knowledge

Why Knowing About God Isn’t Enough

Do you know about God, or do you know Him? Beloved, God has so much more for you than simply knowing facts and history about Him—He wants you to experience Him! In this short clip, Frank reveals why the Lord Jesus Christ came to live inside us.


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Why Knowing About God Isn’t Enough

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There are two Greek words in the Bible for knowing. First there is the Greek word oida. It means “to know in the mind;” it means “to know the facts.” But there’s a second word for knowing that we really need to understand and it’s gnosco. Gnosco means “to know by experience.”

Let’s explore the difference between these two words. I can’t come to you and say, “I know (gnosco) Abraham Lincoln,”  I don’t know him by experience. I have no relationship with him. The word I would use here would be oida. “I know Abraham Lincoln.” I’ve read the history books and I know the facts about his life. So which word do we find in the New Testament when it talks about us knowing God? It’s not oida—it’s gnosco. This is so very important because so many people live in oida. They know about God, they read the Bible, they know the facts, they study the history, and they know about God but they don’t know Him. Do you realize how sad that is?

Let me illustrate this again. I don’t want to know about a kiss. I don’t want to oida a kiss. Oida is the facts: two mouths coming together, exchanging tongues and saliva fluid. Yuck. I don’t want to know that. I want to experience it! Isn’t that strange, especially after that definition? But you want to experience it too, because that’s the first act of giving yourself to another human being and receiving another human being. And that’s gnosco, my friends, the Lord Jesus Christ came to live inside of us. Why? Well, so He could empower us, so we could experience Him so that we could know Him, not by mind only, but by experiencing His love.

I don’t want to know about love. I want to be loved, don’t you? And that’s why the Holy Spirit came inside of you. So you could experience the love, grace, mercy, faithfulness, kindness, and goodness of God and know Him (gnosco) by experience.

What a great God. Have a great day!

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Knowledge and Pride

 True knowledge includes the truth that God is WAY TOO BIG for us to ever understand. Though we come to know and experience God, we will NEVER, not even in eternity grasp Him fully.

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Apprenticed In Love

The only One who knows how to love is God, and so we must be students, learners, apprentices - receiving from Him the love that only He can give.

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We Read Scripture to Get to Know the Author.

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Don’t limit your reading of Scripture to an intellectual exercise! 
It can be a dynamic exchange of life with your Father.

When we pick up our Bible, we hold in our hands a very precious commodity. The word 'Bible' itself is simply a translation from the Greek 'biblios', literally 'book'. The Book! The Book of all books to be sure. Inspired by God, men throughout history wrote down truths that God wanted us to know. Effectively, the Bible is the mind of God communicated to the mind of man.

The Bible reveals God to us through the Person and Work of Jesus. By observing Jesus in Scripture, we learn that God is our Father Who has adopted us into His forever family. I prefer to call the Bible “Father’s Word” because not only is it the mind of God to the mind of man, it is also the heart of God to the heart of man.

The Bible is written to each of us as if we were the only one on the planet. When you read it, imagine He's pulled you up onto his lap, and he's telling you the important things you desperately need to know... things about Himself, about ourselves, and the world we live in.

 In Philippians 3, Paul says he had learned that all the other wonderful things in this world are rubbish compared to knowing Him. I believe with all my heart that statement gives an important clue how we are to read Scripture. We are to read this book differently than we read other books. When we read the Bible, we read it to get to know the author.

Let me state it plainly. We have been trained to read books to learn what is in the book, but that is not how we are to read the Bible. Think back to when you were in school. You read a chapter in the history textbook - why? To learn what was in the book in order to score a good grade on the text. And after the test, you promptly forgot what you read as you plunged into reading the next chapter so you could take another test. And so it was for the Math book and the Science book and the Sociology book. 

Did you ever read the Math, Science, or Sociology book to get to know the author? Absolutely not! That was not the stated goal. The stated goal was to read the book to know what was in the book.

Put simply, we should be having a conversation with Father as we read, building and enjoying the relationship we share. As you read the Bible, I recommend you pray, thanking Father for what you've read and asking Him to explain it so you can understand it better. Though knowledge is important - Hosea says without it we are destroyed - the relationship we gain from that knowledge is far more important. God died, so that we could have a relationship with Him.

Don’t limit your reading of Scripture to an intellectual exercise! 
It can be a dynamic exchange of life with your Father.

I hope this insight inspires you to open the Bible more often and enjoy a wonderful conversation with the One Who loves you so much.

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The Secret Things Belong to God

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There is so much in this world that I do not understand...

So many things I see and experience that I find hard to harmonize with what I know of the true character of God as revealed in His Word. I was musing over this in prayer to Him and this verse popped into my mind; a verse I often use in counseling...

"The secret things belong to God; the things revealed belong to us."

....and then the still small voice that comes in the thought processes of the mind... "I NEVER called you to understand, I called you to trust..."

Yes, sir.

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Don't Drive Too Quickly

If you race through the book of Philippians, you will see this wonderful truth in c. 4:19 that our God will supply all our need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus

If you race through the book of Philippians, you will see this wonderful truth in c. 4:19 that our God will supply all our need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus

It is a good thing to read through the Bible. It is a better thing to work slowly through the Bible. If I could illustrate it. You could drive the Yellowstone Park and be amazed. But if you hiked through Yellowstone you would be overwhelmed. When you race through the park you miss so much, but when you journey slowly you have the potential to discover so much more. 

If you race through the book of Philippians, you will see this wonderful truth in c. 4:19 that our God will supply all our need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. But you might not “see” how INCREDIBLY  WONDERFUL this declaration really is! Do not drive your car through this verse, walk very slowly through it with me.

Did you see it?

He said that He would meet our needs “according to His riches” – OH MY GOODNESS! The awe and wonder of his choice of words in that statement is overwhelming! 

Note that he did NOT say that God is going to provide for us “out of” His riches. As an illustration, if a millionaire decided to give you a gift “out of” his riches, he could give you a dollar, or even just a nickel and that would be giving “out of” his riches. That, however, is NOT what Paul said. He said God gives us “according to” His riches. So if a millionaire gave a gift to us “according to” His riches, he would be giving us a million dollars.

Do you see the difference?

What an incredible statement of how much the Father wants to do on our behalf as we journey through this world with our faith in Him. He wants to provide for us “according to” the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus. He wants to give us Himself. Oh the wonder of all that He longs to be to us, but we could have missed the wonder if we drove too quickly through this verse. Never read the Bible casually my friend, read it intently and stand in awe of the God Who loves and cares for you so very much that He would provide for you “according to” all that He Himself is. 

WOW!

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Heart to Mind

The battleground in the New Covenant economy is the mind.

The battleground in the New Covenant economy is the mind.

It is often said, "I know it in my mind, but I have got to get it to my heart." 

According to that great modern-day theologian Tim Chalas, that is not true. It is the wrong battle and that is why so few people win that battle. The truth is that God has already placed life, joy, peace, righteousness, goodness, love, mercy, etc... IN MY HEART (Cf. Ezek 36, Jer 31). 

The real issue is getting it from my heart to my mind.
The battleground in the New Covenant economy is the mind. 

That is where the enemy seeks to defeat us, by placing thoughts in our minds that are contrary to truth. 

That is why the exhortations of the New Testament are ALWAYS to set the mind, fix the mind, renew the mind... NEVER to fix the heart, or set the heart. 

The key to victorious living in a New Covenant economy is NOT getting truth from our mind to our heart, but getting truth from our heart to our mind. 

Phil. 4 says to think on the things that are good, lovely, true, etc... and the God of peace shall be with you.

The only way to win a battle is to fight the right battle...

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Experience and Express

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It seems to me that there are those that gain the "mind of God" but miss the heart of God. They minister truth, but they do so very often in a harsh and critical spirit and misrepresent the God that they claim to have come to know.

Then, there are those that gain the "heart of God" but miss the mind of God. They minister love, but they do so very often in an overly tolerant spirit that misrepresents the holy, loving God that they claim to have come to know.

We desperately need both the mind and the heart of God, not only to experience the fullness of His holy love but also to express the fullness of His holy love, so that we can more completely represent Who He really is to those who desperately need Him so much. We desperately need to be made whole, which by the way is what the word "saved" - "sozo" = really means.

