Written by Joe Wan
Do I love God? As Christians, we should often ask ourselves this question to examine our hearts and see whether we are in the faith. Scripture commands us to examine and test ourselves to determine whether or not we are believers (2 Cor. 13:5). This is important because it is possible for someone to claim to be a follower of Christ but not be saved. Matthew 7:21-23 says,
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
In this passage, we see that there are people who will cry out to Jesus thinking that they will enter the kingdom of heaven, but Christ will say to them that he never knew them (Matt 7:21,23). Jesus says that not everyone will enter the kingdom of heaven. Only those who do the will of God, the Father will enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 7:21). There will be people who believe that they know God because they have done religious works in His name, but who are not actually true followers of Christ (Matt. 7:22). From this passage, we know that being a follower of Christ means doing God’s will. So what is God’s will? What does He command us to do?
In 1 John 3:23-24, God commands us to believe in Christ and to love one another. John says that those who keep God’s commandments abide in God and that God abides in them. So what does it look like to believe in Christ? In the book of 1 John, John tells his audience that to have fellowship with God means to “walk in the light” and further explains what it means to “walk in the light.” The following items are just a few characteristics of what it means to be walking in the light.
From these characteristics mentioned, we can see that John is saying that knowing God and being known by him, doing His will, and loving Him are all related. So when asking ourselves the question, “Do I love God?”, we must consider all the things listed above.
However, even though we might be able to answer, “Yes, I love God,” we don’t ever love Him perfectly. There might be days when you don’t obey His commandments and days when you don’t love God with even a fraction of all your heart, soul, and mind. There might even be weeks or months when you fall prey to habitual sins. However, as Christians, we ought not to despair over our sin. 1 John 2:1-3 says, “But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.” Christ has paid the full price of our sin and we are now justified before God because we are covered in Christ’s righteousness. We no longer have to despair over our sin because of what Christ has done on the cross. One of my favorite hymns, “Before the Throne of God Above”, has a verse that sums up the implications of 1 John 2:1-2 perfectly:
When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end to all my sin
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me
Let us rejoice, for our sinful souls are now counted free because Christ has made an end to all our sin, if only we confess and repent from our sins and place our faith in Him.← All Posts