Please read: I John 2:3-11
How important is it to keep the commandments of God? It is a difficult task for sure. John states that keeping the commandments of God is a way for other believers to recognize you as a Christian. If you believe in God but do not keep his commandments, the Bible calls you a liar. If you know Christ, you must try to live as Jesus did. In this passage, John focuses on the Secessionist’s claim to know God while they did not keep his commandments. This is a meaningful way to recognize false teachers. If they do not support the commands of God, chances are their teaching does not line up with the word of God, and that is the company that you do want to keep.
True believers have the assurance of salvation when they keep the commandments of God. If believers know that they follow God’s commandments as closely as possible, they are reassured that their relationship with God is in good standing through Christ. John gives us a few tests to assure our salvation; this test is obedience. In this passage, John is not thinking about Mosiac law but believing in the name of his Son, Jesus, and loving one another.
Loving one another as Christ has loved us is a tall order. Secessionists, (I John and if we are honest, most of us are not willing to lay down our lives for each other. Maybe for a child or spouse but just for any member of the body of Christ. We don’t love others the way Christ loves us. We have the capacity to love one another; God gave it to us when He created man or Adam and Eve in the garden Gen 1:27. God created man in his own image, part of possessing the image of God has to do with our capacity to love. God’s very image is love. God loves the Son (John 3:35; 5:20), Jesus loves the Father (John 14:31), and the Holy Spirit loves both the father and the son and points us to them (2 Peter 1:21; John 5:39-40). The trinity operates based on love for one another. When we accept Christ and become believers, we are invited into the love that abides in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. If that love abides in us, we will love one another that has the same love abiding in them.
Sometimes looking in the mirror can cause a person to wonder, “What does Imago Dei really mean? Or what does it mean to be created in the image of God?” In today’s American society, everyone is body-conscious and concerned about being tone, physically fit, and healthy. There is much peer pressure to be physically fit. Companies even give incentives for their employees to retain or achieve the appropriate weight. Another big concern is physical beauty. Everyone is trying to maintain a youthful appearance, so the plastic surgery and cosmetic dentistry industries have exploded. Being created in God’s image is often overlooked in Americans because physical appearance is a consuming pastime. Historically, theologians such as Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, and Karl Barth have debated imago Dei and what it means. The Bible clearly states that God originally created man in His image, but The Fall tarnished that image. For the complete picture of God to be displayed in man, there needs to be restoration. One way that man displays God’s glory is through love, love for God, and others. It is God’s desire to have a relationship with a man. Without the Holy Spirit leading man to salvation and through the sanctification process, a relationship with God is impossible. For a man to reflect the image of God in this world, he needs to be continually renewed by the Spirit and transformed into God’s image to show forth His glory.
When you look in the mirror what reflection do you see? Do you see the image of God reflected in your countenance and ability to love others?