HOW DO WE COME TO KNOW GOD, AS HE REALLY IS?
We who express being called by the Lord Jesus Christ into a life of fellowship, say we know God, but do we really know Him? And if we know Him, how does that effect our lives:
In Ezekial 33:10-11, Ezekial makes this statement by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:
(10) "Therefore you, O son of man, say to the house of Israel: 'Thus you say, "If our transgressions and our sins lie upon us, and we pine away in them, how can we then live?"' (11) Say to them: 'As I live,' says the Lord GOD, 'I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?'
We must understand that the Old Testament was written with punctuation to be published. It was not written with periods, commas or other English derived punctuation, but from thought to thought. In this verse, it is asked “how do we live? To better understand what God replies to them, it would be a better understanding if a period was inserted after “Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God. (period) “emphasize mine’ The entering of punctuation was not conceived or used in any way, until about 1200 years after Ezekial penned this verse. What the Lord God is saying is that we should live “as He lives”-sinlessly. When Jesus came to this earth, He did just that. Jesus lived a sinless life as God in the flesh.
Jesus spoke in John 17:3:
"And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."
To understand what Jesus is saying is to focus in on the word “eternal”. Jesus is saying that to live forever is not necessarily good, if there is no quality of life.
For clarification, I turn to a commentary by William Barclay:
William Barclay's commentary on this verse contains a simple and meaningful difference of opinion with that concept. Barclay contends that Jesus is speaking of something very good, one to be much desired. Living forever is not necessarily good unless the quality of life is also good. Therefore, "eternal" describes the quality of life God lives endlessly. Knowing God and being able to follow His example are vital to our living as He does. Jesus implies that, if one truly knows God, he will also live that way as an effect of his intimate relationship with God.
But do church going members truly understand this concept. Do they really know how to live, as God lives? It is said that this concept is one of the biggest problems that the church faces today. Looking at Romans 11:33, it seems to confirm this:
. "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!"
Paul states plainly that knowing the full depth of God’s wisdom and knowledge are unsearchable and past finding out. That’s not to say that we can’t know God and can find out many things by search, evaluating and adjusting any preconceived ideas that we may have about who God really is. It is certainly difficult, but not impossible.
We, who desire to become the image of God, look to our savior, the Lord Jesus Christ as our example. If we diligently seek Him and desire to know more about the attributes of God, He will open up more and more of Himself to understand more and more about Him.
If we come to know God, what can we expect God, our Father? Some like to take the aforementioned verse and try and use them to push their concept of this verse by taking biblical principles and morphing them into what is called the “Prosperity Gospel”. Most successful televangelist take these scriptures and say if you are following “certain” bible principles, that God will shower you with riches beyond your wildest dreams. They say that God is obligated to fulfill our wishes of health, wealth, and well-being, because we ask Him to. Like a genie in a bottle, or a kindly grandfatherly type God, He grants our wishes out of pure compulsion. To these ministers, this is the abundant life that God promised, and unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of people agree with them. But are they right? Let’s see.
Granted God does make some wonderful promises for every child of God, as found in John 14:14:
“If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”
Again in ). Psalm 37:4 pledges, "Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart." So if we ask for anything, believing, God is obligated to give us anything we want, right?
This is what these televangelist have concluded, but in the end, it’s a false assumption. Very few of God’s promises in the Bible are absolute. They are conditional. They are conditional on our responses to the leading of God in our lives and to the perfect will and judgment of our Lord God.
God is a perfect parent, as we are His children. He would never give His children something that is not good for them, or shower them with everything that they ask, which may not be good for them. Just as a human parent is careful to give what is in the best interest of their earthly child, so does God give to us what is His perfect will. He would not give us something that would risk His purpose for us, our walk with Him, or something that is too much for us to handle.
As mortals, we don’t send our kids to a vocational school to become a mechanic, when they really want to be a doctor at the local hospital after medical school. Or do we send our kids into their favorite toy store with an unlimited credit card balance, to buy whatever strikes their fancy. Both would be wonderful gifts, but would it be the best for the child? If human parents have enough wisdom to present gifts upon goals achieved and levels of maturity, how much more does our Heavenly Father do likewise, and more.
To know God, we must know Jesus. Jesus was the express image of God being in the flesh of mankind and taking on human form. Everyday of the life He lived, He expressed the perfect sinless life that each of us strive to become in this life, as humanly possible.
Some take it as a mystery, that God is way beyond our means to know. As Jehovah said in the Old Testament, of Isaiah 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord.
v9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.
If this is so, then how do we come to know God, as He is? you might be saying.
God the Father’s ways are beyond our comprehension and coming to understand, but God sent His Son, Jesus, so that we may understand Him, by looking upon His Son and taking upon His characteristics and believing in and embracing the sacrifice He paid upon a cruel, rugged symbol of Roman torture, the cross, we come to know God. Our Bible gives us enough information to make a rational expression of faith and belief that Jesus was God in the flesh.
The examples that Jesus gave and lived, show us the nature of God the Father, in His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. When Jesus was asked by Philip during the Lords Passover Supper, to “show us the Father” Jesus answered him in John 14:9-13
Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Yes, Jesus and God the Father are one and an expression of each other. To know Jesus is to know the King of the Universe, the creator, the eternal, the first and the last, the Alpha and the Omega.
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, the whosover believeth in Him, should not perish, but have eternal life”.
God loved us, and sent Himself, in the form of Jesus Christ, as they are One and an expression of each other, in the Spirit and in the flesh. A mirror image of one another.
Jesus proclaimed in John6:39-40:
And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
v40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Again, in the following scripture verse of the same chapter of John, verse 27:
“Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”
Have you come to know God? Are you playing church just going throught the motions? Or have you searched every religion wanting to know a higher power, a meaning to your life? Have you searched and come up empty handed or the “god” you follow does not satisfy or fulfill your desire to know the true God? It’s not about anything material in this world, but the next. It’s doesn’t matter what anyone says, whether is the prosperity gospel, health and wealth preaching, or any deviation from what Jesus taught.
Believe on Him, whom God has sent, Jesus the Christ. A simple act of faith and believing the account written down in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, show us the personality, the character and the power of Almighty God, expressed solely in His Son, Jesus Christ.
I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father, but through Me.” John 14:6.
You may try many ways to get to God. As Oprah Winfrey opined, that there are many ways to get to God, like a spoke on a wheel, all venues lead to the axle. Sorry Oprah, but there is only one way, one door, one salvation. Matthew 7:13-14.
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
What is that way, that straight and narrow way? Jesus the Christ, my friend. He is the only way. No other way leads to eternal life. He is the only way to truly know the true God and to live with Him for all eternity.
Accept Him today, right now, as you read this and believe in your mind and most importantly, in your heart, that God has raised Him from the dead and He sits at His right hand waiting to return for His chosen few. Will you be amongst them? You can by repeating and believing these simple words of prayer:
God my Father, I believe on your Son, Jesus Christ, who came in the flesh, and lived a sinless life. I believe that Jesus was slain on a cross for my sins, and I ask you to come into my heart and life. Change me into the image of your Son, by your Holy Spirit. I believe He arose on the third day after His crucifixion and now sits at your right hand. I want to be ready when He comes for His children, and I want to be counted forgiven of my sins and redeemed by your Son’s precious blood. In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen.
If you said those words with your mouth and believing in your heart those words, then you are now my brother and sister, in Jesus Christ. God bless you all.
If there is anything I can help you with, pray with you, or questions you may have, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, with questions, or comments.