Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Gleanings from the Pastor's Perspective: To Know Him

The Pastor’s Perspective
Vol. 29 Num. 2

If it is true that “God has made us to know him” (an astounding thought, but true! -- see John 17:3 and Jeremiah 9:23f), and that consequently our prime aim in life is to know and glorify the triune God through Jesus Christ, then perhaps we would do well to reflect on just what it means to “know God” or “glorify God.” We are not so concerned to race ahead to the good question of “how” we know God (though the answer lies in the phrase “through Jesus Christ), but rather want to reflect on the nature of saving knowledge of God: what is it to know Him?

First, we can say that saving knowledge of God is more than merely being aware of God or believing in his existence. Paul tells us that all men have this kind of knowledge of God whether they admit it or not (Romans 1:19-21). All men know that God exists. All men are aware of him. Even unbelievers! So, there is a sense in which there is really no such thing as an atheist. Those who claim to be agnostic are engaging in psychological suppression.
Second, the saving knowledge of God is more than any real or imagined experience of God. Real knowledge of God comes by faith, and experience is the by-product not the basis of that faith. This is an important lesson for us to learn in our experience-oriented age. We tend to believe that the more extraordinary our experience, the more spiritual it is. But experience cannot bear the weight of religion. We must look outside of ourselves to a greater Reality to find the foundation of faith. Indeed, the ground of faith in God, of knowledge of God, is God himself.
We’ll continue with our reflection on this important matter next week. Until then, may the Lord give you a sure and saving knowledge of himself.

Your friend,

Ligon Duncan

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