1 John 2:4

He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

You know the punchline to the common lawyer joke asking how a person knows when a lawyer is lying. Certain people irregardless of occupation and societal position are known to be deficient in the area telling the truth. It’s never anything too outlandish as to clearly know the factuality of the statement is untrue. It can be their salary, the deal they got on a new car, or having a round under par last week while playing golf alone. Many of these contentions are somewhat believable and would be hard to disprove. Lies tend to emphasis the ability of the speaker. However, we know from our experience that no one in his or her profession makes such a salary, no one really gets a deal on a car, and as a golfer he or she struggles to break 90. The surrounding circumstances lead us to believe that the person speaks in falsehoods.

The words describing the truth deficient or those who speak falsehoods are not minced in 1 John 2:4. Further, we clearly see that one cannot know Christ and live a life in sin. He or she who claims to have a relationship with Christ, but fails to follow the commands of Christ is a liar. Sin and a relationship with Christ do not mesh and cannot live in agreement.

This characterization is not to say that the believer does not commit sin. We fall short daily and fail to measure up to Christ either by our acts of omission or commission. The above scripture speaks of a professor who lives a life in continual and habitual sin by denying the application of Christ’s commandments. Just like most liars, they can’t help it in and of themselves. The liar is self-consumed in an attempt to please and lift up himself or herself.

The true believer has a realization of the limitations of self. Self had to be pleased and uplifted because of its deficiencies. Thankfully, self died when we became followers of Christ. In John 17:17, Jesus tells us to “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” When we have been washed in this truth, we have a desire to keep His Word. His word refreshes us daily with life and a want to continually abide within it. We no longer have a desire to put emphasis on anything within our own means. Only the works of Christ within us are truly worthy of any praise. Ain’t that the truth! Because of Christ and His truths, we are able to sign our daily scorecards with a straight face.

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