Knowing God begins before the new birth
…what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
When man comes into relationship with God through faith in Jesus that knowledge deepens to become something more personal. But to come into that relationship we need to have faith. And how do we have faith in someone we do not know?
Of course the Calvinist would put regeneration ahead of the ability to have faith. But scripture makes it clear that faith in Jesus comes first. It is the one who believes who is saved. The gospel is the power of God for the salvation of the one who believes. It is the one who believes (and continues to believe) in Jesus who will not perish but will have everlasting life…
I agree. Knowledge of scripture will not necessarily lead to knowledge of God. There is a requirement to ACT on what scripture says. It is DOING and not only HEARING that is required.
A growing understanding of scripture IS required if we are to grow in true knowledge of God. Without that understanding of scripture we can never be sure that it IS God that we are following. There are many deceptive voices in the world and also in the church, as Jesus warned. And of course, that warning comes to us through scripture, so an ignorance of scripture will also result in an ignorance of the dangers that scripture warns us about.
The article that I recommended (see previous post) addresses the disturbing tendency that many professing Christians display when they are ambivalent and at times antagonistic towards the scriptures. The results of this can be seen in the experience based “faith” being pursued by millions in the western world – a symptom of which was last year’s “Lakeland Revival”.
People are choosing hype and spectacle with the flimsiest of Christian veneers, and are promoting that as genuine Christianity. Those people get caught up because they choose to be ignorant of God’s word and thereby remain ignorant of the God who inspired that word.
They are easily led astray by false doctrine, and end up following a false god – because they have not learned to recognise and know the TRUE God
When we are first introduced to someone our knowledge of them is limited and relatively superficial. Like in ALL relationships, our knowing of God increases according to the time spent together and the quality of communication that takes place. If we shut ourselves off when someone tries to share their plans, hopes, desires and intentions – then our relationship will never develop. Instead it is likely to lapse and eventually come to an end.
In scripture God has given us a revelation of everything we need to know about Him and His plans for mankind. Ignore scripture and we will remain ignorant of God and His desires and will be susceptible to receiving false ideas in place of the truth we pushed aside.