Knowing More About God

 knowing more about God

This session is about knowing more about God. The truth of the matter is that we can never know God because He is the unknowable God; God is beyond our ability to know Him, but we can know more about Him. In fact, He is always reaching out to us in every situation.  The problem is that we don’t reach out to Him.

 It seems like many people have a garbled and inaccurate view of God; of theology; of spiritual things in general.  Most have a hodge-podge of New Age thinking, integrated into ideas gleaned from old Sunday school lessons of their childhood and of what other people think about God.

And worst of all, a majority in this land never even give a thought about God; many are convinced that the idea of God is rather ridiculous.  However, we need to realize that there is still a sadder note – much of humanity throughout the world feels pretty much the same way; they are ignorant of the true nature of God; how great His power is and how much He has to do with our very lives; and how much He loves us, warts, and all. 

God is the source of life, He keeps us breathing, He keeps our heart beating; He keeps blood flowing through our veins; He keeps our brains functioning.  Without God, you and I wouldn’t be here right now.

Because so many who do not even have a single thought about God, they do not accept Christ as their savior or walk in the ways of God [rather, they follow a wide variety of false religions –there are an estimate of roughly 4,200 religions, faith groups, and cultural movements, hoping to get to know a god].

Paul said to the Corinthian church, “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”[1]

We need to understand that we live in a world where there is a great conflict going on in an invisible realm between the forces of God and the forces of evil.[2]  It is a primary strategy of the devil is to blind people to the reality and truth of God’s Word [from the beginning this was his strategy – Awe, you’re not going to believe that are you?  “Surely, you won’t die.”  “You will just be smart as God.”[3] 

It is sad to know that so many today are blinded to the works of God and are deaf to the healing power of His Word.  It is impossible to be all that we were created to be when we are living in a state of deception and delusion.  I have often been amazed by gifted, brilliant, educated, and creative people who have been led astray by the powers of the evil one; these people have not been deceived intellectually; they are too intelligent for that; they have not even been deceived ultimately by an ideology, but by the evil spirit behind the ideology. 

However, a more disturbing area of deception is within the Christian world, itself.  Many sincere Christians are completely unaware of the full meaning of salvation, and the total reality of Christ.  What we need today is a modern day reformation; a genuine revival; a return to the gospel of Christ; the God of the Old and New Testaments in the real God of the past, the present and future. But many Christians today do not have a real perception of who God is. They make Jesus Lord only of the past rather than Lord of all time and eternity; many clings to a past world, a world which no longer exists.  Many have nothing more than a kind of religious security blanket. This reflects the style and contents of many churches today.

We need to learn more about the God of the universe who created us, who sustains us, and can even redeem us from our sinful ideologies.  God’s arm is constantly reaching out to us if we would only grasp His Almighty Hand.  John tells us that God loves us so much that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.[4]

Belief in God is not something that is just a fairy tale or superstition. There are vast amounts of evidence we can relate to in biblical, anthropological, and cosmological history about God’s existence, creation, power, and sustaining of the universe [including you and me].

Scientists estimate the earth’s history stretches back some 4700 million years ago ‘In the beginning’[5] 

The earth began as a mass of gas at temps of 4,000 c. about 4700 million years ago, it cooled down enough that gases became liquids.[6]

A dense veil of cloud hung around the earth; as temps cooled, rains began, (probably for about 60,000 years).

As the rain stopped and the crust of earth began to be formed.[7]

About 1200 million years ago, tiny single celled organisms appeared in the water[8] about 400 million years ago, life emerged from the sea; then creatures with a backbone appeared; dry land plants appeared; then reptiles, flying creatures, dinosaurs about 150 million years ago;[9] 

Somewhere around 70-30 million years ago, mammals appeared – elephants, horses, lions, tigers, and primates.[10] 
Then about 30,000 years ago, homo sapiens sapiens appeared (what the Bible calls ‘man’.[11]

God has been at this creation business for a long time.  It just didn’t happen at the flick of a finger. The essence [initial elements] of all that is, was created from nothing “bara;” then He began to “form”- put in place, arranged, and prepared a place for His crowing creature – man. 

