Do You Know the Lord?
There was no name on the church building, just a plaque which said, “The word of the Lord will be proclaimed here Sunday at 3:00 p.m.” We had just arrived in New Zealand (there were six of us, three couples) and had gone there to establish the church in Hamilton. We decided we would go to visit that group. As we walked in we noticed a different arrangement of the pews—at the front of the building there were pews on all four sides of what was obviously the table for the Lord’s Supper. Then, there were other pews, much like you would see in any church building, which extended back to the entrance.
They asked us, “Do you know the Lord as your personal Savior?” When we answered “yes,” they ushered us up to the “inner circle,” and we worshiped with them. We arranged for a study period later that week and discovered a lot about them. When we came a second time, we were not invited to sit at the front, but we were seated in the pews in what I perceived as the “sinner section.”
Obviously that phrase about knowing Jesus as a personal Savior is rather widespread in the religious world. It is not found in that form in the Bible, but the Bible does discuss about knowing the Lord. How does God use the words about knowing the Lord?
The clearest definition of knowing the Lord is found in the second chapter of First John. “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (v. 4). One cannot simply say that “I know the Lord as my Savior” and fail to obey Him. God says that if I fail to do what He says that I do not know Him.
Look at the next verse. “He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in Him.” In the study that we had, it was obvious that while they talked about knowing Jesus, they had little regard in doing what He said. God said that they lied when they said they knew Him.
Now look at the next verse. “Whosoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.” One who knows God’s will, but does not obey Him, may think he loves the Lord. However, John says that whatever love they may think they have for Him is an imperfect love.
This same truth tying the true love of Jesus to obeying Him was taught by Jesus. “You are my friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:14). “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15).
So, when you hear someone talk about knowing the Lord, remember that it is one thing to say, “I know the Lord,” and another to show that we know Him by obeying Him!