The Glory of God 3

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.

It is with the greatest of solemnity and awareness that we should be aware and become more aware of our great need of the knowledge of God. If eternal life is to know God, then without question we must seek to know God. If there is no Christianity apart from knowing God and knowledge of God, then there is no option but to seek the knowledge of God. If all false religion, regardless of whether it says it is orthodox or not, consists in some way of a false knowledge of God, then it is absolutely and utterly necessary that we know God in truth. The glory of God consists in some ways in His people knowing Him and His glory and that glory shining through them. Not only must the people of God strive to know Him, but they must know Him and how knowing Him and His glory are related. It is a privilege to know God and knowing Him is the life of the believer and the joy of the believer.

I John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

One important aspect of knowing God and not just knowing about God is that true and Divine love is from God and from Him alone. This is one clear teaching that knowing God is more than just knowing facts about Him because knowing Him includes being a child of God and receiving love that is then shown or expressed. Believers are to love each other because love is from God. This is a powerful and glorious verse because it tells us the source and origin of love. When we are commanded to love one another, it is not a kind of love that we work up within ourselves and it is not a kind of love that can come from our own strength. It is the kind of love that we must receive from Him first and that only comes by grace alone. Knowing God and His glory, then, is connected with loving God and His people. We know that without love all we do is worthless.

Since human beings are made in the image of God, and in fact the essence of a human being is the image of God, we do not know ourselves and our hearts as we should apart from a true knowledge of God. As we grow in knowledge of God, we will grow in knowledge of ourselves and our own hearts. The picture is something like looking at ourselves in a mirror. The more we know of God, the clearer the mirror will become and the clearer we will see ourselves. The more we know of God, the more we will see of how far we have fallen from what we were created as and something of the depths of our sin. The more we know of God, the more we will behold how much we need a sovereign and sufficient Savior and then of the glory of the Gospel in Christ who is a sovereign and sufficient Savior.

I would think that the point is so very, very clear. We must know God or we will perish. Apart from our knowing God we will perish and apart from knowing God any person and all persons will perish. This knowing God does teach us that we must pursue knowledge of God, but it also teaches us that we must know God by living in fellowship with Him. Apart from knowledge of God, all those who attend church or preach or teach at a seminary worship in ignorance and most likely are blinded in pride to their ignorance. Apart from fellowship with God all of our love and works come from our own sinful flesh and apart from that fellowship with God we are not born of God and we don’t know Him in any saving way. There is no option; we must know God and we must be in fellowship with God.

A professing church can be one that teaches great error about the character of God without realizing it. A professing church can also be an orthodox church but all of the doctrine, when boiled down, is really knowing about God. A professing church can thrive in terms of numbers and money and buildings, but the pastor and the leaders and the people still all worship in utter ignorance. Yet there can be a small group of people who are born of God and know God and as such they love the true God and they love His true people. These people feast on the preaching of the Word of God because they fellowship with God and don’t just hear words. Oh what a privilege it is for this small group (perhaps despised for their smallness) to know God and glorify Him

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