Friday, December 19, 2014

NTDS (41): How to Truly Know God

1 Cor 2:4-5 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power. NIV

In the second chapter of Corinthians, Paul is going to make a stark contrast. He will show the difference between those who have the mind of the world (v5) and those who have the mind of Christ (v16).

For believers in Christ, if I were to ask which category do you want to be in, I am sure you would answer, “the second one, of course!” Now, if I asked you which category do you think you are in, what would be your answer? I bring this up because so many Christians I speak to (or should I say, listen to), do not speak or act as though the have the “mind of Christ.” I do not mean this in a judgmental way, but as a matter of fact.

It is difficult in our society not to be influenced by the world’s way of thinking. There are many trained speakers who “tickle our itching ears” and even seem to be speaking for God, but they are false teachers. And yet, many believers follow their teaching. Paul lived in that kind of world. Philosophers, who were trained in debate, could sound very wise and convincing when espousing their beliefs.

In this chapter, Paul makes it clear that you cannot mix the wisdom of the world with God’s wisdom. If you do, it always becomes convoluted. “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Cor 2:14 NIV)
This means that a person, who has not accepted Christ, cannot understand the wisdom of God because such wisdom is only revealed by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit only comes into one’s life when a person accepts Christ.

Wait a minute, what if a person knows the Bible inside and out? Can’t they teach God’s wisdom? The answer is no! That is exactly what Paul is teaching here. You see the bible gives us God’s truth. That truth is critical to knowing God. In fact, you can’t really know God without it. But knowing God intellectually does not mean you truly know Him.

To truly know God, we must have the word of God taught and applied in our life by the power of the Holy Spirit. 1 John 2:27, As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit — just as it has taught you, remain in him.

So we need both the Word and the Spirit. It is kind of like the old song says, “you can’t have one without the other.” You may have noticed that we just linked together, Jesus (the word-John 1) and the Holy Spirit in order to have a true relationship with the God the Father. Knowing God means that you experience all three persons of the triune God.

For those of you that truly want to know God, there are some very practical guidelines that you must follow.

One: you must accept Jesus Christ as the one and only way to the Father. (Jn 14:6)

Two: study the word of God diligently. (2 Ti 2:15)

Three: ask the Holy Spirit to be your teacher as you read the word and listen to Bible teachers. (1 Cor 2:12)

Four: do not rely on one human being to be your spiritual guide and blindly follow their teaching. Paul commended the Bereans for examining the scriptures themselves to see if what he said was true. (Acts 17:11)

Five: allow God, by the power of His Spirit, to apply what you are learning through the study of His word.

Remember our key verse, and don’t allow your faith to rest on men’s’ wisdom, but on God’s power!

God bless you

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