And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true, and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ, He is the true God and eternal life.

1 John 5: 20


As we know Christ, we know truth; so, as we live in the fullness of that relationship with Christ, we are exercising that eternal truth for the sake of our own growth and for the glory of God in the world. Both aspects of being followers of Christ are important. God desires for His people to abide in His word. This expression of God’s nature, character, and will is central to our lives and to our journeys of faith. As Jesus promised, this written word and the life that He calls His followers to live are illuminated and guided by the present voice of the Holy Spirit. So, in Christ, we are fully informed regarding God’s will and His purpose for our lives.


However, this information is only a partial image of the truth that is imparted from God, for the understanding that John speaks about is much deeper than truth itself. Understanding suggests that Christ has granted to His followers something that goes beyond that which our minds grasp. He has given to us the gift of seeing God so that we can know God in a way that very few people have from after our ancestral rebellion in the garden until the time that Jesus was with us in the flesh on earth. This close intimacy with God was thrown away in order to consume some perishable fruit, but God would not allow the distance between us to remain.


In Christ, God has reached out to people and granted us the way of return to intimate relationship with Him. So, in Christ we are brought into direct contact with the one true expression of God in our world so that we can also understand Him in order to live out God’s calling for our lives. As we engage with our world in the name of Christ, our faith is tested and strengthened by that testing; also, God’s purpose for us is revealed to us and developed. The truth that Christ reveals to us is grown into understanding of God as we dwell in His Word, listen to God’s voice, and lay down our lives in order to follow Christ into this world of need.