Posted in A PERSON OVER A PRINCIPLE, Knowing Jesus, THE JESUS YOU NEED TO KNOW, The Meaning of Life, The Priority of Christian Knowledge, THE TRUTH IS A PERSON

THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD

A fact can be held in a mind, unattached, unacknowledged, and not applied, for a lifetime, and thereby not do the person any good. Truth is living, it too can be rejected, but ultimately only by the dead. Those whom God has “…appointed to eternal life believe” (Acts 13:48), and thereby will be transformed into the the image of God’sSon.

THE HEARTS OF MEN ARE REVEALED BY KNOWING OR NOT KNOWING GOD

Paul, when writing to Titus, declared the state of men who profess to be Christian but in reality are not, and prove themselves to be counterfeit because they deny Christ. “They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient, and worthless for any good deed.” (Titus 1:16)

The optimal word in verse sixteen with regards to man’s spiritual condition is the word know.  Authentic Christians, or people who possess spiritual life, know God. The idea of knowing God, as it is used in the scriptures, translates into the possession of eternal life. To know God is to partake of God, and thereby partake of eternal life, because God is eternal life. The Apostle John said as much when he wrote concerning Jesus Christ, “and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us—” (1 John 1:2).

Eternal life is defined by John in His Gospel as a knowledge of Jesus Christ. “And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3).

The knowledge of which the Bible speaks is not chiefly intellectual, even though that is of knowledge of Godcourse necessary; biblical knowledge is intimate in nature. “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain…” (Genesis 4:1). The highest form of human knowledge according to the Bible is considered to be that of a man and a woman in marriage, as it is restricted to only one relationship. Only two people, within the bonds of holy matrimony for a lifetime, are to have such an intimate relationship.

Hence the word (ginóskó), in the Greek, means “to know, especially through personal experience (first-hand knowledge)”. Such knowledge of a person by another could not be obtained by reading a book or told any other way but by spending time together, and thereby, becoming intimately acquainted. “And Mary [a virgin] said to the angel, ‘How will this be since I do not know (ginṓskō = sexual intimacy) a man?’ (Luke 1:34)

The knowledge of God of which the scripture speaks regarding eternal life is of a spiritual nature. Of course, it is not physical as in the case of marriage, which is only meant to point to the intimacy that God desires with His people. Intimacy with God is a first hand knowledge of God, which can only be found in the person who trusts in Him.

evans-our-god-is-awesome-god-response-5-728Christianity is not a matter of perfection but direction. Nevertheless, the distinction between true and false Christians by whether or not  we obey. Found in the heart of every believing Christian  is the desire to keep God’s commandments. “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3, 4).

A person can desire to be good by adhering to cultural norms. However, a desire to be good apart from a personal knowledge of God is not what John is referring to as keeping His Commandments. The practice of which John speaks in 2:29 is the intimacy of filial love.  “If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.”

Christianity is about identification with Christ by faith; identification through faith makes Jesus near and dear, thus creating intimacy. The Christian understands that when Jesus died, he died. When Jesus rose from the dead, he rose from the dead. These things took place in the heart of God, as God sees the believer in Christ. The believer knows this and lives accordingly.

A day is coming when the kingdom of God will be made complete, and of that day the scripture says, “And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, and everyone his brother, saying, ‘know the LORD,’ for all will know me, from the least to the greatest of them” (Hebrews 8:11). The kingdom of God consists of only people who have come to a saving knowledge of God in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. To know Jesus is to partake of Him.

However, be careful to understand the Jesus who offers Himself as the eternal life, of which men must partake to be saved. For Jesus said, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38). Jesus further said, “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me” (John 6:56 & 57). To abide in Christ is to desire what He desires and obey whom He obeys.

Do you know God in this way? Do you possess a knowledge of God like a fact that does no good, or do you have an intimate relationship with God, that is transforming  your heart? Do you ask him questions and find the answers in his word? Do you live your life for His pleasure or is it all about your own? Can you answer these questions honestly and truthfully without self-deception? I hope and pray you can?

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“The greatest motivation to receive the message of Jesus is Jesus Himself. His moral integrity and trustworthiness draw men to Him …Jesus perfectly introduced a form of life that makes love the most desirable thing on earth. The life that Jesus lived flowered from a heart filled with an uncompromising love for God and His fellow man. It is Jesus’s heart – His motives, attitudes, desire, and will – that make Him the most desirable person in the universe. It is the desirable person of Jesus whom the author has attempted to describe publicly and accurately.” (Quoted from the introduction)

 

Posted in Knowing Jesus, MY JOURNEY WITH CHRIST, Personal Relationships, THE JESUS YOU NEED TO KNOW, The Meaning of Life, The Priority of Christian Knowledge

THE JOURNEY BACK

From the time that I repented of my sin and placed my faith in Jesus Christ for my salvation, until I began to understand the Bible was about six years.

There can be no substantial spiritual growth in the grace of God apart from faith in God’s word. It is impossible to have faith in God when we do not understand His will and what He expects of us. At the sixth year mark with no learning for support, I chose to go the way of sinful behavior.

My soul was torn within me, so that I could say with king David, “For my life is spent with sorrow and my years with sighing; My strength has failed because of my iniquity, and my body has wasted away” (Psalm 31: 10). As wonderful as it is to experience the joy of forgiveness, mercy, and grace, it is equally awful to grow distant from God, and turn back to a sinful way of life.

trust in GodSo desperate were my feelings of guilt that on the way home from work, seeing a phone booth (long before cell phones), I hopped out of the car, and called the Billy Graham organization for the phone number of a church, to seek counsel. Then a man stepped into my life, who held the truth in his heart, and who returned me toward an accountable relationship with Christ and the Church.

The only thing comparable to the experience of enjoying the grace of God for the first time is experiencing it for the second time. Every subsequent return to God for the saint is not for salvation but to restore fellowship with God. Returning to God has no meaning if a person is not united with God for the first time.

I am so thankful to God for having called me to Himself because apart from His calling and enabling me to exercise faith, I never would have come to 36724-cross-sunset-humility-pexels.1200w.tnHim for the first time.

Praise God for the cross, apart from it there is no turning or returning to God.

Some believe that turning to God is a one time act. You come to Christ and for the rest of your life you are right with God. However, while that is true by God’s accounting, that is not true in experience. The Christian is called to a life of obedience, which is possible by faith in God’s promises and the fellowship of the saints. Nonetheless, there is no sinless perfection this side of heaven.

In conclusionJonah and Great Fish for now, there are sins that we commit in ignorance or passively, in such a case there should be short accounts kept the Christian. Confession of sin (1 John 1) should be daily. There is a life style of willful disobedience, which is not acceptable for the Christian. Such willful disobedience brings chastisement by God, and should bring discipline by the local church (in love). Till next time!

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