Truly Knowing God

John 17:3 (NIV)
"Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent."

What does it mean to know the true God and Jesus Christ whom He sent? Some take it to mean to have an intellectual knowledge of who God is and what the Bible has to say regarding Him. Others take it to mean knowing what Jesus said about Himself and the Father in Scripture. But is this it? Is there not something more? Fortunately, there is.

Jesus said that eternal life consisted of knowing Him and the Father, who sent Him. The context of the word know seems to indicate much more than just intellectual knowledge of who God and Jesus is. For not all those who prophesy, perform miracles, and cast out demons in the Lord's name will be saved. Neither will all who may have a learned, intricate knowledge of Christian theology or doctrine. To many people like this Jesus will say on judgment day, "I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!" Knowing in this context indicates growing in a close relationship with the Creator and Redeemer. It means not only having reverence for His name or knowledge of what His word teaches, but getting to know Him personally. A husband may know many facts about his wife, but that would not constitute really knowing her. It is only through a lifelong personal relationship that a husband comes to truly know his wife and love her. In a similar way, through a personal relationship with Christ we come to not only know who God is, but also learn to love Him more as we travel the road of life and become new creations in His grace.

Having a personal relationship with Christ means walking with Him, our hands in His, day by day. It means growing in His love and sharing it with others. For by growing in His love we come to a true knowledge of God. Having a personal relationship with Christ also means growing in faith. And as our faith and trust in Him increases, so does our peace, joy, and assurance of eternal life with Him.

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