SHOW ME THE EVIDENCE
“And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.”
1 John 2:3-6 NLT
It’s a tragedy that so many people who claim to be God’s children have been lulled to sleep or lured away from the simple truths of the gospel by additions to His Word that pander to the flesh. Their unchanged lives expose their self-deception and reveal the lie that they know God.
The Bible is very clear. Faith in Jesus produces miraculous changes in us that only God’s grace can make. Outside of the power of His grace revealed to us in His salvation, we can make claims and pretend for a while but, inevitably, our self-effort will fail and we will revert to our old, ungodly ways.
What changes has grace made in our lives that confirm our new position and status as members of His family and citizens in His kingdom?
We have a new Master. Our faith in Jesus is based on the truth that Jesus, not Satan, is Lord.
“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Romans 10:9 NLT
We have been supernaturally delivered from Satan’s domain to live under the supreme authority of Jesus in God’s kingdom.
“For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son,”
Colossians 1:13 NLT
He has raised us from spiritual death and given us new life in Christ.
“Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins…. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)”
Ephesians 2:1, 4-5 NLT
He gave us His nature which we share by accessing His promises of power and grace.
“And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.”
2 Peter 1:4 NLT
He has permanently erased our past and made us a new species in Christ.
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT
We are no longer God’s enemies. He has reconciled us to Himself by forgiving our sin and giving us the righteousness of Jesus.
“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us…. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.”
Romans 5:1, 10 NLT
We have God’s peace ruling in our hearts.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7 NLT
He has given us everything we need to live godly lives.
“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvellous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.”
2 Peter 1:3-4 NLT
And so we can go enumerating every detail of this miraculous transaction called “salvation” that Jesus accomplished through His death in the cross.
Our allegiance to Jesus and the transformation He has made in us by His grace gives us a powerful motivation to obey His commandments. Our response to His great love binds our hearts to Him.
“This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.”
1 John 4:10 NLT
Jesus bound up all His commandments in one simple instruction.
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
John 13:34-35 NLT
“Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.”
1 John 4:11-12 NLT
“Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.”
Ephesians 5:2 NLT
Loving His people is Jesus’ simple test and prescription for obeying Him. How did He restore Peter after His denial?
“After breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.” “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him. Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.” “Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said. A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.”
John 21:15-17 NLT
Not, “Why did you do it?” or “You are suspended for a while,” or “You are disqualified from ministry,” but “Do you love me?”
Jesus asks us to…
Take care of our family’s practical needs…
“If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?”
1 John 3:17 NLT
Guard our unity by submitting to one another…
“Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all.”
Ephesians 4:3-6 NLT
“And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
Ephesians 5:21 NLT
Preserve and protect our fellowship with each other…
“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.”
Ephesians 4:2 NLT
Build each other up in our faith…
“Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever, they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”
Ephesians 4:11-16 NLT
So, unless there is evidence of God’s powerful intervention to transform our lives, any claim to know God without the evidence is a lie.