you know Him. 


Closing Prayer:

Lord help us to love your word more. Help us to know your word.  Help us to be increasingly dissatisfied and distressed by sin. Humble us so we will confess our sins and put them to death as we stand on the completed work of Jesus Christ. Help us to count all things as loss compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus our Lord, Amen!

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