(54) Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: (55) Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.
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His obedience is what separated Jesus from the Jews. He truly showed the characteristics of God, and He did it by keeping God's sayings. He did not turn away from truth or hide Himself from it. He kept it without excuse for all to see. The Pharisees did everything that Adam and Eve did in the Garden, and all the while, they proclaimed to the world that they were sons of God. We can see clearly where Paul got his teaching in Titus 1:14-16: The Jews profess that they know Him, but in works they deny Him, doing abominable things.
The difference between the world and the church is becoming apparent. The body of Christ will do what Christ did. They will follow the sayings, the truth, revealed by the Father. So, people's conduct reveals whether they are really Christian, despite what they claim with their mouths. If one knows what to look for, then an individual can tell whether certain people or even whole churches are truly Christian.
There are two characteristics of this major principle. The major principle, a very broad one, is that they simply do not believe God. From this, we can branch off into two applications. The first, as we have seen, is that in works they will deny Him. Because they do not believe Him, they will be disobedient.
The second result is exemplified in Genesis 11:9:
Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there did the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.
As He lays foundations for our understanding in Genesis, God shows in microcosm how the world, established by men in opposition to Him, came to be the way it is. Genesis 11 helps us understand that the world is in confusion. Not only is it disobedient, but to add calamity to rebellion, it is also chaotic. When disbelief enters the scene, disobedience and confusion are the fruits.
The world lives in a state of disbelief of God, and therefore it is in confusion. If we apply these two principles to churches that claim to be Christian, we can determine if they are actually churches of this world by finding answers to these two questions: 1) Do they obey God? and 2) Are they in confusion?
— John W. Ritenbaugh