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Daniel 11 v 32b But the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.

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Please read 1 John 2

Daniel 11 v 32b but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.

We were thinking this morning of people who know their God. We thought of Jews who had returned to their city of Jerusalem from exile. And we identified that Christian people have a responsibility to turn their knowledge of God into a demonstration of the power of God and to take action in society.

But it is important this evening that we identify just what it is to KNOW GOD and to have a personal relationship with Him – so that He is indeed OUR GOD who is known, personally.

Knowing God is the most glorious thing in life. It is the most wonderful thing that can happen to a man or woman, boy or girl. We began this service tonight with these words from the prophet Jeremiah-

9 v 23 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: 24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.

The prophet clearly says the very opposite of what a worldly and non religious person would say – that education leading to wisdom, power and force to dominate and being rich enough to feel secure – are the things necessary for anyone to feel satisfied about in life and to be successful.

But Jeremiah says this – Not wisdom; neither might, not riches – none of these things will help a human being to live for God nor to live for ever.

A relationship with the creator God cannot be bought; it cannot be obtained by fighting a war nor can it be learned only intellectually.

But there are three dimensions to Knowing God.

1. There is an intellectual dimension.

This is knowing about God. There are facts about God that can be known and studied. His glorious attributes and characteristics are listed in books of Systematic Theology. Thousands of professors of theology dedicate their whole lives to studying dimensions of God. Sadly very few actually can say that they KNOW the God whom they study.

But when anyone honestly comes to the Bible, God’s word, and begin to believe what He has written and said, and when that person actually begins to believe facts about the Lord God – then the intellect communicates with the Soul and the facts learned have a divine relevance.

2. There is a VOLITIONAL dimension

This means that the WILL of the person is affected. This is a deliberate act of taking the facts as they have been assimilated intellectually and simply trusting God – trusting that what he has said is true; trusting that what He is, His attributes are righteous and worthy of wonder, praise and worship – an act of will and trust. Knowing God has a

3. Moral dimension.

This means that knowing God involves obeying God. He has set down His laws, which are a reflection of His perfection. If you want to know God as your God you have to be like Him – perfect. And simple logic tells each one of us that we are not perfect – none of us are – all of us have defects having broken God’s law.

As creatures we have to admit that it is a tall order to even imagine that we could know God, the perfect wise and holy creator, the brilliant designer of the universe, the faithful sustainer of the whole ecosystem that maintains life as we know it here on earth. Knowing God seems so remote to so many.

But how can any of us know this God with High standards – especially considering the fact that we in our sinful state, are already disqualified from Knowing God – the soul that sins shall die. God is of purer eyes that to look upon sin and upon sinful creatures. He has to turn His holy eyes away from such sinful creatures as we are.

The first verse of the hymn that we have just sung states this only too well –

How sad our state by nature is!
Our sin how deep it stains!
And Satan binds our captive minds
Fast in his slavish chains.
(Isaac Watts)

How can anyone come to Know God as his or her God?

1. We know God by REVELATION.

Some people like to guess what God is like. Some have a foolish notion that he is some kind of old man with a long flowing white beard, with gnarled and battered hands affected by eons of making and maintaining the universe; sitting on a cloud somewhere smiling benevolently when we do good (by our standards) but with an angry wrathful frown when we err and stray, hurling the odd thunderbolt for good measure! My friends, guessing is highly dangerous. It is foolish and completely unnecessary. No one has to grope about in the dark to try to find out what God is like – He has revealed Himself to His world so that the world of human beings can know what He is like. How has he done it? Here is a wonderful poem that I haven’t quoted for a long time, but is very precious to me and has been since I first heard it.

O long and dark the stairs I trod,
With trembling feet to find my God,
Gaining a foothold bit by bit,
Then slipping back and losing it.
Never progressing, striving still,
With weakening grasp and faltering will;
Bleeding to climb to God, while He,
Serenely smiled un noting me.
Then came a certain time when I,
Loosened my hold and fell thereby,
Down to a lower step my fall,
As if I had not climbed at all.
Now when I lay despairing there,
LISTEN – a footfall on the stair,
On that same stair where I afraid,
Faltered and fell and lay dismayed;
And LO!” When hope had ceased to be,
My God came down the stairs to me!

The Living Almighty God has come down – and in creation, in our conscience, in Providence and in Scripture He has revealed all that He is. And He has done this “coming down” supremely in the person of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.

Even though God is a Spirit who is self-existent, Infinite, Eternal and Unchangeable he chose to inhabit human flesh in order that we may know Him. How kind of the Lord God to do this! We do not have to know only God as a Spirit whom we cannot see – but we know God as a man like us – with the only difference that he is not a sinner like us. But as much as we are human beings so is he. “But where is He?” may be running through your mind? Can I meet Him? Can I talk to him? Can I shake His hand? Can I hear His voice?

He was here – 2000 years ago and we in this period of time are dependent upon the witnesses of His presence here on earth. Since His death, resurrection to life and His ascension up into the clouds, to heaven to be with the Majesty of God, he has been here by His Holy Spirit. He is the One whom we know, with the prospect of one day meeting Him face to face.

