Through the Looking Glass

How does God See You?

  • Romans 8:27 “Now He who searches the hearts …”  Paul assumes that everyone agrees that God knows our hearts.  (1 Chronicles 28:9)
  • 2 Timothy 2:19 “The Lord knows those who are His.”
  • 2 Peter 2:9 “The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation.”

All three passages remind us that God knows the real us.  The problem is that we sometimes wonder just what He sees.  On what basis does He call us His own?  On what basis are we classified as the godly?

Where is the threshold of acceptability?

  • Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”  Living sacrifices are acceptable.
  • Romans 14:18 “For he who serves Christ in this thing is acceptable to God and approved by men.”  He who does not make a fuss over days or foods is acceptable.
  • Romans 15:16 “That the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.”  Sanctification by the Spirit makes us acceptable.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:8 “Therefore, we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be acceptable to Him.”  Alive or dead, we seek to be acceptable.
  • Ephesians 1:6 “To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.”  We are acceptable through the sacrifice of Jesus, the plan of God, and grace.
  • Ephesians 5:10 “Finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.”  As we walk in the light, we discover what is acceptable behavior.
  • Philippians 4:18 “A sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.”  The gift from the Philippians to Paul was acceptable.
  • 1 Timothy 2:3 “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.”  Praying for world leaders is acceptable.
  • 1 Timothy 5:4 “For this is good and acceptable before God.”  Taking care of family is acceptable.
  • Hebrews 12:28 “Let us have grace by which we serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”  Having a gracious nature allows us to serve acceptably.
  • 1 Peter 2:5 “To offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”  Spiritual sacrifices are acceptable.

What are spiritual sacrifices?

  • Evangelism (Romans 15:16)
  • Praise (Hebrews 13:15)
  • Doing good and sharing (Hebrews 13:16, Philippians 4:18)
  • General Christian activities (1 Peter 2:5)
  • Faith (Philippians 2:17)
  • Our bodies (Romans 12:1)

How are we sanctified by the Spirit?

  • The indwelling Spirit is a seal or pledge (2 Corinthians 1:22)
  • Testifies of our adoption (Romans 8:16 – see v 9)
  • Gives life to our mortal bodies (Romans 8:11)
  • Aids in putting to death the deeds of the body (Romans 8:13)
  • Leads us (Romans 8:14)
  • Assists in prayer (Romans 8:26)
  • Knowing that the Spirit is housed in us gives us motivation to preserve a holy body (1 Corinthians 3:16)
  • Strengthen the inner man (Ephesians 3:16)
  • Comprehension (Ephesians 3:17 – 19)
  • We should endeavor to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18)
  • Guard that which has been entrusted to us (2 Timothy 1:14)
  • God jealously desires the Spirit that lives in us (James 4:5)
  • We know we belong to God (1 John 4:12-16)
  • His Spirit has been given to us if we have love and faith (1 John 3:24)

When are we sanctified by the Spirit:

  • Acts 2:38 I receive the Holy Spirit
  • Acts 22:16, Hebrews 10:22 My sins are washed away.
  • 1 Corinthians 6:11, Ephesians 5:26 I am reserved for godly purposes (sanctified)
  • Romans 6:3-4, 12:1. I become a sacrifice like Jesus.
  • Romans 6:4, Titus 3:5 I walk in newness of life.  My spirits is resurrected: reconnected.
  • Romans 6:5 I will be raised on Judgment Day.
  • Romans 6:6 I am freed from slavery to sin.
  • 1 Corinthians 12:13 I will achieve miraculous unity.
  • Galatians 3:27 I am being transformed (2 Corinthians 3:18) into the image of Jesus.
  • Colossians 2:12 I am buried with Him and raised (see Romans 6).
  • 1 Peter 3:21 The water rescued Noah from an evil world as baptism rescues me.

Bottom line, God sees faith, not behavior.  Either we trust His grace, or we don’t.

Postscript:

1 Corinthians 13:12  “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then, face to face.  Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I am known.”  The question is when “that which is perfect has come.”  Some say at Judgment, which leaves prophecy, tongues, and miraculous knowledge in place until the End.  But both Zechariah 13 and Daniel 9 prophecy the end of prophesy shortly after the Messiah.  If the “perfect has come,” then we are able to see God “face to face.”  We are able to know God to the same degree that He knows us.