Chapter Three

The Benefits of Knowing

There are numerous benefits that come from God's word. One of the benefits for us is the idea that we can know God. This statement "to know God" is very significant. One can know their neighbor, they can know the president, or they can know John Wayne (a movie star). To know who someone is does not necessarily mean that we really know him or her. To really know them we need to know their experiences. We need to know how they feel about things, and how they would react in certain situations. We know what they like and what they don’t like. We know what is important to them. This process is like the change from an acquaintance, into a dear friend. The following verse uses the phrase " know their God". It implies that there is some benefit to that knowledge.

Daniel 11:32 (NKJV) "Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.

God also talks about the benefit of knowing Him.

Jeremiah 9:24 (NKJV) But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight," says the LORD.

God has made himself known by revelation. Not only did He reveal Himself to the fathers and prophets of old, but also He has declared Himself by His creation. Paul describes in Romans that mankind should be able to look at nature, and understand that there is unison instead of chaos. There is order. There are things which man is incapable of doing of his own. Man cannot duplicate nature; He can study it and learn from it, but he cannot duplicate it. Man has made an egg with all of the same ingredients, taste and qualities. However the egg that man makes cannot reproduce. Many things in science and nature actually declare the greatness of God. To understand that if our planet was any closer or farther from the sun; it would be impossible to live here. There are books about science, creation, and nature that describe in great detail many of these facts.

Romans 1:19-20 (NKJV) because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. {20} For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

The prayer of Jesus is laden with the hope that people will actually learn of God and know Him.

John 17:3 (NKJV) "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

Psalms 139:6 (NKJV) Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it.

Psalms 145:3 (NKJV) Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable.

Romans 11:33 (NKJV) Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!

Psalms 147:5 (NKJV) Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.

Philippians 3:10 (NKJV) that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

Ephesians 1:13 (NKJV) In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

Romans 10:17 (NKJV) So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Romans 1:16 (NKJV) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

2 Timothy 3:15 (NKJV) and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

While God can be known, we must know that there is always more that we can learn about Him. Our knowledge of God is only partial at best. The human mind cannot comprehend all the magnitude and majesty of God's nature. The everlasting existence cannot be explained because we are limited by time. His presence cannot be explained because we are limited by space. His love cannot be fully explained because of our human emotions and limitations.

The apostle Paul had this observation in Acts 17:23 "... What therefore you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you." People can tell that there is something out there. They can see that there is a force beyond their limitations. They may know that there is a Supreme Being, but they do not know Him.

How can we learn who this God is? We learn through revelation. God reveals Himself. He teaches us that we can learn of Him through His word. By reading the scriptures, we can learn what is pleasing to Him. We learn what He wants. We learn how to do His will. When we are really trying to serve Him, it is very enjoyable to know for sure that we are acceptable to Him. This is how it is done.

Psalms 40:8 (NKJV) I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart."

We learn His will and apply it in our hearts and actions.

John 6:40 (NKJV) "And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

Matthew 7:21 (NKJV) "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

Matthew 12:50 (NKJV) "For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother."

1 John 2:17 (NKJV) And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

A common statement in all of these passages tells us that the benefits of being children of God all rest upon our doing His will.

1 John 1:6-7 (NKJV) If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. {7} But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

We can see that our knowledge of God causes us to conform to His will. The conditional word “if”, tells us that we can have fellowship with God if we meet the right conditions. Those conditions are listed in His word.

1 Corinthians 10:6 (NKJV) Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.

Romans 15:4 (NKJV) For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

The Bible is very plain that God's will needs to be done. Following commands and examples does this. Applying the principles. Avoiding things that might be prohibited. Also making a diligent effort does this. We have to really work hard to get this far. We in actuality have to make every effort and our very being must be dedicated to God to do His will.

`Lots of the things of the past we half to accept by faith. As we read about the children of Israel or the trials of the prophets, we can accept them as fact due to eyewitness accounts. However some things must be accepted by faith. The creation is one example. No one was there to report the events. We have to take what Moses said at face value and as fact. This is not hard for a believer to do. Some groups might try to rationalize certain facts like days actually being ages or many years each. God said it was a day and we must know that our lives have days. Twenty-four hours long each. If God can create these things, why would it take years to accomplish? God is all-powerful, and can speak things into existence. There is no need to try to explain the how’s and why’s of the way things are. Like the bumper sticker says: "GOD SAID IT, I BELIEVE IT".

