February 24, 2014
I John 4:6-9
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Here are three more of the many of John’s Nose! today. Ok, three knows! I’m running out of ways to relate John’s Nose! to John’s knows!!! And these three knows are found in I John 4:6 through 9:
We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not
hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. Beloved,
let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of
God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is
love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God sent His only
begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
John has been talking about how we can “…test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (I John 4:1). False prophets always have a demonic spirit behind them, planting that false prophecy in their minds. Paul shows us in II Corinthians 10:3 through 5 that the spiritual battleground is the mind.
So the first two knows are a further test of who is true and who is false – who belongs to God and who does not! When the truth about God is taught, those who receive such truth are of God, and those who do not are not of God. We have to be a bit careful on this. I remember as a young Christian that I had much to learn and sometimes rejected what I now consider truth – convinced by my own study of the Word, further education and training, and time and maturity.
But in verse 7, John goes back to one of his favorite themes – and a test we have discussed before – to see if one belongs to God or does not. That theme is loving one another. “…everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” Since “…God is love,” it stands to reason that those begotten by God’s Holy Spirit will also carry that characteristic of love. Yes, we still have the old nature which does not have the capacity for agape love (see the blog for February 17, John’s Nose! – VI). So we have to learn to rely on the new nature of God within us to properly show forth that love!
Do you know God, as it says in verse 6? Remember, that to know God is more that mentally knowing about Him! M. R. Vincent – Word Studies in the New Testament, Vol. I, p. 540 – says this about knowing God: “…he who [knows God] is habitually and ever more clearly perceiving and recognizing God as his Christian life unfolds. The knowledge is regarded as progressive and not complete.” This one will increasingly love God and also love his or her brothers and sisters in Christ.
So let’s tie together the three knows in our scripture. The first two have to do with receiving the truth. The third know concerns loving our fellow Christians. I think Paul puts the two ideas together very succinctly in I Corinthians 13:6: Love “…does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth….” The NIV puts it this way: “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” In other words, love and truth go together! And the person who knows God – in the way Vincent described it above – will receive the truth and love his or her Christian brothers and sisters!
By the way, agape love is not limited to loving other Christians. Just as “…God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life…” (John 3:16), we are also to love the unsaved with the same unselfish agape love that will reach out to them and lead them to Jesus Christ. I John 4:9 and 10 is a great parallel scripture to John 3:16! Compare the two.
There is a lot to John’s Nose! – or John’s Knows! – isn’t there? I hope this helps you to understand the word and the life-issues it represents.