Friday, February 24, 2012

How To: Know that You Know God

*I can't find a version of this song on youtube that the embedding is NOT disabled.  Annoying. If you can't hear the song in your head already, it'll definitely be worth your time to go there are play it.

By this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. 
-1 John 2: 3-6

By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. And this is his commandment,that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us. -1 John 3: 10-11, 14, 16-18, 23-24

John paints this portrait with such contrast, seemingly with only black and white.  And Satan loves to get inside my head here.  He tells me that if I'm not completely and always white, then I must be black. Legalism. If that doesn't work, then he whispers in my ear all the white I've done and am, greys up the black and flatters me into thinking that I'm something.  Which of course, results in self-congratulation and self-assurance (if only subconscious). Worldliness. In both instances, he's succeeded in achieving his goal: to get me to think only of and about myself.

But the Spirit of God inside me is more powerful than Satan (1 John 4:4) and victory is already guaranteed!  By the power of that Spirit, I choose to look exclusively in the face of Jesus.  There I find mercy, by NOT getting what I do deserve, and grace, by getting what I don't *and can't possibly ever do enough to* deserve.  What a wonderful Savior!

"Commitment to truth is not enough.  Zeal for the truth must be balanced by love for people.  Truth without love has no decency; it's just brutality.  On the other hand, love without truth has no character; it's just hypocrisy... The truly godly person must cultivate both virtues in equal proportions.  If you could wish for anything in your sanctification, wish for that.  If you pursue anything in the spiritual realm, pursue a perfect balance of truth and love.  Know the truth, and uphold it in love." -John MacArthur

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