The Bible fills us in on a lot of background information. Someone once asked why Moses wrote Genesis. If you remember, when Moses was sent to Egypt to demand the release of the Israelites, he was asked the question: "who is God?' Wouldn't it be appropriate to explain who God was and how God deals with people? We can turn to the Bible to see how God dealt with people of the past and since God is the same now as then, we know He will deal with us in the same way.

Deuteronomy 32:7 (NKJV) "Remember the days of old, Consider the years of many generations. Ask your father, and he will show you; Your elders, and they will tell you:

Psalms 139:14 (NKJV) I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.

Most human beings want the satisfaction of knowing that their life has importance and meaning. Most would like to feel that they leave the world a better place than when they arrived. We all hope that we can have a positive impact on those around us. As Christians, this is really important. We want to make sure that those we leave behind will continue in the work we have set them on. This is continuing the work of God and bringing glory to His name. This is by leading others to Christ to obey the gospel, which is able to save them. If however, our life does not glorify God or cause others to do so; we are failures no matter how wealthy or famous we might become.

Psalms 90:16-17 (NKJV) Let Your work appear to Your servants, And Your glory to their children. {17} And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.

Another thing to remember is that this is not a one way relationship. Yes we are to set our minds and bodies to doing God's work. But He is also doing a work in you. To those who have accepted the Gospel and taken on the responsibility of serving God, God is having His will demonstrated through them.

John 6:29 (NKJV) Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."

Romans 6:17-18 (NKJV) But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. {18} And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

Philippians 1:6 (NKJV) being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

God's main objective is to be worshipped. He does that through us when we are obedient. The work of the Holy Spirit is to see that God's will is made known to the world. This is why the Holy Spirit is the force that wrote the Bible. This is the reason that miracles were performed. It was through the Holy Spirit that they were done in order to confirm the word spoken as being God's word.

John 16:8-11 (NKJV) "And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: {9} "of sin, because they do not believe in Me; {10} "of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; {11} "of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

The final stage in the revelation of God and telling mankind about His will is seen in the Church. The Church is the body of believers who are faithful to the Lord. The Church is the organization by which the Gospel is promoted. The Church is the government of God on the earth. The Church is important. Many human institutions will teach that the Church is not important. You can see this in the statement; "join the church of your choice". The Church also has gone through a development of sorts.

Matthew 16:18 (NKJV) "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

Jesus said that He would build His church. After the events of the cross, we see that the establishment of the church is spoken in past tense terms.

Ephesians 4:11-13 (NKJV) And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, {12} for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, {13} till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

Ephesians 3:9-10 (NKJV) and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; {10} to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places,

Knowing the character of God can be learned through His word. Once again, we must emphasize the fact that the Bible is the word of God. It is to be accepted by faith as fact and not fiction. If we are to have any hope of the promises being fulfilled, we have to know that every word of God is inspired, and profitable for us. If anyone decides that any part of God's word is not important, they can throw the book out the window, because it becomes meaningless. Those people who twist the scriptures to practice their own lust and desires are misusing this book. Those who leave out part of the Bible in order to match their doctrines, are in truth; lying. We know that God does not lie. Anyone who teaches a different doctrine than the Gospel of the Bible is lying. Any doctrine different than God's is false. When we compare man's religions against the Bible, we see differences. If man's religion is not the same as God's, then he is wrong. Man must conform to God's will, because God will never change His will to match our doctrines.

This is another reason that this study is necessary. Because there are so many different doctrines. There are millions of people who call themselves "Christians", but participate in human institutions of religion. The Christian must have confidence that they are right.

There is only one standard of right. Many will die with a false confidence and be disappointed on judgement day. With souls in danger of being lost, it only makes sense that one would want to be certain.

Many Christians came out of other religions or out of denominations. They have brought false concepts that must be corrected. The next section of the study will concentrate on growing. After we conduct that study, we will be able to put all of this into a proper perspective. We will get an understanding of all of this. Then we will be able to live productive Christian lives that God will be pleased with.

Go to Chapter Four

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