“Do you know Jesus?” is a phrase that is often repeated amongst Christian circles. Depending on who you ask, it can mean a variety of different things. To some, “knowing Jesus” means you are a frequent church goer, to others it may mean that you feel God has in some way providentially impacted your life. Most, Christians will admit that knowing Jesus is paramount to being saved, however, most cannot actually pinpoint what “knowing Jesus” means or entails.
Some of the Christians in the first century thought they knew God, but yet at the same time they were not assured in their relationship with Him. 1st John is written to these Christians to reassure them of their relationship with their Lord and to correct those who think they know God, but in fact only know disobedience.
A Christian should be able to evaluate their commitment to a godly lifestyle and affirm whether or not they know God. John writes “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments...whoever keeps His Word, in him the love of God has been truly perfected, by this we know that we are in Him” (1 John 2:5)
Knowing God is synonymous in 1st John with fellowship with God, and true fellowship with God comes from obedience to God’s will. If one doubts their relationship with God, a simple self-evaluation of their level of commitment to obedience will bear testimony to their level of love for God. Practically speaking, if one examines their life, their commitments, their time and their sacrifices, and finds obedience to God is their number one priority, they will have know they “know God”. On the other hand, if one claims to know God, but their level of commitment declares otherwise, they are lying to themselves. John writes:
The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him (1 John 2:2-4).
May we be people who practice what we preach. One who truly knows God is one who truly obeys. Let’s put into practice what we profess.