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Knowing God

Many say, “I know God,” but do they? What does it mean to know God (1 John 2:1-11)? This is important because to know God is eternal life (John 17:3) and those who do not know God are punished (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9).

To know God means having a relationship with Him which is based on an understanding of God. One can have knowledge about God, yet not know God. “Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father?Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also” (John 8:19). The purpose of Jesus coming to earth was to reveal God to man. John 1:18 says, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” This is essential, for until one has a knowledge of God, he cannot “know” Him or relate properly with Him. When we know Christ, we know the Father (John 14:6-9). But, learning of God is not all there is to knowing Him. Paul taught this by writing, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:21-22).

To know God means to have an understanding of God and to be obedient to God. When we obey God we know God (1 John 2:3-6). This means that we keep His commandments, we keep His word, and we are in fellowship with God when we walk as Christ did. When one knows God He accepts the apostles’ teachings (1 John 4:6). It is a contradiction to say we are pleasing God if we are rejecting the inspired message. John said, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (2 John 9). None of us have to guess how to be obedient to the Lord. The New Testament instructs us how to walk or live as Christ walked or lived (1 John 1:3-4; 2:5-6). To know God means to be in Christ (1 John 5:20). We cannot know God and reject Jesus Christ.

In this understanding, obedient relationship with God, we should know and be wonder- fully assured of three facts. First, God knows us (Psalm 139:1-4; Galatians 4:8-9). Christ said, “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine” (John 10:14). Second, God loves us. John said, “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10). Third, God sees our every need and will gladly supply the want (Hebrews 13:5). “Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him … (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things” (Matthew 6:8, 32).

Do you know God? Perhaps you know about God, but do not really know Him. Change that now by obeying the gospel of Christ in faith and submitting God so that He may rule over your life (Galatians 3:26-27; 5:16-18). Will you change this in your life?

Kyle Campbell