Knowledge Applied

As we go deeper in our study of God, we must always see ourselves in front of the mirror of God’s examining and exposing Word so that we can be sure that we are walking according to the truth that we are learning. We must “be doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22). J.I. Packer warns, if we pursue theological knowledge for its own sake, it is bound to go bad on us. Why?

J.I. Packer gave three dangers in studying the truth without seeking to apply it in our hearts. First, it will make us proud and conceited (1 Corinthians 8:1). Second, it will intoxicate us. When we study the truths about God, we must pause and meditate on the things that enter our minds. Lastly, we might think of ourselves that we are above other Christians. There is a trend, especially for young, restless, and reforming Christians, that is those who know “little” are subject to those who know “a lot”. But we must listen to Paul when he writes, If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know (1 Corinthians 8:2). Your real understanding of truth is evidenced by a spirit-driven humility to think of others and standing before God.

To be preoccupied with getting theological knowledge as an end itself, to approach Bible study with no higher a motive than a desire to know all the answers, is the direct route to a state of self-satisfied and self-deception.

(Packer, 22)
There can be no spiritual health without doctrinal knowledge; but it is equally true that there can be no spiritual health with it, if it is sought for the wrong purpose and valued by the wrong standard. (Packer, 22)

Psalm 119 expresses the right attitude in knowing God. The blessed ones are not only those who know God but also those whose way is blameless (v.1). In beautifully written acrostic poems, the inspired Psalmist tells us the real meaning of having true knowledge of God. Read and meditate on the following verses:

  • 12 – Blessed are you, O Lord;  teach me your statutes!
  • 18 – Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.
  • 97 – Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.
  • 103 – How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
  • 125 – I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies!
Pro 1:7  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. 

If we wanted to know God truly, we must have the fear of the LORD by faith in Christ Jesus. God alone can instill reverential fear in our hearts. Knowing God should lead us to live humbly before His presence, and worship Him in Spirit and in truth.

Questions for meditation:

  • Do you agree that there can be no spiritual health without doctrinal knowledge?
  • What is your ultimate aim and object in having the knowledge of God?
  • What do you intend to do with your knowledge about God once you have it?

Note: This is from our Youth Bible Study. Citations are from Packer, J. I. (1993). Knowing God. Intervarsity Press. pages 21-23

Published by Jeff Chavez

Sinner saved by grace

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