KNOWING GOD

 

 

Jeremiah 9:23-24, Philippians 3:10

THE QUEST

Knowing God #1

(Note: This is a series basically on the attributes of God.)

 

In the Bible, there is mention of various quests.  Spies were sent into the Promised Land to search it out.  King Saul went on a quest to find and kill David. 

 

Moses was on somewhat of a quest when he said to God in Exodus 33:18 …I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.

 

Even our Lord Jesus Christ was on a quest.   

John 4:34 - Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

 

Mark 10:45 - For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

 

One of the great quests in the Bible is expressed by the Psalmist in Psalms 42:1-2 - As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. [2] My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?

 

We should all be on a quest after God, to spend time with Him, and to know Him intimately.  In fact Knowing God should be the quest of every Christian.

Now you might be thinking, “But Pastor, I have trusted Jesus as Savior, don’t I know God?”  If you are truly saved, yes you do know God.  But you should want to know God better.

 

Jeremiah 9:23-24 - 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.

 

Using this text and Philippians 3:10 I would like to suggest to you three things concerning the quest you should be on.

 

 

THERE ARE MANY POSSIBLE QUESTS.

 

Jeremiah 9:23 - 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:

 

When you “glory” in something, it is what is important to you.

When you “glory” in something, you are on a quest to obtain it.

When you “glory” in something, it is what you boast about.

I am reminded by this passage that there are many things to be on a quest for.  The Lord, through Jeremiah gives us three prominent things that people may search for and then boast in that they have obtained them.

 

Some people will seek after wisdom and boast that they have it.

Well, what’s wrong with that? Doesn’t God want us to be wise?

Yes he does, but the wisdom that is being sought and bragged about here is apart from God.  It is human wisdom.

 

Worldly wisdom is not wise at all. Proverbs 14:12, 1 Corinthians 1:25

 

 

Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might,

   

Many people seek after power or might.

People who glory in their power must be in control.

They will do what they can to be in control of situations and in control of people.

The very goal of their lives is to have control!

 

Many a family feud has been over who will be in control.

Many a skirmish at work is over who will have control.

Many a fight in Congress is over who will have control.

Many a church fight is over who will have control.

 

God says not to seek control, not to glory in control.

Don’t be on a quest for personal power or might.

Now why, would God say that?

All power and might comes from God.

 

Remember when Jesus appeared before Pontius Pilate? John 19:9-11

 

Pontius Pilate only had power because God gave it to Him.   

We only have power or might because God has given it to us. Psalm 75:6-7, Revelation 1:8,

 

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:   

  

Many people are on a quest for riches.   

Many like to boast in their riches.

So what’s wrong with being rich?  Nothing, as long as you don’t trust in your riches to get you to heaven, or boast about your riches, or worship your riches, or rely on your riches

Those who glory in being rich have a tough time getting into Heaven because they are trusting in their riches. Mark 10:25, James 1:9-11  

 

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:   

   

These are three of the prominent things that people seek after, that are on a quest for, that they glory in.  There are many more.

Some seek a person and worship that individual.

Some seek an idol and worship it.

Some seek various vices and glory in them.

Some seek hobbies or sports and glory in them.

Some seek various pleasures and glory in them.

 

THERE ARE MANY POSSIBLE QUESTS.

THERE IS ONE PREEMINENT QUEST.

 

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.

 

We should have one quest above every other quest.

We should have one goal above every other goal.

We should have one thing sought for above all other things.

Our preeminent quest should be to know God.

 

Why should our quest be to know God?

First of all we should strive to know God, because He is God!

Second, we should strive to know God because we can know God. John 14:6, John 1:12

 

Third, we should strive to know God because He is our judge. Romans 14:12

 

We are going to give account to Him. We should strive to know Him now, so we can please Him now.  This way, when we appear before Him there is a far greater chance that He will be pleased.

 

Finally, we should strive to know God because of his personality and program for the earth.

   

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.

