By Stan Brown
I John 3:19 We shall know by this that we are of the truth, and shall assure our heart before Him,
I may have mentioned this before but it remains crucial for us to remember that John is writing to believers. He is not telling them how to know they possess eternal life. We possess eternal life because we have believed in Him. This strain runs completely through John’s gospel. In this verse he is telling us how we may know that the truth abides in us. It is shown because we love one another. When the truth abides in us and we abide in the truth it will explode outward in love towards each other. It will demonstrate the love that Christ lived when He walked upon the earth. It will demonstrate the love of Christ when He died on the cross for the sins of the world. When the truth abides in us As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning (1John 2:24), love shows up in how we treat one another. In his second epistle he will write for the sake of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever (2John 2).
But the love that Christ demonstrated is a substantially high standard. In fact, it is an impossibly high standard. So, as we love it is easy to ask ourselves if we are loving enough. It is possible to ask ourselves if we are doing enough. John does not want us to be continually overwhelmed by guilt as we seek to live out Christ’s love in the world. This is why he has assured us that as we walk in the light and confess our sins, the blood of our Lord continually cleanses us. He will emphasize this assurance in the following verses but for now, we need to know that God wants us to be convinced in our hearts that we are not only on our way to heaven but also that His truth is abiding in us. As we live in the light and demonstrate love we receive assurance that gives us the boldness we need in our relationship with Him.
In the phrase assure our hearts before Him the words before Him appear in a place of emphasis. It is not just at His appearing that we may have boldness and confidence before Him. It is right now as we come before Him in prayer. It is right now as we walk in the light. He tells us that as we love in deed and truth, our hearts may be assured whenever we appear before Him. When we are walking there, He will let us know if there is something else He wants us to do. John is speaking of being assured of His presence as we love. Coming before Him boldly is an experience of humility, not arrogance. Let us be assured that as we walk in the light expressing His love that we are abiding in Him.