KNOW WHAT YOU BELIEVE
LESSON 1 – KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
To seek to know God is inherent in all mankind, for we were created to be spiritual creatures. When that chord is awakened inside sinful man, there is a hunger to know God. Our highest calling is to worship the Creator that breathed into us the breath of life.
The very fact that God wants us to discover Him, know Him, worship Him, and become intimate with Him is a wonder in itself. Knowing God comes with its challenges, for we are finite beings; He is infinite…we are temporal; He is eternal…we know in part; He is all-wise. To compound the problem of our search to know God, so much of our life focuses on the physical side of life, but God is a Spirit. We believe that which we can see, handle and experience, but the invisible Lord moves like the wind.
Though the search to know God has been instilled within us, we must be careful not to limit and shape God into an image that only our finite mind can capture. There are many gods, and even corrupt views of our God, all because man has tried to box infinity into a form, and confine Him to actions that only we can understand. Thus, God is not fully knowable, yet the wonder of it all is that He has put a “God-shaped vacuum” within us that only He can fill.
All theology begins with a definition of God, for from this point, all the rest of the foundation of your belief system and what you call your “religion” is based upon how you define God. Man has attempted to make Him smaller than He is, in order to be able to control Him. Man has attempted to make Him harsher than He is, in order to avoid Him. But no matter where you go, or what people group you study, you will find evidence of man’s quest to know God.
1. What do we mean when we say God is incomprehensible? Job 11:7
Insight: How can we fully know an infinite God as He is? He is infinite in so many ways that it’s impossible to know Him to the fullest extent.
2. If God is incomprehensible, why try to know Him? John 17:3
Insight: We were made that way; we were made to be spiritual creatures that seek to know our Creator.
3. What does Ps. 19:1-6 say about how God expressed to the world His invitation to know Him?
4. How does Paul express man’s quest to know God, and what results in rejecting the knowledge of God in Rom. 1:18-32?
5. Describe God to me, as you now know Him. How often do you find yourself having to push out the walls of your understanding of God because you discovered something new about Him?
6. What does each of these characteristics of God mean?
Eternal Psalm 90:2 __________________________________________________________
Freedom Isa. 40:13-14 _______________________________________________________
Holy Rev. 4:8 ______________________________________________________________
Immutable Malachi 3:6; James1:17_____________________________________________
Infinite 1 Kings 8:27; Acts 17:24-28____________________________________________ Love 1 John 4:8; Rom. 5:5 ___________________________________________________ Omnipresence Psalm 139:7-11 _________________________________________________
Omniscience Acts 15:18; Ps. 147:4 _____________________________________________
Omnipotent Ex. 6:3; Ps. 33:9; 1 Cor. 6:14 _______________________________________
Righteous Psalm 11:7 ________________________________________________________
Sovereign Eph. 1:11 _________________________________________________________
Truth John 17:3 ____________________________________________________________
Unity Deut. 6:4; Eph. 4:6 ____________________________________________________
7. Why do you suppose there is no real name for God – only adjectives that describe Him?
Insight: He is unknowable in His fullest extent, and since He is not like man, He should not have a name like man.
8. How have you explained the trinity of God to others? (Three distinct personalities, but one mind, one purpose; so all-together unified that they are One. H2O: water, ice, steam.) Deuteronomy 6:4; Gen. 1:26; John 1:1-4; Matthew 3:16-17; Matthew 28:19
He who created and holds the universe together has invited you to know Him. What many do not understand is that His patience allows us to come at our own pace, but He longs to embrace intimately everyone who would draw near. It’s a wonder that He would allow us to know Him. Those who tried to even touch the mercy seat where His presence abode were struck dead. It’s a wonder to get to touch God through the Spirit and yet He allows you to live.
To try to know Him is to try to know infinity, eternity. To measure God is futile. To think you fully know God is folly. And it’s just like God to push out the walls of the box you try to confine Him or measure Him by.
God does not reveal Himself to the scoffer; but to those who desire to know Him, He will open His heart and reveal His love and holiness as much as you can contain. But it’s not a matter of how much He wants to reveal as it is how much you dare to be vulnerable before Him and open yourself up to Him. You will only know Him to the extent that you engage your spirit to touch His Spirit.
God seeks all those who come to worship Him in truth and spirit, for God is Spirit. If you come only with your mind, you will only discover that which words on a page can express. If you come at an arm’s distance, the Infinite One will forever be far away. But if you open your spirit to Him, the galaxies of your heart will not contain what He wants to reveal to you.