- A Wonderful Purpose -
To realize that knowing God is more than just knowing about Him but is also a matter of personally dealing with Him at some point. The concept that God knew each of us individually before we knew Him is also introduced.
Rom 10:14, 1 John 2:4 & Jer 1:5
References: Packers "Knowing God" chapter 3 / McDowell's "Evidence That Demands a Verdict", Vol 1
Some people today believe in a Creator and some do not. Do you?
This study makes some basic assumptions. There are as follows;
1. There was a Creator, the Creator still exists and is interested in the created beings.
2. The Creator wants His created beings to know about Him and has sent the created beings a message describing who He is, why He created them and what He wants from them.
3. This message is wholly contained in the Bible.
Given you believe in a Creator consider these questions.
Q1. Why was man made?
Q2. Why are we here on earth with all its problems?
Q3. What is the purpose of our life?
-> What do you think. Open discussion ...
The Bible, is a book that not only teaches us that man was created by God, but also teaches us man was created for God. In the Old Testament, Jeremiah believed that coming to personally know God was the single thing a man should boast about (Jer 9:24) and Jesus prayed that it would happen to as many as possible. (John 17:3).
I have found that once a person becomes aware that the main purpose for his life is to see if he will come to know God, most of life's difficulties tend to fall into perspective, although they do not go away. The Bible teaches that what makes our lives worth living is having a goal so significant, so noble, and so permanent, that it dwarfs everything else. It is the premise, that we have been created to see if we will come to know the Creator, that we will be investigating in this book.
Well, if we were created to know God, how does one go about it? Perhaps we can gain some insight by looking at how we "get to know" other people.
-> Consider how you have got to know your best friend or if you are married your spouse.
Most people get to know someone by spending time with them, communicating with them and experiencing them. However we also know that some people are difficult to get to know despite spending time with them. They may hide their true nature from us. We might find ourselves saying " I never really knew him" even after experiencing someone for years. Indeed to really know someone we are somewhat dependent on that person to allow himself to be known.
Key Message : The same is even more true with God. Were it not for His desire for us to know Him, we could not know Him.
The Back Door:
Let us imagine for a moment what getting to know a really important person might be like.
-> Consider the following story.
You have been given the opportunity to be introduced to the President of the United States. Being conscious of his superior position, you might decide to allow him to take the initiative in any conversation. You might like to ask all sorts of questions or debate issues with him, but you realize that doing this is matter for him to decide. You might therefore resolve yourself to be content with a simple handshake and formal greeting.
Well the day is here, the introduction occurs but to your surprise, the President gives you a hug rather than a handshake and begins at once to discuss things of importance with you. He tells you he has studied you, values you and cares about you. And if that is not enough he tells you he is coming home with you to spend the week. During the week he experiences how you live. When you go to work, he goes with you. He stands behind you and supports you when you talk to your boss, he shops with you and helps you with your kids. When each day is over he sits down with you and discusses the problems that face the nation. Finally when the week ends you privately see him off at the airport. And to your surprise He invites you to participate in various undertakings he is in control of and asks you to be available for future consultations.
So, How would you feel now? Privileged, Amazed, Important? Indeed here is something to remember, something that might change your life and would surely change your self image. You have a relationship with the President.
What would it be like to be introduced to God in this way? Imagine for a minute a person who is aquatinted the church , the Bible and the basic truths of Christianity for years. A person who has the knowledge of God but as yet feels as if the purpose of it all is unclear. Do you know anyone like this? Imagine that one day this person comes to the realization that God is actually speaking to him not just to mankind in general. Some set of events or biblical message is suddenly being applied to his life in such as way as to make it clear that God is actually taking a personal interest in him. Now what happens?
When people come to the realization that the Creator is actually interested in them, their life is often transformed, their feelings about God are changed. their perspective on their own life become different. After all, God has met with them.
Key Message: This is why we are here. Not to simply to study God, but to get to know Him. To develop a personal relationship with Him and learn how to love Him.
Can we really do this with God? Some say apparently not, as God seems to have hidden Himself from us. He is not readily apparent in a form we can directly relate to. He may have walked and talked with Adam, He may have personally taught the Apostles, but what about us? How can we meet with God?
Students Teach Students:
Today and for many years now, God has provided a different way for us to learn about Him enough to reach that point where He decides to personally communicate us.
-> What is it?
Instead of living physically among us He has sent us a message. A message that has varied over time in its method of presentation but has always stayed consistent in its content.
Key Message: This timeless message is wholly contained in the Bible today. It is the most unique document in all the world. It contains a message consistent throughout its 66 books written over 1500 years in 3 different languages by 40 different authors from every walk of life living on 3 different continents. (see Josh McDowell's "Evidence That Demands a Verdict Vol 1" for more on the uniqueness of the Bible).
Today God's way of letting us know about Him is by applying our rational minds to the message recorded in words in the Bible. The Bible warns us many times to accept the simply written truth rather than rely on our imagination or inner feelings to define who God is. The truth is recorded here not once but many times so the message would be clear despite translations. No important point is presented once lest it be lost over time. Simply put, to begin to get to know God one must read this message.
-> Lookup and read verses below then consider the associated points.
From the Bible we see that Knowing God is a -
Matter of Personal Dealing .. Dealing with God, not just learning about him. (Rom 10:14)
Matter of Personal involvement ... Emotional , Intellectual & Volitional. (of choice). (I John 2:4)
Matter of Grace ... Were it not for God deciding to let us know him, we could not. (Jer 1:5)
Knowing God is more than just knowing about him. Its is also a matter of personally dealing with Him at some point. There are many learned scholars of the Bible who despite their pursuit of theology have never sought a personal relationship with God. To them God is a subject to study not a being to get to know. They have missed the purpose of the message. Knowing God is more than being able to say I know about Him. John tells us,
"The man who says, "I know Him," but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him". I John 2:4 (NIV)
Surely Satan has met God.
And finally, our ability to know God is the result of God's grace. Were it not for his decision to give us his Word and to initiate personal contact with us, we would not know anything of Him. We would be left to imagine for ourselves who or what God might be or to follow someone elses ideas. To paraphrase Packer, "What matters most is not the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it, the fact that He knows me".
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Rom 5:8 (NIV)