Depart from Me, for I Never Knew You. Will He Know You?
Standing Before God
One day, we’re all going to stand before God. Do you know whether or not your Father will know you? Do you know about Him or do you know Him? There are those who will have even prophesied in His name and yet will be told, “Depart from Me; I never knew you.” Let’s look more closely at what it is that gives us confidence to stand in Christ.
What does it mean to be “in Christ”? John 3:16 is the very core verse of salvation through Christ Jesus. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him [Christ] should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Ephesians 2:8-9 states, “For by grace are you saved through faith [in Christ], and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.” Let’s look at where man stands before God based on self; based on works:
How do works stand before God?
The 10 Commandments: In Mat 19:17-22 we read, “If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.’ ‘Which ones?’ the man inquired. Jesus replied, ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.’ ‘All these I have kept,’ the young man said. ‘What do I still lack?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.’ But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.”
Works in His name: Mat 7:22-23 “Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then will I profess unto them, ‘I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.’”
Surely, we must read 1 Corinthians 13 to understand that doing good works and having all the gifts of the Spirit, even giving our bodies to be burned in His name, does not save us!
This hub is not about the spiritual gift of faith that moves mountains. It’s about faith in Christ Jesus that saves us! This type of faith puts to death the wickedness in our hearts and instead, yields fruit of the Holy Spirit that indwells us by the grace of Christ.
How does faith stand before God?
Eph 2:8 again states that “by grace are you saved through FAITH”. Rom 5:1 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.”
1 Cor 15:1 “Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand,”
The Righteous Live by Faith
The New Covenant has sometimes been watered down in the teaching of “by grace are you saved”, neglecting the “saved through faith” part. What is faith? Hebrews 11:1 states, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
The New Covenant is this: Gal 2:16 “Nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.”
Rom 1:15 “For in the gospel God's righteousness is being revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous will live by faith.’"
First of all, what is the gospel of God’s righteousness? Mat 5:20 “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
2 Cor 5:21 “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
How is the gospel of righteousness in Christ revealed through faith? Romans 4:19-21 “Without becoming weak in faith he [Abraham] contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah's womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God,and being fully assured that what God had promised, He [God] was able also to perform.” This proves that the work of the Father was accomplished in Abraham because of his faith.
Hebrews 11 is an awesome chapter on faith, giving many specific examples!
The Inward Man
2 Cor 5:17 states, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
Romans 7:22-23: “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” Romans 8:2 states, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.”
The Old Covenant was the “law of sin and death”, for people were stoned or maimed because of breaking the Law. Until Christ died and paid for our sin in full, we were condemned under the Law of Moses.
Rom 2:29 states, “But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.”
This is why Jesus spoke of the heart in Mat 5:27-28 "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, 'Thou shalt not commit adultery': But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." The same thing with anger in the heart being equal to murder! (Mat 5:21-22).
Gal 5:6 “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.”
God is not concerned with the “profession of faith”, in that Mat 15: 8 states, “These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.”
Mat 15:19 “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man." Did you notice that the washing of hands, which is included in the Law of Moses, does not matter any longer?
1 Cor 13:5 "Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you-- unless indeed you fail the test?"
Truly, if we confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and yet we are not circumcised in our hearts through faith in Jesus Christ by His grace, we deceive ourselves (and others)! Let’s look at the mouth, just for a moment:
James 1:26 “If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless.”
James 3:10-11 “From the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh.”
The Fruit of the Spirit
Speaking of the tree and the vine, Rev 22:26 states, “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star." Proverbs 11:30 states, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that wins souls is wise.” In John 15:5 Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
So how will He know us? How do we recognize our brethren? Mat 7:16 states “You will know them by their fruits.” The fruits of the Spirit are found in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Let’s look at some passages where the fruit is evident in the lives of God’s children:
Rom 5:3 “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Rom 11:22 “Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God's kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.”
2 Cor 6:3-10 “Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses, in beatings, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in hunger, in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, by glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true; as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death, as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things.”
Eph 5:9 “(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth)
Col 3:12 “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”
Luke 17:4-5 “’And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' forgive him.’ The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’"
2 Tim 3:10-11 “Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me!”
Jas 1:2-3 “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
2 Pet 1:5 “Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Wandering from the Faith
1 Tim 6:10 “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
1 Tim 6:20-21 “O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called "knowledge "-- which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith. Grace be with you.”
2 Tim 2:16-18 “But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some.”
2 Tim 4:3-4 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.”
Hebrews 6:4-6 "For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame."
Phi'p 2:12-13 "So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure." This is the work of faith spoken of in James 2:26 "For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead." This has nothing to do with keeping the letter of the Law.
1 Cor 9:27 "but I discipline my body [the law in my members] and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified." (not gain the reward)
Those who cling to works of the Law merely look at the first part of this next passage, neglecting the latter part, which clarifies the gospel of Christ Jesus in the New Covenant:
John 15:10-12 “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”
Gal 3:12 “However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, ‘he who practices them shall live by them.’"
Gal 4:9 “But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things [Law], to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?”
Did you know that even the foundational teachings of the New Testament are also considered “elementary”? All these things I have written about in my hubs! Heb 6:1-2 state “Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.” While people need to know these things, they need to get past them and understand what faith, hope and love are all about.
1 Tim 6:3 “If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.”
Titus 3:9 “But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.”
A New Creation: A Clean Heart
What is maturity in Christ? Heb 5:14 “But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.” What is the intent of the heart? Who are we in Christ? Are we new creatures? Do we have His heart?
Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
Acts 15:9 “and He made no distinction between us [Jews] and them [Gentiles], cleansing their hearts by faith.”
Only Christ Jesus can clean our hearts so we stand confidently before Him. 1 John 3:19-21 state, “We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure [by faith] our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God”.
Phi'p 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."
2 Thes 1:11-12 “To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Truly, if you've asked Jesus into your heart, He cleanses you from all unrighteousness! He creates a clean heart within you, and the work of faith is the work He does through you because of your faith in Him. You will be known by His fruit in you! He who believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life! If you don't know Jesus today, I invite you read my hub Come to Jesus: SALVATION.