2013 09-29 kg03 knowing and being known - john 10 14-15 (abridged)


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Lesson 3 in a series on Knowing God. Presented 9/29/13 at Palm Desert Church of Christ by Dale Wells

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  • What were we made for? To know God. What aim should we set ourselves in life? To know God. What is the ‘eternal life’ that Jesus gives? Knowing God.
  • What is the best thing in life, bringing more joy, delight, and contentment, than anything else? Knowing God. Jeremiah 9:23-24
  • What, of all the states God ever sees man in, gives Him most pleasure? Knowing God. Hosea 6:6
  • Knowing God is more complex than knowing our fellow man;neighbor more than animal; animal more than subject.You can know a language by studying it, but to know Yellowstone you must explore it.You don’t know a dog – just by seeing it. You have to interact with it and know how it responds to different situations.Complicated with people becausepeople cover up and don’t let us see deep into their hearts. Youmay spend years in company with another person and still have to say, ‘I don’t really know him at all.’ Degrees in knowledge of others; we know them‘well’, ‘not very well’, ‘just to shake hands with’, ‘intimately’, or perhaps ‘inside-out’, according to how muchthey have opened up to us when we met them.How well we know them depends more on them than on us. It is more the result of their allowing us to know them than of our attempting to get to know them. When we meet, we open up in a friendly way. From that point, it is they, not we, who decide whether we are going to know them or not.Imagine you are going to be introduced to someone you consider ‘above’ you – in rank, or skill, or sanctity, or some other respect. The more conscious you are of your lower position, the more you feel that your part to be respectful and let him take the initiative in the conversation.
  • Forrest Gump met Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon, but he never got to know them. But he did get to moon LBJ. I know a lot of people who would have liked to have done that.Whether you ever get to know this person is a matter for him to decide, not you. If he confines himself to courteous formalities, you may be disappointed, but you cannot complain, because you had no claim on his friendship. But if he starts to open up to you and if he invites you to join him for one-on-one conversation, and if he asks you to make yourself available for future discussions, that would make a world of difference to your general outlook. That would be something to write home about!-and some­thing to live up to!
  • Dr. Benjamin Carson has met President Obama.Ben Carson, is one of the most celebrated neurosurgeons in the world. In the book (and movie) Gifted Hands, he tells of his inspiring odyssey from his childhood in inner-city Detroit to his position as director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital at age 33. Ben Carson is a role model for anyone who attempts the seemingly impossible. Ben Carson beat the odds ’to become one of the greatest life-givers of the century.He’s someone I’d like to know, but after his blistering speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, in February of this year, I doubt President Obama is interested in forming a personal relationship with Dr. Ben Carson.
  • Dr. Charles Ogletree, is a professor at Harvard Law School and the founder of the school's Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice. He has written many books on legal topics. He has appeared as a commentator on such programs as Nightline and Meet the Press. He has made a reputation talking about complex constitutional and criminal justice issues. Dr. Ogletree taught both Barack and Michelle Obama at Harvard; he has remained close to Barack Obama throughout his political career.Which of the two – Dr. Carson or Dr. Ogletree – can be said to know the President?
  • Who does he go fishing with? Dr. Ogletree.Now this, so far as it goes, is an illustration of what it means to know God.
  • Knowing God is a relationship calculated to thrill a person’s heart. What happens is that God comes to us and begins to talk to us, through the words and truths of Holy Scripture. Jeremiah 9:23-24Maybe you’ve known the Bible for years, and it has meant nothing to you; but one day you wake up to the fact that God is actually speaking to you through message. God talks to you about your sin, and guilt, and weakness, and blindness, and folly, and compels you to see yourself as hopeless and helpless, and to cry out for forgiveness. But this is not all. You come to realize that God is actually opening His heart to you, making friends with you, and enlisting you as a colleague. It is staggering thing, but true — God, so to speak, takes us on to His staff, to be His fellow-workers (see 1 Cor. 3:9) and personal friends.
  • The action of God in taking Joseph from prison to become Pharaoh’s prime minister is a picture of what He does to every Christian: from being Satan’s prisoner, we find ourselves transferred to a position of trust in the service of God. At once life is transformed.
  • What, then, does the activity of knowing God involve? ^ First, listening to God’s word and receiving it as the Holy Spirit interprets it, in application to oneself^ Second, noting God’s nature and character, as His word and works reveal it^ Third accepting His invitations, and doing what He commands^ Fourth, recognizing, and rejoicing in, the love that He has shown in thus approaching one and drawing one into this divine fellowship.
