The Glory of God 2

Acts 17:22 So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. 23 “For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.

Unless people know God and are known by God (in the biblical sense and not just know about each other) then all people either worship (in a manner of speaking) or ignore an unknown God. It is utterly vital that people know God and even pursue God in order to know Him more. There is no greater damage to a people than that of an ignorance of God. There is no Christianity apart from knowing God, there is no growth in the people of God apart from a growing in the knowledge of God, and there is no salvation apart from coming to know God. Men and women cannot escape the basic truth that God has made Himself known to them, but in their enmity to Him they suppress that truth and turn to other things to worship. This coming to know God includes knowledge, yes, but it also includes an intimacy with God. Knowing God means that a person knows Him as revealed by Christ and in Christ. Knowing God means that a person is receiving spiritual blessings from God and the person then shares in His holiness and in His love for Himself as triune.

II Thess 1:6 For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, 8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed– for our testimony to you was believed.

The text just above shows us how utterly vital it is to know God. Those who do not know God and those who do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus are one and the same. These are twin things that they do rather than completely separate things. It is impossible to know God and not bow to Him in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is simply and absolutely no way to know God or please God apart from the Gospel and apart from Jesus Christ. The Gospel is not just some little message about how a person can be saved, but the Gospel is about how a person can come into living communion with God and can know God. The Gospel is about how a person may have fellowship with the living God both now and for eternity. The Gospel of grace alone is to be proclaimed so that God would be glorified and that men and women would come into fellowship with Him and be instruments of His glory to the world. Human beings were created for the glory of God and in the Gospel they now have a way that they may delight in being instruments of His glory in Christ Jesus.

Titus 1:16 They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.

The text just above shows us that words are not the only things that matter in terms of knowing God. A person can make a profession very loudly, but the life of the person and the deeds of the person make a profession as well. If a person knows God, then the life of the person will show a certain quality or certain things that show that Christ is in the person. If a person does not know God, then despite the person’s being very religious something is quite wrong. It is not religious actions in and of themselves that demonstrate that a person knows God or not, but the love of the person (God or self) and the intent of the person are very important. While Jesus said it is what flows out of the man that defiles the man, we must not that this included the motives of a person. The motives of good deeds can be despicable as was with the Pharisees. The continued sinful deeds of a person shout far louder than a mere profession of words, which should show us that a true profession of Christ is by word and by life. Knowing God means that we have the life of Christ in us and that our lives and our words make a true profession of Him. Not knowing God makes a person detestable and worthless for any good deed. This should teach us that we must know God in order to be able to do one good deed. Oh how we must know God to glorify Him!

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