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What If: We Know

John has an interesting writing style that we miss in English translations. He likes using synonyms which can sometimes have subtle differences. A commonly known example found in John is the different Greek words for love. Another example is how John uses two different root words for “know” in 1 John, 25 times for one and 15 times for the other. The former, gnosis, could be loosely translated as know(ledge) we get through experience and relationships. The latter, oida, often refers to factual knowledge, for example, 2+2=4.

John wants us to have both types of “know” so that we can live like Christ. He wants us to know Christ through a personal walk with Him. What if we walked like Christ? We will experience the love and forgiveness of God, and we will know (gnosis) Him. John had that type of knowledge and we can too.

John also wants us to know the facts, that Jesus lived, died, and was resurrected. Through Jesus’ acts we receive salvation and can rest assured, we can know (oida) for a fact, of our eternal destination. Those who reject Christ, John says, “they do not know (oida) where they are going, because they are blinded by the darkness.” What if we walk in the light? We will know God.

If anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.-1 John‬ ‭2:5-6‬ ‭NIV