The Person God Knows
1 Corinthians 8:3
“Christian” cults are not an oddity of the modern age. Church history is littered with the records of aberrant groups who thought they had gained special insight into the mysteries of God. Within just the first 500 years of the church’s existence, battles over orthodoxy were held with the Gnostics, Quartodecimanists, Montanists, Monarchiasts, “Puritans” (not the post-Reformation Puritans), Arians, Monophysists, Pelagiasts, and Nestorians. Whew! There is no end to “creative” thinking in the realm of theology.
Whereas many of the early-century cultic groups focused their emphasis on fine points of theology, many then and since have been characterized by lifestyle beliefs. And once we enter the domain of behavior and lifestyle, we are able to apply new Biblical tests of orthodoxy. The profiles of cult leaders almost always betray a lack of the characteristic that is most godly and was most profound in Jesus Christ: love. Over time, love, or the lack of it, in a religious leader will indicate whether that leader knows God. Many Scriptures lead us to this conclusion. First, love is an evidence of the filling of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Jesus said if we love him we will obey him (John 14:15), and that our love for one another indicates if we are his disciples (John 13:35). John the Apostle said that anyone who doesn't love others does not have God’s light in them (1 John 2:9-11), and that anyone who willingly and continually sins is not a child of God (1 John 3:9-10). All of which brings us to conclude that there is significant evidence in our behavior toward others and our attitude toward sin for whether we love God or not. If we do not love God, we do not know God. If we do not know God, we are not known by God (Galatians 4:9).
So who does God know? Only those who love him. Our calling is not primarily to determine who in church history, or who now, knows or is known by God. Rather, it is to determine whether we know and are known by God. He has called us first and foremost to be known by him.
God’s Promise to You: “If I know you it is because I know your love for me.”
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