(Friends: during this series, the messages may frequently be longer than usual due to the subject matter. Thanks for your patience, and I think you will find the considerations interesting, and hopefully, helpful in our walk with the Lord. Glen)
Part 5 – “Who Is God?”
While we suggest that the question, “What is God?” cannot be answered, the question, “Who is God?” comprises an entirely different matter.
“This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent” (John 17:3).
God created human beings in His image for the purpose of loving relationship. That is, He loves us in order to elicit the reciprocal response of devotion, affection and commitment in us. “We love Him because He first loved us” (I John 4:19). This requires knowledge in both parties, personal knowledge of both the heart and mind. God must know us, we must know Him, and there must be mutual application to the communication whereby true relationship grows and prospers.
This presents an interesting bond unlike any other relationship in our lives. First, God already knows us perfectly.
“O LORD, Thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, Thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.” (Psalm 139:1-4).
Our Heavenly Father’s perfect knowledge of us blesses us with the assurance and expectation that He will always perfectly relate to us. Conversely, even the most devoted believer would confess his imperfection in the knowledge of God (in fact, the more devoted he is, the more he acknowledges his need for continued growth in knowing the Lord). Thus, God and the Christian exist in a relationship of perfection and imperfection. One party knows all about the other, while the other party requires continual illumination and growth in the knowledge of the One to whom he is spiritually united.
That Perfection and imperfection can relate to one another speaks of the miraculous. That Perfection would desire to relate to imperfection speaks of the merciful. The God who knows us completely desires that we will know Him increasingly. “Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” (II Peter 3:18). In the new birth, our Heavenly Father constitutes in us a “new creature” capable of genuine relationship whereby the awareness of His constant gaze upon us motivates us to more consistently look unto Him. God desires to be known by human hearts. We may never define the “What?” of God. We can – and must – devote ourselves to growing knowledge of the “Who?” of God.
True life begins, continues and will perpetually endure as we seek to know, in personal terms, our Lord better and better. His heart, character, nature and way are on open display in the pages of the Bible. We see Him also in His personal involvement in our lives and the lives of others. Again, “this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” Such knowledge constitutes life in its most elemental, vital, and fulfilling experience. There is no other…
“To live is Christ.”
Tomorrow: the dual nature of knowing God.