  • The Bible uses analogies to describe our relationship to God in the manner of (1) a son knowing his father, (2) a wife knowing her husband, (3) a subject knowing his king, and (4) a sheep knowing its shepherd (these are the four main analogies employed). All four analogies point to a relation in which the knower ‘looks up’ to the one known, and the latter “looks out for” the welfare of the former. This is part of the biblical concept of knowing God, that those who know Him—that is, those by whom He allows Himself to be known-are loved and cared for by Him.
  • Then the Bible adds the further point that we know God in this way only through knowing Jesus Christ, who is Himself God revealed in the flesh.John 14:6-9If we know God by knowing Christ, it is important, that we should be clear in our minds as to what ‘knowing’ Christ means.
  • For His earthly disciples, knowing Jesus was directly comparable to knowing the president in our illustration. The disciples were ordinary Galileans, with no special claims on the interest of Jesus. But Jesus, found them, called them to Himself, took them into His confidence, and enrolled them as His agents to declare to the world the kingdom of God. Mark 3:14
  • Look at what his friends saw in him. They recognized the one who had chosen them and called them friends as ‘the Christ, the Son of the living God’ (Matt. 16:16), the man born to be king.Matthew 16:13-16
  • They recognized Jesus as the bearer of ‘the words of eternal life’ John 6:66-69The sense of allegiance and privilege which this knowledge brought transformed their whole lives.
  • Now, when the New Testament tells us that Jesus Christ is risen, one of the things it means is that the victim of Calvary is now, so to speak, loose and at large, so that any man anywhere can enjoy the same kind of relationship with Him as the disciples had in the days of His flesh. The only differences are that, first,(1) His presence with the Christian is spiritual, not bodily, and so invisible to our physical eyes(2) The Christian, building on the New Testament witness, knows from the start those truths about the deity and atoning sacrifice of Jesus which the original disciples only grasped gradually, over a period of years; and, (3) Jesus’ way of speaking to us now is not by uttering fresh words, but rather by applying to our consciences those words of His that are recorded in the gospels, together with the rest of the biblical testimony to Himself.
  • But knowing Jesus Christ still remains as definite a relation of personal discipleship as it was for the twelve when He was on earth. The Jesus who walks through the gospel story walks with Christians now, and knowing Him involves going with Him, now as then.
  • John 10:27His ‘voice’ is His claim, His promise, and His call.
  • His claimJohn 5:23-24
  • His promiseMatthew 11:28-29
  • His call.Jesus’ voice is ‘heard’ when Jesus’ claim is acknowledged, His promise trusted, and His call answered. From then on, Jesus is known as shepherd, and those who trust Him He knows as His own sheep. John 10:27-28To know Jesus is to be saved by Jesus, here and hereafter, from sin, and guilt, and death.
  • Standing back, now, to survey what we have said that it means to ‘know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent’, we may underline the following points.
  • First, knowing God is a matter of personal dealing, as with all personal beings. Knowing God is more than knowing about Him; it is a matter of dealing with Him as He opens up to you, and being dealt with by Him as He takes knowledge of you. ^ Knowing about Him is a necessary precondition of trusting in Him (Rom. 10:14), but how much we know about Him is no gauge of how well we know him. If the decisive factor was doctrinal correctness, then the most learned biblical scholars would know God better than anyone else. But you can have all the right doctrines in your head without knowing God; and a simple Bible-reader and sermon-hearer who lets the scriptures speak to him will develop a far deeper acquaintance with his God and Savior than more learned men who are content with being doctrinally correct.
  • Second, knowing God is a matter of personal involvement, in mind, will, and feeling. To get to know another person, you have to commit yourself to his company and interests. Without this, your relationship can only be superficial and flavorless. ^ ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good,’ says the psalmist (Psalm 34:8). To ‘taste’ is to ‘try’ a mouthful of something, with a view to appreciating its flavor. A dish may look good, but we do not know its real quality till we have tasted it. Similarly, we do not know another person’s real quality till we have ‘tasted’ the experience of friendship with him. Friends are, so to speak, communicating flavors to each other all the time. As they open their hearts to each other by what they say and do, each ‘tastes’ the quality of the other. They feel for each other, as well as thinking of each other. This is an essential aspect of the knowledge which friends have of each other; and the same applies to the Christian’s knowledge of God, which, as we have seen, is itself a relationship between friends.
