Having offered this precious reminder, that the erring believer has an Advocate Who is the propitiation for his sins, John returns once more to his theme of sin and holiness.  He has stated already that the purpose of his epistle is that his children in the faith sin not.  Now he proposes to give them one of the most important grounds for assurance, which is the keeping of the commandments of God.  It is noteworthy that he first interposed the reminder concerning Christ as our advocate and propitiation, for this must ever be the first ground of Christian assurance.  Apart from the work of the dear Saviour, and His continuing intercession on our behalf, no amount of spiritual striving could ever give us justifiable grounds for knowing that we know God.  It is only when we have first placed our entire hope of acceptance before God upon the work of our great Mediator, that we can then begin to look at the internal evidences, which are wrought within us by the effective operations of the Spirit of God.

John is far from presenting obedience to God’s commands as a means of earning salvation.  He has already made quite clear that we come into favor with God by being cleansed with the blood of Christ.  But this naturally begs the question, “What evidence do I have that I have been cleansed by precious, saving blood, and that I truly am a child of God?”  This is the question that John ably answers in a variety of ways throughout this epistle.  One of his primary answers is that found here in verse 3.  The phrase “know that we know Him” is an apt way of presenting a picture of Christian assurance.  John is saying, “This is the means by which you may know that you are in fellowship with God, and truly a citizen of His heavenly kingdom.”  The means here is the keeping of the commandments of God.  Those who truly know God will delightfully run in the path of His commandments, thinking themselves never happier than when they are most obedient to the will of their gracious God.

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