Yesterday I discussed with you about trusting God, and so today I should finish off saying, obedience is a characteristic of true believers.
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3
I try to not be negative however it’s for your profit to know there are some people in our days whose claim of knowing God is false. Titus 1:16 says, “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” Many think they are saved because they know a few doctrinal facts. Others also claim to have had a great emotional experience yet their lives prove they have not received God’s truth – so beware! False prophets have caused confusion and damage; daily the gospel is being misrepresented. Some teachers also, because they do not understand that conversion is a work of the Spirit, they emotionally manipulate people to make an outward decision. They carelessly offer false assurances to people who make an external response. They fail to teach their converts the necessity of obedience as a fruit of faith.
Many of these false teachers of Apostle John’s day boasted that they knew God. Some thought God could be known through human intellectual endeavours. Others claimed to gain the knowledge of God through mystical experiences. But their continued disobedience proved their profession was a lie, and same with false teachers of our day, they must be proven wrong.
Anyway, the question is, What does it mean to know God?
If you don’t keep God’s commandments, you do not know God. I gave you this verse above; “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3).
John says, “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 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” (1 John 2:3-6).
Your obedience to God’s commandments proves you know Him, and John is telling us here how we’ve come to know Him. Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone, in Christ alone. What we should beware though is a counterfeit claim to know God. Jesus says, “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.” Matthew 7:21-23
If you have truly come to know God, you will obey His commandments. Obedience is not a condition of coming to know God, but it is a necessary result. Jesus emphasized the necessity that His disciples obey Him.