The People who Know their God

In our previous lessons, we learned about the importance of knowing God from the first chapter of J.I. Packer’s Knowing God:

  • Christian minds are under attack and it necessitates contemplation of what is divine.
  • Proper Theology is the solution and its relevance surpasses all material and existential barriers that humans may perceive.
  • Biblical knowledge of God is fundamental.
  • This knowledge must be applied (faith/obedience).
  • This knowledge must be our constant meditation.

Beginning with the second chapter of Packer’s book, we encounter a man who lost his academic advancement for the sake of the gospel. This man who has known God was prepared to lose everything for Christ. It is not reckless abandonment but resoluteness based on God’s revelation. How about us? Can we honestly confess the following words?

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.

Philippians 3:8

Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.

Jeremiah 9:23–24

For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 

1 Corinthians 2:2

This is a hard challenge for many of us. Paul counted everything as rubbish, not simply for the sake of considering them as dung but that he may have communion with God in Christ, that he may know Christ. Knowing Christ surpasses all other things that we value on earth. We boast in knowing Him. We must be determined in knowing Christ and His redeeming work that saves us. J.I. Packer observed,

I suspect that with most of us [the] experience of God has never become so vivid as that. Nor, I think, would many of us ever naturally say that in the light of the knowledge of God which we have come to enjoy, past disappointments and present heartbreaks, as the world counts heartbreaks, don’t matter.

Furthermore, he commented,

“When Paul says he counts the things he lost rubbish, or dung (KJV), he means not merely that he does not think of them as having any value, but also that he does not live with them constantly in his mind: what normal person spends his time nostalgically dreaming of manure? Yet this, in effect, is what many of us do. It shows how little we have in the way of true knowledge of God.”

Once we see the incomparable, inexhaustible, and incomprehensible value of Christ we will realize that nothing should rival our love for Him. Sadly, the majority of “Christians” fall into despair and have forgotten about God’s sovereign care over His people. Packer observed that “Christians” are like “dried up stoics”, where though they believe in God’s ordering of the entire universe, they fall short of exuberant delight in God. May this never be said of us!

Questions for meditation:

  • Do we really consider “all” things as waste in order to know Christ?
  • What should be our ultimate perspective in our quest of knowing God?
  • Should we be anxious about our imperfection the regarding true knowledge of God? Can we ever reach perfect knowledge of the Lord on this side of glory?

Note: This is from our Youth Bible Study. Citations are from Packer, J. I. (1993). Knowing God. Intervarsity Press. pp. 24-25

Published by Jeff Chavez

Sinner saved by grace

2 thoughts on “The People who Know their God

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: