Dedicated to the Passionate Pursuit of the Glory of God.

Puritan Catechism Question of the Week
Q 16. Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
A. The fall brought mankind into a state of sin and misery.

Name: Mike
Location: California, United States
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Friday, March 03, 2006

Who is Knowing Whom?

You may have noticed that I have recently posted quite a bit on studying, reading, and ultimately Knowing God. Most of this is for my own benefit to be encouraged by other saints (past and present). However, I do think that the concept of Knowing God is incredibly important and is possibly a little lost in a society that hates the concept of Theology and is considerably post-modern when dealing with Truth claims about God.

Some recent posts have been these:
Duncan quotes Spurgeon’s Give Thyself unto Reading
J.I. Packer’s Mediating on God
and also Packer’s Knowing God.

However, in the midst of all of this I want to take a step back and make one thing exceedingly clear. The text comes from the fourth chapter of the Epistle to the Galatians.

v.6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
v.7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.

This is mostly background information for the point that I’d like to draw. Nevertheless, a lot of good theology can be drawn from these two verses. However, the main point is that we are dealing with believers here.

v.8 However, at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods.

The purpose of this is also largely contextual but since it uses our phrase, “know God”, I thought I’d comment. Note that not knowing God is the equivalent of not being a Son of God and in turn not loving God. It is foolhardy to say that we want to “have a relationship with Jesus” without actually getting to Know this Jesus we are speaking of. However, that is a mere tangent and is simply a stepping stone to the main verse.

v. 9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God

In the midst of our desire to Know God we must never become prideful at all. First and foremost this is not about us getting to Know God. It is not about attending seminary; it is not about bible study, and it is not about hearing sermons (all of which can be very beneficial). First and foremost it is not anything of our doing. Paul purposefully corrects himself and states “or rather to be Known by God” and that is really at the heart of the entire discussion. If we ever begin to think that this is something that is primarily of our own doing then we have been consumed by Spiritual Pride and are worse off than when we started. Everything, our knowledge of God and our Conversion, hinges on God having made Himself known to us.

This passage deals primarily with the Knowing aspect of things. John states the same concept in different words, In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us … (1John 4:10)

I do hope and pray that we all become more diligent followers of God, studying to show ourselves approved workmen of God, rightly dividing the word of truth, but I also pray that as we do this we avoid the tragic mistake of thinking that it is Our doing. We must confess, with Paul, that yes “we have come to know God” but that this is best said “to be Known by God”. Anything and everything that we come to Know about God (and our intimate Knowledge of God himself) is made possible through Jesus who has made God manifest to us. In this, we can confess that Jesus has become the wisdom of God for us (1Cor 1:30) in order that whoever boasts will boast in the Lord (1Cor 1:31).

In Christ alone,


Blogger TheDen said...

Hey Mike,

Nice Post.

Just want to add that the word to "know" God is quite literally in the "Biblical Sense."

Of course, not that God wants to have sex with us which is the bastardized term of in today's vernacular but rather that God knows us so intimately. The way that Adam knew Eve or the way a husband knows his wife. (and of course vice versa).

Accordingly, He wants us to know Him, "in the Biblical sense" which means that we need to know Him so intimately that we become one with Him the way a husband and wife are one and their love unites them. Our love unites us with God.

6:15 AM  

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