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This is How We Know – Blog Post/Podcast

April 24, 2018

Podcast Link HERE

If faith is the evidence of things hoped for yet not seen, then how do we define evidence? The dictionary gives one definition as “that which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof”. Evidence is what is often used to confirm or deny something. But what about something that is not physically seen? How do we prove that? What evidence is there?

The wind? We can’t see it, but we certainly can feel it and those who are wearing a hat, a wig or a toupee certainly are cognizant of a big wind gust coming by and possibly removing their head-covering. They can’t deny it when the evidence blows their hat off. The same could be said for a tornado. You cannot see the wind, but you can feel it, you can see its effects – evidence of strong wind. Someone who has been through it can give testimony of it.

Those of us who have been through a little bit or a lot of fire, we can tell you how real He is. There are times when we can only explain what happened by saying “it had to be God”. Quite honestly, it’s usually after a bit of a testing, trial, or a bit of fire that our faith grows rather than shrinks. We can’t drive a car with the brakes on and we can’t live the Christian life without engagement, activity and relationships. When there is activity in our lives, we are sure to face tests of faith. This engagement, these relationships, these trials, help reveal the evidence of Christ.

John tells us “this is how we know”…

I John 2:3-11, This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commands. The one who says, “I have come to know him,” and 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 made complete. This is how we know we are in him: The one who says he remains in him should walk just as he walked. Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old command that you have had from the beginning. The old command is the word you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. The one who says he is in the light but hates his brother or sister is in the darkness until now. 10 The one who loves his brother or sister remains in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But the one who hates his brother or sister is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and doesn’t know where he’s going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

This is how we know that we know him – by keeping His commands. His commands are simply, His Word. Our actions speak louder than our words, so clearly, our commitment to obedience to His commands is a prime indicator that Christ is in us. As we are obedient to Christ, we grow closer to Him, and therefore we can sense with even greater sensitivity that He IS real and we DO know Him.

Knowing comes in two different forms: through learning and through experience. Henry Blackaby says we come to KNOW God by experience. You cannot really know someone until you have had experience with them. Since the Word tells us that knowing Him is reflected in obedience to His commands, in order to know Christ better, we must obey.

This is how we know we are in him: the one who says he remains in him should walk as he walked. Walk is an activity, not sitting still. James tells us to be doers and not hearers only. Samuel says to obey is better than to sacrifice.

Loving God is a choice, and making a choice involves activity (and results in experience like we spoke of a moment ago). Loving God also means that I love like God does – wholly and completely. I forgive and I forget. I overlook and I show grace and mercy. Walking as Christ walks means I embrace the character of Christ.

We do things for one of 3 reasons:
1. We have to
2. We need to (because there are consequences)
3. We want to

Mature obedience flows out of this want to. I don’t HAVE to preach, I GET to preach. I don’t HAVE to love my wife, I GET to love my wife. Those are privileges God has given, and certainly wasn’t obligated to.

This is now we know that we love him, that we love one another as He did. “Ok, wait a minute, preacher. I was with you up until then. I’ve read the Bible. I see where Jesus loved tax collectors like Matthew and Zacchaeus, Nicodemus, the rich young ruler, the woman at the well who was in an adulterous relationship, and the man who had leprosy. You mean I have to love EVERYBODY?” No, you don’t have to, but if you want to be obedient to Christ, to experience the fullness of His love, and have peace in your life, yeah, you do. But again, you don’t HAVE to, you GET to.

What do you GET to do today?

Blessed,
Tony Watson
Senior Pastor
First Baptist Church – Palestine, TX

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