Can you even imagine the eons of time and preparation God put in to make us a place to live – the earth which has just the right atmosphere, the right density, the waters and dry land, that was needed for plant life, animal life, and finally human life?  I can’t imagine the vastness of His creation, just for us.

It blows my mind just to think about how He did all of this for you and me, and then in a few short time we messed it all up with our senseless pride and disobedience.

And even though we messed up a utopia planned and formed for us by His great love, He planned and provided a plan of redemption for his crowning creation-man. 

The OT History gives us a brief, but genuine history, [not a complete history] of the world, nor of humankind. 

OT history is a good brief sketch of the history of God’s dealing with man and a very good brief history of the Hebrew people, even though is not a complete history. 

The OT is not the purpose to provide us with a complete history, but a historical sketch of the theological history of the Hebrews.

OT history begins in infinity (before anything was); it describes the beginning of time; the beginning of created order in what we know as “our world.” 

We cannot peer before Genesis, it just says “In the beginning.” Genesis is not a scientific book; it simply sets the stage for what is to come in God’s dealing with mankind – it gives a general description of the order of creation and affirms who did it all – God. 

The word “bara” translates into “creation” in Genesis 1:1 means “something from nothing.” In following verses means “formed” – putting the pieces together, like putting together a puzzle that provides a complete picture.

“Matter” [the basic elements of all that was to come] came into being at the spoken word of God.  From that point on, it was forming by the words and actions of God. 

Astronomers have calculated that the universe (the matter from which everything was to be formed) was created some 13.7 billion years ago; that the first stars lit up just 200 million years after the cosmos was born.  It was not just a snap of the finger that God created a home for us.

No wonder the Psalmist asked how God could be mindful of man.[12]  However, in all the eons of time God has created and formed, man as God’s supreme creation.

Every person knows something about God. However, the truth of the fact is we have more misinformation about the God and ignorance of His nature and teachings than true information; misinformation is more the rule than the exception.

Many people know something about the Bible; have a lot of facts from the Bible, but few actually have the understanding to accurately handle the truth “rightly divide the Word of truth”[13] therein.

I want to share a funny little story of a young preacher who was trying out to be a pastor. This example gives you how some people use words from the Bible that are a million miles away from the TRUTH of the word.

This young preacher was interviewing for his first church. Since he had never pastored, the Pulpit Committee invited him for an interview.  The Chairman said, “Son do you know the Bible?”  The young man, “Yes sir I really know the Bible.  What do you know best about the Bible?  “Well, I probably know more about the New Testament.”
The chairman said, “Well if you know a lot about the New Testament, how about sharing to the committee about the Prodigal son?” 

Oh, I can do that,” said the young man.  So, he reared back and began his eloquent treatise of the Prodigal Son:

There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus who went down to Jericho by night, and he fell on Stoney ground and the thorns choked him half to death. The next morning Solomon and his wife Gomorrah came by and carried him down to the arc for Moses to take care of him.  But as he was going through the eastern gate into the arc, he caught his hair in a limb and hung there for forty days and forty nights.  And he was afterward hungered, and the ravens came and fed him. The next day the three wise men came and carried him down to the boat dock and he caught a ship to Nineveh.  When he got there, he found Delilah sitting on the wall and he said, chunk her down boys; and they said how many times shall we chunk her down, till 7 times 7?  And he said, “Nay but 70 times 7; and they chunked her down 490 times and she burst asunder in their midst, and they picked up 12 baskets of the fragments that were left.  And in the resurrection whose wife will she be?” 

The committee chair said, “Fellows I think we ought to call him, I know he’s awful young, but he really knows his Bible.”

A sadder fact in this little story is that the pulpit committee didn’t know any more about the Bible than the young preacher did.

