The other day, in the small Bible-study group where I belong, we talked about how to make sure we are really Christians, or followers of Jesus Christ. Our study leader had another responsibility to attend to, and so the teaching for that night was assigned to a member of our group.
The lesson was basic to most of us, as it was meant to be. We are Christians because we are obeying the commandments and teachings of Jesus Christ. “Jesus therefore said to those Jews who had believed him, ‘If you remain in my word, then you are truly my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free’” (John 8:31-32 WEB).
The teaching was going well, and I was remembering past experiences of my own obedience to Jesus. This made me want to share something to my group mates, and so I did, as our meeting was closing. But what I said triggered some arguments I didn’t expect.
This is what I said to them, that an outward show of obedience is not enough, especially if you are only following God’s commandments legalistically. I said that to make sure you really are a Christian, you must not only be obeying Jesus and his commandments, but you must also personally know him. After all, that is his promise, that if we truly obey him, with all of our hearts, we will know him. We will know God.
“One who has my commandments, and keeps them, that person is one who loves me. One who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him, and will reveal myself to him” (John 14:21 WEB).
Our discussion has given me the idea for this essay. I had meant to write an article about the Bible itself to start off our study, but I think that it would be best if I first talk about the direction we’ll take and the very purpose of this website — to expound more on what I’ve already said on my About page.