And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. 1 John 2:3-5a NLT
John already pointed out that having fellowship with God and walking in His light involves confessing of sin (1 John 1:9). From the text, John adds obedience to God’s commands as part of having fellowship with Him. We begin our relationship with God with not much intensity for we still need to grow in our fellowship with Him. But once we continue to draw ourselves to Him and His Word, we grow in our intimacy and in our fellowship with Him. Our knowledge of God continues to flourish that we find the joy of obeying His commands. This is what God promised to His people in the Old Testament. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people” (Jeremiah 31:33). As we learn about God, our love to Him grows and all the more we desire to be in harmony with His will for our lives. We keep His commands because we know Him. “If you love me, obey my commandments” (John 14:15). Our obedience to God is a distinct character of a child of God. So, if a person says, “‘I know God,’ but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth’” (1 John 2:4). John is now making it personal to every individual what he asserted before regarding those who claim they “know God.” “So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth” (1 John 1:6). The Word of God is God’s revelation to us that culminates through Jesus Christ. “And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God” (Hebrews 1:2-3). This is the reason why we are able to obey God for we experience the unconstrained love of God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We find ourselves abiding in God in His love and in truth for both love and truth come from Him. His love permeates in us that we respond by loving Him back. “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them” (John 14:23).