There is more to this God, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is wise in His being – He has all knowledge, He is Almighty, He is Holy, Just, Merciful and Good, True and Loving. The Lord Jesus Christ the man demonstrated all of these things when he was present here on earth. I recommend that you make a study of His life and identify all of these features of His being. You will find His power and might in the creative and healing miracles that he performed. You will find His wisdom in the way that he dealt with those who opposed Him so that they could never get the better of Him intellectually; on the contrary one of the gospel writers tells us that the people were astonished at His doctrine!

And this God who has revealed Himself in His son the Lord Jesus Christ is everywhere in His presence, Sovereign in His will and kind and loving in His grace.

This is the person whom Christians know as their God. But what about you? Has He revealed Himself to you yet? Or are your spiritual eyes tight shut, screwed up so that you cannot and will not see the splendour of His revealed person? Open those eyes my friend and see Jesus. There were some Greeks mentioned in the New Testament who wanted so much to see Jesus – that they asked the disciples if they could see Him. They had physical eyes and were helped with physical sight of the saviour – but the Lord God has given each one of us spiritual eyes. Oh my friend, if you have not already – use your eyes – open them and see the great Lord God as He reveals Himself to you – He is not far from any of us!

2. We know God by REDEMPTION.

Redemption is Christ’s work for sinners like you and me. Redemption is deliverance from captivity by a purchase made by someone else. A kidnapped person can be freed after a ransom has been paid to the captor. But our situation is far more terrifyingly serious than a kidnap situation! By nature we are slaves to sin – and since that is true we are deserving of the punishment of God. God’s punishment for sin is not a fine; it is not community service – some people think it is; it is not imprisonment for a number of years; it is not even imprisonment for the rest of our natural lives. No! The punishment for sin – is death! The wages that you earn as a sinner is death – not just physical death, but eternal spiritual death of the soul in a conscious experience of suffering in hell for all eternity!

Only on the payment of a price, to appease God, and to purchase a sinner’s freedom from the slavery of death through sin can we be have any hope in the eternal future. Can we, dead sinners, do anything to pay that price? No we cannot – we are slaves – we are impotent – we can do nothing. Someone else has to do the work.

And someone else HAS done it. In fact someone else had to die in order that I might live! It was the same holy Man the Lord Jesus Christ who paid the price – He died that we might be forgiven. Notice what the Bible says about this –

1 Corinthians 6 v 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

And

Ephesians 1 v 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Through the death of the Lord Jesus Christ people, when they believe that His death was for them, become Christians and are then freed from the power of sin and death. Would you like to be freed from those things? Would you like to have the assurance that physical death is not the end for you? Would you like to know freedom from the crippling effects of selfish living and Godless behaviour, which ultimately ends in Hell? Then believe what Christ did at Calvary – when He gave Himself as a ransom for many people. To know Jesus Christ personally is to believe in the Redeeming work that He did on the cross, dying for the sins of others, so that they might be free – and then KNOW HIM.

We know God by Revelation and by Redemption.

3. We know God by REGENERATION.

It is not a natural THING TO know God. It is not something that anyone who has a mind to do, can do. It is not an earthly or natural thing – but it is a supernatural or heavenly thing to happen. Knowing God requires the supernatural activity of God the Holy Spirit working in a man or woman boy or girl. Even if we wish to be heaven–bound, we must first be heaven-born. We must be woken up, brought to life by a mighty miracle called regeneration. There 5 aspects of Regeneration.

1. SPIRITUAL QUICKENING. We mentioned a moment ago that in our natural sinful state we are DEAD. So we need to be brought to life – the Bible calls it QUICKENING –

Ephesians 2 v 1. And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

2. SPIRITUAL BIRTH. Then we need to be Born again with a spiritual birth

John 3 v 3 Jesus said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

3. SPIRITUAL LIFE.

Ephesians 5 v 18 but be filled with the Spirit;

4. SPIRITUAL GROWTH.

Galatians 5 v 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

5. SPIRITUAL WALK.

Galatians 5 v 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

The effect of regeneration in a person’s life is that he or she comes to know God.

Can you identify with this experience my friend? Has there been a miracle in you? Are you a new person since God came to bring you to life?

If not then you are in great danger – for your dead soul will remain dead for all eternity unless you believe and are born again.

The people that know their God are those who have a vital living relationship with the only person who can do anything about their deadness – the one who himself was dead – suffering for sins – others’ sins- and then that same one who rose again to life overcoming death. Knowing about Christianity will do you no good. But knowing Christ personally will make all the difference to your eternal future.

The people who know their God -
Know that they are forgiven sinners;
Know that God has chosen them from the foundation of the world;
Know that Jesus Christ is their friend and saviour;
Know that His Holy Spirit has baptised them and that he fills them every day;
Know that God’s sovereign purposes will be worked out in their lives until He calls them from this earth to be with Him for ever and ever.

This is what it is to know God. It is to know Him through His wonderful Son the Lord Jesus Christ – this knowledge is a satisfying knowledge.

Will you be one of those people tonight who will know God as your God, by repenting of your sins, leaving them behind, and receiving the pardon and forgiveness offered by the Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. May you know God tonight my friend – and enter into that wonderful relationship with God that will never ever end.



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