I want to do one more post on the epistle of John before moving on. It is widely believed that this epistle was written by the Apostle John who also wrote the Gospel text of that name.
1 John 2:3-6
We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
Many say that Christianity demands nothing of it’s believers but their faith. They take the message that Jesus died for our sins as being the total message of the Bible. They think that all that is required of a Christian is to lay back and let God’s grace flow over them as long as they have the “faith”. The words above go counter to these beliefs.
John used the word command several other times in this section of his epistle. He flatly says that if you don’t do what Jesus commands then you do not really know him and you are a liar! These are pretty harsh words from one who sat at Jesus’ feet. Any of you who have frequented this blog before know that I have identified several other areas in the New Testament where the writer uses the word “command” in relation to Jesus’ words. This definitely seems to fly in the face of those who adhere to a strict interpretation of the concept of Sola Fida (by faith alone). Martin Luther skirted this issue by saying “Faith alone but not by faith that is alone”. In other words you want to do what Jesus says because you have faith. That is a valid concept but still does not ameliorate the word “command” used so often in talking about the words of Jesus. The gospel written by John is widely thought of as the most revealing of the four gospels. John just seems to have a way with words that the others didn’t. And two of his stronger words are “command” and “liar”.