Monday, April 25, 2005

Knowing God

"We need to ask ourselves a very fundamental question--a question, indeed, that we always ought to put to ourselves whenever we embark on any line of study in God's holy book. The question concerns our own motives and intentions as students. We need to ask ourselves: What is my ultimate aim and object in occupying my mind with these things? What do I intend to do with my knowledge about God, once I have it? For the fact that we have to face is this: If we pursue theological knowledge for its own sake, it is bound to go bad on us. It will make us proud and conceited. The very greatness of the subject matter will intoxicate us, and we shall come to think of ourselves as a cut above other Christians because of our interest in it and grasp of it; and we shall look down on those whose theological ideas seem to us crude and inadequate and dismiss them as very poor specimens." J.I. Packer, Knowing God


Theology, brothers and sisters, is a constant rethinking of knowing our precious Father. It is the humble study of Jesus in our bedroom early in the morning. It is the simple and heart-felt prayers from the overlooking mountain peak. It is the way we talk to people out on the streets. It is how we treat our parents. It is how we act at work or school. It is how we treat our fellow brothers. Theology isn't about winning a debate or knowing more than someone else. It isn't becoming well versed in the Scriptures only to have no love for one another. It's loving God so much that you don't want to do anything but know Him and worship Him. No, I never tire of the study of God, for if it is for His name sake, nothing can tear that away from me. If my motives are biblical and my heart refined by constant prayer and meditation on God's Holy Spirit, and if what I do with this knowledge of God is glorifying to Him, then indeed, may I continue to pursue my Father with upmost respect and honor of which He is due.

This past week, I have thought upon this often. What am I doing with my knowledge of God? Is it merely sitting in my brain with no place to go? No, there are many places for it to go. Is it going? Is it being used daily to turn the eyes of pagans, and also my fellow brothers and sisters, to see the very God of whom I worship and pursue? Is it edifying and equipping the saints? Is it instilling courage into others?

I continue in prayer to check my motives and my heart. This is just another example of how in everything I must rely on God; on His grace and mercy. May He take hold of my will and mold it into His. Amen.

3 comments:

Jessica said...

Thank you! This post is so true...what am I doing with my knowledge of Christ? Such an important question!

"Theology, brothers and sisters, is a constant rethinking of knowing our precious Father. It is the humble study of Jesus in our bedroom early in the morning. It is the simple and heart-felt prayers from the overlooking mountain peak. It is the way we talk to people out on the streets. It is how we treat our parents." That really struck me!

Thank you so much for reminding me!

<>< Jess

Rand said...

If Christians today lived up to the knowledge they have of Christ, we, like the apostles long ago, would turn the world upside down.

In this part of the church age, in our respective countries, we have the Scriptures in our own language along with mountains of theological resources, and look at the church today. P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C!

The Lord gave us 5 talents, will we bring him another 5, or will we be like the foolish servant and bring him less?

(Oh Lord, by Your grace, cause me to will and do for Your good pleasure)

Jester of Alba said...

In the first book of Augustine's work, Christian Theology, he states in reference to scriptural interpretation that any exegesis must be done in light of the Great Commandment.

Matt 22
36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'[b] 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[c] 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Per Augustine, and I can't help but agree, no matter how technically percise or correct and interpretation might be, if it does not stand up to these two, it is evil. If however, it is a sub-standard translation but does meet these requirements then at worst it is harmless.

Honestly at first I started to disagree. Precision is important it seems to me. However that was only until I reread verse 40. This lead me to consider for the first time that all Christian Ethics must also be filtered through these two. After all Christian ethics should come from the bible, right. Ok maybe this is elementary but give me grace I can be slow at times.

Sadly the question, "what therefore should I do" has pestered me for as long as I can remember with little or no satisfactory answers for modern (as well as ancient) issues. Now the answers are opening up, by the grace of God.

By the way, I enjoy reading your posts.