By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us. – 1 John 3:19–24
David Jackman writes:
As I have studied this letter in depth over the past few years I have sometimes found myself begging to wonder whether I have made any progress at all in the Christian life. The letter is written to give us assurance, but not infrequently it brings us to see how little like our LORD we really are and how much further we have to go. As Christians, we find that our hearts do often condemn us. Like a judge who discerns something in the prisoner which he must expose and sentence, our hearts judge us. We alone know our own inner motives and how often our love for our brothers, perhaps especially for a particular brother or sister, falls far short of what it ought to be. Our hearts know things about ourselves that are unknown to others, and their condemnation, unlike the accusations of Satan, is not [necessarily] false.
John does not encourage us to deny these things, or to shrug them off, but to meet their challenge by seeing that God knows more. God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything. It is not that God minimizes or disregards our failures. In fat He knows them better than we do, for He sees and understands us even more deeply than we can ever know ourselves. He knows exactly where we are spiritually; our strengths and weaknesses, our gains and losses, our successes and failures. Our comfort is that God knows that the measure of love we do have is irrefutable evidence of the activity of the Holy Spirit in our lives, that we have been born of God, that we have crossed over from death to life. And He wants us to know it tool
MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 78
Q. 78. What is forbidden in the ninth commandment?
A. The ninth commandment forbiddeth whatsoever is prejudicial to truth, or injurious to our own or our neighbor’s good name.