A gracEmail subscriber asks what I mean when I speak of a person who “knows Jesus as Savior and Lord.”
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I speak of the individual who throws himself or herself wholly on the mercy of God, based on God’s love shown in Jesus’ substitutionary death and on God’s faithfulness and power shown in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. With confidence in such a God, this person commits to follow Jesus as leader and guide. Jesus himself spoke of such individuals as those who hear his words and act on them; who deny themselves, take up their cross and follow him; who believe on him and have eternal life; who abide in him; who know the only true God and his Son Jesus Christ.
Such individuals, according to the New Testament, enjoy seasons of refreshment from the presence of God; wait for the Lord Jesus Christ and love the prospect of his appearing. They are known by God, called according to his purpose, seated with Christ in heavenly places. They are God’s elect, complete in Christ and walk in the Spirit. They follow Jesus’ example, walk in love and walk by faith rather than by sight.
Although such people seek to be obedient to Christ’s commandments, their obedience is always imperfect. They strive to know God’s will but their knowledge also remains imperfect. They do not place their confidence in their own knowledge or obedience but in Jesus Christ who knows them and who obeyed God perfectly as their Savior. Because these are gospel truths, I welcome as God’s child and as my fellow-believer every person who tells me that she or he trusts Jesus for salvation and seeks to follow Him as Lord, and who manifests a lifestyle consistent with that profession.