By this we know that we are in Him
1 John 2:5-6. New American Standard Bible 5 but whoever follows His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says that he remains in Him ought, himself also, walk just as He walked.
Is John claiming that we can be perfect? The answer is no. When John speaks of the love of God being perfected it is speaking of being matured in Christ. John has connected keeping the word of God with maturing and growing in Christ. Jesus commanded us to love the Lord thy God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matt 22:37-38). If we are truly keeping the commands of Jesus, His love will be made manifest in us. Not only will we truly love God and live for Him, we will truly love others as Christ loved.
John writes that the test of whether or not we truly know Him is the one who truly abides in Him, and as a result of abiding in Him will walk as He walked. John is speaking of the way we live. Any time John writes about walking as Christ walked it speaks of the way we are living on a daily basis. When we disconnect faith from the actual way we live, it is not biblical faith. All that we come to know and believe in Christ should affect our lives on a daily basis. The issue for some who feel that their Christian life is hollow, and empty is that faith has not been connected to action.
God has created us as a three part being: body, soul, and spirit. Every part of our being is impacted by our relationship with Christ. The way anyone is transformed and is able to walk in obedience is not a result of their own effort or strength. It is solely dependent on their ability to abide in Christ daily.
Our physical body is greatly impacted by what happens with our spirit and our soul. Our soul is our mind, will, and emotions. When these are fully surrendered to Christ, our lives outwardly will reflect what has taken place inwardly. When we come to Christ, we are reborn spiritually. Before we come to know Jesus, we are spiritually dead and separated from Almighty God. Because of this our soul is imprisoned to our sinful nature and our outward lifestyle reflects that of continually chasing after the desires of the flesh.
When we come to Christ we are born again. Our spirits are brought back into right relationship with Almighty God. As we study God’s word and spend time in prayer, our minds are renewed, the Holy Spirit tangibly and supernaturally transforms our soul. As our mind, will, and emotions are surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the way we live outwardly reflects the character and nature of Christ.
For those who truly abide in Christ they will indeed walk as Jesus walked. They will live as Jesus lived. Their character and nature will be transformed and changed. To abide means to remain. In John chapter fifteen the Lord spoke to the disciples of abiding in Him. The reason this is so very important is it reflects and reveals how spiritually bankrupt and lost we are without Christ. We are so dependent on Jesus on a daily basis, that if we fail to abide in Him, we will fail to live for Him. When we come to the revelation that without Him, we can do nothing, it is when we will come to understand how important it is that we abide in Him on a daily basis. For He is the vine and we are the branches, without Him we can do nothing.