Revelations from the Word

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I never knew you

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice [ergazomai] lawlessness [anomia]!" (Matthew 7:21-23).

Jesus is speaking here of people who prophesy, cast out demons and do miracles in His name, but who will not enter the Kingdom of God. The Greek word anomia means 'illegality', 'violation of the law', 'absence of law'; it comes from the negative prefix a and nomos meaning 'law'. Two centuries before Jesus Christ, in Alexandria, the translators of the Septuagint, that is to say the Old Testament in Greek, transcribed the Hebrew word Torah by the Greek word Nomos (Law), at the time when the Torah was first and foremost teaching. The Greek word anomia means therefore the 'absence of Torah'. That is why it defines who does not observe the Torah of God and who acts [ergazomai] without it.

God made a promise to the House of Israel, "Behold, the days are coming when I will make a new (renewed) covenant… I will put My law [Torah] within them, I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they will be My people… For I will pardon their iniquity, and I will remember no more their sin" (Jeremiah 31:31-34). At the appointed time, God renewed His covenant through His Son Jesus Christ who was established High Priest in the House of God after His death and resurrection (Hebrews 10:16-21). In this renewed Covenant, the Torah is written in the hearts by the Holy Spirit and the sins are pardoned because Jesus is this offering accepted by God. That is why God says, "And I will remember neither their sins nor their iniquities [anomia] any more" (Hebrews 10:17).

When we accept the work of Jesus on the cross, He pardons all our sins and all our iniquities [anomia], He is then our Saviour, and he sends us the Holy Spirit who engraves the Torah in our heart, Jesus Christ then becomes our Lord. But in this passage Jesus is talking about people whose iniquities are not pardoned by virtue of the fact that the Torah is not kept in their heart. Even if these people are found among the disciples and are members of the Church, conscious practice of sin reveals that they have not been born of God (1 John 5:18). One can be in the Church and not be in the Kingdom of God, it is a question of being born of the Spirit (John 3:3,5) and obedience to the Torah, "With the Holy Spirit that God has given to those who obey Him" (Acts 5:32). You can pronounce the Word of God without being saved; the latter even so will act to bring about His plans, like the rain which falls from the skies to make the earth fertile (Isaiah 55:10-11). God does not look on appearances, but considers the heart of the man to allow him entrance into His Kingdom or not.