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                      "THE FIRST EPISTLE OF JOHN"

                     Fellowship With Jesus (2:3-6)

INTRODUCTION

1. A concern of John's first epistle is that we have fellowship with
   the Father and the Son:

   "that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you
   also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is
   with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ." (1:3)

2. He began by stressing the basis upon which we may fellowship with
   the FATHER - 1Jn 1:5-2:22
   a. Walk in the light as He is in the light
   b. Confess our sins, don't deny that we have sin
   c. Make use of our "advocate" and "propitiation", Jesus Christ the 
      Righteous

3. But what about fellowship with the SON?  In our text (1Jn 2:3-6),
   John now describes how we can "know" that we have fellowship with 
   Jesus Christ

[A key phrase in this passage is "by this we know...", found twice 
(2:3,5).  In other words, "here is how we can be sure".

And John's first point is...]

I. BY THIS WE KNOW THAT WE "KNOW" HIM (3-5a)

   A. HERE IS HOW WE CAN BE SURE WE HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH JESUS...
      1. Identifying the "Him" of this passage
         a. Is it God or Jesus?  The Father or the Son?
         b. In light of the context, it is Jesus the Son of God - cf. 
            1Jn 2:1-2,6
         c. This fits in well with John's aim in this epistle - cf. 
            1Jn 1:3
            1) He has described the basis for fellowship with the 
               Father
            2) Now he discusses the basis for fellowship with the Son
      2. What it means to "know" Jesus
         a. As frequently used by John, the word "know" {ginosko}
            denotes a knowledge that comes by experience, by sharing 
            experiences in life together
         b. In this sense, it implies that "fellowship" (sharing, 
            communion) has taken place

   B. WE CAN BE SURE, "IF WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS"
      1. Fellowship with Jesus is dependent upon keeping His teachings 
         - Jn 14:21-23; 15:10
      2. The person who claims to "know" (have fellowship) with Jesus, 
         and does not keep His commandments...
         a. Is a liar, and the truth is not in him! - 1Jn 2:4b
         b. Is just like the one who claims to have fellowship with the
            Father while walking in darkness! - cf. 1Jn 1:6
      3. But the person who keeps the words of Jesus, the "love of God"
         is perfected in him!
         a. This "love of God"...
            1) Is it God's kind of love? - cf. 1Jn 3:16-17
            2) Is it God's love for us? - cf. 1Jn 4:9
            3) Is it our love for God? - cf. 1Jn 5:2-3
            -- I suspect John is referring to our love for God, for the
               context concerns keeping the commandments of Jesus
         b. Such love for God is "perfected" (made whole, complete) 
            only when we keep the commandments of His Son! - cf. Jn
            14:15,21,23

[So we can be sure that we "know" Jesus, that we are in fellowship with
Him, and that we have perfected our love for God, ONLY if we are 
keeping the commandments of Jesus!

To stress the point even further, John continues by point out...]

II. BY THIS WE KNOW THAT WE ARE "IN" HIM (5b-6)

   A. HERE IS HOW WE CAN BE SURE WE ARE ABIDING IN JESUS
      1. The word "in" (5b) is parallel to the expression "abides in"
         (6a)
      2. "Abiding in Jesus" is described by Jesus Himself as similar to
         a branch abiding in the vine - cf. Jn 15:4-5
         a. There is a union, or attachment, between the branch and 
            vine
         b. From this union comes a communion, or sharing
      3. So again, we are discussing the idea of having fellowship with
         Jesus

   B. WE CAN BE SURE, IF WE "WALK JUST AS HE WALKED"
      1. The person claiming to "abide in Jesus" (or to have fellowship
         with Him) should "walk" (live) just as Jesus did!
         a. For only those who follow His words are truly His disciples
            - cf. Jn 8:31
         b. And those who are His disciples will become like their 
            Teacher - cf. Lk 6:40
         c. Such is the goal of discipleship, and of God's scheme of 
            redemption itself! - Ro 8:29
      2. Understanding and applying this truth should have powerful 
         ramifications in how we live (as illustrated in the novel "In 
         His Steps", by Charles Sheldon)

CONCLUSION

1. We learn from John, then, that the key to knowing that we have 
   fellowship with Jesus is understanding the difference between 
   "talking" and "walking"
   a. Anyone can say that they know Jesus, that they abide in Him
   b. But those that really know are those who...
      1) KEEP His commandments
      2) WALK just as He walked

2. Do you really know Jesus?  Are you in fellowship with Him, wherein
   is eternal life and fullness of joy?
   a. Have you kept the commands of Jesus?
   b. How about His commands concerning faith, repentance and baptism?
      - cf. Mt 28:18-19; Mk 16:15-16; Ac 2:38; 22:16
   c. How about His commands to observe ALL that He commanded,
      including those revealed through His apostles? - cf. Mt 28:20;
      Ac 2:42; 1Co 14:37

How you answer reveals the truth regarding your relationship with God,
and your hope for eternal life!
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