“If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:6-7)
Some of the most profound truths come in small packages! The word “if” is interesting for a number of reasons, not the least of which is when it appears in the Bible. The word “if’ speaks directly to our responsibility to God, the world, our family, friends, brethren, and life or death!
Most promises in the Bible have conditions and the word “IF” speaks to those conditions. Our responses to God’s commands affect our relationship with Him and determine our receiving from Him blessings, opportunities, or consequences.
“IF” is one of the first words a child begins to associate with logical thinking. Our children/grandchildren quickly get the significance of “If.”
For example, a big “if” that we hear around our house with the little ones is “If you will clean up your toys … we will go somewhere you would really like to go to!” Boom, the toys are picked up. Well, most of the time! When the little ones grow up into bigger ones it’s “If you will just finish your homework or clean up your room, then you can go out and be with your friends.” Amazingly, what seemed tedious and was going to take forever … suddenly becomes doable!
The use and frequency of this little word “IF” is not without significance in our daily lives … but when viewed in the Book of God … it suddenly becomes obscure and passed over without due thought to the intended lesson being introduced.
Jesus used the word “IF” frequently during His earthly ministry. Almost half of the 574 appearances in the New Testament of this little word are found in the four Gospels.
Here is the point we want to emphasize: Jesus always put the “IF” on man’s side and never on God’s side! Interesting, isn’t it?
Jesus was not bargaining. He was stating the truth!
Look at the following statements by Jesus Himself and then consider the implications if not heeded:
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” (John 15:7) So, why wouldn’t we want to do as He says?
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34,35) So, why wouldn’t we want to love as He loved?
“You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” (John 15:14) So, why wouldn’t we want to be a friend of Jesus?
“If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (John 14:15) So, do you love Him enough to keep His commandments?
Not one of us is perfect … that’s why Jesus Christ came down from heaven … and gave His life … shed His blood to redeem us from the slavery of sin and reconcile us back to the One who created us, God! Make no mistake, He is for us (Psalm 56:9)!
So, what it always comes down to is this … are we going to choose His way or our way … life and obedience … or self and disobedience! Each of us must make the call!
“Now by this we know that we know Him if we keep His commandments. (1 John 2:3)
Bill Fairchild, Jr.