By Gwyneth Rinner
“Do you know Christ?” This question is often asked from our church pulpits before an invitation to receive His salvation. It is a good question, but I think there may be a better one: Does Christ know you?
There are two places in the New Testament that have always put a healthy fear in me. The first is found at the end of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. The portion of Scripture preceding this famous sermon speaks of how a healthy tree bears healthy fruit and compares this to false prophets and how we will know them by their fruit.
Right after this Jesus goes on to state,“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, I never KNEW YOU (emphasis mine), depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” (Matthew 7: 21-23 ESV)
I think many people claim to know Christ and probably do, somewhat, because He has made himself known to us. Yet, are we allowing ourselves to be known by Him?
Yes, he knows us in His “all-knowing” way. He created us in His image and knows our thoughts, hurts, and fears – yes, even every hair on our head, but what of ourselves are we putting before Him? And what are we holding back?
I learned this lesson in a very personal way. You see, I was married to a man for 12 years, and, without a doubt, I can say that I did not know him – yet he knew every part of me. I shared all of myself with him. I hid nothing. He did the opposite. He shared (or pretended to give) parts of himself and hid almost everything else.
There is a lot in this I don’t understand. But what I do understand is that if my ex-husband wanted to come into my home, I would say, “You need to leave. I never knew you.” He may say something like, “We lived in homes together, had children, took vacations, and I provided for you and the kids—I did so many things for you.” But I would respond by reminding him how I gave all of myself to him, not withholding anything ; there were no masks, no lies, no fronts.
He had all of me, but I didn’t truly have him. That isn’t a marriage; that isn’t a relationship.
In a good relationship you give all of yourselves to one another—all of it. Not just the parts you want them to know about you. There are no secrets, no hidden ghosts from the pasts. And you use your gifts to minister to one another.
God wants all of us! Being in a one-sided relationship is hurtful; trust me.
How does God truly know us relationally?The Scripture says it’s when we do the will of the Father.
Okay, well, what is the will of the Father?
In Matthew 25:4, when Jesus is discussing the final judgment, He says,“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink. I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me…Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.”
I believe when we do these things (which are the will of the Father), we’re making ourselves known to God. We’re pouring out who we are into others, and it displays our souls.
Therefore, in our efforts to know Christ by studying the Scriptures, praying, attending church, meeting in LifeGroups, etc., may we equally desire to be fully and truly known by Him – by doing the will of the Father.
Matthew 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.’”