WHAT CAN YOU KNOW? "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may KNOW that we have eternal life . . . And if WE KNOW that He hears us, whatever we ask, WE KNOW that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him . . . WE KNOW that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him. WE KNOW that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. And WE KNOW that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that WE MAY KNOW Him who is true . . . " (1 John 5:13-21, NKJV) Devotion 5 of 32 KNOWLEDGE BASED UPON FAITH Our text speaks of this kind of knowledge – knowledge that is based upon believing God. Throughout this Epistle, the Spirit affirms the realities of things related to both God and Christ. A few examples will serve to establish this point. – Tomorrow:
1. "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5).
2. "For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things" (1 John 3:20).
4. "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love" (1 John 4:8).
5. "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ" (1 John 1:3).
6. "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).
7. "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2:1-2).
8. "And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life" (1 John 5:20).
He has buttressed our faith by confirming Christ came into the world for a reason, and that the reason was accomplished.
1. "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him" (1 John 4:9).
2. "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10).
3. "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world" (1 John 4:14).
With great power, He has declared there are people who are born of God. They are the children of God, have access to God, and have been made superior to Satan and all of His devices.
1. "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God" (1 John 3:9).
2. "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God" (1 John 4:7)
4. "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him" (1 John 5:1).
5. "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith" (1 John 5:4).
6. "We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not" (1 John 5:18).
Notice that all of these are affirmations. They are not suggestions or possibilities, but declarations of existent realities – all based upon the Persons of God and Christ, or the Father and the Son. Because these things have been affirmed by the Holy Spirit, they can be known – experientially realized to such an extent that the knowledge of them produces confidence and assurance.
The only proof we have of these things is the testimony of God! None of them can be established by natural evidence. None of them could possibly be known apart from revelation. None of them are the conclusions of men. We can only know them because they have been affirmed by the God of heaven. But, that is all the confirmation faith requires – a word from God! It requires no other proof, and this faith itself becomes both "evidence" and "substance."
Upon the basis of such a word, for example, faith reasons, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Phil 4:13). Nothing in all of nature can substantiate that Christ "strengthens" those who trust in Him. Yet, upon the basis of Divine affirmation, those who live by faith KNOW this to be the case.
For this reason, knowledge is something to be added to faith. As it is written, "Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge" (2 Pet 1:5, NKJV). Knowledge does not cause faith to come, but rather is produced in the energy of faith. Men do not believe because they know the truth. Rather, they know the truth because they have believed. This arrangement demands that Divine affirmation be believed before the knowledge in question can be acquired. Jesus declared this when He said, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31-32, NKJV). "Abiding" is another view of believing or trusting, showing the impact of faith upon the individual possessing it.
I must again affirm that this kind of knowledge – the knowledge that is founded upon faith – is the subject of this series of devotions. It is not academic, or impractical, knowledge. It is not the imagined knowledge of the philosopher, which is speculative, like a man groping in a dark and unfamiliar place. You can come to God on the basis of true knowledge. You can resist the devil in its power, and please the Lord in your life.
If the realities the Spirit has affirmed are really believed, the benefits promised can be really known! The believer can have confidence they are possessed, and be assured of their reality and effectiveness. But the concentration must be placed on believing, not on knowing. When you believe "the record God has given of His Son," your heart is thereby prepared for the knowledge. That knowledge is then personalized to you.
PRAYER POINT: Father, I thank You for revealing such an abundance of truth. In the name of Jesus, I ask that You enlarge my heart, that I may know more of Your truth.
"These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may KNOW that we have eternal life . . . And if WE KNOW that He hears us, whatever we ask, WE KNOW that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him . . . WE KNOW that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him. WE KNOW that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. And WE KNOW that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that WE MAY KNOW Him who is true . . . " (1 John 5:13-21, NKJV)
Devotion 5 of 32
KNOWLEDGE BASED UPON FAITH
Our text speaks of this kind of knowledge – knowledge that is based upon believing God. Throughout this Epistle, the Spirit affirms the realities of things related to both God and Christ. A few examples will serve to establish this point.
– Tomorrow:KNOWING YOU HAVE ETERNAL LIFE –