Imagine that you were saved from hell, but had no relationship with God. Would it be worth it?
If you were in Heaven, but God wasn’t there, would that be eternal life?
Something I think we tend to forget is our relationship with Christ. That may sound odd, but I think it’s true. That the Lord of might would want intimate fellowship with broken people like us is incomprehensible. It’s our greatest treasure. Salvation is an impossible gift we are given, but what makes it even better (and more impossible still) is that we are also adopted into a relationship with the Almighty One. Not just redeemed, but redeemed and adopted! This is too much.
Because in reality, there is no connection between having your criminal record pardoned by a judge, and then having that same judge take you home and adopt you as his child. I mean, have you ever heard of that happening in real life? Your fee has been paid, you’re free to go. By the way, on the way out, do you want to fill out this paperwork and become my son?
I just don’t think that happens often. Especially when the offense you committed was against him in the first place.
And yet, this is exactly what we find God doing for us. And not just that, but so much more. Infinitely more. Which is hard to understand when you realize that the gist of salvation is already infinite. Saving us from eternal death was kind enough, it was an act of impossible grace. Any of us would have stopped there, and felt very proud of how kind we were. But He didn’t stop. It’s His abundant love that draws Him past where the rest of us would have stopped. In fact, there’s absolutely no comparison. He gives and He gives, because it’s his nature to give. It’s His nature to love deeply and dangerously, having the risk of being rejected, and taking that risk anyway. And that’s the kind of love he calls us to. To give and give, to love unconditionally and deeply, like He does. But He doesn’t just command us to scrounge around and come up with our own version so we can try to love that way. He fills us to love that way. He gives us the love we need to minister to others. He loves through us. He gives through us.
This is the power of His spirit working through us.
Now let’s take a quick look at the main points that we find in our verse:
Hereby know we…
We believe and act on what we perceive to be true.
Real knowing is allowing information to change you. It’s more than just cognitive understanding. When belief is combined with action, that’s when it becomes real knowing in the Biblical sense. We can say that we believe something to be true, but unless we give feet to that belief, it’s just unrelated brain filler. Remember that faith without works [action behind it] is dead [useless]. (James 2:17)
Partial knowing for example, is understanding a sign that says, “wet cement ahead”. Whole knowing is walking on the grass because of it. New information has led to new action.
In other words, you ask yourself, “If this really is true, then what would I start doing differently?” Once you find out what you would do differently, no matter how you feel about it, set up plans to start doing it. And then do it!
A wise man once said:
“Information + application = transformation”
That’s real knowing. That’s whole knowing.
We dwell in Him…
We are in Christ through salvation.
When we turned to Christ, we were accepted into relationship with Him as sons and daughters. In salvation we were crucified, buried and raised to new life In Christ. We became part of His Kingdom and His body. We are now In Christ.
He [dwells] in us…
Christ works in us to change our thinking patterns and behavior.
Because of our new relationship with Christ, God is now free to actively work in our lives. But He doesn’t do this remotely. He steps down and actually enters our lives in real time, giving us moment by moment feedback and instruction. He also gives us the supernatural tools we need to live a powerful life as a witness for Him, while also granting us victory over sin and destructive behaviors. We have His total power available to us to help in time of need.
He has given us of His Spirit.
God’s nature stamped on jars of clay.
All this is possible because of God’s Holy Spirit working in us. In fact, our verse states that the proof that we are now one with Christ, and that he is actively working in our lives is the fact that we have his Spirit. Christ’s spirit in us is what gives us evidence that we are indeed children of God. (Romans 8:16). But the question might arise, What’s the proof that the Spirit dwells in us?
We personally know that we have the Holy Spirit because we’ve experienced His working. How many of us have heard that inaudible voice calling us to initiate reconciliation. We’ve listened as our own mouths poured out eternal truth, truth we can’t take credit for. We’ve watched in awe as a window of grace appeared before us during a temptation, and we marveled as that grace was accepted into the situation with a strength we don’t possess. We’ve tasted, maybe only a little bit, but we’ve tasted the power of the Spirit in us.
But the confirmation that is even more exciting is the simple fact that we know we have the Spirit of God simply because he says we do. And we simply choose to believe it, and then we act on it. Which brings us back to real knowing again.
It’s vital that we learn to take the power of real knowing and apply it to God’s truth claims. Because He is always right. When He says that we have His spirit dwelling inside us, it’s our job to recognize the truth, believe the truth, and act on the truth.
You have the most powerful, loving, intelligent Being abiding inside you. Does that change the way you’re living? Should it?
If we could take just one truth (let’s say the truth that God is Love) and know it, really know it, how would that change our lives?
“If God is love and I am his child, then I am loved.”
How would life be different if we started living under the impression that, “I am loved.” all the time?
You get an A+ on the test. I am loved.
You are ridiculed for your values. I am loved.
You are afraid. I am loved.
You sense God’s pleasure. I am loved.
You feel forgotten. I am loved.
You fail. I am loved.
Wouldn’t that begin to change your perspective on who you are, and who Christ is?
The more we realize that we have the Everlasting God in communion with us, and the more we act on that being true, the more He is able to reveal Himself to us, and the more we know Him. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3)
What is one truth that our Father is calling you to strap on in faith, and put action to? Would you commit to doing that? You can. Because He’s already given all you need.
You have His Spirit within you.