The Knowledge of God

R. A. Torrey :: The Knowledge of God
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Scripture also teaches us that the knowledge of God can keep us from sin Isa.

When people truly know God and are growing in a genuine relationship with Him, their lives are marked by integrity and a genuine desire to please or glorify God in all that we do. They do not treat dishonesty of the heart or lips indifferently. They are in a word, holy.

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But our age is ignorant of or frightened by holiness. It likes nothing less than to be different from the world. If we really knew Christ, it would show in the character and conduct of our lives. The knowledge of God is also essential to Christian growth. If we want to grow as a Christian, we must grow in the knowledge of God.

Further, the knowledge of God is not only our greatest need but it is also our greatest privilege. Who cares about worldly wisdom, or strength or riches or power or fame apart from the knowledge of God?

Anything and everything that man desires is secondary to the knowledge of God. The only thing really worth glorying in is that we know God!

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Its prime purpose is to advance the "knowledge of God," so that we may know our Creator as He really is, not as we may wish Him to be! A poet once said: "God. As you will see in the Scripture verses I will list in this article series, God the Father places an extremely high value on the pursuit of knowledge.

He must be in the center of our lives controlling all our aspirations. What do you and I boast about? What subject of conversation arouses us and fills our hearts? Do we consider knowing God to be the greatest treasure in the world?

General & Special Revelation: the Knowledge of God

Do we consider knowing God to be our greatest privilege? Are we nothing more than spiritual pigmies? Have we sold our spiritual birthright for a mess of pottage? If knowing God is not our primary focus, our Christian experience will be superficial, inadequate and out of focus. Many of our lives are suffering from spiritual astigmatism, which shows in our personal lives, our relationships, in our lack of impact of our world and most obviously in the character of our worship.

How clear are you about the importance of this issue? Perhaps you have heard me say that the understanding of the nature of God is the single most important ingredient in your worldview and your worldview affects how you perceive and interpret reality. Knowing God is your single highest privilege as a Christian as well as the one that helps you to see clearly every other issue of importance.

But, is this the issue that lies at the center of your thinking? There are four principles governing the knowledge of God in a growing believer: 1. God alone is a fit witness to Himself. No one less than God can bring us true, reliable knowledge about God. That is why Paul prays that God will teach the Colossians about Himself.

This is a most humbling truth 1 Cor. True knowledge of God is not essentially learned from books although they may help us , or schools although they may stimulate our learning. The knowledge of God cannot be learned apart from a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. This knowledge is received by those who seek to know Him in a spirit of dependence upon the Holy Spirit who illuminates our minds to the truth.

What did our brother do?

In a calm, humble manner, he reasoned with the drunk man, eased the tension, and helped the staggering man to get home. What had happened? Our brother had changed his dominant mental attitude.

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We need to do our utmost to change our inner self. Let us examine some of these.

How does prayer help us to change our dominant mental attitude? How can we be sure that Jehovah will help us to make the change? Jehovah was willing to help those Israelites to change, and he is willing to help us too. Read Psalm ; Heb. We need to admit honestly what our weaknesses are and then work hard to get rid of those weaknesses. Why is choosing good association so vital?

Jehovah’s Witnesses

Whether we realize it or not, we are strongly influenced by those with whom we associate. However, we can find the best type of association at our Christian meetings. How does Satan try to change our thinking? Does God really not want you to celebrate Christmas and birthdays? Does your God really expect you to refuse a blood transfusion? Does a loving God really expect you to avoid association with disfellowshipped loved ones?

What should we do when we are faced with questions that challenge our beliefs, and what does Colossians , 7 show can be the result? If we leave challenging questions unanswered in our minds, they can become serious doubts. Clearly we cannot do theology without employing reason, any more then we can leave emotion and experience out of religion. But the suggestion goes further than this. It is that thinking and reasoning are the source of our knowledge of God and his ways.

Philosophers, for example, have produced arguments for the existence of God, based on the use of reason, and have tried to deduce what he is like and how he acts. Theology has been regarded as a system of ideas which can be discovered by reason. But once again we must be critical, and ask whether this approach really works. There are two main objections.

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Are our minds big enough to think properly about God? From our fairly simple knowledge of God as Christians, we have reason to believe that he is infinite. How, then, can our minds possibly measure up to the task of understanding him? The thing is impossible. Again, even if we do manage to form a mental understanding of God, how do we know that it corresponds to reality? How do we know that our ideas correspond to what is real? How do we know by the use of reason that God is there? The effect of arguments such as these is to suggest that reason should be conscious of its own limitations.

Plainly reason isn't the key to theology, although, like experience, it has its value and cannot be set aside. What has gone wrong is that in both cases we have started with humans, trying to discover by their own abilities what God is like and not getting on very well.

Knowledge of God

What we need is some evidence of the activity of God, something that God does to make himself known to us, in other word, revelation. So far we have been talking about discovery by humans; what we need is revelation by God. Of course the two go together; revelation must be discovered by us and received by the use of our faculties, but our difficulty has arisen because we began from the wrong end, and started with us instead of with God.

Experience and reason must both have something to work on, or else they will remain empty. And the conclusions of both experience and reason must be capable of being tested by some external, objective standard, or else their conclusions will remain uncertain and ill-founded. It is, therefore, fundamental to realize that, if there is a God, he can be known only through his own revelation of himself: "Through God alone can God be known.

Knowledge of God

In almost every age and culture people have been led to believe in some power or powers greater than themselves through considering the nature of the world around them cf. Psalm The very fact that there is a world at all has led people to ask whether it came into existence by itself or does not suggest the activity of a creator the so-called cosmological argument for the existence of God. Again, the universe is not a haphazard concourse of parts, but shows evidence of structure and even of beauty: one may well ask whether the evidence of "design" does not point to the existence of a designer the teleological argument.

Finally, there is the fact that although the universe is material in composition, there is nevertheless mental and spiritual activity in it, and there exist such ideas as goodness, justice and love, which hardly developed out of a purely material system; does this not point to the existence of a moral and spiritual being as the creator of the universe the moral argument? The nature of the universe thus raises questions about its origin and character. The answers to these questions have been formulated into arguments for the existence and nature of God, but there has been immense debate as to whether these arguments actually prove anything.