The Way To Be Known By God

October 28, 2017

Friends,
1 Cor. 8:3 says, “But the man who loves God is known by God.” This is quite a thought-provoking verse, is it not? And doesn’t it encapsulate a major theology concerning our salvation since we know we must love God and be known by God in order to be saved? (Mt. 22:37,38 w/19:17 // Luke 13:27 // John 10:27,28)

Let’s ask ourselves, “Am I known by God / by Christ?” –Known as a friend and member of His family? Jesus has told us that this position (being His friend and family) comes by doing what He commands (John 15:14) and doing His will consistently. (Mt. 12:50 // Rom. 8:9) We must heed the Lord’s voice and follow Him in order to be known by Him and inherit eternal life. (John 10:27,28) A mere claim of relationship with Him, lacking in obedience, does not save. (1 John 2:3-6) Salvation comes by doing what is good (3 John 1:11) –which means rejecting sin by the power of the Spirit (Rom. 8:13) and being led by the Spirit. (v. 14)

We know that “without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Heb. 11:6) But is faith synonymous with belief? It’s not, for the demons believe. (Ja. 2:19) Faith in Jesus is belief, trust, love, and obedience combined. These cannot be separated if we want to keep accessing God’s grace. (John 15:10 // Rom. 5:1,2 // Eph. 3:12 // 1 John 2:28) There may be other sub-ingredients to faith, but we cannot lack these main four or we are not saved.

Let’s look at what Jesus said to the “woman who had lived a sinful life” (Luke 7:37) after she wept and kissed Jesus’ feet while pouring perfume on his feet. He said, “Your sins are forgiven.” (v. 48) And, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (v. 50)

Did the woman ask Jesus to forgive and save her? Maybe, but we’re not told that she did. Therefore, we can see that the Word of God is emphasizing the actions of the woman, and we can see that Jesus equates her actions as being her faith. (Luke 7:50) He emphasizes her works toward Him (v. 44-46) and says that these were motivated by her great love. (v. 47) These love-motivated works of her faith, the passage shows us, is what brought about God’s forgiveness toward her (v. 48) and her salvation and peace with God. (v. 50)

So “the man who loves God is known by God.” (1 Cor. 8:3) The person who loves the Lord will make that love obvious. Love for God will be exhibited, displayed, and proven, not just by words, but by actions, for faith is not complete without actions. (Ja. 2:17,22) And these actions will be works of righteousness done in obedience to Christ’s commands. (John 14:15,21,23)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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Friends,
I had another exciting afternoon yesterday evangelizing at the train and bus stops downtown. One sweet girl I’d met a few months ago came up to me smiling, I recognized her and remembered her name (for I’d been praying for her), and we had a lovely conversation about the Lord and what He’s done for her lately. She is in college to be a nurse and maybe some of my readers will pray for her to walk in the Word always and for God’s favor to rest on her life..? Here is the photo she took of us yesterday and sent to me and she gave me permission to post it:

In the morning I had texted several prayer partners to be praying for me and one was a young woman (I’ll call her Jess here) who I’d met down there years ago. I said if she saw me from the train it’d be great if she got off and would come over to chat. She did show up after her work and I gave her a thank you card I’d written that morning along with a necklace and bracelet I’d made –to let her know how much I appreciate her faithful response to always pray for me when I ask. Truly, I could never do my evangelizing without prayer backing!!!

While Jess and I were talking, a young man who had hung around me for a while a couple of hours earlier came over to me again and asked some more questions. He kept saying he agreed with my answers but he also had some strange ideas. Jess and I prayed with him to know and walk in the Truth and he appreciated it. May some of my readers pray for him too.

While Jess and I were about to say good-bye, a guy (I’ll call him Evan here) showed up next to us who I’ve spoken with many times over the years and who was an evangelist for a while himself until he and his other evangelist friend (a guy I’d witnessed to long before I met Evan) both turned into Calvinists. Though I greeted him warmly, I also right away said, “Evan is a Calvinist and he and I do not agree theologically.”

Well, I had a wonderful surprise, because instead of Evan immediately launching into his typical persuasion attempts, he admitted that he wasn’t really into Calvinism as much now and that God had severely disciplined him so that he was humbled, seeking to make things right with God and others, and was seeking to walk in righteousness. “I was a hearer of the Word,” he said, “but not a doer. And I certainly was in the vomit.” As I listened to him and watched his face and demeanor, I realized he really has changed! This is big to me, because I had prayed a lot, in great sadness, for Evan and our other evangelist friend –that God would open their eyes to the Truth and turn them back from the sin and apathy they were marching further into due to their Calvinistic beliefs –beliefs that were helping them think they were eternally safe to sin and the belief that since everyone was already elected by God from eternity past to Life or Damnation, then evangelism was really a pointless task.

“Wow, the Lord has been answering my prayers,” I thought to myself and I breathed a grateful prayer for it and have thanked God several times since. May He continue to bring Evan and our mutual evangelist friend back from the Calvinist Falsehood, from sinfulness and disobedience, and get them back serving God and spreading the Truth!

Jess and I said good-bye to Evan and then to each other, but I went home yesterday with a renewed conviction: That the Lord works through our obedient efforts even when we don’t know He is doing so. It’s encouraging to get glimpses into His workings, but regardless of whether we see results or not, we can trust God that He is using our prayers and evangelism, and we can thus keep on in faith and vigor doing what He has called us to do.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
It is unfortunate that some church groups promote beliefs that focus more on physical Israel and the Hebrew language than they do on Jesus, on the Good News of redemption, and on our responsibility before God in “going into all the world to teach people to obey all of our Lord’s commands.” (See Mt. 28:19,20)

Belief systems that have a misplaced focus are not pleasing to God, and Gentile Christians who claim to be Jews are believing strange and unbiblical doctrines (to put it mildly). What does Jesus say about it? He says to the church in Rev. 3:9, “I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars, –I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.”

Jesus gave another similar warning in Rev. 2:9: “I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.” (These are certainly strong words!)

If a Gentile church claims they are Jews and claims they are all going to live in the land of Israel –well, how could these Revelation verses not be about them? The Black Hebrew Roots groups, which are quite hostile, –well, it could be about them; but I’d strongly suggest that no-one insist they are a Jew when they’re not. It seems that Jesus is calling any such person a liar, and Rev. 21:8 says that “all liars will be assigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur.”

But, people rationalize and give their reasons… though I believe it is a very dangerous chance they are taking…

I’ve studied and written quite extensively about the Israel issue –as can be seen here: https://knowgodsword.wordpress.com/sermons/6037-2/ A specific one that may be best to read within this “Page” is this post:

https://knowgodsword.wordpress.com/2015/03/26/never-uprooted-again/

The land of Israel belongs to the Jews. –The Jews whose physical ancestry can be traced back to Jacob. God promised the land to them –as a nation, as a people, as a race.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel