Sunday, January 6, 2008

Knowing Christ

I had the wonderful opportunity to witness to a co-worker today. He was a young man, 21 years of age. He like many have the idea that people should not go to church unless they are living "right" and then find a local church to attend so that they will not be "hypocrites."

My first question was how do you define a hypocrite? The definition is as follows:

1. a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
2. a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, esp. one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.
3. an actor, stage player

I told the young man picture yourself as a dirty dish after a thanksgiving meal. Let us say that you are the plate that a 300 pound man used to eat his wonderful thanksgiving meal on. Without a doubt you are considerably dirty as you can imagine. You, the dish say, " I am going to wait until I get myself cleaned up before I put myself in the water. This is and of itself is a mere impossibility since you are just a mere dish and have nothing in and of yourself or any means to do any type cleaning. You are helpless. The water in the in the dishwasher or sink is the only way or means to be thoroughly cleaned. Needless to say you will need some divine intervention, correct. I had to take him through the analogy once more before he got it. But it was clear.

I was not speaking particularly about salvation here but this is the purpose of the Body of Christ and a true Biblical church. Furthermore this is what the Word of God does. It changes us through the work of the Holy Spirit and with more knowledge we understand even more clearly that God's only acceptable sacrifice is His Son-Jesus the Christ-Our Deliverer. From here the young man began to say, "there are so many bad churches altogether so I just stopped going" From here I used an analogy of a close friend of mine and said, "When you get food poisoning do you stop eating or do you look for other good food."

Bad experiences are not excuses that we use to stay away from God standard and do what He has commanded us to do. I informed him the his bad experiences do not mean that there are not good churches out there.

After hearing of his experiences I thought of the book of 1 John and many other passages. This young man had never seen(to his knowledge) and example of true Christianity. He had never seen people who live what they say and have changed hearts to the point where they earnestly turn from sin once they learn of it and try to obey the revealed Word of God the Bible. If we love Him we obey what he has commanded in every avenue of our life. This does not mean we do not sin. 1 John makes that clear, but we do not have a lifestyle of habitual sin. Meaning we do not know of sin in our life and continue to do it contrary to what we know in scripture and our conscience. If we do the truth is that God's grace is sufficient for all sins but we have to examine our self to see if we are really in the Faith. I say this simply because the demons know God exist and even people reference in Hebrews 6 and 10 have an intellectual knowledge of Him but truly do not know him.

John's Purpose in this letter is clear here in 1 John 1:4
1 John 1:4
And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

1Jo 1:6
If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

1Jo 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

Jhn 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Jhn 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

1Jo 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.

1Jo 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

1Jo 3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

1Jo 4:6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

1Jo 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

Mat 7:21
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
The Greek word here in Matthew is the same one used in 1John. We understand that knowing Him is much more than just knowing about Him. Demons know about Christ and many people know about Him but do not know Him in the intimate way that the scriptures talk about. We understand that truly knowing Him is linked to obedience and obeying what He has commanded in the revealed will of God-The Bible.

1) to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel
a) to become known
2) to know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of
a) to understand
b) to know
3) Jewish idiom for sexual intercourse between a man and a woman
4) to become acquainted with, to know
I ask you to examine yourself. Time out for some silly un-biblical altar call, and really wrestle with the reality that our time here on Earth is simply a vapor-here one day and gone the next. What do you desire most? What makes you happy or angry? Is Christ working in you to bring about His glory? Does you attitude and your worldview hang upon God's Word? How are you loving your neighbor, wife, husband, or co-worker? These questions need to be asked and use scripture to check yourself-In Christ.