This story goes WAY BACK to when my kids were little.
It was well after bedtime, and all my kids should have been asleep. But as I walked down the hallway, through his closed door I could hear Jakin talking to himself. I could tell he was looking at a book, and I admit to listening long enough to know he was making up a story to go along with the pictures. I could also tell that he was over by his closet (probably for some light) and not in his bed. After I got my fill of excitedly listening to his young creative mind spill out a masterpiece of a story, it was time for me to be the enforcer.
"Jakin... get in bed and go to sleep," I said as I turned into the living room and sat on the couch.
"Jakin," I said a tad more insistently, "I know you are not asleep and not in your bed. Get in bed and go to sleep."
His door slowly cracked open and he peered around the corner with the question, "How can you know?"
His door was shut, and it never opened. It baffled him. So I explained (even though, looking back, he was probably just doing research for how to better avoid detection next time) that there were some indicators, even though the door was closed, that let me know.
Is there a way to know, with at least as much certainty as I had about Jakin, that we are living in Jesus Christ? Are there indicators, even though we can't see through the door of eternity just yet, that would give us additional confidence, that would bolster our faith, that lets us know that were are indeed in Jesus Christ where we belong?
According to John, the answer is yes. As we continue to study his little letter that we call 1 John, today we examine what it is that we can use as a confidence-building, rock-solid indicator that we are what we claim to be... Christians.