"sozo" = to return to wholeness.

Wholeness will only fully occur within us as we more completely comprehend fully Who He is to us and who we have become in Him.

Jesus came to bring us GRACE, but also to bring us TRUTH.
Jesus came to bring us His LOVE but also His MIND!

Oh, how we need the Holy Spirit to help us know... REALLY KNOW not only the mind of God but the heart of God, so we can become and minister wholeness through the Person and Work of Jesus!

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The Simplicity of Jesus

Paul said we are to take care that we DO NOT LEAVE the simplicity of Jesus...

Paul said we are to take care that we DO NOT LEAVE the simplicity of Jesus...

Many people come to me, as an older man who has walked in the grace of God for a long time, with their fresh, new ideas regarding some passage in the Bible. I would never want to question the heart of any other man or woman, but with their questions and a lot of the speculative discussion I see going on, I have to wonder what the purpose of seeking the new and novel is all about?

Perhaps it is to "wow" their own hearts with God; perhaps it is to "wow" the hearts of others... let me share wholeheartedly - agreed! There are so many glorious truths in Father's Word that can indeed "wow" our hearts.

I am, however, finding myself less and less interested in the new and novel, and the speculation, to focus my attention on what Paul said in Corinthians about "the simplicity of Jesus".

In fact, in that passage, Paul said we are to take care that we DO NOT LEAVE the simplicity of Jesus....

Maybe because the sheer simplicity of Jesus is so full of complexity.  God became a man, to die for man, so He could live in and through man.  That is more than enough "WOW" for all of us.

I have to wonder, does not the "WOW" of Jesus, squeeze out all the other "wow's" that would compete with His "WOW"? Agreed?

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Two Kinds Of Knowledge?

This is the knowledge of God that likewise has one purpose --- others.

This is the knowledge of God that likewise has one purpose --- others.

I Corinthians 8 Paul made it clear that there are two kinds of knowledge of God. There is knowledge of God and there is the true knowledge of God.

The difference?

Knowledge of God puffs up, makes one arrogant, divisive and critical. This is a knowledge of God that has only one purpose --- the exaltation of myself.

The true knowledge of God is that which makes one loving. This is the knowledge of God that likewise has one purpose --- others.

Oh, that the true knowledge of God would be known and expressed.  Jesus said it was this that would turn the world upside down --- LOVE.

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My Goals as a Bible Teacher:

I teach the Bible!

That is what I do, and what I have done for most of my life now. Please understand, 'teacher' is not who I am, nor is my desire to get an identity out of what I do. I never have and to this day, do not WANT to teach the Bible. Rather, it is a compulsion than a desire.

That is because to be quite honest, it is such a scary thing to claim that you are teaching for God, His perfect Word! That is a major OUCH to the ego of anyone who would want to claim the office of teacher.

I do, however, love the fruit of what God accomplishes by using such mere human vessels to deliver life-changing truths to His people. In 1 Timothy 1, Paul put the goal of the teacher in plain form:

'The goal of our instruction is FAITH' = we want people to trust God. To take Him at His Word and learn of His goodness toward them.

Second, our goal is to produce love. First and foremost is the desire for people to have love for God. But the instant by-product of that is, of course, love for people. What an amazing thing to ponder, that people by trusting God become lovers of people and thus create a glorious community of faith that becomes a safe harbor for those who endure such a harsh and victimizing world.

And because that is so glorious, we want to thus teach from a pure heart, "katharos" = clean. The word was used of an army that had been purified of all its cowardly men so that only true soldiers remain. A pure heart is a heart that is "unmixed" with anything else.

This is why I teach.... to see people come to know God by faith so that they will become lovers, and live before God with clean hearts. That is real LIFE and makes for very real living. This is what I seek, it is of course, not what I always experience. I allow the world and sin to clutter my mind and behavior, WAY TOO MUCH, but that is my goal, for my life and for the lives of all who choose to listen!

I would put it this way, sadly, I ALWAYS preach a better message than I live but my heart is always to preach a message that accomplishes faith, and love, from a pure heart.

Just wanted you to know...