Friday, March 5, 2010

Known by God


“Known by God” (Galatians 4:9)

I’ve had the privilege of studying the book of Galatians for quite some time now and just came to this verse. At first glance I just read over the text but as I began to study and collect my thoughts I began to be amazed by this reality that through Christ I am “known by God.”

You might be thinking “Everyone is known by God because God is all-knowing.” This is a true statement and we must assume the apostle Paul understood that reality as well when he wrote these words. If you read Galatians as a whole you will hear Paul speaking of a more intimate relationship with Christ rather than a general one. Paul begins chapter four talking about our adoption as sons into the kingdom of God. “And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God” (4:6-7). Through Christ we can have an intimate relationship with the Creator of the universe. God is perfect and holy and through Christ we can have intimacy with him. This is crazy but so true. We are “known by God.”

We are heirs of the kingdom. This means we will spend our lives wrapped up in kingdom work. Our hearts and minds will be geared toward the future spurring us to live for the glory of Christ rather than pursuing worldliness. We will strive to emulate our Father. How? Since he is perfect and holy how can we strive for that goal? The text answers that question: “Because you are sons God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts.” We have been given the Spirit of Christ. We have been made new creatures in Christ. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). It is God’s work being done through us by his grace and mercy given to us by the Holy Spirit. This is what it means to be “known by God.”

For some this can be a reason to be puffed up and arrogant. This is a reason to make us feel good about ourselves. This is a reason to think we are superior to other people who are really sinful. If this is you please go examine your heart to see whether or not you are really “known by God.” This truth ought to do nothing more than humble us. Can you imagine a greater love? The all-knowing Creator of the universe knows me. He calls me his son. He has made me an heir of his kingdom. All I’ve offered is my sin which placed Christ on the cross. That’s it. I’ve offered nothing more than my sin which his only begotten Son bore for me so I could be an heir of his kingdom. How in world can this truth make us prideful?

Christian, praise God for his amazing grace. Praise him for the sacrifice of his only Son on your behalf. We deserve wrath but instead we receive an eternity with Christ. That’s not fair; but gracious of God. “Now that you have come to know God” rejoice in the reality that you are rather “known by God.”

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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