“Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” John 17: 3
Eternal life is all wrapped up in knowing God. There is no other way to receive eternal life. It’s not enough to just believe Jesus is God’s son – even the demons do that. Real believing leads to knowing. To bowing and committing our lives to Jesus Christ.
I want to ask you a very direct and pointed question today: Do you know God?
DO YOU KNOW GOD?
Not just know about Him? Not just know Him through your mama or daddy. God has no grandchildren! We come to Him individually and on our own. It doesn’t matter if we have a perfect Sunday school record or if we tithe 20%. Serving in the church nursery or hosting the youth for Disciple Now or making casseroles and visiting the sick — all those kind acts of service may be the result of knowing Him, but they are not going to save us. Only Jesus can do that. Please. If there is any doubt in your mind, settle that today. Don’t put your head on the pillow tonight without knowing that if you don’t wake up here on earth, you will wake up in heaven.
Do you know the only true God? Do you know His son Jesus Christ? Do you know that you have eternal life?
If our salvation is secure — if we know God, then there will be the desire to want to live for Him. Our identity in Christ fills us with the desire to do all those things for Him – to go to Sunday school, serve in the nursery, visit the sick, make the casseroles, serve others in His name. It ceases to be a legalistic have to /must do/earn my salvation obligation … and instead is transformed into a get to/want to/joy to to in serving others. When we know Him, duty is transformed into delight.
Instead of a mere outward act to make me feel good or earn brownie points, our motivation comes from the inside. Our hearts have been changed and love works its way out and is revealed in our behaviors. Our acts of service are not completed to earn salvation, but they prove its reality. A changed heart on the inside transforms behavior on the outside.
Manufactured works that are generated in human strength are usually done to bring praise from others. But acts of kindness that are Spirit-prompted and the result of a changed heart bring honor to our Lord.
What is your WHY? Why do you run?
Paul challenges us in Philippians 2: 12-13: “…work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”
Don’t you love this? God changes our hearts. He saves us. Our salvation is solely and completely the result of His working in our lives. And then as we cooperate in obedience, He works out what He put in. We choose to follow in obedience – to will and to act – in accordance with His good purpose.
(By the way — don’t be distracted by the “fear and trembling” in this verse. This doesn’t mean we have to be nervous or anxious as we serve God – it denotes instead a reverence and awe for our great and mighty God.)
As followers of Christ, we run because we know Him. That’s our why.
The child of God has eternal life.
That life is rooted and grounded and based upon knowing God by knowing His son Jesus. We receive eternal security not by just believing that Jesus is the Son, but by placing our faith in Him and turning our lives over to Him. We run our spiritual race because we know Him.
Here’s the link to the teaching lecture for John 17: