Knowing God is the fundamental purpose of our existence. We were created to know God. Such knowledge of God leads to the fear of Him, which moves us to glorify and enjoy Him forever.
Knowing God, however, is a gift. True knowledge of our Creator and Redeemer is the result of His gracious initiative. He has revealed Himself to us through His Son Jesus Christ in the pages of the sacred Scripture.
When Peter confessed that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the living God,” Jesus responded to him saying, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 16:16-17).
True saving knowledge of God in Christ is only by grace. It is not by any action or effort on our part. We do seek God and find Him. But both the initiative and the perseverance in seeking Him come from Him. And He rewards those who truly seek Him.
Thus no one can boast of his own intellect or ingenuity when it comes to knowing God. Christ reveals Himself and the Father to anyone He chooses to reveal (Matt. 11:27).
Knowledge of God through the Son of God is hidden from the wise and the learned of this world. “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,” says Jesus, “that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will” (Matt. 11:25-26).
But more than our knowledge of God is the fact that God knows us and loves us even before we were born. The Lord told Jeremiah, “‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…'” (Jer. 1:5). There is nothing we have done or can do to earn this blessing from the Lord.
J. I. Packer emphasizes this truth when he writes, “What matters supremely…is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it — the fact that *he knows me*. I am graven on the palms of his hands. I am never out of his mind.”
“All my knowledge of him,” Packer adds, “depends on his sustained initiative in knowing me. I know him because he first knew me, and continues to know me. He knows me as a friend, one who loves me; and there is no moment when his eye is off me, or his attention distracted from me, and no moment, therefore, when his care falters.
“This is momentous knowledge. There is unspeakable comfort — the sort of comfort that energizes, be it said, not enervates — in knowing that God is constantly taking knowledge of me in love and watching over me for my good.”
Packer then concludes saying, “There is tremendous relief [in] knowing that his love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench his determination to bless me” (Knowing God [IVP, 1973], 37).
Blog series content from Knowing God by Rev. Vic Bernales.