Knowing That We Know

1 John 2:3-6

3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. (NKJ)

Preached at FBC Toulon, IL on September 9, 2001 by Albert Harmon; see it at

How many times in a week does someone say, "Do you know him or her?"

A very common question. We can usually answer yes or no. But most times we have to qualify the answer. We tell them the basis of our knowledge of the person in question. We say, I know them from here or there. I worked with them here or there. I lived next to them here or there. They were a part of this or that. Then we begin to tell what we know about the person in question. It will become evident just how well we know the person. It will also be come evident if we know of him or know him.

Many people know of Jesus, but few know Him. Many can tell you where He was born and how He lived and died. Many can even tell of some of the things that He said, but none of those things qualify for claiming to know Him. John in the passage this morning gives us the qualities of those who really know Him. Let us consider them.


  1. Now by this we know that we know Him
    1. There is a blessing in knowing that you know.
      1. It gives us confidence for the journey.
        1. It is as the old song goes, I don't know about tomorrow, but I know who holds my hand.
        2. If you know Him, it will never be I think I know Him.
          1. We know that we know Him.
          2. It is like saying I think I am alive or I think I am a wake.
          3. John show no ambiguity in his assertion.
          4. Now you might say I think of have the flu for I think I have a cold but I never heard anyone ever say, I think I have a leg.
          5. You see if it is a part of you and you depend on it everyday, you know that you know.
          6. Now you might say, I think I can see that, but you would never say I think I have an eye.
          7. If you have Him you know it. And if you don't know it you most likely don't have it.
        3. At Promise Keepers, the first speaker we heard was a man who only a short while ago was told that he has leukemia.
          1. He gave one of the most moving messages of the conference you knew that he had confidence.
          2. It was not that he wanted to die and leave his wife and children.
          3. It was not that he wanted to leave his position in ministry.
          4. But he and God had come to an agreement.
          5. He said that if he could bring one person into the kingdom through the sufferings that he was about to go through, he had agreed that it would be worth it.
          6. That is a blessing that the world can never know.
        4. Do you know that you know this morning.
      2. If we know that we know Him it gives us peace in the midst of the conflict.
        1. In a world filled with conflict and disruption we have an anchor for the soul.
        2. We have a solid rock foundation.
        3. We have one who can lift us out of the mire of our greatest difficulty.
        4. We have one who can conquer the unconquerable.
        5. He can mend the unmendable.
        6. He can paste back together broken lives and broken homes and families.
      3. It give us security in the mist of danger.
        1. Danger lies all around us.
        2. Thousands of people will simply get in their automobiles this year for just short trip but who will never arrive.
        3. Many who are the peak of health today will die from some unforeseeable disease.
        4. But if you know that you know Him, you have a security that the world can never know.
        5. But our security is not in knowing that God is going to protect us, although He does that as well.
        6. Our security is in the fact that we know where we are going when we leave.
        7. No one would go to the airport and get a ticket on a plane if they did not know where the plane was going.
    2. Paul had a desire to know Him more fully
      1. Phil 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, (NKJ)
      2. Now we all what to know Him and the power of His resurrection but what about the fellowship of His sufferings.
      3. Those people we really know are the people we have went through the hard times with.
    4. If we keep His commandments.
      1. Now John knew that there were those who would make a false profession concerning knowing Jesus.
        1. Judas had been the most famous.
        2. But Simon the Sorcerer in Acts 8
        3. And in the day of John's writing this there were many pretenders.
        4. About 80% of Americans say they are Christians but only about 50% can name the four gospels.
      2. So he gave us a simple formula.
        1. If we know Him we keep His commandments.
      3. Now many are like the people of Jesus day, they wanted to squabble over the interpretation of and the fullness of and application of the commandments.
      4. Other people seem to be overwhelmed with the extent of the commandments and throw up their arms and walk away.
      5. But most people, even Christians have no idea what Jesus commanded, nor is the keeping of them a priority of their lives.
  2. He who says
    1. I know Him
      1. The idea here is self professed believers.
      2. Those who claim outwardly to be a follower of Jesus Christ.
    2. And does not keep His commandments,
      1. Is a liar
      2. The truth is not in him.

You will never fool God, He knows those who are His. You can fool the preacher, and the deacons but you can't fool yourself. You know that you know. And if you think that you know and don't keep the commandments they you are a liar.


This message was preached at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at