Evidences of Knowing God (Part 1)
In a day of generation gaps and disconnection between the more and less experienced, it is refreshing to read God’s words that join all stage of life: “I have written unto you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, children, because you know the Father” (1 John 2:13). Both old and new believers had this in common: they rejoiced in the knowledge of God. It seems the older ones knew God more objectively; they knew the eternal One, Who God is in Himself. The young in faith appreciated God as Father, perhaps emphasizing God in relation to themselves. The lesson for us is clear. The Christian life begins, ends, and progresses in the knowledge of God. Everything we are and do flows from and evidences our knowledge of God. We would do well to examine what it demands in our Christian experience.
This is not only true of the Father but also of the Son. Two questions asked to Peter are prominent in his life. The first is, “Who do you say that I am?” The second is, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He begins his first epistle with this idea of love to Christ when he says, “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him” (1:8). But he ends his second epistle with a different emphasis. Perhaps before he put down his pen for the last time, he looked back to that day when he knew very little of Christ and was posed the solemn question, “Who do you say that I am?” Perhaps he remembered how the cross taught him the love of Christ. Perhaps he remembered how the resurrection opened his eyes. Perhaps he remembered how the ascension motivated him for service. Now as the aged apostle, having learned the value of the Lord Jesus Christ, he sends his Christian readers into two millennia of history with this simple plea: “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” What an epitaph! What a challenge.
This is really the essence of true conversion, for Paul says to Titus, “They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed” (Titus 1:16). Knowledge of God cannot be separated from growth and progress in godliness. Of all claims, the claim to know God is a most solemn one, for it must be supported by one’s life. It follows, then, that knowing God should have evident results. What are some that we should expect and strive for?
We Should Be Filled With the Knowledge and Joy of the Mystery of Christ (Col. 1:9-12; 2:1-3).
Colossians is a book about the supremacy of Christ. He is all-sufficient. He is incomparable. In the first chapter, Paul exposes his desire and prayer for the believers:
For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
This serves as a launch pad for his section on Christ as both the fullness of God and the Head of His Body. The Father is not concerned with giving a vague knowledge of God, but He desires that men know God in Christ. Thus, we read further,
that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
We conclude, then, that knowing God is evidenced by a heart overwhelmed at the thought of a glorious salvation embodied in the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ. People who know God are Christ-centered people.
We should Grow in Godliness (2 Peter 1:2-8)
Peter begins his first chapter by a benediction: “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” He continues to tell us that “through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence” we have been equipped by God with “everything pertaining to life and godliness.” It seems that he describes this godliness further in verse 4, speaking of being “partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.” Then, in verses 5-7, he gives us a list of qualities which are to build on one another when we are diligent to progress in the character of God. This culminates in verse 8 where he says, “For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
It is no mistake that Peter bathes his challenge to godliness in the theme of knowing God and Christ, for how will we replicate the character of God without knowing Him? But this is not Peter’s point, for he reasons from the knowledge of Christ and not to it. Thus, he speaks of usefulness and fruitfulness in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The call is clear. Because the knowledge of God gives us every resource for godly living, it is our solemn duty to advance in godliness. Make no mistake: it is not prayer and praise alone that express a grasp of the Almighty, but the life will be the ultimate test. A worshiper knows God, not only in the closet, but in society, in learning, in ambitions, in trials, in morality, in the assembly, and every other sphere where his character is tested. The person who knows God will be like Him. The test of what goes into us from God is what comes out of us from God.
To Be Continued…
 Matthew 16:15
 John 21:15