Much can be gained from reading through this first of John’s letters at one sitting. He uses certain words frequently such as ‘love’, ‘light’, ‘truth ‘and ‘know’. In the context of Christian assurance ‘know’ is perhaps the most important of them. It is a word that it is very rich in meaning. First of all it denotes a valued relationship between God and the Christian. It is an intimate relationship. But it is not a relationship of equality for God knows all there is to know about you.
It is for you to get know Him better. When you know what pleases and displeases Him you are on the right track. Second, it is meant to be a relationship of increasing depth and strengthening of ties. You know God’s expectations of you and wish above all to please Him. Third it is a relationship formed on His terms not yours.
It is God in his free and sovereign grace who has taken the initiative. It is just the same with every Christian. Look for fourteen uses of the words, ‘we know’.