The Critical Need for True Knowledge of God

Photo by Rushay (RUSH) Booysen / CC BY4.0

The Bible makes it clear that deep life comes from a deep knowledge of God. We are encouraged to prize such knowledge and diligently seek it out, but also to be aware of the real possibilities of accepting and defending false knowledge regarding the personality of God. From the serpent in the Garden to the Pharisees in the Gospels, evidence of false knowledge abounds, which is why Paul urged the believers at Colossae to develop “true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself” and to be “renewed to a true knowledge” (Col. 2:2, 3:10). The Apostle Peter described a proper understanding of God’s divine power and our divine calling in the context of “true knowledge” (2 Pet. 1:3). Obviously, if there is true knowledge, then there is also false.

False knowledge places limitations on God, suspects His motives and doubts His abilities. It thereby limits our ability to trust and believe in His goodness. Fortunately, the point of rightly discerning Scripture is precisely to dismantle falsehoods and comprehend truth. Six principles from Scripture illustrate the value of true knowledge, as well as the process by which we acquire it:

1. First, the knowledge of God comes from God

  • “I will set my eyes on them for good…I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God.” (Jer. 24:6-7)
  • “I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.” (Prov. 1:23)
  • “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13)
  • “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.” (Eph 1:17)

2. The knowledge of God reveals the motivations and personality of God

  • “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.” (Jer. 9:24)
  • “Listen to the word of the Lord, O sons of Israel, for the Lord has a case against the inhabitants of the land because there is no faithfulness or kindness or knowledge of God in the land”  (Hos. 4:1)

3. The knowledge of God liberates

  • “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)
  • “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Mat. 11:29-30)

4. The knowledge of God creates spiritual authority

  • “A wise man is strong, and a man of knowledge increases power.” (Prov. 24:5)
  • “How blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
    In whose heart are the highways to Zion!
    Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring…
    They go from strength to strength…” (Psa. 84:5-7)
  • “Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power according to His glorious might…” (Col. 1:10-11)

5. The knowledge of God preserves and protects

  • “Therefore My people go into exile for their lack of knowledge; and their honorable men are famished, and their multitude is parched with thirst.” (Isa. 5:13)

6. The knowledge of God is a primary weapon for victorious living

  • “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…” (2 Cor. 10:3-5)


My Suggested, Highly Incomplete Reading List: Knowing God by J.I. Packer; The Knowledge of the Holy & Attributes of God by A.W. Tozer; The Singing God by Sam Storms; The God Who Comes by Carlo Caretto; The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey; Desiring God by John Piper

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