We will begin our new Wednesday night series on January 14TH
with the study of J.I. Packer’s book, Knowing God. A
workbook will also will help us study this material, and
prepare us for our group discussions. Let me
suggest six reasons why is it wise to make this a priority
1. We should focus on the knowledge of God while the “iron
A black smith heats up his iron so that it becomes soft. He
then strikes the iron to mold it into the intended shape
before it gets too cold and resistant. It is the testimony
of many in our Church family that each Wed PM series
beginning with “Behold Your God” has powerfully impacted
their walks with Christ.
Therefore, now is the time to dive into Packer’s book. It is
considered by many to be a 19TH century classic on God’s
attributes. I believe that
Knowing God has the force of a spiritual “cannon ball” lit
by the Holy Spirit upon the heart. It will provoke a
hungering and thirsting in us for a greater knowledge of the
2. We are instructed in the Word that the knowledge of
Christ is more valuable than anything else in life: Phil
Here Paul compares everything in life to the knowledge of
Christ. The value of knowing Christ far surpassed everything
else. Therefore he considered everything else in comparison
to be waste. Moreover, his testimony here is inspired
Scripture. This is testimony of the One who has been placed
in our hearts to reveal the knowledge of Christ – God, the
No other priority in life compares to the value of knowing
Him. Therefore Paul says he pressed on to lay hold of this
knowledge, Phil 3:12-14. “To press on” is a picture of a
runner using full exertion to capture the prize. Paul was
driven with commitment and intensity of effort to grow in
this knowledge. “To lay hold of” is to take up ownership of
the knowledge of God. This is not merely information about
Jesus. It is the personal,
intimate knowledge of Jesus Himself.
3. We are commanded to “hunt down” the knowledge of God:
Hosea mentions the knowledge of God twice at the outset of
v. 3. He is emphatically shouting out to our ears – “listen
to me! Knowledge of God is what you are to cherish!” The
term “press on” in the Hebrew is to hunt down, to endeavor
with utmost effort to obtain. The prophet reinforces the
motive to “press on” to know the Lord at the end of v. 3.
Hosea describes the certainly of obtaining this knowledge.
As certain as “the dawn” will arise in the morning, so God
will provide the knowledge of Himself to the one who seeks
it. God makes this same certainty clear in Jer 23:13 - ‘You
will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all
In v. 3, Hosea uses a second illustration to incite hunger
for God. The knowledge of God, states Hosea, is like the
spring rain watering the earth. He indicates that the
knowledge of God will provide the thirsty heart with that
which is truly refreshing and able to flourish the inner
person with spiritual vitality and satisfaction.
4. We are to pursue the knowledge of God over empty
religious disciplines: Hosea 6:6
Here the Lord declares that He delights in “the knowledge of
God rather than burnt offerings.” As Christians, we do not
offer up external sacrifices. But in much the same manner,
we do externalize our pursuit of God. It is easy to pray,
read the Word, worship in Church, and so on, while not
actually hungering after Christ Himself.
Such pursuits do not please the Lord, Psalm 51:16. They
ignore the access Christ grants to us into the holy presence
of our God, Heb 4:16. They also waste our time.
As Jesus states, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh
profits nothing”; Jn 6:63.
Let us seek His “beauty” and His “face” when we are in the
Word and prayer, Ps 27:4, 8. Let us ask God to make us
conscious of our empty religious activities. They are to be
abhorred as vain, and deceptive in that they produce pride
rather than the contrition, and the joyful humility which
comes with the true knowledge of Christ.
5. We are to boast in our knowledge of Him: Jer 9:23-24
To boast in the knowledge of God is the desire of our Lord.
He knows what is best for us. It is not wise for us to find
our security and our treasure in human wisdom, physical
strength and/or earthly treasures. These are at best
fleeting and unstable objects of joy and security. True
fulfillment and lasting value, states Jeremiah, is found in
the knowledge, the personal experience of God’s attributes –
His love, His kindness, His justice, and His righteousness.
6. We are to know God to accomplish great things for Him:
Here God declares that those who know Him are obvious. They
“display strength and take action”. If we lay hold of the
knowledge of Him, we will have a godly impact upon our
community. The power of such knowledge is dramatically
stated – these people display God’s might in action. They
are the ones who will put the power and the
courageous conduct of God on vivid display before both the
lost and before their own brothers and sisters in the
Let us gaze upon God in this new series that He might lift
us up with this omnipotent hand and lead us to achieve
glorious things for His glory in 2015!