A church in Naperville, Illinois, is basking in excitement about its brand-new bells in the belfry above its sanctuary. When the church was built many years ago, they didn’t have the money to purchase bells. However, for its 25th anniversary they were able to raise the funds to hang three bells in the vacant space. Even though they are stunning, there is one problem: the congregation will never hear the bells ring. Although they look real, they are artificial.
The apostle John wrote his first epistle to encourage believers not to just look like real Christians, but to prove they are genuine by how they live. The evidence that a person’s faith is real is not found in some mystical experience with God. The proof that people truly know and love God is found in submitting to His authority and to His Word. John writes, “But whoever keeps His Word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (1 John 2:5-6).
If we claim that we have been transformed by the gospel and intimately know and love God, we should validate it by our obedience to His Word.
And then ignore what you have heard;
Instead obey God’s will for you—
Be doers of the Word. —Sper