1 John 2:4. New American Standard Bible 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;
For modern readers today in the American church this sounds like tough and difficult language. But the reason it seems this way is because of how compromised the gospel has become in America. Today we have so called leaders whose focus is not on building The Kingdom and bringing glory and honor to Jesus, instead they seek to build their own kingdom and desire to use the name of Jesus to make their name famous.
We have allowed the culture of our world to infect and dominate the church in America. But John is very clear here. If anyone claims to have come to know Christ but doesn’t keep His commandments or live according to the word of God, that individual is simply a liar. They are either deceived themselves, or they are a wolf in sheep’s clothing who look to prey upon the people of God.
John writes “the truth is not in him”. If the truth is truly within a person, it will dictate the very course of their life. It will guide and shape every decision they make in life. Jesus said that you will know true disciples and false teachers by their fruit (Matthew 7:15-20). If a person claims to represent Christ but their very lifestyle does not reflect the character and nature of Christ, that individual is not someone anyone who is seriously walking with Christ should listen to or follow.
Paul wrote for us in Galatians 5:16-24 about the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The true servant of Jesus Christ will reflect the character and nature of Christ. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. At the foundation of all of these is love. Without love, none of the rest of these is possible. But every single one of these reflects who Jesus is.
This is the supernatural reality for anyone truly following and living for Christ. The Spirit of God lives within us and supernaturally transforms us from the inside out. This only happens as we live for Christ every day, having our minds renewed by the word of God. Our minds are the control center of the body where all decisions are made. When our minds are immersed in the truth of God’s word, transformation takes place.
The transformation of a believer can be compared to the change that takes place from a caterpillar to a butterfly. No one notices the ugly caterpillar that is crawling on the ground. When change is taking place in the cocoon, we cannot see all the changes that are taking place within it. But when that caterpillar immerges from the cocoon it becomes a beautiful butterfly who is free to fly and is incredibly beautiful to behold.
This is the reality for the true believer in Christ. Before Christ we are mired in sin. Our lives are broken, and we are lost. But when we come to Christ, there is a transformation that begins to take place as we follow Him. As we are transformed and grow in maturity we become like that butterfly, we reflect the beauty of who Jesus is and we truly live in freedom. We are no longer imprisoned to sin and its desires, but we are free to truly live for God in obedience and walk in holiness, love, and righteousness.