Earlier, we looked at the vastness of God’s creation, the millions of years in the formation of a place suitable for our habitation.  Now, let’s look at why God went to all that time and effort to create a world, and to create man?

God didn’t just decide He was going to create something, and He toyed around with some elements, and like a kid with building blocks, started forming with the elements, something like the sun, moon, stars, dry land, and some creatures.

God’s creation needed to respond to Him.  There was a Vacuum in the creation. He said it was all good, but something else was needed to complete all that He had created.  Man was created to hear and see and appreciate the full majesty and magnificence of God’s universe, to marvel at the complexity and splendor of the infinite power of God. Man was created in our [the trinity] image, and likeness, to rule over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and all the creatures that move along the ground.[14]

So, what is our most important purpose on this earth – to praise God; to relate to the ONE who is beyond our understanding, the unknowing God.

Think about this:  all of creation was made so that we, (men and women) could see it and testify to God’s glory. All that is was for us, so that we might look upon God’s glory.  Wow!

Man can try to achieve great feats in this world, amass great wealth, find cure for diseases, help others who need a helping hand, but God’s ultimate will in creating us is for us to Worship Him. Not his creation, not his Word.  People worship the Bible; worship their coming to church, but all of these things are to point us to Him, for us reach out to His great and mighty hand to us.

All recorded in the Bible is to reveal Himself to us; to draw us to Him; to develop a relationship with Him.  That is God’s ultimate Joy, the ultimate satisfaction is to stay close to “Papa.” 

Although there is a vast amount of evidence for the existence and daily work of God; many still deny His existence and His work among us. Objective moral values give evidence of His existence and His work.  Without God there is no absolute right and wrong.  Historical evidence of the resurrection lends credibility to Jesus being who He says He is.

God is:
eternal – He has no beginning and no end.  He is everlasting; the eternal presence.
all powerful – He is only limited by his own limited power
sovereign – answers to no-other one, or nothing except Himself
all-wise – knows everything (from before the beginning to after the end)
is in control – controls the universe he created [yields control only to free-will of man whom He created].  Man’s free-will is why the world is in such a mess today; man’s free-will let him to disobey God [when he believe the devil that his disobedience to God would bring him as smart as God] and brought us to this messed up world we have today.
love – self-sacrificing, self-giving, unconditional love [God could crush all rebellion, sin, disobedience idolatry, selfish pride in a heartbeat, except for his eternal  love.
God is a God of second chances; third chances; many chances.
God knows when we have set our heart against Him and will not yield our wills to His will.  When we [by our own free-will when we have reached the point of no return, He turns us over to our own reprobate minds; and allows us to destroy ourselves. Even then, God cries for us, when Holy tears are shed, it is not his will that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 

God reveals Himself in nature [“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars, which you have set in place], in His word [the record of His doings in the Bible], in His Son Jesus Christ [the undeniable One who died on the cross for our sins and rose again]. 

Yet there is one more step one can take in getting to know God better as He really is: Ultimately, the way a Christian really knows God is through the self-authenticating witness of God’s Spirit.  The Holy Spirit whispers to our spirits that we belong to God.[15]  The Holy Spirit who lives within us.

Let me give you an example:  Really knowing God is more than accepting all the outward theological arguments about God [nature, the Bible, knowing something about Jesus Christ], or even accepting the volumes of outward evidence.

Let us say that you are going to your doctor’s office.  As you drive up, you see his car in the parking lot.  You ask the receptionist if the doctor is in, she says, “Yes.”
You see the light under the door of his office, and you hear him speaking on the phone.  From all this evidence, you have good grounds for concluding that he is in his office [you have made an educated guess by faith that the doctor is in based upon the evidence which leads you to faith that he is in his office].  By faith, in the evidence you have seen so far, you act by faith, you knock on his door.  By acting, [knocking on his door], and he answers, you meet him face to face. 

At this point, the evidence of the car in the parking lot, the testimony of the receptionist, the light under the door, the voice on the phone [all still valid] takes on a secondary role, because you have met the doctor face to face.  You’ve talked to him, and he has talked to you.

