We live in a time where we have an unprecedented amount of knowledge available at our fingertips. Never before in the history of man have we had so many resources on hand from which to learn and study. The internet has leveled the playing field in many ways, providing rich content to people and countries that have been locked out of information sharing in the past. We can stream video of church services from around the globe anytime day or night. Podcasts make listening to sermons possible while we jog or drive. Hundreds of books are released each year containing fresh perspectives and spiritual insights. If you ever wanted to learn about Jesus, you certainly are now without excuse.
There is, however, a vast difference between learning about Jesus and living for Him. James warns us about having knowledge without taking action (James 1:22-25). He compares it to looking in the mirror and then immediately forgetting what we look like. Learning about Jesus and then living the same way we always have doesn’t make any sense. When we discover what Jesus did for us, it demands a decision. When we examine the way He lived, we must choose whether or not to follow Him. Knowing about Jesus is not transformational, it is only informational.
To live a fulfilling life, we must not only learn about Jesus, we must be consumed by Him. Again, James tells us that if we discover God’s ways and actually walk in them, we will be blessed (James 1:22-25). That means we must take action. We must do the things Christ instructed us to do, and live in the same manner He did. We are saved by grace but that grace is worked out as we do the things He created us to do (Ephesians 2:8-10). It’s not enough to know Christ, we must live for Him. Jesus said that many will call Him Lord, but He will turn them away because He never knew them (Matthew 7:21-23). I believe these are those who have great intellectual knowledge about Jesus, but have never taken the step of commitment that is demonstrated by obeying Him and doing the things He commanded us to do.
In my mind, there is no greater tragedy than to live your life giving lip service to Jesus, only to lose your soul in the end (Mark 8:36). We can’t claim to love Jesus and spend our days serving ourselves and the gods of our culture. Knowledge of Jesus won’t save you. Praying a prayer won’t save you. Only a heart committed to Jesus will lead to eternal life. There is simply no other way (John 14:6). Jesus died on the cross so that you and I might live. He suffered on our behalf. He loved beyond reason and compare. Now He calls us to do the same. Are we willing to go beyond knowledge and live a life of commitment? We must never be only hearers of the Word. We must do what He said, and walk in the laws of His freedom. It is to this we are called, and for this we must live.