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Defending the Faith

These Daily Reflections supply the messages from Grace Church as daily video clips from the most recent sermons. Each day's clip will last about 10 minutes and if you watch them all, you will have reviewed morning and evening sermons from the previous Sunday.

Ministry Reflection - June 12, 2009

By This We Will Know: 1 John 2:3-6

First, the Word tells us that our good works will show us that we are true believers. This is what John tells us in our text this evening, “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments” (1 John 2:3). He also writes, “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things” (1 John 3:18-20). The fruit of our lives – not just our thoughts, words, or expressions of concern, but actual obedience – is enough evidence to overthrow any doubts our heart/conscience may bring against us.

The author to the Hebrews points to the good works of his audience for the evidence of their conversion. First, to convince himself that they are true believers, “But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way. For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints” (Heb. 6:9-10). But also to convince themselves that they are genuine believers, “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (vv. 11-12).

Jesus says the same to His hearers in the Sermon on the Mount. Good works are the rule by which we should judge the confession of others, “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:18-20). But they are also the rule by which we will know we are true believers, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter” (Matt. 7:21). If you do the will of the Father, you can know that you will enter heaven; you will fear neither the adversities of this life, nor the judgment on the last day, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock” (vv. 24-25).

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