 

God delights in exercising loving kindness. I should want to know the God who pours out loving kindness.

God delights in exercising judgment. I should want to know the God who is just.

God delights in exercising righteousness. I should want to know the God who is righteous.

 

That one preeminent quest is to know and understand God.

And you might say, “Pastor, that’s impossible!  Even Paul says that in Romans 11:33, O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

 

It is true that we will not know God fully until we see Jesus face to face.  However, we can and should strive to know Him better every day. 1 Corinthians 13:12

 

THERE ARE MANY POSSIBLE QUESTS.

THERE IS ONE PREEMINENT QUEST.

THERE IS TO BE ONE PURPOSE IN OUR QUEST.

 

Please turn to Philippians 3.   

Paul gives a personal testimony here.

He is warning against self righteousness here.

He is warning about trying to get to Heaven based on our birth into religion and our own religious acts.

 

Philippians 3:4-6 - Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: [5] Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; [6] Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

 

If anyone could have earned his way into Heaven, it was Paul.  But Paul couldn’t do it.  Paul knew that although he might have appeared righteous on the outside, he would not have been righteous within.  He realized, like we should, that he needed help.

 

Philippians 3:7 - But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.

It came down to a choice for Paul.

It comes down to a choice for us.

Paul had to chose to either rely on all that was near and dear to Him religiously in order to get to Heaven, or He had to scrap it all and take Christ alone.

 

We need to make that same decision.  Will I rely on my own brand of religion, no matter how good it is, or will I rely on Christ alone?

 

Philippians 3:8 - Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

 

Paul went even further and said that he counted all his efforts to be like dung, manure if you will in order that he might have Christ.

 

Philippians 3:9 - And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

 

Paul knew that his righteousness was like filthy rags.

Isaiah 64:6 - But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

 

Paul knew that Christ was righteous, without sin.   

Paul knew that Christ’s righteousness was true righteousness.

Paul knew that Christ died for us so that we might be righteous before God. 2 Corinthians 5:21

Paul knew that the way to God was through faith in Christ.

Paul placed His faith in Christ.   

Have you?

You can’t know God until you come to Him through faith in Christ.

 

Philippians 3:10 - That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

 

Paul’s one purpose was to know Christ.  For in knowing Christ, He was knowing God.

Didn’t Paul already know Jesus? Yes.

If we are saved, don’t we know Jesus? Yes.

 

So what is Paul saying?  He is saying, “I want to know Christ intimately!  I want to spend time with Him. I want to be close to Him. I want to understand Him and what He is doing. I want to take what the Bible says about Him and experience Him for myself in my own life.”

 

And that should be our ultimate purpose, to take what the Bible says about Him and experience Him for myself in my own life.   

 

We should want to know Him intimately.

We should want to know His power working in our lives intimately.

We should want to know the fellowship of his sufferings. That is, we should be willing to suffer for his sake.

We should want our knowledge of Him to make us conformable to His death. That is, Christ was obedient even to the point of death. We should be that obedient also.  

 

Paul knew that knowing Christ was a life long process.

 

Philippians 3:12-14 - Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. [13] Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, [14] I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

 

Remember, Jesus is God.

To know Christ is to know God.

As Christians we should have one quest, to know God’s Son and to know God better today than we did yesterday.   

 

Of course, we get to know God better by studying and meditating on God’s Word.

And we get to know God better by talking to Him.

We get to know God better by abiding in Him.

We get to know God better by learning about Him in church and Sunday School.

 

I want us to strive to know God better by seeing exactly what He is like according to His own Word, the Scriptures. We want to see what have been called the attributes of God. We want to learn these truths and see how they apply to our daily lives.

 

Make it the goal of your life as a Christian. Make it the purpose of your life, to know him more intimately for yourself.

 

THERE ARE MANY POSSIBLE QUESTS.

THERE IS ONE PREEMINENT QUEST.

THERE IS TO BE ONE PURPOSE IN OUR QUEST.   

 

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