1 John 2:3
"By this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments."
1 John provides three tests by which "we know that we have come to know him." John wants his "little children" to have an assurance of their salvation. 1 John 5:13 says, "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life." John wants believers to have confidence, not shame, at Jesus' coming (v 28-29).
This self-evaluation is a three-step process. First, am I thinking correctly? Do I believe Jesus is God incarnate? Did God come and live among us in the likeness of sinful flesh as Jesus who is the Christ? In 1 John 1:1-3, John hammers home this point. He is a witness of the One who was from the beginning. John heard, saw, examined and touched Eternal Life. Now, John is announcing Him, with whom he has fellowship, so that we, too, may have fellowship with the Father and His Son. John 1:14 he says, "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth."
The second question to ask ourselves from 1 John is "Am I living correctly?" Does my belief that Jesus is God affect the way I live? Do I know Him? Am I walking in His light?
In verse three John basically says keeping Jesus Christ's commands is evidence of knowing Him. 1 John 1:6 says, "If we say we have fellowship with him (believe correctly) while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth." John adds to our insight in chapter two verse four, "Whoever says, 'I know him' but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him." So, it is possible to deny Jesus is the Christ by the way we live. Jesus is to be believed both intellectually and practically.
The third and last test John provides deals with our attitude. When John speaks of both an old and new commandment, he is referring to Leviticus 19:18 and John 13:34-35. In Leviticus, the LORD says, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." In John, Jesus says, "A new commandment I give you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples (that you know me) if you have love for one another." John says this new command Jesus gave is true of Him and those who know Him. If I say I know (love) Jesus but hate my brother, I walk in darkness, and the truth is not in me. So, does my belief that Jesus is God affect the way I live and love.
John then describes what not to love and why in verses 15-17. Love for the world or the things the world offers proves the lack of the Father's love. Worldliness makes it appeal through the outward appearance of things that are destined to disappear. But the one who knows God and acts according to the knowledge of His will live forever.
John concludes this section by reminding his "little children" to abide in Christ. He has used the Greek word for abide eleven times in chapter two. He starts off by saying in verse six, "Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way he walked." and concludes with "Little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence." Jesus spent most of John 15 at the last supper discussing the need for us to abide in Him. Those who abide in Him, His word and His love glorify the Father.
LORD Jesus Christ, I desire to abide in You because in that alone is there confidence and assurance.