Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Is it possible that the difference between eternal life and eternal death can be boiled down to a simple matter of knowing something? Jesus says, Yes! It's in John 17:3: "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."
How does one get to know Him?
First, one must learn how to distinguish the true God from false gods; and that also requires distinguishing the true Christ from "false christs." Jesus warns us that in these last days, "false christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect" (Matt. 24:24).
The "false christ" is the "Antichrist" that John speaks of in 1 John 4:1-3: "Every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. ... this is the spirit of the Antichrist." Hebrews makes clear that "as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He [Christ] likewise shared in the same, ... Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren" (2:14, 17).
Paul makes clear what it means for the true Christ to "come in the flesh": "God [sent] His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh" (Rom. 8:3). The word "likeness" in the Greek is homoióma, from which we derive a number of English words that mean "sameness," "identical."
Therefore, to "know Jesus Christ" is to know the reality of His taking upon His sinless nature our sinful nature, that He might "in all points [be] tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Heb. 4:15). In His human nature He had to deny self, to deny His own will, that He might "not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me" (John 5:30). This self-denial extended throughout His life on earth right up to His cross.
Would you like to follow Him? "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me," He says (Luke 9:23). Yes, you will know Him intimately!
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: January 27, 1999.
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