  • Third, knowing God is a matter of grace. The initiative is with God.We do not make friends with God; God makes friends with us, bringing us to know Him by making His love known to us. ^ Paul expresses this thought of the priority of grace in our knowledge of God when he writes to the Galatians, ‘now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God. . .’ (Gal. 4:9). What comes to the surface in this qualifying clause is the apostle’s sense that grace came first, and remains fundamental, in his readers’ salvation. Their knowing God was the consequence of God’s taking knowledge of them. They know Him by faith because He first singled them out by grace.^ ‘Know’, when used of God in this way, is a sovereign-grace word, pointing to God’s initiative in loving, choosing, redeeming, calling, and preserving. That God is fully aware of us, ‘knowing us through and through’ as we say, is certainly part of what is meant, as appears from the contrast between our imperfect knowledge of God and His perfect knowledge of us in 1 Corinthians 13: 12. But it is not the main meaning. The main meaning comes out in passages like the following,
  • Here God’s knowledge of those who are His is associated with His whole purpose of saving mercy. It is a knowledge that implies personal affection, redeeming action, covenant faithfulness, and providential watchfulness, towards those whom God knows. It implies, in other words, salvation, now and for ever, as we hinted before.
  • 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 never out of His mind. I know Him, because He first knew 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 – that God knows me. 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. He sees all the twisted things about me that my fellow-men do not see (and am I glad!), and that He sees more corruption in me than that which I see in myself (which, in all conscience, is enough). Yet, for some unfathomable reason, He wants me as His friend, and desires to be my friend, and has given His Son to die for me in order to realize this purpose.
  • 2013 09-29 kg03 knowing and being known - john 10 14-15 (abridged)

    1. 1. 03 Knowing and Being Known
    2. 2. John 10:14-15 "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-- [15] just as the Father knows me and I know the Father--and I lay down my life for the sheep.
    3. 3. John 17:3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
    4. 4. Jeremiah 9:23-24 This is what the Lord says: ―Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, [24] but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me …
    5. 5. Hosea 6:6 NLT I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.
    6. 6. Knowing Someone is a Complex Matter It depends more on them than on us
    7. 7. Imagine meeting the President
    8. 8. Met the President
    9. 9. Taught the President
    10. 10. Knows the President
    11. 11. Jeremiah 9:23-24 This is what the Lord says: ―Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, [24] but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me …
    12. 12. 1 Corinthians 3:6-9 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. [7] So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. [8] The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. [9] For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.
    13. 13. Knowing God involves … Rejoicing in the love He has shown by drawing us into this fellowship Accepting His invitation and doing what He commands Recognizing God‘s nature and character in His word and works Listening to God‘s word and applying it to ourselves
    14. 14. Relationship Analogies ―Looking up to‖ and ―looking out for‖
    15. 15. John 14:6-9 Jesus answered, ―I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. [7] If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.‖ [8] Philip said, ―Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.‖ [9] Jesus answered: ―Don‘t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‗Show us the Father‘
    16. 16. Mark 3:14 He appointed twelve–designating them apostles –that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach
    17. 17. Matthew 16:13-16 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ―Who do people say the Son of Man is?‖ [14] They replied, ―Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.‖ [15] ―But what about you?‖ he asked. ―Who do you say I am?‖ [16] Simon Peter answered, ―You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.‖
    18. 18. John 6:66-69 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. [67] ―You do not want to leave too, do you?‖ Jesus asked the Twelve. [68] Simon Peter answered him, ―Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. [69] We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God
    19. 19. Our relationship differs from theirs • His presence with us is spiritual and invisible • We know what the disciples gradually learned • He speaks to us through the Scriptures Our relationship is different:
    20. 20. Our relationship differs from theirs • His presence with us is spiritual and invisible • We know what the disciples gradually learned • He speaks to us through the Scriptures Our relationship is different: • He still walks with us • He still speaks to us • Discipleship still involves obeying him Yet, it is just as definite as theirs:
    21. 21. John 10:27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me
    22. 22. I am The bread of life (John 6:35) The light of the world (John 8:12) The door of the sheep (John 10:7) The good shepherd (John 10:14) The resurrection and the life (John 11:25) The way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6) The true vine (John 15:1)
    23. 23. John 5:23-24 He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him. [24] ―I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.
    24. 24. Matthew 11:28-29 ―Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. [29] Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
    25. 25. John 10:27-28 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. [28] I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.
    26. 26. Knowing and Being Known Two sides of the same relationship
    27. 27. Knowing God is a matter of … Personal dealing Romans 10:14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
    28. 28. Knowing God is a matter of … Personal dealing Personal involvement Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
    29. 29. Knowing God is a matter of … Personal dealing Personal involvement Grace Galatians 4:9 … now that you know God— or rather are known by God … 1 Corinthians 13:12 Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
    30. 30. Exodus 33:17 And the LORD said to Moses, "I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name."
    31. 31. Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
    32. 32. John 10:14-15 "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-- [15] just as the Father knows me and I know the Father--and I lay down my life for the sheep.
    33. 33. John 10:27-28 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. [28] I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.
    34. 34. CCLI # 2695486
    35. 35. Slide 0118-01-01
    36. 36. The Bigger Question: Not ―Do I know God?‖ But ―Does God know me?‖