Living and walking consistent with the truth
This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commands. The one who says, “I have come to know him,” and yet doesn’t keep his commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 1 John 2:3-4 CSB
As a reminder of John’s purpose behind writing the letter, the believers in Ephesus were having doubts about their salvation due to false teachers sharing false doctrines to them, such as Jesus Christ not having a true physical body and knowing God through mystical enlightenment without having to change any moral behavior (known to become Gnosticism in the future). Because of this, John states a fact that Jesus Christ did on His time on earth: We know we are Christians if we obey His commands. We can see this in John 8:31-32 (ESV), “‘So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” Because of sin, there is a separation between God and man. Once a person chooses to believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior, they are made clean and righteous before God. Out of the love for the Savior, believers then are challenged to walk away from their past sin and do their best to keep God’s commands. But a big problem that was happening at this time was that false teachers were claiming that one didn’t have to do this at all and can just know God through enlightenment. John directly battles against this with verse 4, “‘The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and yet doesn’t keep His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in Him.’” As individuals, we cannot know by just looking at another person that they are a believer in Christ, but we can observe people’s behaviors and see if they are truly following after God’s commands, “walking the walk, talking the talk.” We can see this in Matthew 7:15-20, and that we can “recognize them (false prophets) by their fruit (actions).” As we saw previously in 1 John 1:8-9, believers are not going to be perfect and may fail. The key for a true believer is to recognize that failure, repent, and do their best to pursue the commands of God and take them seriously. The Gnostics, on the other hand, were not even attempting to do the commands of God. This is what John is trying to warn Christians not to fall for. The distinctive characteristic of the child of God is that he or she obeys God’s commands. Fellowship with God is manifested when we live and walk by the truth.
Isaac De Guzman