“The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” yet doesn’t keep His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly in him the love of God is perfected. This is how we know we are in Him:” (1 John 2:4–5, HCSB)
I don’t know about you, but do you ever wonder if you really know the Lord? It’s a good thing to ponder such things. God’s word is wonderful and perfect, and the first letter of John provides us with a simple test. The passage I picked out provides us with a test for ourselves and for others who claim to be followers of Christ.
In order to understand the text, we need to understand exactly what the word “know” actually means in this passage:
■ verb (past knew; past participle known)
1. be aware of through observation, inquiry, or information.
▶ have knowledge or information concerning.
▶ be absolutely sure of something.
2. be familiar or friendly with.
▶ have a good command of (a subject or language).
▶ have personal experience of.
▶ (usually be known as) regard as having a specified characteristic or title.
γινώσκω (ginōskō). vb. to know, understand, acknowledge. Refers to having knowledge or understanding regarding a subject.
Lexham Theological Workbook
Sorry for the definitions, but understanding the words helps to keep me from having a presupposition and changing my understanding of the verse. I understand, according to scriptures, that no man can understand God unless the Lord reveal Himself to us (Proverbs 30:1-6). That leads me to the next question. Does this definition describe your knowledge of the Lord? As I look at the different examples of “know”, then I turn my attention to what is said. Verse 4 goes on to say: “yet doesn’t keep His commands…,” wait right there! Where do we find the Lord’s commandments? Yep, that’s right, in the Bible. The Apostle John speaks rather bluntly about a person who doesn’t obey the commands of the Bible; he calls him a liar.
Do you read the Bible? How often do you read the Bible? Is the Word of God a controlling force in your life? We need to examine ourselves in these areas. On many occasions, our talk doesn’t match our reality, and when that happens, we need to get ourselves back “in Christ” (John 15:4-9).
Be wary of people who “hear” from God apart from the Bible. Ask the person how they hear from God and how scripture supports what they are saying. I’m not the sharpest pencil in the box, but the above verse says that we know God by obeying His commands, that means reading His Word. If a person tells you “the Lord told me” without scripture, that says they listen to their heart, and I don’t trust or listen to my heart. (Jeremiah 17:9, Mark 7:21-23). Like I said before, this examination starts with you and goes out to the people you come in contact with. We need to listen to ourselves and others talk, (Matthew 15:18, Proverbs 10:19) and compare actions and words to the standard (Bible) and see how things stack up.
God’s word is designed to protect us and to draw men to salvation. The protection and salvation not only goes for folks outside the church, but inside. We need more shepherds inside the church for both protection and guidance when it comes to wolves (Matthew 7:15; 10:16) that come in knowingly and unknowingly.
If we actually “know” God, we would be more inclined to be controlled by scripture and less likely to follow our past. The fact that we feel bad when we sin is a good thing. The fact we can’t continue in our sin is the mark of a disciple (Romans 6:1-2). This type of self-examination will preserve us for The Day we meet the Lord (Matthew 7:21-23 the scariest verses in the Bible).
The time and intensity of your transformation (Acts 26:18, 1 Corinthians 4:5). How you conform your mind (Ephesians 4:18, 1 Peter 1:14) depends on how much you want to “know” the Lord. Until the next time, get to know the Lord—daily.
Posted on Fri, October 2, 2015
by Sam Petitfils