In the same way, when we’ve met God, so to speak, face to face, all the arguments and evidence for His existence, though still valid, take on a secondary role.  Faith is trust or commitment to what you think to be true.  Faith is the first step toward knowing God better as He really is.  Knowing God better, knowing Him personally and seeing Him change lives is the greatest evidence of God’ existence and work.

Based upon how God has transformed my life, my attitudes, my relationships, my motivations, my priority in life through His ongoing presence in my life is all the evidence I need.  All those other evidence – nature, the Word become secondary to my relationship with the Great I AM.  My early morning time alone with God is the evidence I know to face the world, no matter what happens. 

For example, yesterday our kitchen faucet broke.  I had to go under the cabinet [in a very close space] and maneuver around to get the old faucet off, having to chisel some of the parts off.  I was stressed to the max by the time I finished. Without my relationship with God, I would have probably gone into a rage and destroy the whole kitchen sink area.  I stopped, asked God for help, and I finished the job, placed a new faucet [a great new, modern faucet along with a new soap dispenser on it].  Don’t ever underestimate God’s presence when you are in trouble. He doesn’t remove our troubles from us, but He will be there with us in our trying situations.

And this immediate experience with God is available to anyone who seeks it.  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.  He understands life as it is today, and He has answers to our most perplexing questions. Even as you read this message, God is transmitting into your spirit information about how to solve a life problem, and He is answering your prayers as you pray them.  God is never asleep. He is on the job 24/7 365 days a year and even in leap year. 

Even though sin and disbelief often prevent us from hearing God clearly, still the Holy Spirit is always with us, encouraging us, prodding us onward and upward, holding us back from foolish mistakes, guiding us around obstacles, etc. 

At this present moment, God is available to you.  He wants to reach down to your up stretched hand and pull you out of the mire. All He wants us to do is step into the stream of His presence; step into the river of His blessings; step into the flow of His guidance; allow the bubbling current of the Holy Spirit to carry us to our eternal destiny. Even, He will be with you repairing a kitchen faucet; changing a flat tire, or bring you home to be with him forever.

God moves to help us when we ask Him in prayer.  If we could see into the invisible realm, we would see that we are not alone; God and His angels are with us, supernatural power is always available to us. His outstretched hand are there for us, if we just reach for it.

God, as He really is, is a loving Father who left no stone unturned to bring rebellious humanity back to Him.  God is loving; forgiving; longsuffering; patient; kindhearted; compassionate; life-giving; honest; just; righteous; Holy and He wants us, His children, to live like Him, to be like Him, and receive His wonderful blessing toward us.

Our first parents (Adam and Eve) had that kind of relationship. They had a personal relationship with the Great I Am; He walked with them in the garden; He talked with them, and they talked with Him. What a wonderful relationship they had with the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe.  After the fall, that relationship was severed, but God did not let that broken relationship stay broken, he planned for a redemption for fallen humanity.  He sent His Son to pay the penalty for our sin, so that we may restore that broken relationship.

God has given us His word in the Bible.  77% of people in America own a Bible; 49% of them think it is important to read the Bible; 17% of them do some Bible study occasionally, and 4 out of 10 of them never read it.  We need to put of ought to into action

God does not want us to just know about Him by the evidence of others; He wants us to know more about Him with a personal relationship with Him.

I have the script of a lecture on Who Is God? that is available for the asking.

[1] 2 Corinthians 4:3-4

[2] Ephesians 6:12

[3] Genesis 3:1-4

[4] John 3:16

[5] Genesis 1:1

[6] Genesis 1:2-8

[7] Genesis 1:9

[8] Genesis 1:20

[9] Genesis 1:21

[10] Genesis 1:24

[11] Genesis 1:26

[12] Psalm 8:3-4

[13] 2 Timothy 2:15

[14] Genesis 1:26

[15] Romans 8:16

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