This very fine article from the late theologian J.I. Packer makes a very important point: It is possible to know a lot about God, but still not really know God. From Monergism.com……….
|What are “followers of Christ” to do?|
The task of followers of Christ is to know Christ and, in knowing him, to make knowledge of God and of life in God available to those around them. That is what responsible people do with knowledge of any important subject. If you have knowledge on any matter of great importance to human beings, it is your duty to make that knowledge available to others.If you know the house is on fire, you must share your knowledge with others. If you know where the bargains are, you tell your friends. If you know how to stop global warming or cure cancer, you have a duty to share that knowledge. Not so of your mere opinions, feelings, or decisions about such matters.
From Knowing Christ Today: Why We Can Trust Spiritual Knowledge. Copyright © 2009 by Dallas Willard. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
|Seeking what cannot be earned|
We must stop using the fact that we cannot earn grace (whether for justification or for sanctification) as an excuse for not energetically seeking to receive grace. Having been found by God, we then become seekers of ever-fuller life in him. Grace is opposed to earning, but not to effort. The realities of Christian spiritual formation are that we will not be transformed “into his likeness” by more information, or by infusions, ispirations, or ministrations alone. Though all of these have an important place, they never suffice, and reliance upon them alone explains the now-common failure of committed Christians to rise much above a certain level of decency.
From The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus’s Essential Teachings on Discipleship. Copyright © 2006 by Dallas Willard. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
The older I get, the more I think about the New Heaven and the New Earth —- even though I am about as old as dirt! But for even young people who are focusing more on how to be successful and blessed in this world, this article encourages everyone to put more of their thoughts and hopes and prayers in the next life. From Eternal Perspectives Ministries…………..
Knowledge and faith go together
We don’t have to look very far into our own thinking and living to see the effects of either being sure of God or not being sure of God. I believe that scripture always presents real faith as something that is based on knowledge as well as something that goes beyond anything you could know, and involves a commitment to God and his kingdom. Those two things, knowledge and commitment, are not exclusive of one another; rather, they are related. If we do not have a knowledge of God at the foundation of our commitment, that commitment simply will not hold up. It will waver; it will not govern our lives. It will be like pulling a chair away from someone in the act of sitting down. We will not be able to hold on to our belief as God intends, by the action of his Spirit on our hearts and our minds.Knowledge and faith are intended to go together.
For example, when you read Hebrews 11, the great chapter on faith, you will see faith equated with a vision of reality. We are told that Moses endured as one who sees the invisible. Faith is not a mere thought that something is true or the hope or resolve to believe it is. As Martin Luther said in the preface to his commentary on Romans: Faith is a living, well-founded confidence in the grace of God, so perfectly certain that it would die a thousand times rather than surrender its conviction. Such confidence and personal knowledge of divine grace makes its possessor joyful, bold, and full of warm affection toward God and all created things—all of which the Holy Spirit works in faith. Hence, such a man becomes without constraint willing and eager to do good to everyone, to serve everyone, to suffer all manner of ills, in order to please and to glorify God, who has shown toward him such grace. It is thus impossible to separate works from faith—yea, just as impossible as to separate burning and shining from fire.From The
Allure of Gentleness: Defending the Faith in the Manner of Jesus. Copyright © 2015 by Dallas Willard. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.